Posts tagged "1108317"

Adoption of Ilian (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-083-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   16-P-1517                                       Appeals Court   ADOPTION OF ILIAN.[1]     No. 16-P-1517.   Bristol.     May 3, 2017. – June 28, 2017.   Present:  Kinder, Henry, & Desmond, JJ.     Adoption, Dispensing with parent’s consent.  Minor, Adoption.  Parent and Child, Dispensing with parent’s consent to adoption.  Practice, Civil, Findings by judge.  Department of Children & Families.       Petition filed in the Bristol County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on August 23, 2013.   The case was heard by Siobhan E. Foley, J.     Matthew P. Landry, Assistant Attorney General, for the Department of Children and Families. Abigail H. Salois, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the father. Diane Messere Magee for the child.     KINDER, J.  Following trial, a Juvenile Court judge found that Ilian’s parents were unfit to parent him and that termination of their parental rights was in Ilian’s best interests, and she accordingly issued decrees terminating their parental rights.  See G. L. c. 119, § 26; G. L. c. 210, § 3.  The judge approved a plan put forward by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for Ilian’s adoption by the foster family with whom he had been living for eighteen months.  On appeal, the father claims error in the termination of his parental rights in light of his plan for a paternal cousin (cousin) to serve as Ilian’s caregiver.  The father contends that the judge failed to conduct an “even-handed assessment” of the two plans.  We agree that the judge’s assessment of the father’s plan should have been more explicit.  More detailed findings regarding the cousin’s credibility as a witness and suitability as a caregiver would have clearly demonstrated the required even-handed assessment.  Nevertheless, for the reasons that follow, we conclude that the judge adequately considered the father’s alternative plan and properly concluded such placement was not in Ilian’s best interests.[2]  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  We summarize the relevant facts, which have ample support in the record.  Ilian was born in May, 2011, and was almost five years old at the close of the trial.  DCF’s first involvement with Ilian’s family was in September, 2012, when DCF received a report pursuant to G. L. c. 119, § 51A (51A report), for neglect, alleging that Ilian was present when the father shot a sixteen year old boy.  Ultimately, DCF’s investigation did not support the claim that Ilian was present at […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm

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