Posts tagged "1113217"

Adoption of Talik (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-132-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   17-P-50                                         Appeals Court   ADOPTION OF TALIK.[1]     No. 17-P-50.   Suffolk.     July 28, 2017. – October 4, 2017.   Present:  Green, Ditkoff, & Wendlandt, JJ.     Adoption, Care and protection, Dispensing with parent’s consent.  Parent and Child, Dispensing with parent’s consent to adoption.  Minor, Care and protection.  Practice, Civil, Care and protection proceeding.  Evidence, Inference.       Petition filed in the Suffolk County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on March 6, 2013.   The case was heard by Peter M. Coyne, J.     Dennis M. Toomey for the mother. Bryan F. Bertram, Assistant Attorney General, for Department of Children and Families. Deborah J. Bero for the child.     WENDLANDT, J.  The mother appeals from a decree issued by a judge of the Juvenile Court finding her unfit to parent her son, Talik, terminating her parental rights, placing the child in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and approving DCF’s plan for adoption of the child by his foster parents.[2]  The mother argues that (1) the judge impermissibly drew an adverse inference from her failure to attend the trial; (2) the evidence of her unfitness was stale and thus could not support a finding of her unfitness by clear and convincing evidence; and (3) the pretrial placement of the child with the foster parents instead of with the child’s maternal grandmother’s first cousin (relative) in California was an abuse of discretion.  We conclude that the judge did not err in drawing a negative inference from the mother’s absence and finding that the mother was unfit, and that there was no abuse of discretion in the child’s pretrial placement.  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  We draw on the detailed findings of fact made by the judge, which find ample support in the record.  The child was born in March, 2013, and his meconium tested positive for marijuana.  The mother tested positive for OxyContin, cocaine, and opiates.  The child was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit due to high blood sugar levels (attributed to the mother’s mismanagement of her diabetes during the pregnancy), a possible heart murmur, and concerns regarding his liver.  During the pregnancy, the mother tested positive for marijuana at her first prenatal appointment, which occurred just over two months before the child was born.  She refused toxicology screens for the remainder of her […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm

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