In Re: Luis
A court can find that reunification with the biological parents is not in the best interests of the minor children. In or about May 2012, the minor children, 4 and 3 years old, were committed to the custody of the Department of Children and Families as neglected children. DCF proposed to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents. The mother requested reunification, because she completed a treatment program and obtained housing. The father claimed that he is ready to parent, because he maintained housing and employment and has been consistent with visitation. The court found that although the respondent mother underwent counseling, a psychiatrist opined that she continues to experience difficulty with emotional outbursts, employment and housing. Allegedly, the mother lacks sufficient income to care for the children and, even after she participated in a substance abuse program, the mother tested positive for drugs. The mother allegedly struggles with use of age appropriate discipline when she visits the children and occasionally uses profanity and exhibits agitated behavior, such as head banging. Allegedly, the mother's current boyfriend assaulted her in August 2012, and the mother refused to go to a domestic violence shelter and denied that there was domestic violence, although she was bruised. The father, who works as a bus driver, tests negative for substance abuse. A doctor opined that his parenting skills were not adequate. Both children suffer from asthma and allergies. Allegedly, the father continues to feed the children foods to which they are allergic and experiences difficulty with discipline. The father has nine children with four women. The court found that the biological parents are unable to meet the children's educational, medical and emotional needs. The mother continues to expose herself to domestic violence and to lack stable housing, and the father's ability to meet the minor children's emotional and financial needs is restricted. Considering the children's ages, need for permanency, and the parents' progress toward reunification, that court found, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that termination of the parental rights of the biological parents was in the best interests of the minor children.