In the Interest of Kendra
A court can terminate the rights of a biological parent, if that is in the best interests of the minor child. In January 2011, the Department of Children and Families started to care for the minor child, who was then 7 years old. The department filed a motion to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents. James, who was named as the putative father in the motion, is not the biological father. Michael, who apparently is the biological father, is missing. The department has not yet filed a corrected petition that names Michael as the biological father. The biological mother, who was represented by counsel, consented to the termination of her parental rights. The court found that the mother's consent was knowing and voluntary. The court granted the department's motion to change the grounds for the petition from non-consent to consent. The attorney for the minor child also agreed to the termination of the biological mother's parental rights. The minor child has bonded to a foster family. She is active in school, Girl Scouts and summer camp. She continues to exhibit anxiety and fear for the safety of her biological mother, as a result of a previous situation in which she lived with a violent stepparent. The 8-year-old child requires a stable home, without violence. The foster family appears to provide the necessary structure and nurture she requires. Adoption by the foster family is in the minor child's best interests. The court terminated the parental rights of the biological mother and ordered the department to file a petition, to terminate the rights of the biological father.