In Re: Jaseven
When a biological father allegedly indicates to a social worker that he does not want her to attempt to contact the father, a court can find that efforts to reunify the father and his suicidal son are not required. In 2010, the minor child's mother was convicted on a drug-related charge and made arrangements for her sister, Joshlyn, to care for the minor child. In 2012, the minor child experienced suicidal ideations and went to Mount Sinai Hospital. Joshlyn, who lacked legal custody, was unable to make medical decisions. A court granted an order of temporary custody to the Department of Children and Families. The department requested that the court award permanent guardianship of the minor to Joshlyn. Both parents objected. The father has been incarcerated and has not visited the minor since 2009. An interstate compact for placement of children did not approve of the father as a custodial resource. A social worker claimed that the father indicated he did not want her to attempt to contact him. The aunt claimed the father did not want the child to see a psychiatrist. The father did not recall the child's age and did not comprehend why his child is suicidal. The court credited evidence that the child does not want to visit or talk to his biological father. The father is resistant to reunification services, and the court found that additional efforts to reunify the biological father and son are not required. Permanent guardianship by the aunt is an appropriate plan, because the proposed permanent guardian is a relative, the child has resided with the relative for more than one year, and the relative appears to be suitable. The aunt support the plan of permanent guardianship and the minor, 11, is in a safe and nurturing home. The guardianship statute requires a court decision about grounds for termination of parental rights and the suitability and appropriateness of a permanent guardian. The court did not approve the department's permanent plan as submitted and scheduled another hearing. The court also indicated it will consider termination of the rights of the biological parents.