In Re: Schmarr; In Re: Lendsey
A court can find that termination of the rights of the biological parents is in the best interests of the minor child, because the biological parents failed to rehabilitate. In June 2010, the Department of Children and Families applied for temporary custody of the minor children, who are 4 and 7 years old. In October, the Superior Court found that the minor children were neglected and permitted to live in conditions that were injurious. The minor children were placed with the maternal grandmother. In July 2011, the Department of Children and Families filed petitions to terminate the rights of the parents. The biological father, who has seven other children, visits the minor children once per week. The father asks what the children need and appears caring and concerned. The maternal grandmother testified that the minor children love their father. The court found that the Department of Children and Families did not prove that the biological father abandoned the minor children. The father indicated that he did not want custody. The court found that the department proved that the father, a convicted felon, failed to rehabilitate. The mother has difficulty interacting with the maternal grandmother, who also cares for the mother's four other children, and she has not visited the minor children since 2011. The mother experienced difficulty with transiency, substance abuse, mental health and parenting. The minor children need a sober and competent caregiver, who will protect them and meet their needs. The mother missed numerous visits, failed to obtain adequate employment or housing, and tested positive for marijuana. The court found that the mother failed to rehabilitate. The maternal grandmother is a good advocate for the minor children and obtained services for them. A social worker found that she met the minor children's needs and provided a loving environment. "By all outward appearances," wrote the court, "she is as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar and as tender-hearted as Mother Teresa." The court terminated the rights of the parents, because they did not rehabilitate, and appointed the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families as the statutory parent.