In Re: Baby Girl Doe
A court can find that biological parents abandoned their child, as a result of evidence that the parents have not had any contact since birth, have not developed any parental relationship and have not provided any financial or emotional support. In October 2012, a child, known as "Baby Girl Doe," was born with multiple health complications that will likely result in cerebral palsy and mental retardation. The biological mother invoked the provisions of the Safe Haven Act, Connecticut General Statutes §17a-57. The child has been in the care of the Department of Children and Families since it was one week old. Although the mother identified a putative father, a paternity test indicated that he was not the child's biological father. The mother did not identify any other putative father. In February 2013, the Department of Children and Families moved to terminate the rights of the biological parents. The court found that the biological parents have not had any contact since birth, have not developed any parental relationship and have not provided any financial or emotional support. No evidence exists that the parents have been prevented by the unreasonable conduct of anyone, or by their economic situation, from maintaining a meaningful relationship. The department proved that the biological parents abandoned the child. It would not be in the child's best interests to provide the biological parents additional time to establish a parent-child relationship. The child has challenging medical needs that are being met in a medically complex foster home. The court granted the department's motion to terminate the parental rights of the parents and appointed the department as the statutory parent.