February 28, 2022

In re Emily S.  (February 2022; AC 44791)

Child was born premature and positive for cocaine and opiates. Mother left the hospital without providing identification of Father. DCF subsequently filed an ex parte motion for an OTC and coterminous neglect and termination of parental rights as to both parents. The following year, DCF identified and named the respondent as the father; he was incarcerated in New Hampshire at the time.  He did not contest the neglect petition, and a TPR trial was held over a year later.

The trial court found that, pursuant to C.G.S. § 17a-112(j), DCF made reasonable efforts to reunify Father with his child, he was unable or unwilling to benefit from reunification services, there was no ongoing parent-child relationship, and the establishment of such relationship would be detrimental to the best interest of the child. Father appealed, claiming that reasonable efforts were not made. The Appeals Court affirmed, stating there was no clear error in the factual findings, and that the trial court’s thorough and well-reasoned memorandum of decision was a proper statement of facts and applicable law on the issues.