December 1, 2020

In Re Ja’La L.  (AC 44072)

TPR, Failure to Rehabilitate

Takeaway: An argument alleging insufficient time to rehabilitate is inconsistent with the well-established state policy in regards to the importance of permanency in children’s lives, where their particular needs take precedence over a parent’s need for additional time to engage in services.

Mother appealed from the judgments terminating her parental rights, claiming that there was insufficient evidence to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that TPR was in the children’s best interest and that, in light of her continuing efforts to rehabilitate and the relationship she had with them, that she would be capable of resuming a responsible position in their lives, as required by the applicable statute (§ 17a-112), if given additional time and appropriate services.

The Appellate Court held that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion.  In so doing, it noted that Mother did not challenge as clearly erroneous any of the subordinate facts on which the trial court relied for its conclusion; that Mother’s argument that she should have been permitted more time to rehabilitate was unavailing, as it was inconsistent with the repeated recognition by Connecticut’s Supreme Court of the importance of permanency in children’s lives; and that Mother’s claim ignored the particular needs of the children, who had experienced confusion and anxiety due to her sporadic visits and their uncertainty about future placements, and who would benefit from the ability to build relationships and connect with permanent homes.