IN RE: Joshua WILSON A.

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: Joshua WILSON A., etc., A Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Joseph Wilson A., etc., Respondent-Appellant, Ann Marie L., etc., Respondent, SCO Family of Services, as Successor Agency-In-Interest to the New York Foundling Hospital, Petitioner-Respondent.

Decided: January 30, 2007

MAZZARELLI, J.P., FRIEDMAN, WILLIAMS, McGUIRE, MALONE, JJ. Joseph Wilson A., appellant pro se. Carrieri & Carrieri, P.C., Mineola (Ralph R. Carrieri of counsel), for SCO Family of Services, respondent. Frederic P. Schneider, New York, Law Guardian.

Order, Family Court, Bronx County (Sidney Gribetz, J.), entered on or about September 7, 2004, which, after a fact-finding determination of abandonment, to the extent appealed from, terminated respondent father's parental rights and committed custody and guardianship of the child to petitioner agency and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

 During the six-month period in question, respondent father had no contact with the agency or with the child.   Moreover, as far back as the child's entry into foster care in 1998, there is no evidence of any ongoing efforts by the father to maintain contact with his son (Matter of Julius P., 63 N.Y.2d 477, 483 N.Y.S.2d 175, 472 N.E.2d 1003 [1984] ).   It is each parent's unique duty and responsibility to maintain contact with the child (Matter of Andre W., 298 A.D.2d 206, 748 N.Y.S.2d 720 [2002];  Matter of Crawford, 153 A.D.2d 108, 549 N.Y.S.2d 667 [1990] ).   Even assuming the father is correct that the mother's surrender of the child was invalid, it has no bearing on the finding that he abandoned the child.

 A dispositional hearing is not statutorily mandated in an abandonment proceeding (Matter of Juan Andres R., 216 A.D.2d 145, 629 N.Y.S.2d 7 [1995] ), and such a requirement should not be read into Social Services Law § 384-b (Matter of Dlaine Bernice S., 72 A.D.2d 775, 421 N.Y.S.2d 396 [1979] ).