IN RE: Application for Guardianship

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

IN RE: Application for Guardianship, etc., BARBARA LUISA A., et al., Pursuant to Provisions of Section 384–b, etc., The Children's Aid Society, Petitioner–Respondent, Kenya A., et al., Respondents–Appellants.

Decided: November 30, 1999

SULLIVAN, J.P., NARDELLI, MAZZARELLI, WALLACH and FRIEDMAN, JJ. Patricia S. Colella, for Barbara Luisa A., et al. Douglas H. Reiniger, for Petitioner–Respondent. Rosemarie M. Rodman, John J. Marafino, for Respondents–Appellants.

Orders, Family Court, Bronx County (Bruce Kaplan, J.), entered on or about August 21, 1997, which upon a fact-finding determination of abandonment, terminated appellant-mother Kenya A.'s parental rights, and upon a fact-finding determination of permanent neglect, terminated appellant-father Orlando A.'s parental rights as to Barbara Luisa A. and Jacqueline A. and committed guardianship and custody of the three children, Barbara Luisa A., Jacqueline A. and Joaquin A., to petitioner Children's Aid Society and the Commissioner of Social Services for purposes of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

 The finding of abandonment was supported by the record, including unrebutted testimony that the mother had no contact whatsoever with her children or the agency for at least six months prior to the filing of the petitions except for one unsuccessful attempt at visitation wherein she arrived so late that the children had already returned home and, where, once she did arrive, she did not ask about the children or suggest a plan for them (see Matter of Erica C., 257 A.D.2d 445, 683 N.Y.S.2d 262;  see also, Matter of Oneka O., 249 A.D.2d 233, 672 N.Y.S.2d 316).

 The record also fully supports the Family Court's determination that petitioner had established, by clear and convincing evidence, its particularized and diligent efforts to, inter alia, encourage the father's participation in a drug rehabilitation program by providing numerous referrals to treatment programs, including ones which had Spanish-speaking counselors (see, Matter of Michael Anthony Vincent J., 253 A.D.2d 619, 677 N.Y.S.2d 347, appeal dismissed 92 N.Y.2d 1026, 684 N.Y.S.2d 490, 707 N.E.2d 445).   Petitioner was not required to contact the father's parole officer regarding his need for drug treatment, particularly where the father never informed the caseworker that he was undergoing drug screening as a condition of his parole.   Notwithstanding the agency's efforts, the father permanently neglected his daughters by failing to plan for their future, by failing to provide the agency with the names of potential resources who could care for the girls while he was incarcerated (see, Matter of Sasha R., 246 A.D.2d 1, 675 N.Y.S.2d 605;  Matter of Joshua R., 237 A.D.2d 226, 655 N.Y.S.2d 28), by failing to provide proof that he had completed a drug rehabilitation program and parenting skills class in prison (see, Matter of Paul H., 208 A.D.2d 402, 403, 617 N.Y.S.2d 298), and by failing to follow through with the plan the agency had specifically fashioned for him (see, Matter of Selathia Nicole F., 243 A.D.2d 400, 663 N.Y.S.2d 183, lv. denied 91 N.Y.2d 806, 669 N.Y.S.2d 1, 691 N.E.2d 1027).

 The evidence also warranted Family Court's determination at the dispositional hearing that all the subject children's best interests would be served, not by issuing a suspended judgment, but rather by terminating both appellant-parents' parental rights and freeing the three children for adoption by their foster parents with whom they had lived since birth and who were the only parents the children had ever known (Matter of Albert E., 259 A.D.2d 315, 686 N.Y.S.2d 421).

We have considered and rejected appellants' remaining arguments.