IN RE: Application For Custody

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

IN RE: Application For Custody, etc., JOY FRANCIS H., A Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Daniel H., Respondent–Appellant, St. Vincent's Services, Inc., Petitioner–Respondent.

Decided: October 30, 2001

ROSENBERGER, J.P., WILLIAMS, TOM, ELLERIN and BUCKLEY, JJ. Judith Waksberg, for Joy Francis H. Dennis Houdek, for Respondent–Appellant. Frederick J. Magovern, for Petitioner–Respondent.

Order of disposition, Family Court, New York County (Rhoda Cohen, J.), entered on or about November 20, 1997, insofar as appealed from, terminating respondent-appellant's parental rights to the subject child upon a finding of permanent neglect, and committing the child's custody and guardianship to petitioner agency and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purposes of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

 The finding of permanent neglect is supported by clear and convincing evidence that, despite petitioner's diligent efforts, respondent failed to visit the child regularly, attend planning sessions with the caseworker and undergo treatment for alcohol abuse (see, Matter of S. Children, 210 A.D.2d 175, 620 N.Y.S.2d 369, lv. denied 85 N.Y.2d 807, 628 N.Y.S.2d 50, 651 N.E.2d 918).   Respondent's claim that petitioner failed to address his alleged post-traumatic stress syndrome is unavailing, inasmuch as respondent did not inform petitioner that he suffered from such condition until shortly before the petition was filed, and the psychiatric evaluation that respondent underwent at petitioner's behest also did not reveal such condition (see, Matter of Timothy M., 220 A.D.2d 891, 632 N.Y.S.2d 699, lv. denied 87 N.Y.2d 808, 641 N.Y.S.2d 830, 664 N.E.2d 896).   A preponderance of the evidence supports the finding that adoption by her foster mother is in the child's best interests.

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