IN RE: CUSTODY of CODY MICHAEL B.

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

IN RE: CUSTODY of CODY MICHAEL B., etc., A Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Kelly B., Respondent-Appellant, St. Vincent Services, Inc., et al., Petitioners-Respondents.

Decided: February 25, 1999

SULLIVAN, J.P., NARDELLI, WALLACH and TOM, JJ. Marcia Egger, for Cody Michael B. Bruce A. Young, for Kelly B. Frederick J. Magovern, for St. Vincent Services, Inc., et al.

Order of disposition, Family Court, Bronx County (Marjory Fields, J.), entered on or about July 15, 1996, which terminated respondent's parental rights upon a finding of abandonment, and committed custody and guardianship of the subject child to the Commissioner of Social Services and petitioner agency for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The finding of abandonment is supported by clear and convincing evidence that respondent, though able to do so, did not visit, telephone or provide financial support for the child for five years prior to the filing of the petition (see, Matter of Julius P., 63 N.Y.2d 477, 481-482, 483 N.Y.S.2d 175, 472 N.E.2d 1003), and that the letters he occasionally sent to the child, including one during the statutory six-month abandonment period, were for the express purpose of defeating the statutory presumption of abandonment rather than forging a parent-child relationship (see, Matter of Dawntal Danielle C., 170 A.D.2d 375, 566 N.Y.S.2d 269;  Matter of Richard X, 226 A.D.2d 762, 765, 640 N.Y.S.2d 628, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 808, 647 N.Y.S.2d 165, 670 N.E.2d 449).  We have considered respondent's other arguments and find them to be without merit.

MEMORANDUM DECISION.