IN RE: LA'ASIA LANAE S. and Another

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

IN RE: LA'ASIA LANAE S. and Another, Dependent Children Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Tamara Litisha S., Respondent-Appellant, The Salvation Army, Petitioner-Respondent.

Decided: November 17, 2005

TOM, J.P., MARLOW, ELLERIN, SWEENY, CATTERSON, JJ. Jay A. Maller, New York, for appellant. Rosin & Reiniger, Esqs., New York (Douglas H. Reiniger of counsel), for respondent. Tamara A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Daniel Greenbaum of counsel), Law Guardian.

Orders of disposition, Family Court, New York County (Mary E. Bednar, J.), entered on or about October 24, 2002, which, upon fact-finding determinations of permanent neglect, terminated respondent-appellant's parental rights to the subject children and committed their 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 the agency's diligent efforts to encourage and strengthen the parental relationship, which reasonably accommodated respondent's hearing impairment, respondent failed to successfully complete drug treatment, parenting skills and domestic violence programs within the statutorily relevant period, or secure suitable housing (see Matter of Jamie M., 63 N.Y.2d 388, 393, 482 N.Y.S.2d 461, 472 N.E.2d 311 [1984];  Matter of Sheila G., 61 N.Y.2d 368, 384-385, 474 N.Y.S.2d 421, 462 N.E.2d 1139 [1984] ).   Family Court correctly held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC 12101 et seq.) has no bearing on the proceeding (see Matter of Chance Jahmel B., 187 Misc.2d 626, 723 N.Y.S.2d 634 [2001] ).   The finding that termination of parental rights is in the children's best interests is supported by a preponderance of the evidence showing that respondent cannot presently ameliorate the conditions that led to the children's placement (see Matter of Michael B., 80 N.Y.2d 299, 311, 590 N.Y.S.2d 60, 604 N.E.2d 122 [1992];  Matter of Desmond Sinclair G., 202 A.D.2d 156, 158, 608 N.Y.S.2d 412 [1994] ).