Reset A A Font size: Print

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

IN RE: ALIYAH CAREEMA D., etc., A Dependent Child Under Eighteen Years of Age, etc., Sophia Seku D., Respondent–Appellant, The Children's Aid Society, Petitioner–Respondent.

Decided: October 18, 2011

MAZZARELLI, J.P., MOSKOWITZ, ACOSTA, RENWICK, DeGRASSE, JJ. Law Offices of Randall S. Carmel, Syosset (Randall S. Carmel of counsel), for appellant. Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, The Children's Aid Society, New York (Douglas H. Reiniger of counsel), for respondent. Tamara A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (John A. Newbery of counsel), attorney for the child.

Order, Family Court, Bronx County (Ilana Grubel, J.), entered on or about September 8, 2010, which revoked a suspended judgment entered on a finding of abandonment, terminated respondent mother's parental rights to the subject child, and committed the custody and guardianship of the child to petitioner and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purposes of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

 The finding that respondent violated the terms of the suspended judgment is supported by a preponderance of the evidence (see e.g. Matter of Kendra C.R. [Charles R.], 68 A.D.3d 467, 890 N.Y.S.2d 51 [2009], lv. dismissed in part, denied in part 14 N.Y.3d 870, 903 N.Y.S.2d 329, 929 N.E.2d 391 [2010] ).   Respondent was required, inter alia, to submit to random drug testing and remain free of illicit substances, maintain regular and consistent supervised visitation, and obtain and maintain a source of income and suitable housing for herself and the child.   Shortly after the suspended judgment was granted, respondent was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and sentenced to 2 1/212 years' incarceration.   Moreover, respondent failed to maintain contact with the child for four months after she was incarcerated, which failure is not excused by her incarceration (see Matter of Anthony M., 195 A.D.2d 315, 316, 600 N.Y.S.2d 37 [1993] ).

 The finding that termination of respondent's parental rights is in the child's best interests is supported by a preponderance of the evidence showing that respondent would remain incarcerated until after the period of the suspended judgment had expired, and that the child's kinship foster mother has been providing quality care for the child, wants to adopt her, and has been trained to handle her special needs (see e.g. Matter of David J., 260 A.D.2d 279, 688 N.Y.S.2d 543 [1999] ).