IN RE: Chartasia H.

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

IN RE: Chartasia H., A Dependent Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Sandra H.H., Petitioner–Appellant, Charlie L.H., et al., Respondents, St. Dominic's Home, Petitioner–Respondent.


Decided: October 20, 2011

Tom, J.P., Andrias, Catterson, Acosta, Renwick, JJ. Randall S. Carmel, Syosset, for appellant. Warren & Warren, P.C., Brooklyn (Ira L. Eras of counsel), for respondent.

Tamara A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Judith Waksberg of counsel), attorney for the child.


Order of disposition, Family Court, Bronx County (Sidney Gribetz, J.), entered on or about July 14, 2010, which, to the extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, denied the paternal grandmother's petition for custody of the subject child, and transferred custody and guardianship of the child to petitioner agency and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The evidence demonstrated that denial of the paternal grandmother's petition for custody in favor of freeing the subject child to be adopted by the foster mother was in the best interests of the child (see Matter of Luz Maria V., 23 AD3d 192, 193 [2005], lv denied 6 NY3d 710 [2006] ).   In the year prior to the dispositional hearing, the grandmother, who has no preemptive statutory or constitutional right to custody (Matter of Alma R. v. Ruth M., 237 A.D.2d 127 [1997], lv dismissed 90 N.Y.2d 935 [1997] ), lived several hundred miles away, had only seen the child two or three times and had not seen her for several months.

In contrast, the foster mother, who wishes to adopt the child, has provided the child with a loving and stable home for the past several years.   The child has been fully integrated into the foster mother's immediate and extended family, has overcome her initial behavioral and medical problems, and has, by all accounts, thrived while in the foster mother's care.