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IN RE: ZAYVION JAMEL LEWIS S., etc., A Dependent Child Under the Age of Eighteen, etc., Jason Frederick H., etc., Respondent–Appellant, The New York Foundling Hospital, Petitioner–Respondent.

Decided: November 25, 2014

FRIEDMAN, J.P., RENWICK, MOSKOWITZ, RICHTER, MANZANET–DANIELS, JJ. Geoffrey P. Berman, Larchmont, for appellant. Daniel Gartenstein, Long Island City, for respondent. Tamara A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Claire V. Merkine of counsel), attorney for the child.

Order, Family Court, Bronx County (Gayle P. Roberts, J.), entered on or about June 29, 2012, which, inter alia, determined that respondent father abandoned the subject child, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Clear and convincing evidence, including respondent's own testimony, established that he abandoned his child (Social Services Law § 384–b[4][b], [5][a] ). The fact that respondent was incarcerated during the relevant time period did not excuse him from his parental obligations (see Matter of Alicia M., 22 AD3d 384 [1st Dept 2005] ). Petitioner agency was not required to prove that it exercised diligent efforts to reunite the family or assist respondent in establishing contact (see Matter of Asia Sabrina N. [Olu N.], 117 AD3d 543 [1st Dept 2014] ), nor was there any evidence indicating that the agency discouraged respondent from having contact (see Matter of Bibianamiet L.-M. [Miledy L.N.], 71 AD3d 402 [1st Dept 2010]; Matter of Dennisha Shavon C., 295 A.D.2d 123 [1st Dept 2002] ).