Issues: Children's best interests; In re Moss
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Register/Hayes/Johnson-Hayes
e-Journal Number: 57978
Judge(s): Per Curiam – Murray, Jansen, and Shapiro
After remand to the trial court for further findings and conclusions as to the children's best interests, the court held that there was sufficient evidence to prove that terminating both respondents-parents' parental rights was in the children's best interests. Thus, it affirmed the trial court's order terminating respondents' parental rights. In its prior opinion, the court affirmed the trial court's determination that the DHS presented sufficient evidence to establish the statutory grounds for termination as to each respondent, but found it necessary to remand for further proceedings and retain jurisdiction. On remand, the trial court issued a supplemental order setting forth several findings and conclusions as to the children's best interests. It explained that the "respondent-mother had failed to exhibit sound parenting skills and had failed to acquire stable housing for the minor children." She also had failed to follow the DHS's drug-screening protocol and had not completed substance-abuse treatment. The trial court observed that the "respondent-father had been incarcerated for most of KD's lifetime and consequently had no parent-child bond with KD." Further, he "lacked a legal source of income and had failed to support KD during his term of incarceration. The trial court noted that KD was thriving in his foster-home placement and that a prospective adoptive family had been identified." It also noted that the other three children "were placed with relative caregivers who had signed letters of intent to adopt them." The trial court found that these relative placements "provide the children with stability, permanency, and finality to enable them to thrive and move forward with their lives." Given "respondent-mother's ongoing failure to comply with court-ordered services, the lack of a bond between respondent-father and KD, respondents' failure to obtain suitable housing for the children, the children's need for stability and permanency, and the fact that the children were thriving in their placements, the trial court concluded that termination of respondents' parental rights was in the best interests of the children." The court held that it "did not clearly err in this regard."
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