In re Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of F.N., 011119 INCA, 18A-JT-1880

Docket Nº:18A-JT-1880
Opinion Judge:BRADFORD, JUDGE.
Party Name:In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of F.N. (Minor Child) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner . and S.D. (Mother) and A.L. (Father), Appellants-Respondents,
Attorney:Attorney for Appellant S.D. Roberta Renbarger Fort Wayne, Indiana Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana David E. Corey Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana
Judge Panel:Bailey, J., and Brown, J., concur.
Case Date:January 11, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Indiana
 
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In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of F.N. (Minor Child)

and

S.D. (Mother) and A.L. (Father), Appellants-Respondents,

v.

The Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner .

No. 18A-JT-1880

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 11, 2019

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable James R. Heuer, Senior Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D08-1712-JT-214

Attorney for Appellant S.D. Roberta Renbarger Fort Wayne, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana David E. Corey Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

MEMORANDUM DECISION

BRADFORD, JUDGE.

Case Summary

[¶1] S.D. ("Mother") and A.L. ("Father")1 are the biological parents of F.N. In 2014, at five months old, F.N. was placed in foster care and adjudicated to be a child in need of services ("CHINS") due to Mother's and Father's inability to address her special medical needs and domestic violence concerns. In December of 2017, the Department of Child Services ("DCS") petitioned for the termination of Mother's parental rights, after she failed, for nearly an entire year, to participate in home-based and domestic-violence services, attend visitation and F.N.'s medical appointments, and maintain contact with DCS. On July 10, 2018, the juvenile court ordered that Mother's parental rights in F.N. be terminated. Mother contends that the juvenile court's termination of her parental rights was clearly erroneous. Because we disagree, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Mother and Father are the biological parents of F.N. (born March 21, 2014). F.N. was born prematurely and continues to suffer significant medical issues. Due to Mother's and Father's inability to provide the necessary care for F.N. and the occurrence of domestic violence between the parents, F.N. was placed in foster care upon her release from the hospital at five months old and has remained there since. Currently, F.N. has monthly medical appointments with a pediatrician, lung specialist, and gastroenterologist and attends speech therapy weekly to learn how to swallow food. F.N. also has a feeding tube which is used to provide her with PediaSure three times daily and must be changed every six months.

[¶3] In 2014, F.N. was adjudicated to be a CHINS, and Mother was ordered into reunification services. In 2015, the juvenile court changed the permanency plan from reunification to adoption after Mother failed to satisfactorily participate in ordered services. In August of 2016, the juvenile court entered an order denying termination and changing the permanency plan back to reunification, after finding that Mother had begun complying with services.

[¶4] After a February 2017 review hearing, the juvenile court found that Mother had "recently been battered by a boyfriend and appeared in court with a black eye that was healing [and noted that it had] concerns about whether she has benefited from services provided." State's Ex. 12. In March of 2017, DCS held a Child and Family Team Meeting with Mother and her family to discuss the possibility of a change of custody of F.N. to Mother's sister and brother-in-law. After a background check revealed the brother-in-law's previous conviction for domestic battery in the presence of a child, that plan was disqualified. Around that time, Mother moved out of her house, where she lived with her mother, sister, and brother-in-law, and moved in with Father. Mother completely stopped participating in services, including visitation and attendance at F.N.'s medical...

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