A.D.B. v. Com.

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A.D.B. v. Com., 205 S.W.3d 255 (Ky. App. 2006)

A.D.B., the mother of D.W.G, brought the child to the doctor for a checkup. The exam showed that his head was enlarged and that he had delayed development. The doctor referred the family to another doctor, who conducted a C-Scan. That exam revealed two brain bleeds, one recent and one over a week old. The mother denied knowledge of any injuries, but offered the possibility of the child falling accidentally. The family was then referred to UK Medical Center, where it was determined that the injuries were the result of non-accidental trauma. The matter was then referred to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet removed the child from the home in March of 2004. The mother signed a case plan to work toward being reunited with her son. After a police investigation and a court hearing regarding the abuse allegations in October of 2004, the court adjudicated that P.G., the child’s father who lived with the mother, was more likely than not the person who abused the child.
In April of 2005 the Cabinet filed a petition to involuntarily terminate the mother’s parental rights. In July of 2005, P.G. voluntarily terminated his parental rights to the child. In August of 2005 a hearing was held, and the family court terminated the mother’s parental rights. The mother appealed.

The Court found that the evidence supported the family court’s determination that statutory grounds, under KRS 625.090(2)(e) and (g), existed for termination of the mother’s parental rights. At the hearing, the evidence demonstrated that 1) the mother knew P.G. was the abuser and continued to live with him against the Cabinet’s request, 2) the child suffered an older brain bleed which the mother failed to seek timely treatment for, 3) the mother failed to regularly visit the child while he was in the Cabinet’s custody, and 4) the mother repeatedly failed to provide, or was incapable of providing, essential food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education necessary for the child’s well-being and no reasonable expectation of improvement in her conduct existed.
The Court also found that the evidence supported the family court’s finding that the termination of parental rights was in the best interests of the child under KRS 625.090(3)(b), (c), (d), (e), and (f). At the hearing, the evidence showed that 1) the mother neglected her other children on three other occasions, 2) the mother did not meet the goals of the Cabinet for reunification, 3) the child had resided with the same foster family since his removal and was doing very well and becoming attached to that family, 4) the mother failed to pay child support for the child, and 5) the mother did not make P.G. move out of her residence until 14 months after the child was removed.
The Court concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence to support the family court’s findings. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the decision below.

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