R.M. v. R.B., KY COA, Adoption, Termination Of Parental Rights

R.M. v. R.B. , _ S.W.3d _ (Ky. App. 2009); 2008-CA-001099-ME

Trial court denied adoption of A.E.B. by her maternal aunt and uncle, R.M. and R. M., and further denied the involuntary termination of parental rights of the child’s father, R.B. R.M. and R.M. appealed. COA held that adoption is statutory right and that Kentucky Courts require strict compliance with the statutory mandates set out in KRS Chapter 199. Several statutory procedures were not followed by the trial court. First, the petition for adoption contained no allegations against R.B. sufficient to establish grounds for terminating his parental rights. Second, the trial court conducted an adoption hearing without submission of the Cabinet’s required report regarding its investigation of the proposed adoption. There was no record that the Cabinet had even investigated the adoption pursuant to KRS 199.510. Nevertheless, COA affirmed the trial court. Even thought the trial court made its decision based on the wrong reasons, it reached the correct result. COA noted that appellants are not barred from filing another petition that complies with the adoption statutes.

Digested by Sarah Jost Nielsen, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates