Submitted on Briefs: February 26, 2015.
On the briefs:
Paula Hopkins, Esq., West Rockport, for appellant mother.
The Department of Health and Human Services did not file a brief.
Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, and JABAR, JJ.
[¶1] The mother of R.M. appeals fro a judgment entered by the District Court (Rockland, Sparaco, J. ) terminating her parental rights to the child pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 4055 (2014). We affirm the judgment.
[¶2] The court found the following facts, which are supported by clear and convincing evidence. See In re Thomas D., 2004 ME 104, ¶ 21, 854 A.2d 195. The mother has five children. Her first two children, who are now adults, were removed from her care at about the ages of ten and twelve due to neglect. The third child resided with his father pursuant to a divorce judgment and now lives with his paternal grandmother. The mother's parental rights to her fourth child were terminated on May 17, 2013, when the child was twelve months old, because the mother's untreated mental health issues, her lack of cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), her rejection of DHHS services, and her abandonment of the child demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that she was unable to protect her child from jeopardy, that these circumstances were unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the child's needs, and that termination of her parental rights were in the child's best interest. See 22 M.R.S. § 4055.
[¶3] The mother, who was adopted from Korea, has an extensive history of substance abuse and mental illness. She has trouble focusing her emotions, and becomes easily agitated, irritable, and overwhelmed. She has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, and anorexia; these illnesses manifest themselves as anxiety, stress, paranoia, and excessive fears. She also has violent tendencies, a long history of domestic violence, and an ongoing distrust of DHHS.
[¶4] While pregnant with her fifth child, R.M., the mother neglected prenatal care because she feared that R.M. would be taken away if her doctors knew she was pregnant. She was also taking prescription medications during her pregnancy and attempted to conceal the pregnancy from her primary care physician. After the mother gave birth to R.M., both she and the child tested positive for opiates. On January 16, 2014, just four days after his birth, DHHS obtained a preliminary child protection order removing R.M. from his mother's care and placed him in a foster home. The mother did not cooperate with DHHS or engage in any services or court proceedings in any form regarding R.M. at
any point in time. On April 15, 2014, the court entered a ...