IN RE HAYLIE W. et al.
Submitted On Briefs: June 29, 2017
Judgment affirmed. Nathaniel Seth Levy, Esq., Brunswick, for
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Hunter C. Umphrey, Asst.
Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for
appellee Department of Health and Human Services.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
REPORTER OF DECISIONS
The mother of Haylie W. and Lexie W. appeals from a judgment
of the District Court (Augusta, Nale, /.)
terminating her parental rights to the children pursuant to
22 M.R.S. § 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i),
(ii), and (iv) (2016). She challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence to support the court's findings that the
children cannot wait for permanency and that she failed to
make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify. The
mother also argues that the court should have ordered a
permanency guardianship instead of terminating her
fundamental parental rights. Because the evidence supports
the court's findings and discretionary determinations, we
affirm the judgment.
Based on competent evidence in the record, the court found,
by clear and convincing evidence, that the mother is unable
to protect the children from jeopardy or take responsibility
for them within a time reasonably calculated to meet their
needs, that the mother failed to make a good faith effort to
rehabilitate and reunify, and that termination of her
parental rights is in the children's best interests.
See id.; In re Roberts., 2009 ME 18, ¶ 15, 966
A.2d 894. The court based these determinations on findings of
fact that include the following:
The children of mother ... came into State custody because of
mother's serious drug use that jeopardized the health and
safety of her two minor children. The mother admits that her
drug use made her unable to safely take care of her two
The mother's abuse of crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana,
illicit use of Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Percocet, as well as
non-prescribed use of Suboxone and Subutex have caused the
minor children to be born drug affected and to be exposed to
substance abuse throughout their lives.
The mother was offered services on multiple occasions to help
her with the issues that prevented the safe return of her
The Court finds that the mother failed to participate in
reunification services offered to her, failed to take
advantage of a referral to Family Treatment Drug Court,
failed to otherwise engage in services to address her
significant substance abuse problem, failed to maintain
contact with the Department for the purpose of scheduling
month-to-month meetings and scheduling a family team meeting,
failed to comply with the Department's requirements for
random drug screening, and failed to regularly attend
scheduled weekly visits with Haylie and Lexie, mother's
The Court finds that these facts were little changed at each
Judicial Review Hearing. The Court finds that the testimony
of each of the three caseworkers assigned to help the mother
in efforts to rehabilitate and reunite to be very credible.
Mother did not engage in the services offered and mother
continued to use illegal drugs.
The court finds that the mother understood why her children
were removed from her custody and what was required of her to
alleviate jeopardy. The Court finds that the mother tried on
many occasions to get and stay clean of drugs. She relapsed
The court finds testimony of. . . mother's substance
abuse counselor to be credible. [The counselor] believes that
mother has continued to relapse. The Court finds that [the
counselor] is unable to provide a time frame within which
mother might be addiction free. The court finds that [the
counselor] believes it is ...