Submitted On Briefs: September 27, 2017
G. Day, Esq., Garland, for appellant mother
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Meghan Szylvian, 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, and
The mother of Marcus E. appeals from a judgment of the
District Court (Bangor, Campbell, J.) terminating
her parental rights to Marcus pursuant to 22 M.R.S. §
4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii)
(2016). She challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence to support the judgment. Because the evidence
supports the courts findings and discretionary determination,
we affirm the judgment.
On September 23, 2015, the mother agreed to the following
language of a jeopardy order for the child and his
The minor children are in circumstances of [j]eopardy to
their health and welfare in the care and custody of their
mother ... due to threat of serious harm. [The mother]
allowed [the children] to live in the same home as her father
. . . despite the fact that her father was convicted of
sexually abusing her as a child. . . . [The childs sibling]
was sexually abused by [the mothers father] while in [the]
mothers care. [The mother] did not take adequate steps to
protect her children and still resides with [her father].
[She] has struggled to recognize the risk posed to her
On April 24, 2017, based on competent evidence in the record,
the court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the
mother was unwilling or unable to protect the child from
jeopardy and unwilling or unable to take responsibility for
the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his
needs and that termination of her parental rights is in the
childs best interest. See 22 M.R.S. §
4055(B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii); In re Robert S., 2009 ME
18, ¶ 15, 966 A.2d 894. The court based this
determination on the following findings of fact:
[M] other has made no progress, whatsoever, on the central
issue in this case. Mother has gained no insight into the
risk that her father presents to her children. Rather than
gaining insight, mother is trying to convince people that her
father does not pose a risk to children. The ... mother
continues to demonstrate poor judgment and a complete lack of
protective capacity with respect to her children.
. . . The court does not believe that mother will keep her
father away from [the child] if [the Department] is not
involved. Mother does not have the ability to recognize and
protect [the child] from unsafe people and unsafe situations.
Nothing has changed in two years....
[The child] has been placed with [his foster parents] since
February of 2016. [They] have provided a loving, safe, and
stable home for [him]. [They] have been providing excellent
care for [him]....
... [The foster parents] love [the child] very much, and they
want very much to adopt him. [The child] needs a safe and
permanent home, which mother is unable to provide.
Given these findings and the courts other specific findings
of fact, all of which are supported by competent evidence in
the record, the court did not err or abuse its discretion in
determining that the mother was unfit and that termination of
the mothers parental rights, with a permanency plan of
adoption, is in the childs best interest. See In re