Submitted On Briefs: September 27, 2017
Judgment affirmed. Michelle A. Dolley, Esq., Law Office of E.
Anne Carton, Brunswick, for appellant father
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, and
The father of Damein F. appeals from a judgment of the
District Court (Lewiston, Dow, J.) terminating his
parental rights pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 4055(1)(A)(1)(a)
and (B)(2)(b)(i)-(ii) (2016). The father challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence to support the
judgment. Because the evidence supports the
court's findings, we affirm the judgment.
The court found the following facts, which are supported by
competent record evidence, by clear and convincing evidence.
See In re Caleb M., 2017 ME 66, ¶ 27, 159 A.3d
[¶3] Damein F. was born on July 13, 2014. The Department
of Health and Human Services (the Department) filed a child
protection petition on November 5, 2014. The court (Lewiston,
Schneider, J.) entered a preliminary protection
order that day, placing Damein in State custody.
For the first year of Damein's life, the father was
incarcerated. He had been unable to post bail on burglary,
theft, and other charges related to a crime spree he
conducted with Damein's mother in 2014. After entering
into a plea agreement in the Co-Occurring Disorders and
Veterans Court (CODVC) on July 14, 2015, the father was
released from jail and placed on three years of
probation. The father agreed to a jeopardy order on
October 1, 2015.
After the father's release from jail, the Department made
reasonable efforts to rehabilitate and reunify father and
child,  including supervised and unsupervised
visitation, drug screening and psychological assessment for
the father, and planning for trial placement to begin in late
June or early July 2016. The court found that "[u]nder
the structure of the CODVC, the father has done remarkably
well. He seems to have engaged earnestly with service
providers and sought out additional supports. He had nearly
34 months clean and sober by the last day of trial."
Despite the father's efforts, in May 2016,
[a]fter only the second overnight visit [with Damein] . . .
[t]he father left the daycare and went directly to the . . .
hospital, resulting in a twelve-day psychiatric admission.
The records from that hospital stay indicate that the father
was overwhelmed by the combined stressors of substance abuse
recovery work and child reunification work. ... [H]e returned
later in July for another six-day stint for crisis
On July 12, 2016, the Department filed a petition to
terminate parental rights. A termination hearing for the
father was held on December 14 and 16, 2016, and January 6,
2017. The guardian ad litem (GAL) recommended termination and
believed it to be in the child's best interest. According
to the GAL, the foster family was Damein's "de