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In re Addilyn R.

Supreme Court of Maine

December 19, 2017

IN RE ADDILYN R.

          Submitted On Briefs: November 29, 2017

          Erik T. Crocker, Esq., Farrell, Rosenblatt & Russell, Bangor, for appellant Mother

          Janet 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, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          PER CURIAM

         [¶1] The mother of Addilyn R. appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Bangor, Campbell, J.) terminating her parental rights to Addilyn pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 4O55(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii) (2016). On appeal, she challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support both the court's finding of parental unfitness and its finding that termination is in the child's best interest. Because competent record evidence supports the court's findings, we affirm the judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] To support its findings of unfitness and that termination was in the child's best interest, the court made the following specific findings of fact, which are supported by the record:

Mother was referred to the Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) in September of 2016. . . . Mother, however, did not cooperate ... and was never screened for the program
Mother has not cooperated with [the Department] regarding drug screens, which the court finds to be very troubling given mother's history of substance abuse. [The Department case manager] testified that since she started on the case in July of 2016, she requested that mother submit to drug screens 23 times. Mother missed 11 times. Of the . . . requests for drug screens in 2017, mother has missed eight.
Mother has an ongoing pattern of drug use. Mother admits to using marijuana regularly. In October of 2016, mother tested positive for cocaine metabolites. In February or March of 2017, father reported to [the Department case manager] that mother was drinking alcohol on a recent trip to Portland. Mother tested positive for benzodiazepines on March 3, 2017, and on March 20, 2017. Since March 20, 2017, [the Department case manager] requested mother to submit to five drug screens. Mother tested positive for marijuana on the two times that she submitted to tests. Mother failed to appear for the other three tests.
In this case, mother clearly has a chronic substance abuse problem
. .. There is no doubt that both mother and father love [the child] very much. However, [the child] has been in the custody of [the Department] since June 2, 2016
[The child] has been placed with [the foster parents] since June 2, 2016. [They] are experienced foster parents and have provided excellent care for the child. [The foster mother] has been very attentive to [the child's] medical needs resulting from her asthma. [She] has transported [the child] to her medical appointments. [The foster parents] have ...

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