Submitted On Briefs: September 26, 2018
Jennifer A. Davis, Esq., Law Office of Jennifer A. Davis,
Topsham, 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
Christine M. appeals from a judgment of the District Court
(West Bath, Mathews, J.) terminating her parental
rights to her child. She argues that the record fails to
support the court's findings that she is an unfit parent
and that termination is in the best interest of the child.
She also asserts that the Department of Health and Human
Services failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify the
family. We affirm the judgment.
In March of 2017, just ten days after this child-the
mother's fourth-was born, the Department filed a child
protection petition and a request for a preliminary
protection order, alleging that the mother had a history of
substance abuse and mental health issues, and that she failed
to access adequate prenatal care. See 22 M.R.S.
§§ 4032, 4034(1) (2017). The District Court
[Dobson, J.) entered a preliminary protection order,
placing the child in the Department's custody.
See 22 M.R.S. § 4034(2) (2017). The mother
waived her right to a summary preliminary hearing.
See 22 M.R.S. §4034(3), (4) (2017).
In June of 2017, the District Court entered a jeopardy order
with the mother's agreement, finding jeopardy to the
child based on her history of substance abuse and mental
illness, her failure to seek adequate prenatal care, and her
past history with the Department. See 22 M.R.S.
§§ 4035, 4036(1) (2017). In November of 2017, the
Department filed a petition for termination of parental
rights, alleging that the mother stopped attending her mental
health counseling, failed to participate in drug testing, and
stopped visiting with her child-requirements of the
dispositional agreement in the jeopardy order. See
22 M.R.S. § 4052 (2017). After a testimonial hearing,
the court [Mathews, J.), by order entered March 12,
made the following findings of fact, which are supported by
competent record evidence. See 22 M.R.S. § 4054
1. [The mother] ceased all counseling in July of 2017 and
thereafter failed to involve herself in any counseling for
the issues identified in the Jeopardy Order.
2. [The mother] last visited [the child] on August 3, 2017.
She has not seen this soon to be one-year old child for
3. [The mother] has missed all her drug screen tests since
the Jeopardy Order was entered.
4. [The mother] has failed to engage with the Department in
accomplishing any of the goals of reunification since the
Jeopardy Order was entered.
5. [The mother] explains her lack of visitation and the
failure to attend counseling as a failure of the Department
to provide transportation. The Court does not find her