WAS REQUIRED TO KEEP IN CONTACT WITH KIDS
In the Matter of Aton T.H., after a father was found to have “abandoned” his children, the Queens County Family Court ending up terminating his parental rights and transferred the youngsters to the New York Foundling for purposes of adoption.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, noted that in order to establish that an abandonment has occurred, a petitioner – New York Foundling in this instance – had to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that the father intended to shirk his parental responsibilities by “`fail[ing] to visit the child[ren] or communicate with [them] or the [child welfare agency] although able to do so and not prevented or discouraged from doing so by the [agency]’ during the six-month period before the petitions were filed.”
Even though the father claimed he had been suffering from (undisclosed) injuries and was also limited by the then applicable COVID restrictions, the AD2 felt that such assertions were “vague and uncorroborated,” and that they did not excuse his failure to attempt contacting the kids “by sending letters, gifts, cards, or financial support during the relevant time period.”
Since the Family Court’s determination had a “sound and substantial basis,” the termination of his parental rights was affirmed.
Looks like they chipped off the old block there.
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