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In re Petition of G.A.P.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

March 17, 2016

IN RE: PETITION OF G.A.P.; R.S., Appellant.

Argued January 13, 2016

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia ADA-200-13 Hon. Janet Albert, Magistrate Judge, Hon. Hiram E. Puig-Lugo, Reviewing Judge

Lisa Orlow for appellant.

Joseph L. Meadows, with whom Daniel Forman and Jonathan M. Krell, were on the brief, for appellees G.A.P. and Guardian Ad Litem.

Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, with whom Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, Loren L. Alikhan, Deputy Solicitor General, and Jennifer V. Hancock, Assistant Attorney General Office of the Solicitor General, for the District of Columbia, filed a statement in lieu of brief.

Before Blackburne-Rigsby and Thompson, Associate Judges, and Ferren, Senior Judge.

JUDGMENT

This case came to be heard on the transcript of record and the briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, and for the reasons set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

OPINION

John M. Ferren Senior Judge

Following a bench trial, the magistrate judge found the minor child, J.P., suitable for adoption by appellee, G.A.P., after waiving the required consent of J.P.'s biological parents. An associate judge reviewed the magistrate judge's order for "errors of law, abuse of discretion, or clear lack of evidentiary support" and affirmed.[1] Appellant R.S., J.P.'s biological mother, appeals the order terminating her parental rights and granting G.A.P.'s adoption of J.P. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

In January 2011, when J.P. was only a few months old, R.S. left him in the care of an acquaintance. While there, J.P. suffered severe burns to his posterior upper extremities, back, and gluteal regions. J.P. was airlifted to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston to receive intensive treatment. Immediately after returning from Shriners, J.P. was placed in foster care by the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), and the District of Columbia filed a petition alleging that J.P. was a neglected child. On March 17, 2011, R.S. stipulated that she had not provided J.P. with proper care. The court found J.P. to be a neglected child pursuant to D.C. Code § 16-2301(9)(A)(ii) (2012 Repl.).

At a disposition hearing on March 31, 2011, the court set the goal of reunification of J.P. with R.S., and CFSA offered services to R.S. to achieve that end. R.S. has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for which she requires medication. She also has a history of domestic violence with both her prior husband (J.P.'s father) and her current husband. In addition, R.S. has been diagnosed with cannabis dependence. At a review of the disposition order on July 7, 2011, the court ...


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