- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Family Law
- Date Filed: 09-09-2021
- Case #: A175430
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J., for the Court; James, J., & Kamins, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Mother appealed a termination of her parental rights to her son, M. M was born premature and with defects from Mother’s drug use. M was placed with mother’s sister shortly after birth, but due to sister’s inability to pass a background check, she could not serve as M’s guardian. The trial court held a TPR hearing and determined that M’s need for permanency required the termination of Mother’s rights for unfitness under 419B.521(1). Mother assigned error on appeal to the determination that her sister could be M’s permanent caregiver and that reintegration should be read broadly to encompass Mother’s arrangement to have M cared for by close family. ORS 419B.521 provides that a court may issue a TPR if (1) the parent is unfit by conduct or condition seriously detrimental to the ward, (2) integration of the child into the home is improbable in a reasonable amount of time, and (3) if termination is in the best interests of the child. Mother conceded the first determination but challenged the latter two. The Court held that reintegration would not happen in a reasonable time because during the two-year tendency of the case, Mother had made no effort to place M permanently with her sister and was seeking to have M in Mother’s custody part time. Next, the Court held that termination was in M’s best interest because his special needs and age required that he be placed immediately to form the proper attachments to his permanent caregivers. Affirmed.