In re Interest of Marco V.

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In re Interest of Marco V.

Caselaw No.
Filed on
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SUMMARY: Termination of parental rights was proper where the child was in foster care a substantial amount of time, the mother had failed to adequately parent after being offered many services, and the father had ongoing immigration issues that prevented him from working or providing stability for the child.

M.J., DOB 3/08, was removed from the home around the time of birth after the mother, Renae, and him tested positive for cocaine. Renae has a lengthy history with child welfare and has lost the parental rights to four other children. The father, Marco, intervened in July 2008. Renae received intensive therapy and visitation services but made minimal progress and had threatening behaviors toward staff. She also continued to test positive for cocaine. The intent was to place M.J. with Marco but this plan changed after Marco failed to take on primary parent responsibilities and could not show adequate parenting or establish sustainable employment. Marco is a Mexican immigrant staying in the U.S. illegally. He was offered assistance by the family support worker, who is an interpreter and had experience with the Mexican consulate, but failed to follow through in applying for a work visa. He also failed to leave Renae even after being informed that it could threaten placement of M.J. with him. On June 14, 2010, motions/petitions were filed to terminate the parental rights of Renae and Marco to M.J. After trial, the court terminated their parental rights. Both parents appealed.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the terminations. Analysis was focused on best interests since it was undisputed that M.J. was out of the parental home more than 15 of the past 22 months pursuant to 43-292(7). As to best interests, the Court of Appeals noted Renae’s extensive history, consistent drug use, minimal progress and her aggression with service providers. As to Marco, the Court of Appeals noted Marco’s failure to leave Renae to be able to parent M.J. and his failure to address his immigration issues, which put “both his life and M.J.’s life in an unstable condition” as well as prevent him from finding work. Page 5.