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Adoption of Ilona
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
944 N.E.2d 115 (2011)
A juvenile court judge terminated Ilona’s biological parents’ rights and approved adoption by her foster parents. Because Ilona had a significant attachment to her mother, the judge found that continued contact with her would be in Ilona’s best interest. The judge also found that Ilona’s preadoptive foster mother was “very warm and nurturing,” and that she would continue to support contact between Ilona and her biological mother as in Ilona’s best interest unless it began to harm Ilona. Therefore, instead of entering an order specifying the frequency or extent of visitation, the judge concluded that those decisions were “best left to the informed decision making” of Ilona’s foster parents. Ilona’s biological mother appealed. The appellate court affirmed the termination of parental rights but found that the trial court should have entered an order setting specific visitation instead of leaving it to Ilona’s preadoptive parents’ discretion. Both sides appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gants, J.)
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