In re S.M.

985 A.2d 413 (2009)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

In re S.M.

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
985 A.2d 413 (2009)

Facts

K.D. and H.O. (defendant) lived with their twin sons. K.D.’s 12-year-old daughter, T.D., lived elsewhere. H.O. was not T.D.’s father. A few months before the twins’ third birthday, the District of Columbia filed a complaint for child neglect against K.D. and H.O., alleging that their home was unsanitary and that T.D. claimed that H.O. had sexually abused her. K.D., who suffered from an addiction, stipulated that the twins were neglected. H.O. was charged with sex abuse, and while he was incarcerated, K.D. and the twins were placed in a family drug-treatment facility. K.D. did not recover from her addiction, and the twins were placed with a foster mother. About a year after the complaint was filed, the court changed the twins’ permanency goal from reunification with K.D. to reunification with H.O., and the court decided to wait to further modify the permanency goal until H.O.’s sex-abuse matter was resolved. H.O. was convicted of sex abuse and assault, and the court changed the permanency goal to that of adoption. H.O. petitioned for custody, and K.D. eventually consented to the twins’ adoption. The twins’ adoptive parents began spending time with the twins, who still lived with their foster mother, and H.O. regularly visited the twins. The twins moved into the adoptive parents’ home, and the adoptive parents filed a petition for adoption. When the twins were about five and a half years old, while H.O.’s sex-abuse matter was still pending, the trial court found that H.O. was withholding his consent to adoption against the twins’ best interests. The trial court made no finding that H.O. was negligent or unfit, nor did it find that clear and convincing evidence showed that adoption was in the twins’ best interests. Nevertheless, the court entered a final decree of adoption when the twins were about six and a half years old, terminating H.O.’s rights. H.O. appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Steadman, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 734,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership