In the Interest of D.A.P.

234 Ga. App. 257, 506 S.E.2d 438 (1998)

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In the Interest of D.A.P.

Georgia Court of Appeals
234 Ga. App. 257, 506 S.E.2d 438 (1998)

Facts

A mother and her three children were living in a homeless shelter when the mother granted temporary custody of her children to a children’s-services agency (the agency) (plaintiff) so that she could enter rehabilitation for drug addiction. The mother did not recover from her addiction, and she did not obtain housing. The children’s father (defendant) had been imprisoned almost continuously since the oldest child was born and had no contact with the children during his imprisonment. The agency filed a petition for custody to be granted to the agency for a two-year period, and the petition was granted. During the two-year period, the agency developed a reunification plan with the mother. Because the father had been moved between facilities during his imprisonment, the agency had been unable to meet with him to establish his reunification plan. The father did not communicate with the children or provide support to the children during the agency’s custody. The mother did not make progress on her reunification plan, and the agency sought termination of her rights and the father’s rights, alleging that the children were deprived of proper parental care and control. The matter went to trial while the father was serving a six-year sentence, and he admitted that his imprisonment harmed the children. The trial court found that because the children were deprived of proper parental care and control and that their state of deprivation was unlikely to resolve in the future, it was in the children’s best interests to terminate the mother’s and father’s parental rights. The father appealed, arguing that he could not be held liable for depriving the children of proper parental care and control because of his imprisonment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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