New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. B.G.S.
Superior Court of New Jersey
677 A.2d 1170 (1996)
The New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) (plaintiff) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of B.G.S. (defendant), the mother of M.A.S., based on B.G.S.’s prolonged history of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and relationship with M.A.S.’s father, A.R., who shared the same history as B.G.S. and was also physically abusive. M.A.S. was taken into DYFS custody and placed with a foster family. B.G.S. was permitted overnight visits with M.A.S. at the paternal grandmother’s house. However, DYFS later learned that B.G.S. had circumvented the supervision by taking M.A.S. to her apartment and allowing M.A.S. to have contact with A.R. While in foster care, M.A.S. began to flourish developmentally and emotionally and ceased to exhibit unprovoked aggression toward others. Although B.G.S. showed signs of improvement in her parenting skills during this period, B.G.S. later relapsed, began using drugs extensively, and resumed living with A.R. At a hearing on the petition, a DYFS psychologist testified that M.A.S. had bonded well with the foster mother and should not be returned to the custody of B.G.S. so long as B.G.S. continued to use drugs and cohabitate with A.R. The trial court agreed and terminated B.G.S.’s parental rights but ordered that B.G.S. be notified of any future adoption proceedings involving M.A.S. B.G.S. appealed. DYFS cross-appealed the order of the trial court permitting post-termination visitation by B.G.S. and requiring notification to B.G.S. of any future adoption proceedings.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Petrella, J.)
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