In re K.M.

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 NOTICE:  This opinion is subject to motions for reargument under V.R.A.P. 40
 as well as formal revision before publication in the Vermont Reports.
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                                 No. 90-277


 In re K.M., Juvenile                         Supreme Court

                                              On Appeal from
                                              District Court of Vermont,
                                              Unit No. 2, Franklin Circuit

                                              December Term, 1991


 George T. Costes, J.

 Jeffrey Amestoy, Attorney General, Montpelier, and Alexandra N. Thayer,
   Assistant Attorney General, Waterbury, Howard VanBenthuysen, Franklin
   County State's Attorney, and Howard Stalnaker, Deputy State's Attorney,
   St. Albans, for plaintiffs-appellees

 Steven Dunham, St. Albans, for defendant-appellee juvenile

 Michael Rose, St. Ablans, for defendant-appellant mother


 PRESENT:  Allen, C.J., Gibson, Dooley and Johnson, JJ.



      JOHNSON, J.   This is an appeal from a district court judgment
 terminating appellant mother's parental rights.  Appellant urges that the
 Vermont Division of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) inadequately
 attempted to reunify the family and that the trial court's finding that SRS
 complied with 33 V.S.A. { 5540 was clearly erroneous.  We reject these
 contentions and affirm.
      This is the second case involving these parties to come before this
 Court.  Appellant previously challenged a trial court order transferring
 custody and legal guardianship of K.M., the child involved in the instant
 case, to SRS.  In re K.M., 149 Vt. 109, 539 A.2d 549 (1987).  There, we
 affirmed the trial court's findings that appellant's live-in boyfriend had
 mistreated K.M.; that appellant failed to protect her child; and that
 appellant required counseling to separate herself from the adverse influence
 of her boyfriend, to develop parenting skills, and to learn to deal with
 anger, depression and to develop self-esteem.  Id at 511, 539 A.2d  at 550.
 We also affirmed the court's finding that the "boyfriend failed to recognize
 that his conduct toward K.M. was abusive [and its conclusion] that K.M.
 should not return home at least until [the boyfriend] was no longer a member
 of the household."  Id. at 112, 539 A.2d  at 550 (1987).
      Following the decision to transfer custody and legal guardianship of
 K.M. to SRS, an eighteen-month dispositional review was held pursuant to 33
 V.S.A. { 5531.  SRS representatives recommended that K.M. be freed for
 adoption and that appellant's parental rights be terminated.  The court
 terminated appellant's rights and this appeal followed.  The trial record
 indicates that after custody of K.M. was transferred to SRS, agency
 representatives developed several case plans to allow K.M. eventually to
 return to appellant's custody.  These plans called for mental health
 counseling, parenting counseling, attending Parents Anonymous meetings, and
 working with Vocational Rehabilitation to enhance appellant's job skills.
 SRS also made it clear that they would not place K.M. in appellant's home if
 she continued to live with her boyfriend, unless they both regularly and
 actively participated in the recommended counseling services.  Evidence in
 the trial record indicates that they both refused to do so.
      Appellant maintains that SRS's failure to continue and maintain its
 reunification efforts contributed significantly to stagnation in her
 ability to parent.  She argues that termination of her parental rights
 should not be permitted under such circumstances.  See In re S.R., 2 Vt.
 L.W. 442, 443 (1991)(stagnation caused by factors beyond parents' control
 cannot be basis for termination of parental rights).  The record does not
 support this argument, however.  SRS representatives met with appellant on
 many occasions to discuss her case plan, transported appellant to K.M.'s
 school to enable her to participate in educational planning for K.M., and
 provided appellant with financial assistance to allow her to attend
 counseling sessions and to visit with K.M.  Appellant, however, rejected
 most of these efforts.  The court concluded that SRS had worked
 energetically and properly with appellant, and that appellant by her own
 conduct and choices had caused her separation from K.M.  These findings of
 fact were supported by substantial evidence and the conclusion was supported
 by the findings.  In re J.R., 153 Vt. 85, 94, 570 A.2d 154, 158 (1989).
      Appellant also asserts that the trial court erred in applying the
 statutory criteria governing the eighteen-month review proceeding.  Title 33
 V.S.A. { 5540, formerly 33 V.S.A. { 667, requires a review of child-custody
 decisions to ensure that custody arrangements serve a child's best
 interests.  Factors to be considered by the court include:
           (1) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with
           his natural parents, his foster parents, if any, his
           siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect
           the child's best interests; (2) The child's adjustment to his
           home, school and community; (3) The likelihood that the
           natural parent will be able to resume his parental duties
           within a reasonable period of time; and (4) Whether the
           natural parent has played and continues to play a
           constructive role, including personal contact and
           demonstrated love and affection, in the child's welfare.  Id.


      Evidence adduced at trial indicated that K.M.'s father had no
 involvement with her for nearly five years and "he has played no role in
 her life of any kind."  Therefore, placement of K.M. in her natural father's
 home was not feasible.  The court also found that "[p]lacement of K.M. in
 appellant's home would leave her vulnerable to the risk of further abuse
 from [appellant and her boyfriend]."  Further, K.M. is presently residing in
 a home that is "providing consistency, structure, and [the] therapeutic
 environment she needs."  Her present foster parents have also made a firm
 commitment to adopt her if she is freed for adoption, and K.M. is adjusting
 well to her school and community.
      Moreover, the trial court found that appellant lacks the necessary
 skills to care for K.M., and that there is no likelihood that appellant
 "will be able to resume parental duties within a reasonable period of
 time."  See In re R.W., 154 Vt. 649, 650, 577 A.2d 253, 253 (1990)(most
 critical factor in determining child's best interests is whether parents
 will be able to resume parental duties within  reasonable time).  Finally,
 the court found that appellant was disinterested in becoming involved in
 K.M.'s daily life, absented herself from K.M. for over nine months, and
 sought contact with K.M. only after termination proceeding were initiated.
 The trial court carefully considered and weighed the statutory criteria, and
 its conclusions were supported by substantial evidence in the record.  See
 In re M.C.P., 153 Vt. 275, 295, 571 A.2d 627, 638 (1989).
      Affirmed.
                                         FOR THE COURT:



                                         ______________________________
                                         Associate Justice