On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County, Docket No. FG-04-124-11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Payne, Simonelli and Hayden.
Defendant W.M., a twenty-two-year-old mother, appeals the termination of her parental rights to her second child D.F.M., who was removed from her custody by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) at birth in 2009. On appeal, W.M. claims that, at trial, DYFS failed to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, the first and third prongs of the best interests test set forth in N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.1a, namely:
(1) The child's safety, health or development has been or will continue to be endangered by the parental relationship; [and]
(3) The division has made reasonable efforts to provide services to help the parent correct the circumstances which led to the child's placement outside the home and the court has considered alternatives to termination of parental rights[.]
W.M. makes no argument with respect to the other two prongs of the best interests test, which are:
(2) The parent is unwilling or unable to eliminate the harm facing the child or is unable or unwilling to provide a safe and stable home for the child and the delay of permanent placement will add to the harm. Such harm may include evidence that separating the child from his resource family parents would cause serious and enduring emotional or psychological harm to the child; [and]
(4) Termination of parental rights will not do more harm than good.
The record in this matter discloses that W.M. is the mother of two children, the older of whom, born in 2008, was earlier placed voluntarily in the custody of DYFS*fn1 and has been adopted by the foster mother who is caring for D.F.M. The foster mother wishes to adopt D.F.M., as well. At the trial of this matter, the court found that A.H., the father of D.F.M., had effectively surrendered his rights to the child by indicating his willingness to do so, refusing to participate in court-ordered ...