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Guardian A.D. Litem Program v. K.H.

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

June 26, 2019

GUARDIAN A.D. LITEM PROGRAM o/b/o J.H., Child, Appellant,
v.
K.H., the Mother, and Department of Children and Families, Appellees.

Page 898

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 899

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Laura Stuzin, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 14-15790

         Thomasina Moore and Laura J. Lee (Tallahassee), for appellant.

         Karla Perkins, for Department of Children & Families; Kevin G. Thomas, for K.H., the Mother, for appellees.

         Before SCALES, LINDSEY, and GORDO, JJ.

          OPINION

         GORDO, J.

          This appeal arises from a trial court order denying a petition by the Department of Children and Families ("the Department") for termination of parental rights of K.H. ("the Mother") as to her child, J.H.

          FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

          J.H., one of the Mother’s fourteen children, was born on November 10, 2005, and was removed from the Mother’s custody when he was a year old. He has had scarce contact with the Mother since that time and they have no parent-child relationship. The Mother is diagnosed with a lifelong psychotic condition that renders her unable to parent. She is presently committed to the Department and undergoing treatment for her mental illness. She is incapable

Page 900

of functioning alone and incapable of safely providing supervision and care for the child.

          When J.H. was a year old, a Georgia court placed him with his adult sister, Tiffany. The Georgia court found that efforts to reunify J.H. with the Mother would be detrimental to the child and therefore reunification was not in his best interest. Thereafter, J.H. resided with Tiffany, who he refers to as his mom. In 2014, Tiffany consented to a withhold of adjudication of dependency as to J.H. and his twin sister following allegations of physical abuse. In March 2015, the court removed him from Tiffany’s custody and placed him in the Department’s legal custody. The court found it was in the child’s best interest to be placed in foster care. In March 2017, the court again modified J.H.’s placement finding it was in his best interest to be placed with a pre-adoptive ...


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