IN RE MAKENZIE P., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Sep 30, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Andrew L. Wener, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jennifer A.

Attorneys 2:

Laura D. Rogers, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Carla W. and Mitchell W.

Stacey Graham, Bartlett, Tennessee for the appellee, Guardian ad Litem.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

This appeal arises from the termination of a mother's parental rights to her two children. The Department of Children's Services (“DCS”) removed the children from the mother's home due to drug exposure. After finding the children dependent and neglected, a juvenile court awarded custody of the children to mother's parents. The mother's parents then contracted with a nonprofit organization to place the children with a host family while the mother sought treatment for her drug use. Time passed, and the children ultimately spent time with several host families, including, finally, potential adoptive parents. When the health of mother's parents precluded them from retaining custody, mother, mother's parents, and the potential adoptive parents requested that the juvenile court award custody to the potential adoptive parents. The juvenile court granted the request, and several months later the potential adoptive parents filed a petition in chancery court to terminate mother's parental rights and to adopt. Following a trial, the chancery court found clear and convincing evidence of one ground for termination of parental rights and that termination was in the children's best interest. On appeal, Mother asserts a violation of due process because she was unrepresented in the dependency and neglect proceedings after her parents were awarded custody of the children. We affirm the termination of parental rights.