FAMILY LAW – Evidence failed to show father abandoned child in termination proceeding: P.C.C. v. C.M.C. (COA 8/21/2009)

P.C.C. v. C.M.C.
2009-CA-000189 8/21/09 2009 WL 2569222

Opinion by Chief Judge Combs; Judge VanMeter and Senior Judge Lambert concurred.

The Court vacated a judgment of adoption that effectively terminated appellant’s parental rights and allowed his son’s stepfather to adopt him. The Court held that the evidence before the trial court did not establish clearly and convincingly that appellant willfully abandoned his son as required by KRS 199.502 to allow for adoption without the consent of the biological living parent. The evidence showed that appellant cared deeply about his son and that he intended to build a loving relationship with him but was consistently frustrated and prevented from doing so by the child’s mother and stepfather. Therefore, the trial court erred as a matter of law by holding that appellant had abandoned his son.

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