Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 320th District Court Potter County, Texas
Trial Court No. 090747-D-FM; Honorable Pamela C. Sirmon,
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.
Patrick A. Pirtle Justice
C.M., appeals the trial court's order terminating her
parental rights to her son, T.C. In presenting this appeal,
appointed counsel has filed an Anders brief in support
of a motion to withdraw. We affirm.
on a report that C.M. tested positive for methamphetamines,
the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
removed T.C. from his mother's care shortly after his
birth. C.M. has a history with the Department and her other
children dating back to the mid-1990s. During the entirety of
the case, C.M. was not employed and did not have a safe and
stable home for T.C.
and the Department entered into a family service plan with a
goal of family reunification. The caseworker testified that
she reviewed the family service plan with C.M. and explained
the services she needed to complete. C.M. acknowledged the
requirements of the plan but did not complete her services.
She offered lack of transportation or simply forgetting her
appointments as excuses.
Department's investigator testified that C.M. admitted to
using methamphetamine one month before giving birth to T.C.
She also testified that C.M.'s parental rights to
numerous other children had been terminated due to C.M.'s
cross-examination, the investigator testified that C.M. was
not prepared to care for an infant and had considered giving
T.C. up for adoption. None of her family members could pass a
background check, and consequently, none of them were
suitable to assist C.M. with a newborn.
the best interest finding, the caseworker testified that T.C.
was in a foster home that had adopted an older sibling of
T.C. who was now an adult. T.C. was doing well in the foster
home and the foster parents were prepared to adopt him should
C.M.'s parental rights be terminated.
C.M.'s testimony, she offered excuses for being unable to
complete her services. She did express her desire to take
T.C. home with her after he was born and she had a car seat
and clothes for him. However, he was removed from her at the
hospital. C.M. testified she lived with her disabled mother
and a cousin who had an open case with the Department at the
time of T.C.'s birth. Shortly before the final hearing,
she moved in with her boyfriend whom she had been dating for
two and a half months. C.M. admitted using methamphetamine one
month before T.C.'s birth; however, testing at the time
of birth showed them both to be drug-free.
a hearing, the trial court found that termination of
C.M.'s parental rights was in T.C.'s best interest
and also found by clear and convincing evidence that C.M. (1)
engaged in conduct which endangered the child's physical
or emotional well-being, (2) had her parental rights
terminated with respect to other children based on a finding
that her conduct was in violation of section 161.001(b)(1)(D)
or (E), and (3) failed to comply with the provisions of a
court order that specifically established the actions
necessary for the mother to obtain the return of her child
who had been in the Department's custody for not less
than nine months as a result of the child's removal under
chapter 262 for abuse and neglect. See Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1)(E), (M), and (O) (West Supp.
Texas Family Code permits a court to terminate the
parent-child relationship if the Department establishes one
or more acts or omissions enumerated under section
161.001(b)(1) and termination of that relationship is in the
child's best interest. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann.
§ 161.001(b)(1), (2) (West Supp. 2018). See also
Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 370 (Tex. 1976). The
burden of proof is clear and convincing evidence. §
161.206(a-1) (West Supp. 2018). "'Clear and
convincing evidence' means the measure or degree of proof
that will produce ...