Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
IN THE INTEREST OF C.D.M. AND A.P., Children
the 73rd Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2017-PA-02692 The Honorable Linda A. Rodriguez,
Judge Presiding 
Sitting: Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice Patricia O. Alvarez,
Justice Irene Rios, Justice.
Mother appeals the trial court's order terminating her
parental rights to her children, Charles and
Andrew. The only issue presented by Mother is
whether the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to
support the trial court's finding that termination was in
the children's best interest. We affirm the trial
November 29, 2017, the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services ("Department") filed a petition
to terminate parental rights. Department caseworker Ashley
Morales testified "[t]he Department sought
removal due to ongoing use of methamphetamine by [Mother]
… [and] an incident of domestic violence where the
children were present." The trial court held a bench
trial on October 10, 2018 through October 11, 2018, at which
Mother appeared and testified on her own behalf. The trial
court signed an order terminating Mother's parental
rights to Charles and Andrew on October 26, 2018.
of Review and Statutory Requirements
terminate parental rights pursuant to section 161.001 of the
Texas Family Code, the Department has the burden to prove by
clear and convincing evidence: (1) one of the predicate
grounds in subsection 161.001(b)(1); and (2) that termination
is in the best interest of the child. See Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. §§ 161.001, 161.206(a); In re
A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex. 2003). In this case, the
trial court found evidence of four predicate grounds to
terminate Mother's parental rights. The trial court
also found termination of Mother's parental rights was in
the best interest of the children.
reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we apply the
well-established standards of review. See Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. §§ 101.007, 161.206(a); In re
H.R.M., 209 S.W.3d 105, 108 (Tex. 2006) (factual
sufficiency); In re J.P.B., 180 S.W.3d 570, 573
(Tex. 2005) (legal sufficiency).
considering the best interest of the child, we recognize the
existence of a strong presumption that the child's best
interest is served by preserving the parent-child
relationship. In re R.R., 209 S.W.3d 112, 116 (Tex.
2006). However, we also presume that prompt and permanent
placement of the child in a safe environment is in the
child's best interest. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §
263.307(a) (West 2014).
determining whether a child's parent is willing and able
to provide the child with a safe environment, we consider the
factors set forth in Family Code section 263.307(b).
See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 263.307(b). We also
apply the Holley factors to our
analysis. See Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d
367, 371-72 (Tex. 1976). These factors are not exhaustive.
In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 27 (Tex. 2002). "The
absence of evidence about some of these considerations would
not preclude a factfinder from reasonably forming a strong
conviction or belief that termination is in the child's
best interest, particularly if the evidence were undisputed
that the parental relationship endangered the safety of the
child." Id. In analyzing these factors, the
court must focus on the best interest of the child, not the
best interest of the parent. Dupree v. Tex. Dept. of
Protective & Regulatory Servs., 907 S.W.2d 81, 86
(Tex. App.-Dallas 1995, no writ).
that proves one or more statutory ground for termination may
also constitute evidence illustrating that termination is in
the child's best interest. In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d
17, 28 (Tex. 2002) (holding same evidence may be probative of
both section 161.001(b)(1) grounds and best interest, but
such evidence does not relieve the State of its burden to
prove best interest). "A best interest analysis may
consider circumstantial evidence, subjective factors, and the
totality of the evidence as well as the direct
evidence." See In re E.D., 419 S.W.3d 615, 620
(Tex. App.- San Antonio 2013, pet. denied). "A trier of