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Anne-Marie O. v. Department of Child Safety

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

October 6, 2015

ANNE-MARIE O., Appellant
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY, A.O., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD23498 The Honorable Connie Contes, Judge

The Stavris Law Firm, PLLC, Phoenix By Christopher Stavris Counsel for Appellant

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Nicholas Chapman-Hushek Counsel for Appellee Department of Child Safety

Judge Patricia A. Orozco delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Margaret H. Downie and Judge Maurice Portley joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

OROZCO, JUDGE

¶1 Anne-Marie O. (Mother) appeals from the juvenile court's order terminating her parental rights to A.O. (Child). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Child was born in March 2013. Immediately thereafter, Mother began acting erratically in the hospital. Mother picked up Child improperly-once by her head and once by her arm and at one point, Mother held Child without a diaper, with stool on herself and Child. Mother's behaviors prompted a psychological evaluation, but despite being diagnosed as bipolar in 2005, Mother maintained that she was "gifted" and that her bipolar diagnosis was a mistake.

¶3 In spring of 2013, the Department of Child Safety (DCS) placed Child with her maternal grandmother (Grandmother). Soon thereafter, Grandmother described Mother as "demented" and feared Child was in "significant danger" with Mother. DCS then placed Child in a foster home.

¶4 Child could not be placed with Father because he was incarcerated for committing domestic violence against Mother and a history of substance abuse.[1] Notwithstanding this history, and even though Mother had a protective order against him until May 2013, she continued to want Father to visit Child.

¶5 Mother's behavior became worse in August 2013. After experiencing delusions, Mother received inpatient psychiatric treatment, where doctors deemed her "persistently and acutely disabled." Mother was hospitalized from August 2013 through October 2013, and again from November 2013 through January of 2014. Afterwards, Mother underwent court ordered treatment ending in July 2014. DCS provided Mother with a number of services including multiple parent aide referrals, hands on assistance with parenting skills, and domestic violence counselling.

¶6 In January 2014, the juvenile court found Child dependent as to Mother due to Mother's mental health and her history of domestic violence with Father. The case plan at that time was family reunification concurrent with severance and adoption.

¶7 Dr. Rosengard performed a psychiatric evaluation in February 2014 and opined that the "biggest and most important step" to Mother achieving mental stability is for her to recognize her pathology. However, Mother "expresses absolutely no insight into the severe level of her pathology." Dr. Rosengard further noted that this lack of insight causes Mother to deny her pathology and refuse treatment, which substantially increases the risk of relapse. Finally, Dr. Rosengard concluded that Child would be at risk of neglect ...


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