Surrogate Louis P. Gigliotti
The court issued an order of conditional certification to qualified adoptive parents (APs) of the subject child, Levi. An an extra-judicial consent form was filed, and APs filed a timely adoption petition. Yet, birth mother (BM) sought return of the child. The court deemed her letter as a revocation of the extra-judicial consent to adoption. The APs filed a notice of their intent to oppose revocation. A hearing was held to determine if the BM’s revocation was timely and if the APs’ notice of intent to oppose was timely. The APs stipulated that revocation of consent was timely given. The BM failed to appear at the hearing. Testimony was presented, including by BM’s foster parent, expressing doubts of her abilities to raise a child. Further testimony revealed the BM had difficulty following rules. The court noted it was difficult to ascertain how BM could give appropriate parental guidance as she showed scarce ability to appreciate such guidance herself. It found APs were better fit and able to raise Levi, noting BM’s irresponsibility and lack of genuine interest in raising the child. The court found evidence established it was in Levi’s best interests to remain in the APs custody and be adopted by them, denying BM’s notice of revocation.