In the Matter of the Adoption of A.S. C.N.D., Petitioner
C.M.A.S., Respondent and Appellant and A.S., North Dakota Department of Human Services, Respondents and M.S. and C.S., Interested Parties and Appellees In the Matter of the Adoption of Z.S. C.N.D., Petitioner
C.M.A.S., Respondent and Appellant and Z.S., North Dakota Department of Human Services, Respondents and M.S. and C.S., Interested Parties and Appellees
from the District Court of Ward County, North Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Richard L. Hagar, Judge.
R. Craig, Minot, ND, for respondent and appellant.
J. Shively, Bismarck, ND, for interested parties and
1] C.S. appeals from a district court's order terminating
his parental rights to A.S. and Z.S. C.S. argues the district
court erred in finding he abandoned the children and finding
the causes of deprivation were likely to continue. We affirm,
concluding the district court did not clearly err in finding
the causes of deprivation were likely to continue.
2] In August 2017, C.D. petitioned to terminate her and
C.S.'s parental rights to A.S. and Z.S., and to place the
children in an adoptive home through an identified adoption
placement. In her petitions, C.D. alleged it was in the best
interests of the children to terminate C.S. and C.D.'s
parental rights and that remaining in C.S. or C.D.'s care
was contrary to the children's welfare and wellbeing. In
March 2018, the district court held a hearing on the matter
and heard evidence relating to C.S.'s history of
incarceration, living arrangements, abuse of C.D.,
abandonment of the children, and history of drug use.
3] C.S., the biological father, and C.D., the biological
mother, had two children, A.S., born in January 2014, and
Z.S., born in August 2015. C.S. and C.D. were never married,
but they lived together periodically. C.S. and C.D. began to
use drugs in 2012 and continued to use drugs regularly until
November 2017, when both claimed they attempted sobriety.
4] C.D. and C.S. got into an altercation and C.S. attempted
to "run off" with A.S. At the time of the
altercation, C.D. was pregnant with Z.S. As a result of the
altercation, a year-long protection order was issued in 2015
in Minnesota, prohibiting C.S. from contacting C.D.
5] C.D. testified C.S. has only seen Z.S. three times since
his birth and Z.S. does not know C.S. C.S. admitted that
during 2015 and 2016, he was incarcerated for 157 days,
including time spent at a rehabilitation center in Jamestown
and in the last two years he has been incarcerated for
approximately six months. C.S. was on supervised probation,
and was participating in the drug court program since
November 2017. C.S. admitted to using methamphetamine in
February 2018. C.S.'s probation officer testified that
the drug court program is, at a minimum, a 12-month program.
The probation officer also testified that due to C.S.'s
inability to meet the requirements of the drug court program,
he was placed in Centre, Inc., a halfway house, to achieve
residential stability. C.S. testified he will continue to
reside at Centre, Inc., for an undetermined amount of time,
and the children would not be able to reside there with him.
C.S. testified the last time he saw either Z.S. or A.S. was
Father's Day of 2017. C.S. admitted he was at risk to use
drugs again if his parental rights are terminated.
6] C.S. testified he provided support to A.S. and Z.S. when
his wages were garnished. Since 2015, C.S. had convictions
for false reports to law enforcement officers, possession of
controlled substances, unauthorized use of personal
identifying information, burglary, theft, possession of drug
paraphernalia, and possession of a concealed weapon.
7] In July 2018, the district court entered an order
terminating the parental rights of C.S. and C.D. C.S.
appealed from the court's order terminating his parental
rights, arguing that the court erred by (1) finding he
abandoned his children, and (2) determining the causes of
deprivation were likely to continue.
8] Section 14-15-19(3), N.D.C.C., authorizes a court to