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Court rejects child’s challenges to termination of her parents’ rights

State v. D.I.H., 2019AP1874, District 1, 12/27/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

D.I.H. challenges the order terminating the parental rights of her mother and father, arguing the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion in concluding that termination was in her best interests. The court of appeals affirms.

D.I.H.’s main arguments are that severing the biological ties of the extended family will be harmful to her because there is not clear and convincing evidence that D.I.H. does not have a substantial relationship with her grandmother and that the trial court gave minimal consideration to D.I.H.’s wishes and those of her siblings. (¶23). In the course of canvassing the circuit court’s consideration of all the § 48.426(3) factors (¶¶24-39), the court of appeals rejects the arguments and concludes the circuit court properly considered D.I.H.’s relation with other family members (¶¶29-30) and the wishes of the children (¶¶31-32).

D.I.H. also apparently argued that the circuit court erred because her guardian ad litem recommended D.I.H. be placed with her grandmother instead of being adopted by the foster mother, and that the GAL’s “consent” was necessary for her to be adopted. (¶25). The state argued this was not the case under the TPR statutes. Because D.I.H. didn’t respond to the state’s argument, she was deemed to have conceded it. (¶25 n.10).

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