In termination of parental rights proceeding court is not required to choose relative placement, only consider it - published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

G.P. v. Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Trial Court committed minor child to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Father argued the Trial Court erred when it failed to place minor child with Stepmother, or, alternatively, with one of three blood relatives. Stepmother was not biologically related to minor child and Father failed to present any evidence that Stepmother had standing to seek custody of minor child. One of the three blood relatives proposed by Father was living with a drug trafficker and the two remaining blood relatives proposed by Father were drug traffickers.  

The Court of Appeals upheld the Trial Court’s decision of placing the minor child with Foster Mother rather than with Stepmother or any of the three blood relatives proposed by Father. Father did not produce any evidence establishing Stepmother had standing to seek custody and, although CHFS must consider relative placement over options, it is not required to choose relative placement over other options.

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi