Chapter 1
Adoption

Part 1
General Provisions

36-1-101. Purpose of part — Construction.

  1. The primary purpose of this part is to provide means and procedures for the adoption of children and adults that recognize and effectuate to the greatest extent possible the rights and interests of persons affected by adoption, especially those of the adopted persons, which are specifically protected by the constitutions of the United States and the state of Tennessee and to those ends seek to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that:
    1. Children are removed from the homes of their parents or guardians only when that becomes the only alternative that is consistent with the best interest of the child;
    2. Children are placed only with those persons who have been determined to be capable of providing proper care and a loving home for an adopted child;
    3. The rights of children to be raised in loving homes that are capable of providing proper care for adopted children and that the best interests of children in the adoptive process are protected;
    4. The adoptive process protects the rights of all persons who are affected by that process and who should be entitled to notice of the proceedings for the adoption of a child;
    5. The adoption proceedings are held in an expeditious manner to enable the child to achieve permanency, consistent with the child's best interests, at the earliest possible date; and
    6. The adopted child is protected in the child's adoptive relationship from any interference by any person who may have some legal claim after the child has become properly adjusted to the child's adoptive home.
  2. The secondary purpose of this part is to:
    1. Protect biological parents and guardians of children from decisions concerning the relinquishment of their parental or guardian's rights to their children or wards that might be made as a result of undue influence or fraud;
    2. Protect adoptive parents from assuming the care and responsibility for a child about whose physical, mental, emotional, and hereditary background they are unaware;
    3. Protect the adoptive parents from the later disturbance of their parental relationship with their child by the biological or prior legal parents of the child who may have some legal claim due to the failure to protect their legal rights; and
    4. Provide adoption promotion and support services and activities designed to encourage early permanency and adoptions, when adoptions promote the best interests of children, including such activities as pre-adoptive and post-adoptive services and activities designed to expedite the adoption process.
  3. The purpose of this part shall also be to favor the rights of adopted persons or other persons for whom any closed records are maintained and their families to obtain information concerning the lives of those persons and to permit them to obtain information about themselves from the adoption records, sealed records, sealed adoption records, or post-adoption records to which they are entitled, but also to recognize the rights of parents and adopted persons not to be contacted by the persons who obtain such information, except in compliance with this part.
  4. In all cases, when the best interests of the child and those of the adults are in conflict, such conflict shall always be resolved to favor the rights and the best interests of the child, which interests are hereby recognized as constitutionally protected and, to that end, this part shall be liberally construed.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 1 (Williams, § 9572.15); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-101; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 1, 2; 1998, ch. 1097, § 1.

Cross-References. Custody and care of dependent children generally, title 71, ch. 3, part 3.

Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance, title 36, ch. 1, part 2.

Maternity leave for bonding with newly adopted child, § 4-21-408.

Special leave for adoptive parents, § 8-50-806.

Rule Reference. This part is referred to in the Advisory Commission Comments under Rule 501 of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence.

Textbooks. Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law, (1998-99 ed., Coppock).

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 20 Tenn. Juris., Parent and Child, §§ 20, 24.

Law Reviews.

Adoption and Custody: Current Trends in Tennessee Family Law: A Roadmap Through Tennessee's New Adoption Statute, 27 U. Mem. L. Rev. 885 (1997).

Adoption and Custody: Current Trends in Tennessee Family Law: Tennessee's New Adoption Contact Veto is Cold Comfort to Birth Parents, 27 U. Mem. L. Rev. 843 (1997).

Adoption Proceedings — Revocation of Surrender Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 36-1-117 (Bradley E. Trammell), 23 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 293 (1993).

Courts, Legislatures, and Second-Parent Adoptions: On Judicial Deference, Specious Reasoning, and the Best Interests of the Child, 66 Tenn. L. Rev. 1019 (1999).

Family Law — Adoption — Retrospective and Prospective Opening of Adoption Records to Adopted Persons Twenty-One Years of Age or Older, 67 Tenn. L. Rev. 1019 (2000).

Storied Anna Mae He Decision Clarifies Law But Leaves Unanswered Questions (Christina A. Zawisza), 38 U. Mem. L. Rev. 637 (2008).

The Jurisprudence of Genetics (Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, Dorothy Nelkin), 45 Vand. L. Rev. 313 (1992).

The New Adoption Law in Tennessee: A Controversial Sweeping Reform (Monica L. Allie), 32 No. 5 Tenn. B.J. 18 (1996).

Attorney General Opinions. Re-engrossment of 1995 Public Chapter 532, OAG 95-093, 1995 Tenn. AG LEXIS 105 (9/1/95).

Adoption by a same sex couple, OAG 07-140, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 140 (10/10/07).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

There is a reasonable basis for the legislature's disparate treatment of children involved in adoption proceedings and those who are the subject of guardianship or foster care proceedings. In re M.J.S., 44 S.W.3d 41, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 704 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

2. Construction.

The adoption statutes are in derogation of common law and must be strictly construed. Delamotte v. Stout, 207 Tenn. 406, 340 S.W.2d 894, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 472 (1960); In re Adoption of Taylor, 678 S.W.2d 69, 1984 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2978 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1984).

Term “child” in the statutory section regarding incarceration for 10 years also includes a child in utero; a construction to include the period of pregnancy serves the legislative goals of providing permanency and protecting the day-to-day needs of children. In re Adrianna S., 520 S.W.3d 548, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 734 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 180 (Tenn. Mar. 14, 2017).

3. Considerations.

In deciding case of the custody of children, the interests of the child are considered as of greater importance than those of the competing parents or competing parties. State ex rel. “A” v. A Licensed or Chartered Child-Placing Agency, 194 Tenn. 400, 250 S.W.2d 776, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (1952).

In adoption cases the courts will consider the welfare of the child and the rights of the adult parties will be subordinated to the best interest of the child. In re Petition of Clements, 201 Tenn. 98, 296 S.W.2d 875, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1956); Ex parte Wolfenden, 49 Tenn. App. 1, 349 S.W.2d 713, 1959 Tenn. App. LEXIS 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1959), superseded by statute as stated in, Fykes v. State, — S.W.3d —, 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998) , superseded by statute as stated in, Tennessee Baptist Children's Home v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Baker v. He (In re A.M.H.), — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2005).

Fact that child might be better off in home other than that of natural parents is not ground for adoption over protest of parents. Ex parte Wolfenden, 48 Tenn. App. 433, 348 S.W.2d 751, 1961 Tenn. App. LEXIS 85 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1961).

The paramount consideration in adoption cases is the welfare of the child. Baughman v. Department of Public Welfare, 211 Tenn. 101, 362 S.W.2d 785, 1962 Tenn. LEXIS 345 (1962).

4. Rights of Natural Parents.

As a general proposition, the natural parents have the primary and superior right to custody of their children above that of all others, but where these parents are unfit or the mother, in the case of an illegitimate child, has consented and agreed according to former § 36-1-111 [repealed], for the child to be placed with a child-placing agency for adoption and there was no fraud or duress in the procurement of such consent, then there is no alternative but to sustain the adoption applied for if the best interests of the child call for such adoption. State ex rel. “A” v. A Licensed or Chartered Child-Placing Agency, 194 Tenn. 400, 250 S.W.2d 776, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (1952).

The fact that the parties petitioning for adoption were the natural parents, even though they had legally waived their rights to the child, could be considered as a matter of fact along with other things in considering what was for the welfare of the child. State ex rel. “A” v. A Licensed or Chartered Child-Placing Agency, 194 Tenn. 400, 250 S.W.2d 776, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (1952).

The parent as such has no vested right in his child that requires the protection of the courts that is accorded property rights. State ex rel. “A” v. A Licensed or Chartered Child-Placing Agency, 194 Tenn. 400, 250 S.W.2d 776, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (1952).

The interest of a father in his child is of profound importance, deserving protection. This state has a strong interest in sustaining the father-child relationship and protecting the family unit. In re Riggs, 612 S.W.2d 461, 1980 Tenn. App. LEXIS 410 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1980), cert. denied, Riggs v. Terrazas, 450 U.S. 921, 101 S. Ct. 1370, 67 L. Ed. 2d 349, 1981 U.S. LEXIS 876 (1981).

There can be no valid adoption without a valid termination of parental rights. In re Riggs, 612 S.W.2d 461, 1980 Tenn. App. LEXIS 410 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1980), cert. denied, Riggs v. Terrazas, 450 U.S. 921, 101 S. Ct. 1370, 67 L. Ed. 2d 349, 1981 U.S. LEXIS 876 (1981).

5. Right of Adoption.

The right of adoption is not a natural one and was unknown to the common law. Clements v. Morgan, 201 Tenn. 94, 296 S.W.2d 874, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (1956); Petition of Van Huss, 207 Tenn. 168, 338 S.W.2d 588, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 444 (1960); Delamotte v. Stout, 207 Tenn. 406, 340 S.W.2d 894, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 472 (1960); Adoption of Edman, 48 Tenn. App. 375, 348 S.W.2d 345, 1961 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1961).

6. Method of Adoption.

The adoption of a child is governed by statute and to effect a legal adoption the statute must be strictly complied with. Clements v. Morgan, 201 Tenn. 94, 296 S.W.2d 874, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (1956); In re Petition of Clements, 201 Tenn. 98, 296 S.W.2d 875, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1956); Petition of Van Huss, 207 Tenn. 168, 338 S.W.2d 588, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 444 (1960); Adoption of Edman, 48 Tenn. App. 375, 348 S.W.2d 345, 1961 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1961).

An adoption can be accomplished only by court order after following the procedures set out by this part. In re Petition of Clements, 201 Tenn. 98, 296 S.W.2d 875, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1956).

A final decree of adoption that affirmatively denies to the adoptive parents the same custody and control of the child possessed of natural parents and grants visitation rights to the natural parents is not only violative of the letter of the law embodied in the statutes heretofore mentioned, but is also violative of the primary purpose of this part as set forth in subsection (a). In re Adoption of Dearing, 572 S.W.2d 929, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

7. Contract or Agreement to Adopt.

A contract to adopt should not be enforced in the courts of this state. In re Petition of Clements, 201 Tenn. 98, 296 S.W.2d 875, 1956 Tenn. LEXIS 471 (1956).

8. Estoppel as Creating Adoption.

Adoption by estoppel is not recognized in Tennessee. Bank of Maryville v. Topping, 216 Tenn. 597, 393 S.W.2d 280, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 603 (1965).

9. Right to Inherit.

Before a child may inherit from one who is not his natural parent there must be substantial compliance with the adoption statutes or a contract of adoption and inheritance. Bank of Maryville v. Topping, 216 Tenn. 597, 393 S.W.2d 280, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 603 (1965).

Right of inheritance may exist through valid contract of adoption and inheritance. Bank of Maryville v. Topping, 216 Tenn. 597, 393 S.W.2d 280, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 603 (1965).

10. Best Interests of the Child.

Judgment finding that it was not in the children's best interest to terminate the mother's rights as a parent of the two children was reversed because the trial court focused on the rights of the mother rather than the rights of the children, as required by the statute and authorities. In re Taylor BW, — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 586 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2011), rev'd, In re B. W., 397 S.W.3d 105, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 199 (Tenn. Feb. 21, 2013).

Pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(i) and 36-1-101(d), termination of parents'  rights was in their children's best interests, as the children had been removed from the home years earlier, had not had any visitation with their parents, and had a close and loving bond with the woman whom they were placed with and who hoped to adopt them; further, neither parent made any meaningful effort to be reunited with the children. In re Dakota C.R., 404 S.W.3d 484, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 844 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2012), appeal denied, In re Dakota R., — S.W.3d —, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Mar. 6, 2013).

Dismissal of maternal grandparents'  complaint was appropriate because, although the grandparents were allowed to intervene when a parent surrendered parental rights to the parent's minor child to adoptive parents, the grandparents failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the child's best interest was served by taking the child away from the adoptive parents. In re R.S.M., 466 S.W.3d 766, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 93 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015), appeal denied, In re Rebecca M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 479 (Tenn. June 11, 2015).

Termination of a parent's parental rights was in children's best interests because the parent struggled with drugs following the children's removal, had not completed the rehabilitation program in which the parent was participating, and had not maintained a suitable home for the children. The children need permanency in their lives and, although an adoptive placement had not been found, a search for an adoptive home had begun. In re Roger T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 261 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2015).

Determination that termination of the father's parental rights was in the child's best interests was upheld where the child had had no contact with the father in two-and-one-half years, the child was only two years old at the time of removal, the child was attached to the foster mother who was also raising the child's siblings, the father was incarcerated and was not expected to be released until 2017, he testified that he had abused marijuana for his entire adult life, and the child and her siblings had suffered abuse and neglect at her father's hands. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Termination of parental rights was in a child's best interest because the child's guardian, who had provided a good home for the child for years after the child was approximately three months old, wished to adopt the child and the child was doing well in the guardian's home and was making good grades in school. There was evidence that the child was well-adjusted and had formed a bond with the guardian, while there was no indication that the child had any bond with the parent. In re B.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 964 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2015).

Trial court properly terminated a mother's rights to her child based on abandonment and in the child's best interest because the mother only visited the child twice in five years, neither of which was within the four months preceding the foster parents'  adoption petition, the mother's conduct was willful, there was no evidence that the foster parents significantly restrained and interfered with the mother's efforts to visit the child, the child had been in the foster parents'  home eight years, formed a close bond with the foster parents and their family and, was excelling in school, and removing her from the only home she had ever known would likely have a detrimental effect on her emotional and psychological condition. In re Makendra E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 49 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2016).

Father's parental rights were properly terminated due to his wanton disregard for the welfare of his children since the father was involved in criminal behavior, he almost immediately violated his probation, and he committed domestic violence against his pregnant wife; moreover, the father was in substantial noncompliance with the statement of responsibilities in a permanency plan because he did not provide proof of housing or a legal means of income, he did not arrange a psychological evaluation or set up a drug and alcohol assessment, and he did not visit his children. Termination was in the best interest of the children based on the father's history of drugs and violence and the fact that the children were doing well in foster care. In re Lilly C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2016).

Termination of parental rights was in a child's best interests as the child's parent and the child had no meaningful relationship due to the parent's incarceration for criminal activity and drug use, the child viewed the child's foster parents who wished to adopt the child as the child's family, and the parent, throughout the parent's time in prison, considered only the parent's interests, rather than the welfare of the child. In re Tristan B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's finding that termination of the mother's parental rights was in her son's best interests where it showed that she had used cocaine while pregnant, she did not maintain regular visitation, she did not make it safe for her son to be in her home, she had not paid child support, and no meaningful relationship had been established. In re Jayvien O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Evidence supported the trial court's finding that termination of the mother's rights was in the children's best interests where the mother stated that she was not ready for the children to return to her care, she failed to address her mental health issues, she failed to maintain stable housing or employment, she continued to abuse prescription medications, she attempted suicide on several occasions, and the children had flourished in their foster home. In re Rylee R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 582 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2016).

Juvenile court properly found that termination of a father's parental rights was in the child's best interests because the father did not maintain regular visitation with the child or provide support of any kind prior to his incarceration, and the father did not show any interest in the child's well-being until after the filing of the petition for termination. In re Braxton R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 660 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was in the child's best interests because, although she had taken steps to overcome her drug addiction, the trial court was not convinced that those steps would lead to a lasting adjustment; her contact with the child had been minimal; she and the child lacked a meaningful relationship; her sporadic contact with the child had caused psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems for the child; and the trial court was not confident that the mother could provide a safe and stable environment for the child; in contrast, the child had done well in his father's and stepmother's home; they had a meaningful relationship with the child; and the child's psychological and behavioral problems had ceased. In re Michael B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2016).

There was clear and convincing evidence that termination of parental rights was in the best interest of the children because they had been in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for several years while the parents failed to meet the requirements of their plans and improve their circumstances; the record clearly reflected they were flourishing in their new home environment with their foster parents. In re Angel M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 519 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence demonstrated that a father of two children engaged in conduct prior to his incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children. The trial court's finding that termination of the father's parental rights was in the best interest of the children was also proven by clear and convincing evidence. In re Addison E., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 13 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence established that termination of a mother's parental rights was in the best interest of the mother's child because the mother did not obtain and maintain stable housing and questions remained concerning the mother's mental and/or emotional status as evidenced by the mother's failure to complete a required psychological assessment. Moreover, the child resided in a safe and stable home, which was willing and able to adopt the child, and removing the child would have negatively affected the child's emotional condition. In re Jabari B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2018).

Termination of father's parental rights was in the best interest of the father's child because, given the bond between the child and the foster parents and the child's special medical needs, removal from the foster home would likely have caused the child emotional, psychological, and/or physical detriment. There also was no evidence that the child knew the father or that there was any bond between them, and the father's recidivism and frequent returns to jail did not bode well for the father's ability to provide a long-term home for the child. In re Victoria H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2018).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was in a child's best interests because the parents failed to make a lasting adjustment of their circumstances–including drug abuse–to make it safe for the child to be placed in their care, the parents did not maintain consistent visitation with the child and had no meaningful relationship with the child, the child was thriving in a loving, pre-adoptive home and had bonded to the foster family, and a change of caretakers and home would have had a highly negative effect on the child. In re Riley W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2018).

There was clear and convincing proof in the record to support the trial court's finding that termination of a father's parental rights was in the child's best interest because the child had a strong bond with his foster parents, and there was no substantial bond between him and the father; to remove the child from the only stable home he had ever known would be detrimental to his well-being. In re D.N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 383 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 3, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court's finding that termination of a mother's parental rights was in the child's best interest becuase the mother had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and the child adjusted to her home with her great aunt and considered the great aunt to be her mother; because the mother's sobriety was unproven, and she lacked gainful employment, it did not appear that the mother would be able to care for the child at any early date. In re Taylor C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 490 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2018).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was in the best interest of the mother's child because (1) the child was doing well in a foster home and had bonded with the foster parents; (2) the mother's ability to care for the child, while maintaining the mother's recovering sobriety, was untested; (3) a doctor opined that to put the child back in an environment where there was a significant risk the child might again be exposed to drugs was simply too great a risk to take; and (4) there did not appear to be a strong bond between the mother. In re Mason C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 579 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence that termination of the parents'  rights was in the child's best interests because the physical environment of their home was unhealthy and unsafe, the child had improved physically and mentally ever since she was removed from the parents'  custody, and a change in caretakers and physical environment would have had a negative effect on the child's emotional, psychological, and medical conditions. In re Savannah M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 44 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2019).

There was clear and convincing evidence to establish that the termination of the mother's parental rights was in the child's best interest because the mother had not made an adjustment of circumstances necessary for the child's return or maintained regular visitation with him, she failed to maintain a meaningful relationship with him during her absence, she admitted that she did not wish to regain custody but only wanted to reestablish her relationship with the child, the mother failed to remit child support, and the child had been living with his grandparents for almost four years and a change in caretakers would be detrimental to his emotional condition. In re Ethan M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2019).

It was in a child's best interests for the parental rights of the child's mother to be terminated because no meaningful relationship existed between the child and the mother, the child would have suffered emotional and psychological harm if there was a change of caregivers at that point in time, and the child was thriving with and had become fully integrated in and formed a strong and positive bond with a relative's home and family with whom the child had been living for a few years and which wished to adopt the child. In re Melinda N., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 69 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2019).

Sufficient evidence supported the trial court's determination that termination of the father's parental rights was in the child's best interest because it showed that the no-contact order was quickly superseded by an order permitting the father to visit the child, there was no evidence that the father ever attempted to contact the child after his incarceration, the father's testimony supported the inference that he was out of contact with the child from June 2013 to December 2015, and the practical details of the father's return to society after his incarceration ended were uncertain. In re Travis R., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2019).

Termination of a father's parental rights was in the child's best interests because the father's unfortunate history with illegal drugs had been a serious issue in the case, and the record evidenced that the father made less than satisfactory progress; the child's foster mother testified that the child was doing well and that the child did not talk about the father, and there had been prolonged periods where the father had not seen the child. In re Jayda H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 571 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 25, 2019).

Juvenile court properly terminated a the father's parental rights as in the best interest of the children because he failed to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody of the children and abandoned them by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard for their welfare by engaging in a pattern of physical violence, domestic abuse, toward the mother and one of the children, as well as other illegal or unreasonable acts, the Department of Children's Services made reasonable efforts to reunite the father with the children, the children had no meaningful relationship with the father, and a change of caretaker and physical environment was likely to have a negative effect on the children's welfare. In re Nakayia, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 359 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 7, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's finding that termination of the father's parental rights was in the child's best interest because it showed that the father had been incarcerated since the child was three years old, the mother had stopped the video visits between them when the child began exhibiting anxiety behaviors after the visits, the child had no relationship with the father at the time of trial, and even after the father's release there would be restrictions on his being around other children due to his sex offender status. In re Jackson D., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 366 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's determination that termination of the mother's parental rights was in the children's best interest because the mother failed to obtain suitable housing for herself and the children, despite the social services the mother received she was still barely able to function and care for herself let alone the children, and the mother's diagnoses of an intellectual disability and mood disorders will be lifelong struggles for her that could not be overcome with social services. In re Dyllon M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 513 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2020).

Termination of a father's parental rights was in the child's best interest because the teenage child had bonded with the foster family, the father and the child did not have a meaningful relationship, and the child had no desire to have a relationship with the father who was physically, emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusive toward the child. In re Brandon H., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 38 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2021).

11. Material Change In Circumstances.

Trial court utilized the appropriate legal standard because the court recognized that significant changes to a father's work and/or school schedule such as graduating, going from a night shift to a day shift position, or starting a new career might constitute a material change in circumstances. The court correctly concluded, however, that the father's alleged changes in work or school schedule were not significant and, therefore, did not meet the statutory burden for a material change in circumstance. In re Caroline U., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 489 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2019).

There could not have been a material change in circumstances when a father filed a petition to modify because the permanent parenting plan order had only become a final order that very same day. Because the facts used to establish a material change in circumstances sufficient to modify a residential parenting schedule had to occur after the entry of the plan to be modified, it was clear that no material change could have occurred between the time that the order became final and the time that the father filed the petition seeking modification. In re Caroline U., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 489 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2019).

Father's change in work schedule, change in major, and decision to stop teaching jujitsu classes was insufficient to establish a material change in circumstances because without evidence as to the significance of the work schedule effecting the father's parenting, the prior school schedule with the current school schedule, and when the father stopped teaching classes, it was impossible for the appellate court to know when the alleged changes occurred and if they impacted the child. In re Caroline U., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 489 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2019).

Father failed to establish that a material change in circumstance had occurred because the father was still working multiple jobs and nights and was still attending school, there was no change in relationship status for the father, there was no relocation or career change, and the mother was still keeping the child during the father's work and school hours. Furthermore, there was no proof that the parties had failed to abide by the previous permanent parenting plan or that the father's alleged change in circumstances had impacted the child. In re Caroline U., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 489 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2019).

12. Standing.

Non-biological parent was not a biological parent, legal parent, or step parent, and she did not seek to adopt the child; thus, she did not fit within any of these statutory definitions of a parent, rendering her without standing to pursue a parentage action or visitation with the child. Pippin v. Pippin, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 220 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. Oct. 7, 2020).

36-1-102. Part definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

    1. For purposes of terminating the parental or guardian rights of a parent or parents or a guardian or guardians of a child to that child in order to make that child available for adoption, “abandonment” means that:
      1. For a period of four (4) consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of a proceeding, pleading, petition, or any amended petition to terminate the parental rights of the  parent or parents or the guardian or guardians of the child who is the subject of the petition for termination of parental rights or adoption, that the  parent or parents or the guardian or guardians either have failed to visit or have failed to support or have failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child;
      2. (a)  The child has been removed from the home or the physical or legal custody of a parent or parents or guardian or guardians by a court order at any stage of proceedings in which a petition has been filed in the juvenile court alleging that a child is a dependent and neglected child, and the child was placed in the custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency;
        1. (ii)  (a)  The child has been removed from the home or the physical or legal custody of a parent or parents or guardian or guardians by a court order at any stage of proceedings in which a petition has been filed in the juvenile court alleging that a child is a dependent and neglected child, and the child was placed in the custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency;
        2. The juvenile court found, or the court where the termination of parental rights petition is filed finds, that the department or a licensed child-placing agency made reasonable efforts to prevent removal of the child or that the circumstances of the child's situation prevented reasonable efforts from being made prior to the child's removal; and
        3. For a period of four (4) months following the physical removal, the department or agency made reasonable efforts to assist the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians to establish a suitable home for the child, but that the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians have not made reciprocal reasonable efforts to provide a suitable home and have demonstrated a lack of concern for the child to such a degree that it appears unlikely that they will be able to provide a suitable home for the child at an early date. The efforts of the department or agency to assist a parent or guardian in establishing a suitable home for the child shall be found to be reasonable if such efforts equal or exceed the efforts of the parent or guardian toward the same goal, when the parent or guardian is aware that the child is in the custody of the department;
      3. A biological or legal father has either failed to visit or failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child's mother during the four (4) months immediately preceding the birth of the child; provided, that in no instance shall a final order terminating the parental rights of a parent as determined pursuant to this subdivision (1)(A)(iii) be entered until at least thirty (30) days have elapsed since the date of the child's birth;
      4. A parent or guardian is incarcerated at the time of the filing of a proceeding, pleading, petition, or amended petition to terminate the parental rights of the parent or guardian of the child who is the subject of the petition for termination of parental rights or adoption, or a parent or guardian has been incarcerated during all or part of the four (4) consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of the action and has:
  1. Failed to visit, has failed to support, or has failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child for four (4) consecutive months immediately preceding the parent's or guardian's incarceration;
  2. Failed to visit, has failed to support, or has failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child during an aggregation of the first one hundred twenty (120) days of nonincarceration immediately preceding the filing of the action; or
  3. Has engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibits a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; or

The child, as a newborn infant aged seventy-two (72) hours or less, was voluntarily left at a facility by such infant's mother pursuant to § 68-11-255; and, for a period of thirty (30) days after the date of voluntary delivery, the mother failed to visit or seek contact with the infant; and, for a period of thirty (30) days after notice was given under § 36-1-142(e), and no less than ninety (90) days cumulatively, the mother failed to seek contact with the infant through the department or to revoke her voluntary delivery of the infant;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), “token support” means that the support, under the circumstances of the individual case, is insignificant given the parent's means;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), “token visitation” means that the visitation, under the circumstances of the individual case, constitutes nothing more than perfunctory visitation or visitation of such an infrequent nature or of such short duration as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the child;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), “failed to support” or “failed to make reasonable payments toward such child's support” means the failure, for a period of four (4) consecutive months, to provide monetary support or the failure to provide more than token payments toward the support of the child. That the parent had only the means or ability to make small payments is not a defense to failure to support if no payments were made during the relevant four-month period;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), “failed to visit” means the failure, for a period of four (4) consecutive months, to visit or engage in more than token visitation. That the parent had only the means or ability to make very occasional visits is not a defense to failure to visit if no visits were made during the relevant four-month period;

Abandonment may not be repented of by resuming visitation or support subsequent to the filing of any petition seeking to terminate parental or guardianship rights or seeking the adoption of a child;

“Abandonment” and “abandonment of an infant” do not have any other definition except that which is set forth in this section, it being the intent of the general assembly to establish the only grounds for abandonment by statutory definition. Specifically, it shall not be required that a parent be shown to have evinced a settled purpose to forego all parental rights and responsibilities in order for a determination of abandonment to be made. Decisions of any court to the contrary are hereby legislatively overruled;

Every parent who is eighteen (18) years of age or older is presumed to have knowledge of a parent's legal obligation to support such parent's child or children;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), it shall be a defense to abandonment for failure to visit or failure to support that a parent or guardian's failure to visit or support was not willful. The parent or guardian shall bear the burden of proof that the failure to visit or support was not willful. Such defense must be established by a preponderance of evidence. The absence of willfulness is an affirmative defense pursuant to Rule 8.03 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure;

For purposes of this subdivision (1), a period of incarceration lasting less than seven (7) consecutive days must be counted as days of nonincarceration; and

For purposes of this subdivision (1), aggregation is accomplished by counting the days preceding, following, and in-between each period of incarceration of at least seven (7) consecutive days;

“Abandonment of an infant” means, for purposes of terminating parental or guardian rights, “abandonment” of a child under one (1) year of age;

“Adopted person” means:

Any person who is or has been adopted under this part or under the laws of any state, territory, or foreign country; and

For purposes of the processing and handling of, and access to, any adoption records, sealed adoption records, sealed records, post-adoption records, or adoption assistance records pursuant to this part, “adopted person” also includes a person for whom any of those records is maintained by the court, other persons or entities or persons authorized to conduct a surrender or revocation of surrender pursuant to this part, or which records are maintained by the department, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or the department of health or other information source, whether an adoption petition was ever filed, whether an adoption order was ever entered, whether the adoption was ever dismissed, whether the adoption was ever finalized, or whether the adoption was attempted or was otherwise never completed due to the abandonment of any necessary activity related to the completion of the adoption;

“Adoption” means the social and legal process of establishing by court order, other than by paternity or legitimation proceedings or by voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the legal relationship of parent and child;

“Adoption assistance” means the federal or state programs that exist to provide financial assistance to adoptive parents to enable them to provide a permanent home to a special needs child as defined by the department;

“Adoption record” means:

(i)  The records, reports, or other documents maintained in any medium by the judge or clerk of the court, or by any other person pursuant to this part who is authorized to witness the execution of surrenders or revocations of surrenders, which records, reports, or documents relate to an adoption petition, a surrender or parental consent, a revocation of a surrender or parental consent, or which reasonably relate to other information concerning the adoption of a person, and which information in such records, reports, or documents exists during the pendency of an adoption or a termination of parental rights proceeding, or which records, reports, or documents exist subsequent to the conclusion of those proceedings, even if no order of adoption or order of dismissal is entered, but which records, reports or documents exist prior to those records, reports, or documents becoming a part of a sealed record or a sealed adoption record pursuant to § 36-1-126; or

The records, reports, or documents maintained in any medium by the department's social services division, or by a licensed or chartered child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker, and which records, reports, or documents contain any social, medical, legal, or other information concerning an adopted person, a person who has been placed for adoption or a person for whom adoptive placement activities are currently occurring, and which information in such records, reports, or documents exists during the pendency of an adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding, or which exists subsequent to the conclusion of those proceedings, even if no order of adoption or dismissal of an adoption has been entered, but which records, reports, or documents exist prior to those records, reports, or documents becoming sealed records or sealed adoption records pursuant to § 36-1-126;

The adoption record is confidential and is not subject to disclosure by the court, by a licensed child-placing agency, by a licensed clinical social worker or by any other person or entity, except as otherwise permitted by this part; however, prior to the record's becoming a sealed record or a sealed adoption record pursuant to § 36-1-126, the adoption record may be disclosed as may be necessary for purposes directly related to the placement, care, treatment, protection, or supervision by the legal custodian, legal guardian, conservator, or other legally authorized caretaker of the person who is the subject of the adoption proceeding, or as may be necessary for the purposes directly related to legal proceedings involving the person who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court in an adoption proceeding or other legal proceeding related to an adoption, including terminations of parental rights, or as may otherwise be necessary for use in any child or adult protective services proceedings concerning the person about whom the record is maintained pursuant to titles 37 and 71;

The adoption record shall not, for purposes of release of the records pursuant to §§ 36-1-12736-1-141, be construed to permit access, without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138, to home studies or preliminary home studies or any information obtained by the department, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or other family counseling service, a physician, a psychologist, or member of the clergy, an attorney or other person in connection with a home study or preliminary home study as part of an adoption or surrender or parental consent proceeding or as part of the evaluation of prospective adoptive parents, other than those studies that are expressly included in a report to the court by such entities or persons. Information relating to the counseling of a biological mother regarding crisis pregnancy counseling shall not be included in the adoption record for purposes of release pursuant to this part without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138;

“Adoptive parent or parents” means the person or persons who have been made the legal parents of a child by the entry of an order of adoption under this part or under of the laws of any state, territory or foreign country;

“Adult” means any person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older. An adult may be adopted as provided in this part;

“Aggravated circumstances” means abandonment, abandonment of an infant, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated child abuse and neglect, aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated rape, rape, rape of a child, incest, or severe child abuse, as defined at § 37-1-102;

“Biological parents” means the woman and man who physically or genetically conceived the child who is the subject of the adoption or termination proceedings or who conceived the child who has made a request for information pursuant to this part;

“Biological relative” means:

For adopted persons for whom any adoption records, sealed adoption records, sealed records, or post-adoption records are maintained: the biological parents or child of an adopted person or person for whom any adoption record, sealed record, sealed adoption record or post-adoption record is maintained, the brothers or sisters of the whole or half blood, the blood grandparents of any degree, the blood aunts or uncles, or the blood cousins of the first degree, of such persons; and

For persons about whom any background information is sought as part of the surrender or parental consent process: the biological parents of the child, the brothers or sisters of the whole or half blood, the blood grandparents of any degree, or the blood aunts or uncles;

“Chartered child-placing agency” means an agency that had received a charter from the state of Tennessee through legislative action or by incorporation for the operation of an entity or a program of any type that engaged in the placement of children for foster care or residential care as part of a plan or program for which those children were or could have been made available for adoptive placement and that may have, at sometime during its existence, become subject to any licensing requirements by the department or its predecessors;

“Child” or “children” means any person or persons under eighteen (18) years of age;

“Child-caring agency” means any agency authorized by law to care for children outside their own homes for twenty-four (24) hours per day;

“Consent” means:

The written authorization to relinquish a child for adoption, which is given by an agency such as the department or a public child care agency of another state or country or licensed child-placing agency of this or another state, which agency has the authority, by court order or by surrender or by operation of law or by any combination of these, to place a child for adoption and to give permission for the adoption of that child by other persons;

The written permission of a parent pursuant to § 36-1-117(f) to permit the adoption of that parent's child by that parent's relative or by the parent's spouse who is the child's stepparent;

The process as described in § 36-1-117(g) by which a parent co-signs an adoption petition, with the prospective adoptive parents, for the purpose of agreeing to make the child available for adoption by the co-petitioning prospective adoptive parents, and that permits the court to enter an order of guardianship to give the adoptive parents custody and supervision of the child pending the completion or dismissal of the adoption proceedings or pending revocation of the consent by the parent. This process shall be called a “parental consent”;

The permission of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older given to the court, in chambers, before the entry of an order of adoption of such child;

The permission of a guardian ad litem for a disabled child or an adult permitting the adoption of those persons pursuant to the procedures of § 36-1-117(i) and (j);

The sworn, written permission of an adult person filed with the court where the adoption petition is filed that seeks the adoption of the adult; or

The agreement for contact by the parties to the post-adoption records search procedures that may be required in §§ 36-1-12736-1-141;

“Conservator” means a person or entity appointed by a court to provide partial or full supervision, protection, and assistance of the person or property, or both, of a disabled adult pursuant to title 34, chapter 1 or the equivalent law of another state;

(A)  “Court” means the chancery or circuit court; provided, that “court” includes the juvenile court for purposes of the authority to accept the surrender or revocation of surrenders of a child and to issue any orders of reference, orders of guardianship, or other orders resulting from a surrender or revocation that it accepts and for purposes of authorizing the termination of parental rights pursuant to § 36-1-113; title 37, chapter 1, part 1; and title 37, chapter 2, part 4;

All appeals of any orders relative to the juvenile court's actions in taking a surrender or revocation or in terminating parental rights shall be made to the court of appeals as provided by law; or

A juvenile court magistrate, appointed by the juvenile court judge pursuant to title 37, shall have authority to take a surrender of a child and to take a revocation of such surrender;

“Court report” means the report to the adoption or surrender court in response to an order of reference that describes to the court the status of the child and the prospective adoptive parents or the persons to whom the child is surrendered. Such a report may be preliminary, supplementary, or final in nature. The court report shall not include the home study or preliminary home study, but instead shall include a summary of such study;

“Department” means the department of children's services or any of its divisions or units;

“Eligible person” means, for purposes of §§ 36-1-12536-1-141, a person who is verified by the department as being in the class of individuals who is permitted by this part to receive access to records;

“Final court report” means a written document completed by the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker after submission of any prior court reports in response to the court's order of reference. It gives information concerning the status of the child in the home of the prospective adoptive parents and gives a full explanation to the court of the suitability of the prospective adoptive parent or parents to adopt the child who is the subject of the adoption petition. The final court report is designed to bring the status of the proposed adoptive home and the child up to date immediately prior to finalization of the adoption and should be the last report the court receives before finalization of the adoption by entry of an order of adoption;

“Financially able” means that the petitioners for adoption of a child are able, by use of any and all income and economic resources of the petitioners, including, but not limited to, assistance from public or private sources, to ensure that any physical, emotional, or special needs of the child are met;

“Foster care” has the meaning given to that term in § 37-1-102; provided, that no plan or permanency plan, as defined in § 37-2-402, shall be required in the case of foster care provided by or in any agency, institution or home in connection with an adoption of a child, so long as a petition for the adoption of that child by an individual or individuals to whom care of that child has been given is filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within six (6) months of the time that child first comes into the care of the agency, institution or home;

“Foster parent” has the meaning given to that term in § 37-1-102;

(A)  “Guardian” means a person or entity appointed by a court to provide care, custody, control, supervision, and protection for a child, and authorized by the court to adopt or consent to the adoption of the child as a result of a surrender, parental consent, or termination of parental rights;

“Guardian” also means a person or entity authorized by a court to adopt or consent to the adoption of a child upon proof that the child is without any living person entitled to notice pursuant to § 36-1-117(a);

For purposes of this part, “guardian” does not include:

A person or entity appointed guardian of a child by a juvenile court pursuant to § 37-1-104;

A person appointed permanent guardian of a child by a juvenile court pursuant to § 37-1-801 unless that person has also been awarded guardianship pursuant to § 36-1-113(m);

A person appointed guardian of the person or property of a child, or both, by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 34-2-101; or

Any other person or entity appointed guardian of the person or property of a child pursuant to an order that does not specifically include the right to adopt or consent to the adoption of the child and that was not entered as a result of a surrender, parental consent, termination of parental rights, or finding that the child is without any living person entitled to notice pursuant to § 36-1-117(a);

The rights of the guardian must be terminated by surrender or court order or the guardian must provide consent as defined in subdivision (15)(A) before an order of adoption can be entered; provided, that a guardian's rights need not be terminated when the guardian is the petitioner in an adoption;

When the department or a licensed child-placing agency is the guardian of the child, its rights must be terminated by court action or it must provide consent as defined in subdivision (15)(A) before an adoption can be ordered;

(A)  “Guardianship” means the status created by a court order appointing a person or entity guardian of the child. Guardianship rights are those transferred to the guardian by court order, including the right to provide care, custody, control, supervision, and protection for a child and to adopt or consent to the adoption of the child as a result of a surrender, parental consent, termination of parental rights, or finding that the child is without any living person entitled to notice pursuant to § 36-1-117(a);

Guardianship granted by a court as a result of a surrender, consent, or termination of parental rights, or the equivalent law of any other jurisdiction, may be complete or partial;

(i)  A person or entity has complete guardianship for the purpose of permitting a court to order an adoption when all necessary parental or guardianship rights have been terminated by surrender, consent, waiver of interest, or court order, and a court with jurisdiction to do so enters an order granting guardianship to that person or entity;

Complete guardianship entitles the guardian to the right to care for the child as provided under § 37-1-140, or as otherwise provided by the court order, and permits the guardian to place the child for adoption and consent to the adoption, or to be granted an adoption of the child, without further termination of parental or guardian rights;

A prospective adoptive parent granted complete guardianship is the child's guardian for the purpose of § 37-4-201;

(i)  A person or entity has partial guardianship when a court with jurisdiction to do so enters an order granting guardianship to that person or entity as a result of the surrender, parental consent, or termination of parental rights of at least one (1), but not all, parents or guardians of the child, or as a result of the death of one (1) parent or guardian when the parental or guardianship rights of the remaining parent or guardian have not been terminated by surrender, consent, waiver of interest, or court order pursuant to this part or title 37;

Partial guardianship entitles the guardian to provide care, supervision, and protection of the child pursuant to § 37-1-140, or to the extent permitted by the court order granting partial guardianship, and permits the guardian to place the child for adoption and consent to that adoption; it does not authorize the court to enter an order of adoption until all remaining parental or guardianship rights have been terminated by surrender, consent, waiver of interest, or court order;

Upon receiving partial guardianship, the department or licensed child-placing agency may place a child for adoption with prospective adoptive parents and may consent to the adoption of the child by those prospective adoptive parents; the prospective adoptive parents are required to comply with § 36-1-117 before an adoption can be granted;

“Home study” means the product of a preparation process in which individuals or families are assessed by themselves and the department or licensed child-placing agency, or a licensed clinical social worker as to their suitability for adoption and their desires with regard to the child they wish to adopt. The home study shall conform to the requirements set forth in the rules of the department and it becomes a written document that is used in the decision to approve or deny a particular home for adoptive placement. The home study may be the basis on which the court report recommends approval or denial to the court of the family as adoptive parents. A court report based upon any home study conducted by a licensed child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker or the department that has been completed or updated within one (1) year prior to the date of the surrender or order of reference shall be accepted by the court for purposes of §§ 36-1-111 and 36-1-116. The home study shall be confidential, and at the conclusion of the adoption proceeding shall be forwarded to the department to be kept under seal pursuant to § 36-1-126, and shall be subject to disclosure only upon order entered pursuant to § 36-1-138;

“Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)” means §§ 37-4-20137-4-207 relating to the placement of a child between states for the purposes of foster care or adoption. The ICPC is administered in Tennessee by the department through its state office in Nashville;

(A)  “Legal parent” means:

The biological mother of a child;

A man who is or has been married to the biological mother of the child if the child was born during the marriage or within three hundred (300) days after the marriage was terminated for any reason, or if the child was born after a decree of separation was entered by a court;

A man who attempted to marry the biological mother of the child before the child's birth by a marriage apparently in compliance with the law, even if the marriage is declared invalid, if the child was born during the attempted marriage or within three hundred (300) days after the termination of the attempted marriage for any reason;

A man who has been adjudicated to be the legal father of the child by any court or administrative body of this state or any other state or territory or foreign country or who has signed, pursuant to §§ 24-7-113, 68-3-203(g), 68-3-302, or 68-3-305(b), an unrevoked and sworn acknowledgment of paternity under Tennessee law, or who has signed such a sworn acknowledgment pursuant to the law of any other state, territory, or foreign country; or

An adoptive parent of a child or adult;

A man shall not be a legal parent of a child based solely on blood, genetic, or DNA testing determining that he is the biological parent of the child without either a court order or voluntary acknowledgement of paternity pursuant to § 24-7-113. Such test may provide a basis for an order establishing paternity by a court of competent jurisdiction, pursuant to the requirements of § 24-7-112;

If the presumption of paternity set out in subdivisions (29)(A)(ii)-(iv) is rebutted as described in § 36-2-304, the man shall no longer be a legal parent for purposes of this chapter and no further notice or termination of parental rights shall be required as to this person;

“Legal relative” means a person who is included in the class of persons set forth in the definition of “biological relative” or “legal parent” and who, at the time a request for services or information is made pursuant to §§ 36-1-127, 36-1-131, and 36-1-13336-1-138 or with reference to a contract for post-adoption contact under § 36-1-145 immediately prior to the execution of a surrender or the entry of an order terminating parental rights, is related to the adopted person by any legal relationship established by law, court order, or by marriage, and includes, a step-parent and the spouse of any legal relative;

(A)  “Legal representative” means:

The conservator, guardian, legal custodian, or other person or entity with legal authority to make decisions for an individual with a disability or an attorney-in-fact, an attorney at law representing a person for purposes of obtaining information pursuant to this part, or the legally appointed administrator, executor, or other legally appointed representative of a person's estate; or

Any person acting under any durable power of attorney for health care purposes or any person appointed to represent a person and acting pursuant to a living will;

For purposes of subdivision (31)(A), “disability” means that the individual is a minor pursuant to any state, territorial, or federal law, or the law of any foreign country, or that the individual has been determined by any such laws to be in need of a person or entity to care for the individual due to that individual's physical or mental incapacity or infirmity;

“Licensed child-placing agency” means any agency operating under a license to place children for adoption issued by the department, or operating under a license from any governmental authority from any other state or territory or the District of Columbia, or any agency that operates under the authority of another country with the right to make placement of children for adoption and that has, in the department's sole determination, been authorized to place children for adoption in this state;

“Licensed clinical social worker” means an individual who holds a license as an independent practitioner from the board of social worker certification and licensure pursuant to title 63, chapter 23, and, in addition, is licensed by the department to provide adoption placement services;

“Lineal ancestor” means any degree of grandparent or great-grandparent, either by birth or adoption;

“Lineal descendant” means a person who descended directly from another person who is the biological or adoptive ancestor of such person, such as the daughter of the daughter's mother or granddaughter of the granddaughter's grandmother;

“Order of reference” means the order from the court where the surrender is executed or filed or where the adoption petition is filed that directs the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker to conduct a home study or preliminary home study or to complete a report of the status of the child who is or may be the subject of an adoption proceeding, and that seeks information as to the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt a child;

“Parent” or “parents” means any biological, legal, adoptive parent or parents or, for purposes of §§ 36-1-12736-1-141, stepparents;

“Parental consent” means the consent described in subdivision (15)(C);

“Parental rights” means the legally recognized rights and responsibilities to act as a parent, to care for, to name, and to claim custodial rights with respect to a child;

“Physical custody” means physical possession and care of a child. “Physical custody” may be constructive, as when a child is placed by agreement or court order with an agency, or purely physical, as when any family, including a formal or informal foster family, has possession and care of a child, so long as such possession was not secured through a criminal act. An agency and a family may have physical custody of the same child at the same time;

“Post-adoption record” means:

The record maintained in any medium by the department, separately from the sealed record or sealed adoption record and subsequent to the sealing of an adoption record or that is maintained about any sealed record or sealed adoption record. The post-adoption record contains information, including, but not limited to, adopted persons or the legal or biological relatives of adopted persons, or about persons for whom sealed records or sealed adoption records are maintained, or about persons who are seeking information about adopted persons, or persons on whom a sealed record or sealed adoption record is maintained. The post-adoption record contains information concerning, but not limited to, the contact veto registry established by this part, the written inquiries from persons requesting access to records, the search efforts of the department pursuant to the requirements of the contact veto process, the response to those search efforts by those persons sought, information that has been requested to be transmitted from or on behalf of any person entitled to access to records pursuant to this part, any updated medical information gathered pursuant to this part, court orders related to the opening of any sealed adoption records or sealed records, and personal identifying information concerning any persons subject to this part;

The limited record maintained by the licensed or chartered child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker pursuant to § 36-1-126(b)(2), that indicates the child's date of birth, the date the agency received the child for placement, from whom the child was received and such person's last known address, with whom the child was placed and such person's or entity's last known address, and the court in which the adoption proceeding was filed and the date the adoption order was entered or the adoption petition dismissed; and

This record is confidential and shall be opened only as provided in this part;

(A)  “Preliminary home study” means an initial home study conducted prior to or, in limited situations, immediately after, the placement of a child with prospective adoptive parents who have not previously been subject to a home study that was conducted or updated not less than six (6) months prior to the date a surrender is sought to be executed to the prospective adoptive parents or prior to the date of the filing of the adoption petition;

The preliminary home study is designed to obtain an early and temporary initial assessment of the basic ability of prospective adoptive parents to provide adequate care for a child who is proposed to be adopted by those prospective adoptive parents, and is utilized only for the purpose of approval of surrenders or for purposes of responding to an order of reference pursuant to § 36-1-116(e)(2), or for purposes of entering a guardianship order under § 36-1-116(f)(3);

The preliminary home study shall consist of a minimum of two (2) visits with the prospective adoptive parents, at least one (1) of which shall be in the home of the prospective adoptive parents, and the study shall support the conclusion that no apparent reason exists why the prospective adoptive parents would not be fit parents for the child who is the subject of the adoption. To be valid for use as the basis for a court report in connection with a surrender or a parental consent, the preliminary home study must have been completed or updated within thirty (30) days prior to the date the surrender is accepted or the parental consent is executed or confirmed or the guardianship order is entered. The home study shall be confidential, and, at the conclusion of the adoption proceeding, shall be forwarded to the department to be kept under seal pursuant to § 36-1-126, and shall be subject to disclosure only upon order entered pursuant to § 36-1-138;

“Prospective adoptive parents” means a nonagency person or persons who are seeking to adopt a child and who have made application with a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker or the department for approval, or who have been previously approved, to receive a child for adoption, or who have received or who expect to receive a surrender of a child, or who have filed a petition for termination or for adoption;

“Putative father” means a biological or alleged biological father of a child who, at the time of the filing of the petition to terminate the parental rights of such person, or if no such petition is filed, at the time of the filing of a petition to adopt a child, meets at least one (1) of the criteria set out in § 36-1-117(c), has not been excluded by DNA testing as described in § 24-7-112 establishing that he is not the child's biological father or that another man is the child's biological father, and is not a legal parent;

“Related” means grandparents or any degree of great-grandparents, aunts or uncles, or any degree of great-aunts or great-uncles, or step-parent, or cousins of the first degree, or first cousins once removed, or any siblings of the whole or half degree or any spouse of the above listed relatives;

(A)  “Sealed adoption record” means:

The adoption record as it exists subsequent to its transmittal to the department, or subsequent to its sealing by the court, pursuant to the requirements of § 36-1-126; or

The limited record maintained by the licensed or chartered child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker pursuant to § 36-1-126(b)(2);

This record is confidential and shall be opened only as provided in this part;

The sealed adoption record shall not, for purposes of release of the records pursuant to §§ 36-1-12736-1-141, be construed to permit access, without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138, to home studies or preliminary home studies or any information obtained by the department, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or other family counseling service, a physician, a psychologist, or member of the clergy, an attorney or other person in connection with a home study or preliminary home study as part of an adoption or surrender or parental consent proceeding or as part of the evaluation of prospective adoptive parents, other than those studies that are expressly included in a report to the court by such entities or persons. Information relating to the counseling of a biological mother regarding crisis pregnancy counseling shall not be included in the adoption record for purposes of release pursuant to this part without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138;

(A)  “Sealed record” means:

Any records, reports, or documents that are maintained at any time by a court, a court clerk, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker, the department, the department of health, or any other information source concerning the foster care or agency care placement, or placement for adoption, of a person by any branch of the Tennessee children's home society authorized by Public Chapter 113 (1919); or

Any records, reports, or documents maintained by a judge, a court clerk, the department, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, the department of health, or any other information source that consist of adoption records or information about an adoption proceeding or a termination of parental rights proceeding about an adopted person, or that contain information about a person who was placed for adoption but for whom no adoption order was entered or for whom an adoption proceeding was dismissed or for whom an adoption was not otherwise completed, or that contain information concerning persons in the care of any person or agency, and which records have otherwise been treated and maintained by those persons or entities under prior law, practice, policy, or custom as confidential, nonpublic adoption records, sealed adoption records, or post-adoption records of the person, or that may be otherwise currently treated and maintained by those persons or entities as confidential, nonpublic adoption records, sealed adoption records or post-adoption records of the person; or

The limited record maintained by the licensed or chartered child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker pursuant to § 36-1-126(b)(2);

This record is confidential and shall be opened only as provided in this part;

The sealed record shall not, for purposes of release of the records pursuant to §§ 36-1-12736-1-141, be construed to permit access, without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138, to home studies or preliminary home studies or any information obtained by the department, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or other family counseling service, a physician, a psychologist, or member of the clergy, an attorney or other person in connection with a home study or preliminary home study as part of an adoption or surrender or parental consent proceeding or as part of the evaluation of prospective adoptive parents, other than those studies that are expressly included in a report to the court by such entities or persons. Information relating to the counseling of a biological mother regarding crisis pregnancy counseling shall not be included in the adoption record for purposes of release pursuant to this part without a court order pursuant to § 36-1-138;

“Sibling” means anyone having a sibling relationship;

“Sibling relationship” means the biological or legal relationship between persons who have a common biological or legal parent;

“Surrender” means a document executed under § 36-1-111, or under the laws of another state or territory or country, by the parent or guardian of a child, by which that parent or guardian relinquishes all parental or guardianship rights of that parent or guardian to a child, to another person or public child care agency or licensed child-placing agency for the purposes of making that child available for adoption; and

(A)  “Surrogate birth” means:

The union of the wife's egg and the husband's sperm, which are then placed in another woman, who carries the fetus to term and who, pursuant to a contract, then relinquishes all parental rights to the child to the biological parents pursuant to the terms of the contract; or

The insemination of a woman by the sperm of a man under a contract by which the parties state their intent that the woman who carries the fetus shall relinquish the child to the biological father and the biological father's wife to parent;

No surrender pursuant to this part is necessary to terminate any parental rights of the woman who carried the child to term under the circumstances described in this subdivision (51) and no adoption of the child by the biological parent or parents is necessary;

Nothing in this subdivision (51) shall be construed to expressly authorize the surrogate birth process in Tennessee unless otherwise approved by the courts or the general assembly.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, §§ 2, 40 (Williams, §§ 9572.16, 9572.52); 1961, ch. 227, § 1; 1972, ch. 612, § 7; 1972, ch. 624, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; 1976, ch. 394, § 1; modified; Acts 1978, ch. 704, § 1; 1983, ch. 435, § 7; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-102; Acts 1990, ch. 988, § 1; 1993, ch. 124, §§ 5, 6; § 36-1-102; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 3-15, 104; 1996, ch. 1079, § 69; 1998, ch. 1097, §§ 2, 3; 2000, ch. 981, § 51; 2001, ch. 388, § 4; 2002, ch. 630, § 1; 2003, ch. 231, §§ 1-4; 2009, ch. 235, §  1; 2009, ch. 411, §§ 1-3; 2010, ch. 760, §§ 1, 2; 2010, ch. 887, § 2; 2010, ch. 888, § 1; 2010, ch. 924, § 1; 2016, ch. 636, §§ 2, 4; 2016, ch. 716, § 2; 2016, ch. 919, §§ 1, 2; 2018, ch. 875, §§ 1-6; 2019, ch. 35, § 3; 2019, ch. 36, §§ 23, 31; 2020, ch. 525, §§ 1-4.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2009, ch. 235, § 1 directed the code commission to revise appropriate references from “child support referees” and “juvenile referees” to “child support magistrates” and “juvenile magistrates” in the code as supplements are published and volumes are replaced.

Acts 2009, ch. 411, § 12 provided that the act, which amended §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-108, 37-1-102, 37-2-402 and added new § 37-1-183, shall apply to conduct covered by the provisions of the act that occurs on or after July 1, 2009. The eighteen (18) month time period set out in § 37-1-102(b)(12)(J) [now § 37-1-102(b)(13)(J)] shall not commence until July 1, 2009.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment deleted “willfully” preceding “failed” wherever it occurs in (1)(A)(i), (1)(A)(iii), (1)(a)(iv), (1)(D), and (1)(E); in (1)(A)(i), substituted “proceeding, pleading, petition, or any amended petition” for “proceeding or pleading”; redesignated the existing language in (1)(A)(ii) as (1)(A)(ii)(a) through (1)(A)(ii)(c); rewrote present (1)(A)(ii)(a) which formerly read: “The child has been removed from the home of the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians as the result of a petition filed in the juvenile court in which the child was found to be a dependent and neglected child, as defined in § 37-1-102, and the child was placed in the custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency,”; at the beginning of present (b), substituted “The,” for “that the”; in present (c), in the first sentence, inserted “physical”, deleted “has” preceding “made reasonable”, and substituted “have not made reciprocal” for “have made no” preceding “reasonable efforts”, and, in the second sentence, substituted “shall” for “may” and inserted “equal or” preceding “exceed”; in (1)(D), inserted “. That the parent had only the means or ability to make small payments is not a defense to failure to support if no payments were made during the relevant four-month period” preceding the semicolon at the end; in (1)(E), inserted “. That the parent had only the means or ability to make very occasional visits is not a defense to failure to visit if no visits were made during the relevant four-month period;” preceding the semicolon at the end; and, in the definition of “‘Related’”, inserted “, or first cousins once removed” following “cousins of the first degree”.

The 2019 amendment by ch. 35, in the definition of “Legal relative” substituted “a person” for “the person”, deleted “search” following “a request for”, inserted “or with reference to a contract for post-adoption contact under § 36-1-145 immediately prior to the execution of a surrender or the entry of an order terminating parental rights”, and substituted “marriage, and includes, a step-parent and the spouse of any legal relative.” for “marriage, but specifically includes, in addition, a step-parent or the spouse of any legal relative.”

The 2019 amendment by ch. 36, in the definition of “‘Putative father’”, substituted “§ 36-1-117(c) has not been excluded by DNA testing as described in § 24-7-112 establishing that he is not the child's biological father or that another man is the child's biological father, and is not a legal parent;” for “§ 36-1-117(c) and is not a legal parent;” and inserted the definition of “‘Conservator’”.

The 2020 amendment rewrote (1)(A)(iv) which read: “A parent or guardian is incarcerated at the time of the institution of an action or proceeding to declare a child to be an abandoned child, or the parent or guardian has been incarcerated during all or part of the four (4) months immediately preceding the institution of such action or proceeding, and either has failed to visit or has failed to support or has failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child for four (4) consecutive months immediately preceding such parent's or guardian's incarceration, or the parent or guardian has engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibits a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child. If the four-month period immediately preceding the institution of the action or the four-month period immediately preceding such parent's incarceration is interrupted by a period or periods of incarceration, and there are not four (4) consecutive months without incarceration immediately preceding either event, a four-month period shall be created by aggregating the shorter periods of nonincarceration beginning with the most recent period of nonincarceration prior to commencement of the action and moving back in time. Periods of incarceration of less than seven (7) days duration shall be counted as periods of nonincarceration. Periods of incarceration not discovered by the petitioner and concealed, denied, or forgotten by the parent shall also be counted as periods of nonincarceration. A finding that the parent has abandoned the child for a defined period in excess of four (4) months that would necessarily include the four (4) months of nonincarceration immediately prior to the institution of the action, but which does not precisely define the relevant four-month period, shall be sufficient to establish abandonment; or”; added (1)(J) and (1)(K);  and rewrote the definitions of “Guardian” and “Guardianship” which read:

“(25)(A) ‘Gardian’ or ‘guardians’ or ‘co-guardian’ or ‘co-guardians’ means a person or persons or an entity, other than the parent of a child, appointed by a court or defined by law specifically as ‘guardian’ or ‘co-guardian’ or ‘conservator’ to provide supervision, protection for and care for the person or property, or both, of a child or adult; (B) ‘Guardian’ or ‘co-guardian’ also means a person or entity appointed as guardian or guardians as the result of a surrender, parental consent, or termination of parental rights; (C) The rights of the individual guardian or co-guardian or conservator of the person of a minor child or of an adult must be terminated by a surrender or court action before an order of adoption can be entered; provided, that an individual or individuals who receives or receive guardianship pursuant to a surrender, parental consent, or termination of parental rights pursuant to this part or title 37 need not give consent to the adoption when that individual is the petitioner in an adoption; (D) When the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or a child-caring agency is the guardian of the child, its rights must be terminated by court action or it must provide consent as defined in subdivision (15)(A) before an adoption can be ordered.

“(26)(A) ‘Guardianship’ or ‘co-guardianship’ means, for purposes of subdivision (24), a person or entity having the status of being a guardian or co-guardian who or which is responsible for the provision of supervision, protection, and assistance to the person of a child under this part or under other law of this or any other jurisdiction; (B)  Guardianship as a result of a surrender, consent, or termination of parental rights pursuant to this part or title 37 or the law of any other jurisdiction may be ‘complete’ or ‘partial’; (C)(i)  A person or entity has ‘complete’ guardianship for the purpose of permitting a court to order an adoption when all necessary parental or guardianship rights have been terminated by surrender, by consent, by waiver of interest, or by involuntary termination of parental rights proceedings by a court or otherwise, and the court or courts with jurisdiction to do so enters an order or orders granting guardianship status to the person or entity; (ii)  Complete guardianship pursuant to a surrender or consent under this part or pursuant to the termination of the rights of a parent or guardian of a child under this part or under title 37, and pursuant to the entry of an order of guardianship as provided in this part, shall entitle the person or entity to the right to care for the child as provided under § 37-1-140 or as otherwise provided by the court order, and shall permit the entity to place the child for adoption and to consent to the adoption, or shall permit the individual to be granted an adoption of the child, and shall authorize the court to proceed with and grant an adoption, without further termination of parental or guardian rights; (D)(i)  A person or entity has ‘partial guardianship’ when a surrender or consent has been received from at least one (1), but not all, parents or guardians of the child, or when a court-ordered termination of parental or guardianship rights has been obtained against at least one (1), but not all, parents or guardians of the child, and the court has entered an order granting guardianship of the child to the petitioning person or entity, and the remaining parent or guardian of the child has not executed a surrender or consent or the child's parental or guardianship rights have not been terminated by waiver of interest pursuant to this part, court order, or otherwise; (ii)  Partial guardianship obtained pursuant to a surrender or consent or pursuant to an order terminating less than all parental rights, and an order of partial guardianship pursuant to this part or pursuant to title 37 shall entitle the person or entity to provide care, supervision, and protection of the child pursuant to  § 37-1-140, or to the extent permitted by the court order granting partial guardianship, but it shall not be effective to allow full consent to an adoption by an entity without termination by surrender or court order or otherwise of the remaining parental or guardianship rights of other parents or guardians, and shall not authorize the court to grant an adoption to an individual until all remaining parental or guardianship rights have been surrendered, terminated, or otherwise ended; provided, that the department or licensed child-placing entity may place a child for adoption with prospective adoptive parents and may consent to the adoption of the child by those prospective adoptive parents when the department or the licensed child-placing agency has partial guardianship, and the prospective adoptive parents then shall be required to obtain complete guardianship of the child by surrender, termination of parental rights, waiver of interest, or parental consent to effect the adoption of the child;”

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 875, § 38. July 1, 2018.

Acts 2019, ch. 35, § 4. March 22, 2019.

Acts 2019, ch. 36, § 35. July 1, 2019.

Acts 2020, ch. 525, § 13. March 6, 2020.

Cross-References. Concurrent jurisdiction of juvenile, circuit, and chancery courts over abandoned children, § 37-1-104.

Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Infant prematurely born alive during abortion declared abandoned child, custody, § 39-15-206.

Jurisdiction of courts, §§ 16-10-108, 16-11-110.

Textbooks. Gibson's Suits in Chancery (7th ed., Inman), § 8.

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 20 Tenn. Juris., Parent and Child, §§ 6, 20.

Law Reviews.

Adoption and Custody: Current Trends in Tennessee Family Law: Tennessee's New Adoption Contact Veto is Cold Comfort to Birth Parents, 27 U. Mem. L. Rev. 843 (1997).

Family Law – Who is a Mother? Determining Legal Maternity in Surrogacy Arrangements in Tennessee (Christen Blackburn), 39 U. Mem. L. Rev. 349 (2009).

New-Age Babies and Age-Old Laws: The Need for an Intent-Based Approach in Tennessee to Preserve Parent-Child Succession for Children of Assisted Reproductive Technology (Jane Marie Lewis), 43 U. Mem. L. Rev. 479 (2012).

Storied Anna Mae He Decision Clarifies Law But Leaves Unanswered Questions (Christina A. Zawisza), 38 U. Mem. L. Rev. 637 (2008).

Tennessee Civil Disabilities: A Systemic Approach (Neil P. Cohen), 41 Tenn. L. Rev. 253 (1974).

When One Parent Goes and the Other Parent Stays: The Inconsistency and Inequality of Guaranteeing Absent Parents Permanent Parental Rights (Wendee M. Hilderbrand), 56 Vand. L. Rev. 1907 (2003).

Attorney General Opinions. The General Assembly has neither explicitly nor implicitly supplied the Department of Children's Services (DCS) with authority to make decisions about extraordinary medical care, and the juvenile court may not unilaterally confer such authority upon DCS, OAG 04-127, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 140 (8/11/04).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality of Definition.

The statutory definition of “willfully failed to support” and “willfully failed to make reasonable payments toward such child's support” is unconstitutional because it creates an irrebutable presumption that the failure to provide monetary support for the four months preceding the petition to terminate parental rights constitutes abandonment, irrespective of whether that failure was intentional. Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, Inc. v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 2 S.W.3d 180, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. 1999).

The effect of the decision in Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, Inc. v. Swanson, 2 S.W.3d 180, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. 1999) that T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(D) was unconstitutional was to restore the definition of abandonment as it existed before the 1995 amendment, with the element of intent intact. Menard v. Meeks (In re Menard), 29 S.W.3d 870, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

While T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1), as amended in 2018, eliminates the willful component of the petitioning party's burden, it does not create an irrebuttable presumption that a parent's failure to support constitutes abandonment; instead, the statute leaves open an avenue by way of affirmative defense for a parent to establish that her failure to support was not willful. The statute is not obviously unconstitutional on its face. In re Arianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2020).

2. Construction.

In the definition of abandonment, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) uses the phrase “a proceeding or pleading to terminate parental rights” in the same statutory subsection where the legislature also uses the phrase “the petition for termination of parental rights or adoption”; read as a whole, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) requires that the willful failure to visit, support, or make reasonable payments toward the support of the child must occur in the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition currently before the court. In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

Read in the context of the statutory scheme that governs the termination of parental rights, the word “any,” under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(F), is addressed only to petitions presently under the trial court's consideration; accordingly, only a parent's conduct in the four months immediately preceding the filing of a petition then before the trial court may be used as grounds to terminate parental rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i). In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

Biological father is not automatically the legal father of a child, but rather he is only the legal father if he is married to the mother at the probable time of conception or if he has been adjudicated to be the legal father. T.C.A. § 36-1-102(28); although the parentage statutes use the term father rather than legal father, the only logical reading of the parentage statute is that a man who has been adjudicated to be the father under the parentage law has also been adjudicated to be the legal father of the child; if that were not the case, a biological father could never be the legal father of his child unless he were married to the biological mother; such a reading would be both incorrect and unconstitutional. In re T.K.Y., 205 S.W.3d 343, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. 2006), rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 891 (Tenn. Sept. 19, 2006).

Surrogacy statute, T.C.A. § 36-1-102, does not establish a public policy prohibiting traditional surrogacy agreements. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

T.C.A. § 36-1-102(48)(B) [now (50)(B)] operates as a statement of public policy that a woman who carries a fetus to term under the statutory definition of gestational surrogacy does not attain the status of a legal parent under Tennessee law and, therefore, the statutory procedures governing surrender and adoption do not apply. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

General Assembly did not intend for T.C.A. § 36-1-102(48)(B) [now (50)(B)] to operate as an independent procedure for the termination of the parental rights of a traditional surrogate. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

3. Applicability.

Mother's claim that her conduct did not exhibit a wanton disregard for a child's welfare was rejected as the mother's parental rights were terminated because she abandoned the child by willfully failing to support or visit during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; T.C.A. § 36-1-102(l)(A)(iv) did not apply. In re A'mari B., 358 S.W.3d 204, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 488 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2011), appeal denied, In re A'Mari B., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 1067 (Tenn. Nov. 14, 2011).

Grounds of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home and persistence of conditions were inapplicable because the proof showed that the children were removed from the home of the father, who was living with the father's mother at the time. Furthermore, at the time of removal, the mother was incarcerated. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

4. Jurisdiction of Court.

Fact that juvenile court has adjudged a child a dependent and committed its custody to the department of human services (now department of children's services) and retained jurisdiction for such further orders as it might adjudge proper did not prevent the chancery or circuit court from taking jurisdiction of adoption proceeding or from determining the question of abandonment. In re Matthews, 204 Tenn. 155, 319 S.W.2d 69, 1958 Tenn. LEXIS 254 (1958).

Chancery and circuit courts may proceed with an adoption without considering the effects of a prior juvenile court order concerning custody. In re Adoption of Hart, 709 S.W.2d 582, 1984 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3000 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1984).

5. Abandoned Child.

The definition of an abandoned child contained in subdivision (1) by its express provisions applies only to an action or proceeding to declare a child to be an abandoned child and has not been extended by amendment or construction to apply when the issue of abandonment is under consideration in adoption proceeding in the chancery or circuit court. Ex parte Wolfenden, 49 Tenn. App. 1, 349 S.W.2d 713, 1959 Tenn. App. LEXIS 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1959), superseded by statute as stated in, Fykes v. State, — S.W.3d —, 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998) , superseded by statute as stated in, Tennessee Baptist Children's Home v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Baker v. He (In re A.M.H.), — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2005).

The ultimate question in an abandonment situation is whether there is clear and convincing evidence of an overall lack of any parental responsibility. A finding of a possible abandonment, or the lack of such a finding, on the part of one parent is not to be interpreted as conclusive to the other parent or the ultimate issue. Koivu v. Irwin, 721 S.W.2d 803, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3160 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

There is a distinction in the law between those cases where an abandonment is asked to be declared and those cases where not only is there an abandonment request, but also an adoption of the abandoned child. In the former situation, there is a statutory definition of abandonment, contained in T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A), while in the latter, case law sets out the definition. Koivu v. Irwin, 721 S.W.2d 803, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3160 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

Abandonment, as it pertains to an adoption proceeding, is defined in this state as any conduct on the part of the parent that evinces a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child. Koivu v. Irwin, 721 S.W.2d 803, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3160 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

Evidence supported finding of abandonment. In re Adoption of Parsons, 766 S.W.2d 196, 1988 Tenn. App. LEXIS 778 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1988).

Although it was undisputed that biological father did not pay any child support before maternal grandparents filed their petition for adoption, there was evidence that he would have been willing to pay such support if mother or grandparents agreed to accept it; therefore, the evidence failed to support the conclusion that biological father abandoned his child or that he willingly failed to support her. Menard v. Meeks (In re Menard), 29 S.W.3d 870, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

Although there was not clear and convincing evidence that parent had abandoned child to support termination of parental rights because of lack of transportation and participation in a drug rehabilitation program, failure to overcome drug addiction and substantially comply with permanency plan supported termination. In re A.D.A, 84 S.W.3d 592, 2002 Tenn. App. LEXIS 76 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002).

Mother's failure to visit her minor children for the four months immediately preceding the filing of the termination petition constituted abandonment. In re S.Y., 121 S.W.3d 358, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 130 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003).

Court erred by finding that a mother had willfully abandoned her children where the mother was indigent, and the state did not present any proof to the trial court that showed that the mother was able to financially support her children in any way and did not do so. State v. Stewart (In re L.J.C.), 124 S.W.3d 609, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003), appeal denied, State Dep't of Child's Servs. v. Stewart (In re L.J.C.), — S.W.3d —, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 1288 (Tenn. 2003).

Trial court properly dismissed a petition to terminate parental rights, because the evidence did not establish that either parent intended to abandon a minor child. The evidence showed that the father paid child support, but was unaware of the child's residence; and the mother was unable to pay child support due to a loss of employment, but she attempted to contact the child shortly before the petition was filed. Means v. Ashby, 130 S.W.3d 48, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 712 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 161 (Tenn. Mar. 1, 2004).

Trial court did not err in refusing to terminate the biological father's parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102 because the trial court's finding that there was no convincing evidence of the father's willful abandonment of the child was presumed correct where the mother and her husband failed to provide an adequate record on appeal as required by Tenn. R. App. P. 24. In re M.L.D., 182 S.W.3d 890, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 339 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2005), appeal denied, In re Adoption of M.L.D., — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 779 (Tenn. Sept. 12, 2005).

Record did not support the juvenile court's implicit finding that the mother “willfully” failed to visit or support her two children during the four months preceding the filing of the joint termination petition as provided under the statutory definition of abandonment in T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), because the mother was incarcerated during that four-month period and the fathers of the children refused to allow visitation at the prison. However, only one statutory ground was required to support termination of the mother's parental rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g) and there was sufficient evidence to support the finding that the mother failed to support or visit her children in the four months before her incarceration, which constituted abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), and that the mother's conduct prior to her incarceration showed a wanton disregard for children's welfare, which also constituted abandonment under § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). In re Audrey S., 182 S.W.3d 838, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 539 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2005), appeal denied, In re A.M.S. v. Ferrell, — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 1020 (Tenn. 2005).

Court properly terminated a mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment where the mother made child support payments in November of 2004, but made no payments during the months of December of 2004, January of 2005, and February of 2005. In addition, the mother was required to return to the child support court to have that court reassess her child support obligations, and the mother never did so. Dep't of Children's Servs. v. S.M.D., 200 S.W.3d 184, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 244 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006), appeal denied, State Dep't of Children's Servs. v. S.M.D., — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 634 (Tenn. 2006), appeal denied, In re D.J.D., — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 637 (Tenn. 2006).

Juvenile court did not err in terminating a father's parental rights based on abandonment pursuant to, inter alia, T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1) and 36-1-102(1)(A)(i); the mother and her new husband had not prevented the father from visiting his child and, except for one call on his fourth birthday, the father failed to visit or contact the child from the age of two onwards, and the child was five at the time the petition to terminate the father's parental rights was filed. And, the court found that it would not have been in the child's best interest to go back and try to establish some sort of relationship with the father. In re F.R.R., 193 S.W.3d 528, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 334 (Tenn. 2006).

Evidence in this case did not support a finding that appellant parents intentionally abandoned their daughter; although the daughter had now been with appellees for more than seven years, six of the years elapsed after the parents'  first unsuccessful legal filing to regain custody. In re A.M.H., 215 S.W.3d 793, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 13 (Tenn. Jan. 23, 2007), rehearing denied, 215 S.W.3d 793, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 235 (Tenn. 2007), cert. denied, Baker v. Shao-Qiang He, — U.S.—, — S. Ct. —, — L. Ed. 2d —, 2007 U.S. LEXIS 8357 (U.S. June 25, 2007).

Order terminating mother's parental rights was vacated because the record failed to contain clear and convincing evidence that the department of children's services made reasonable efforts to reunite the mother with the child or that the mother abandoned the child by failure to support pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i); it was significant that none of the permanency plans required the mother to provide financial support to the child, yet the department wished to use her failure to support as a ground for termination. In re R.L.F., 278 S.W.3d 305, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 445 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2008), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 788 (Tenn. Oct. 20, 2008).

Where father failed to support or make reasonable payments in support of his children for four months preceding filing of the petition to terminate parental rights, trial court did not err by terminating parental rights on the ground of abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i); father was employed and received an inheritance during this time period, yet failed to make any efforts to provide support for his children. In re L.M.W., 275 S.W.3d 843, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2008), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 768 (Tenn. Oct. 6, 2008).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by failure to visit and failure to support was proper pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) and 36-1-113(g)(1) because the mother's contacts with the child during the pertinent four-month period were of such an infrequent nature or of such short duration as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the child under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(C). Therefore, the mother engaged in merely token visitation during the four-month period preceding the filing of the termination petition. Stephen v. Christy C., 384 S.W.3d 731, 2010 Tenn. App. LEXIS 727 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2010), appeal denied, In re Keri C., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (Tenn. Feb. 17, 2011).

Prior order suspending the father's visitation rights did not preclude a finding that the father willfully failed to visit the children, and a preponderance of the evidence supported the conclusion that the father willfully failed to visit his children between July 2003 and July 2005 since although the father filed a petition to reinstate his visitation rights, he took no action to advance the petition, and the father had no reasonable excuse for failing to pursue the petition to reinstate visitation during those two years; therefore, the record contained clear and convincing evidence supporting termination of the father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment based on willful failure to visit under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(1) and T.C.A. § 36-1-102. Because the trial court did not reach the issue of whether termination of the father's parental rights was in the best interests of the children, the court remanded the case for the trial court to consider whether termination of the father's parental rights was in the best interests of the children pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(c). In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment for willful failure to visit because the father had visited the child, at most, two times, once in December 2010 and once in January 2011, prior to the filing of the termination petition in April 2012 and it was only after the petition was filed that the father attempted to see the child; the father's visitation after the petition was filed was, at best, token visitation. In re Jacobe M.J., 434 S.W.3d 565, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 790 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2013), appeal denied, In re Jacobe J., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 228 (Tenn. Mar. 5, 2014).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father engaged in criminal behavior, had continued incarcerations, had unresolved substance abuse issues, failed to meet the child's material needs, and demonstrated a general a lack of concern towards the child. In re Jocilyn M.P., 435 S.W.3d 773, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 248 (Tenn. Mar. 11, 2014).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the father had an income of at least $ 2,867 during the relevant time, paid over $ 1,600 for pain management consultations and prescriptions, but paid no support despite being aware of his duty to support the child. In re Jocilyn M.P., 435 S.W.3d 773, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 248 (Tenn. Mar. 11, 2014).

Trial court erred in terminating a father's parental rights because the department of children's services (DCS) was required to make reasonable efforts to assist the father in reunification even when the ground alleged was abandonment by wanton disregard and the trial court made no findings regarding whether DCS exercised reasonable efforts to assist the father. In re Kaliyah S., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014), rev'd, 455 S.W.3d 533, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Jan. 22, 2015).

Child was properly found to be abandoned based on the child's mother's failure to provide a suitable home; the presence of drug paraphernalia in the mother's home, along with the mother's ongoing substance abuse issues, rendered her home unsuitable for the child. In re Jonathan F., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 79 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 20, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence existed to terminate a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by conduct exhibiting a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children because the father had been absent for all but the first few months of the children's lives, and in the four months before his date of incarceration, he worked but paid nothing for the support of the children. In re S.C.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 96 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 2, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit because she did not visit her son during the four month period prior to the filing of the termination petition; she had not seen the child for approximately 21 months; the problem of being arrested was one of the mother's own making as she was aware of the order of protection; even after the order of protection was dismissed, the mother never contacted the father about setting up supervised visitation in accordance with the parenting plan; she did not contact the facility that could provide supervised visitation; and she never filed a petition or motion with the divorce court to enforce the visitation schedule or to modify it. In re Noah B.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 115 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for failure to visit the mother's child because the mother (1) only maintained sporadic phone contact with the child, and (2) did not physically contact the child for five and one-half months. In re Brittany M.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 182 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015), appeal denied, In re Brittany M C, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 522 (Tenn. June 17, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment due to a failure to establish a suitable home for the mother's child because (1) efforts of the Department of Children's Services (DCS) to help the mother establish a home were frustrated by the mother's continued absence and failure to maintain communication with DCS, (2) the mother did not procure a birth certificate to obtain housing, and (3) the mother refused DCS'  offers of assistance. In re Brittany M.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 182 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015), appeal denied, In re Brittany M C, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 522 (Tenn. June 17, 2015).

Evidence indicated safety hazards and environmental issues with the mother's home, and her pattern of inviting manipulative and abusive men into her home and life was at the heart of the problem, and more than a year after the child was removed, the mother was no closer to being able to provide the child with a suitable home; the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based on her failure to provide a suitable home. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Trial court did not err in terminating the father's parental rights, as the evidence did not preponderate against the findings in support of its determination that the father abandoned the child by exhibiting a wanton disregard for her welfare; the father engaged in sexual conduct with the child for years. In re T.L.G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 369 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2015).

During the relevant four-month period, the father visited the children only once, and one visit during a four-month period constitutes only token visitation, at best; the father had no excuse for failing to visit, his failure was willful, and the facts provided clear evidence that he abandoned his children. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

In this case, the petition was filed on February 7, 2014, and thus the relevant four-month period for abandonment purposes began on October 7, 2013 and ended on February 6, 2014. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

Trial court erred in finding that the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit him because the evidence was insufficient to support its finding that the father's visitation with the child during the statutorily determinative period was only token; the father visited the child on seven to eight occasions during the four-month determinative period. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Statutory ground of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home was inapplicable to the father because the child resided with the mother prior to her exit from the home and the filing of the emergency petition for temporary custody. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute the definition of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home is inapplicable to a private action that did not involve Department of Children's Services or a licensed child-placing agency. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Evidence that the mother continued to engage in criminal behavior resulting in her incarceration, failed to find and keep steady employment, and failed to demonstrate the desire to create a safe, suitable home for the child supported the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned the child by failure to provide a suitable home. In re Mason M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 595 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 17, 2015).

Mother abandoned her child through her failure to abide by the law and thus avoid incarceration and her failure to pay support. In re Mason M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 595 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 17, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit because the mother had numerous opportunities to visit with the child but was a “no-show,” the mother did not visit or ask to visit the child for an appreciable time period, and on one occasion when the mother did visit the child, the mother appeared intoxicated and ended the visitation early. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

For almost all of his life, the child's relationship with his mother had been built during scheduled visits, many of which she failed to attend, and the mother's claim of interference was unfounded, such that the trial court's finding that she abandoned the child through a willful failure to visit was not contrary to the preponderance of the evidence. In re L.J., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015).

Evidence did not preponderate against the finding with respect to the suitable home issue; despite reasonable assistance, the mother failed to find housing for approximately two years after the state removed her children from her home, which showed a lack of concern for her children to such a degree that it was unlikely she would be able to maintain a suitable home, and termination was proper. In re L.J., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015).

Clear evidence supported the finding of abandonment by willful failure to visit; the mother willfully failed to comply with an order of the trial court, and her efforts to comply with conditions to have visitation reinstated with the child were too little, too late. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Termination of a father's parental rights based upon abandonment was proper because the father did not visit or contact the child within the four months preceding his incarceration, and the record did not reflect that the father seriously attempted to visit the child or that he was prevented from doing so. Additionally, the father had a laundry list of criminal offenses in conjunction with his lengthy history of drug abuse. In re Thomas T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 907 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence existed that the father abandoned the child through his conduct prior to incarceration by exhibiting wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

During the determinative time period, the mother was unable to make reasonable efforts toward establishing a suitable home and department personnel were constrained in their efforts to assist her; the trial court's judgment regarding the abandonment ground was reversed. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Termination was proper under the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, given that the mother failed to make reasonable efforts to provide a suitable home and she demonstrated a lack of concern for the children to such a degree that it appeared unlikely that she would be able to provide a suitable home at an early date. In re Saliace P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 37 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016).

Trial court properly terminated a mother's rights to her child based on abandonment and in the child's best interest because the mother only visited the child twice in five years, neither of which was within the four months preceding the foster parents'  adoption petition, the mother's conduct was willful, there was no evidence that the foster parents significantly restrained and interfered with the mother's efforts to visit the child, the child had been in the foster parents'  home eight years, formed a close bond with the foster parents and their family and, was excelling in school, and removing her from the only home she had ever known would likely have a detrimental effect on her emotional and psychological condition. In re Makendra E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 49 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2016).

Finding that the father abandoned the child due to his failure to provide a suitable home was supported by evidence that the father was unable to provide proof of stable housing and at times lived in an officer building owned by his parents, and, even prior to that period, the father's living situation was unsuitable due to his habitual drug usage and failed drug screenings. In re Riley C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 113 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2016).

Trial court's final judgment terminating a father's parental rights applied an incorrect time period in finding that the father abandoned the child by willful failure to visit and willful failure to support. In re K.J.G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 216 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2016).

Trial court did not err when it concluded that the parents had abandoned their son by willfully failing to visit him during the relevant period where their visits were so infrequent and of such short duration that they represent token visitation. In re Matthew T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 272 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2016).

Termination of the father's rights for abandonment by wanton disregard was affirmed; in part, the father's own testimony at trial reflected his lengthy history of drug abuse and criminal activity. In re Aniston M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2016).

Record supported the finding of abandonment based upon the father's conduct prior to incarceration, which demonstrated a wanton disregard for the children's welfare, as he engaged in domestic violence against the mother in the presence of the children, and he failed to address his mental health and substance abuse issues. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

While the mother was commended for taking the first step toward rehabilitation by renouncing her substance abuse, her extensive criminal activity and substance abuse issues could not be ignored; she also disregarded the children's welfare by leaving them with the father, who assaulted her and others, and thus there was clear evidence to establish that the mother engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children, and termination was proper. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Trial court's determination that the father, for abandonment purposes, exhibited a wanton disregard for the child was vacated; despite the abundance of evidence concerning the father's drug use, charges of selling drugs, fleeing, and assault, probation violations, and transient lifestyle, the trial court's order omitted reference to any factual findings that would support a finding of wanton disregard, in clear violation of the statute. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

For abandonment by willful failure to visit as to the father, despite the incorrect date as stated in the order, the ground was considered as the trial court's error of five days regarding the correct calculation of the four-month period was not determinative. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother in establishing a suitable home for the children in continually maintaining contact with the mother, providing her with drug screens, and assisting her with coordinating drug and alcohol assessments; while the mother's home was neat and clean, she had been unable to stop her cocaine abuse, and thus while she established a proper physical living location, her home was not free of drugs, plus she was currently incarcerated and could not provide a home at all for the children. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Statute did not direct the court to review whether the father did what he could to maintain a relationship with the child while in prison; what was to be determined was whether, in the four-months preceding his incarceration, the father attempted to visit the child, and yet he made no attempt to present himself to the trial court in an effort to regain visitation, and thus he willfully failed to visit the child prior to his incarceration. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

For the termination ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, this ground is inapplicable when the child is not removed from the parent at issue's home before being placed with the child services department; in this case, the child could not have been removed from the father's home where he never provided one in the first instance, and thus this ground did not apply based on the dearth of evidence to establish whether the child was ever removed from the father's home. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Statute governing abandonment is clear that different time periods apply to different definitions. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Because of the grave consequences and high stakes in termination cases, trial courts should endeavor to be as specific as possible in their orders and treat each definition of abandonment as a separate ground for which specific findings are required In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Because the juvenile court did not mention the failure to provide a suitable home in its oral ruling, the fact that they were included in the order did not reflect the juvenile court's own deliberation and decision that termination would be granted on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Juvenile court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights because the finding that the mother failed to visit her child in the four months preceding the filing of the petition was supported by clear and convincing evidence; the mother gave no testimony upon which to conclude that her failure to visit the child during that period was not willful. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Abandonment by failure to secure a suitable home was not established, since an order adjudicating the children as dependent and neglected was not found. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

There was clear and convincing evidence that the father abandoned the child by failing to visit her, as he had no excuse for not visiting the child from the time she was less than two years old until the hearings and the father was free and able to make such visits. In re Tianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 471 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 6, 2016).

All evidence indicated that the parents failed to make necessary changes to ensure that their home was sanitary, and the findings that their parental rights could be terminated on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; photographs were admitted into evidence showing, in part, bugs throughout the house, animal feces and urine on the floors and beds, beer cans scattered throughout, and continuing clutter in the home. In re Derrick J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 8, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper as the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit because, even giving the mother credit for the one visit in June, which was rescheduled, and accepting the mother's testimony that she visited in March, her visitation during the four month period preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights could not be viewed as regular visitation; and the mother gave no explanation as to why she did not, or could not, have visited more often during the relevant time period. In re Bryson C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2016).

In a termination of parental rights case, the trial court did not err in finding that the mother had abandoned the child because the mother had been convicted of driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, sale of counterfeit controlled substance, delivery of Schedule III controlled substance, shoplifting, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and had pled guilty to two violations of probation, which constituted the kind of conduct that exhibited wanton disregard for the welfare of a child. In re Kendra P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2016).

Although the trial court found grounds to terminate the mother's parental rights based on abandonment and substantial non-compliance with a permanency plan, termination of the mother's parental rights to her 17-year-old child was improper as the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it was in the child's best interest to terminate her mother's parental rights because the child was 17 years old, was not a candidate for adoption, and intended to maintain a relationship with the mother when she turned 18; and termination of the mother's parental rights would accomplish nothing other than setting the child adrift with no adoptive family. In re Kendra P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2016).

Juvenile court properly terminated a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because he was incarcerated during the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination, and he willfully failed to visit and support the child; the father had only seen the child once since the child was born, and despite being ordered to do so, the father never paid any child support until several months after the filing of the termination petition. In re Braxton R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 660 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence established abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, as the mother failed to stay in proper contact with the Department, did not seek out counseling, did not move from her mother's residence within the first four months of the children's removal, and later moved into an apartment with her longtime boyfriend with whom she had a history of domestic violence. In re Stormie M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 675 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2016).

Father's failure to visit the child was willful, and thus termination of the father's rights was proper; the father was not incarcerated for the first year of the child's life, he claimed his addictions prevented him from visiting the child, and it appeared that the father's failure to visit was a conscious choice, not that he was prevented from doing so. In re Elizabeth D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 706 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Termination of the mother's rights was proper on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; the prior adjudication of dependency and neglect criterion was met in this case, the mother lacked a suitable home for the children, as it did not have sufficient bedrooms, and the mother's ability to set proper boundaries for the children, who had significant mental issues and had been abused in the past, was questionable. In re Jasmine B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 709 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Juvenile court erred in finding that a mother abandoned her children because although there was sufficient evidence that the mother willfully failed to visit her children, the time frame only accounted for two months of the relevant time period; there was sufficient evidence that the mother attempted to visit the children on two occasions, and there was not evidence that she was offered assistance or alternative transportation. In re Jason S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 715 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Terminating a father's parental rights for abandonment due to a willful failure to visit was proper because (1) the father's visitation was token, as, during the four months before the termination petition was filed, the father visited only twice, leaving after one hour of a two-hour visit, and the father's phone calls did not try to establish a healthy parental relationship, and (2) the failure to visit was willful, as, despite knowing more than token visitation was required and an ability to visit, the father did not attempt more visitation. In re Jose L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 814 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Ground of failure to provide a suitable home was proven by clear and convincing evidence where the mother's home could not be deemed suitable so long as she refused to cooperate fully regarding her abuse of prescription drugs. In re Dillon E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 872 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 15, 2016).

Termination for abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home was reversed, given that the trial court impermissibly based its decision in part on facts outside of the applicable four-month period defined in the statute, which would have been four months following the removal of the children from the mother's home. In re Eddie F., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 924 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 2, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 158 (Tenn. Mar. 2, 2017).

Record was devoid of any evidence that the department made any efforts related to housing during the relevant time period, and thus there was no clear evidence to establish that the mother abandoned the children by failing to provide a suitable home, and termination based on this ground was reversed. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 6, 2017).

Trial court's finding that the father had abandoned the children was affirmed where a decision to invest in his education rather than support the children was willful, and his failure to visit the children during the relevant four-month period was self-inflicted. In re Ian B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 611 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2017).

Trial court erred in applying the definition of abandonment in T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) and terminating the mother's rights to her son under that section, because the mother was incarcerated for part of the four months preceding the filing of the original petition to termination the mother's parental rights. In re Douglas H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 662 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on grounds of abandonment, given that she failed to provide a suitable home despite reasonable efforts by the Department of Children's Services. In re B.L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 846 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2017).

Although the mother was unsuccessful in establishing a suitable home for the children, the department failed to show that it made reasonable efforts during the relevant four-month periods to assist her in obtaining suitable housing, which was required to prevail on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, and the judgment was reversed in this regard. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Because a father failed to appeal the amount of child support within the thirty-day time period, the issue of whether an order required him to pay child support was waived; even if the issue was appealable and there was no valid court order on child support, that fact, alone, did not relieve the father of his obligation to support the child, and thus, the father was not entitled to credit against arrears for child support he paid. State ex rel. Townsend v. Williamson, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 348 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2018).

Statute defining abandonment was amended and no longer includes the term willful in its definition of abandonment; because this change is substantive rather than procedural or remedial, however, the amended statute was not applied retroactively to this case. In re Gabriel B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 413 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 23, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent by wanton disregard, abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, and substantial noncompliance with the reasonable requirements of the permanency plan because the father raped the mother while the children were present in the home, he threatened the mother and the children with physical harm, and the children were aware of his behaviors; it did not appear that the father could provide the children with a safe home, free of domestic violence, and sexually deviant behavior; and the requirement that he address the psychological and emotional abuse issues was of paramount importance, but he did nothing toward that goal. In re R.S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 427 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 24, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home for the child was proper, given that the child was removed from the mother's custody when the child was found dependent and neglected, and the department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother by, in part, developing permanency plans, providing visitation, and making referrals for the mother's alcohol and drug treatment, yet she had failed to address her mental health issues, maintain stable employment, and maintain stable housing. In re Alexis C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

In ordering the child's removal from the mother's custody, the trial court found that the Department of Children's Services was not required to exert reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from the home at that time due to the emergency nature of the circumstances; however, in order to satisfy the abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home ground for termination, the department was required to make reasonable efforts to assist the mother in establishing a suitable home. In re Alexis C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

There was clear evidence that the father abandoned the children by failing to provide a suitable home; despite attempts by the department to help him, the father never provided proof of safe and stable housing, and his lack of cooperation with the department and failure to improve his own living situation demonstrated that he would not be able to provide a suitable home for the children at an early date. In re Gaberiel S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 718 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2018).

Four-month period prior to the filing of the guardian ad litem's petition was the relevant period for application of T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i); there was no basis to apply a different four-month period than that measured by the guardian's petition. In re Antonio J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 759 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2018).

Petitioners failed to prove that the mother abandoned the children for willfully failing to support and visit because the record contained no evidence regarding the mother's support or visitation during the fourth-month period immediately preceding her incarceration. In re Johnathan M., 591 S.W.3d 546, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 10 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Apr. 2, 2019).

Clear evidence established that the mother abandoned the children by failing to provide a suitable home; the children's services department tried to help the mother find suitable housing, but she still lacked that, and the mother had been given notice that failure to make reasonable efforts would lead to termination. In re Gabriella H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 75 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Mother had abandoned her children under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(a) where she allowed people visiting her to use marijuana in the home, despite knowing that her children were removed in part due to drug issues, and she had been evicted from her apartment, even if it had been an appropriate home. In re Jadarian C., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 87 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2020).

Trial court did not err in applying the relation back doctrine of the rule regarding the amendment of pleadingd and ruled that the appropriate time period to consider in the foster parents'  termination of parental rights petition based on abandonment was the four months before the filing of the original petition to terminate parental rights because the amendment did not involve a new petition with new parties, but, rather, it involved the correction of an omission in the original petition. In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2020), rev'd, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Both the mother's and the father's criminal history prior to their incarceration evidenced their wanton disregard for the welfare of the child and the fact that the mother allowed methamphetamine to be manufactured in the home where the child resided showed a risk of substantial harm to the child's welfare and thus, the record contained clear and convincing evidence establishing abandonment by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard as a ground for termination of parental rights. In re Eli S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 150 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 9, 2020), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

6. —State of Mind.

Where the court of appeals held that the payments the father gave to the mother during the four months immediately preceding the child's birth were unreasonable, the court of appeals erred in terminating father's parental rights based upon T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii), because the court of appeals did not address the required element of willfulness. In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

Trial court, not the court of appeals, is the proper court to make a determination of willfulness, pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii). In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

In construing T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(D), an element of intent cannot be read into the definitions of “willfully failed to support” and willfully failed to make reasonable payments toward such child's support. In re S.Y., 121 S.W.3d 358, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 130 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003).

Trial court properly found that the father's failure to support could not be considered willful because he made sincere efforts to provide support, yet his efforts were rebuffed by the mother; therefore, the mother failed to provide grounds to terminate the father's parental rights to the child. In re Neylan H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 997 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 175 (Tenn. Mar. 14, 2017).

7. —Incarceration.

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the child prior to the father's incarceration because, inter alia, the father had a lengthy history of criminal conduct, repeated episodes of incarceration throughout the child's life, and abused prescription and non-prescription drugs; the father traded food stamps for drugs even though there was often very little food for the child to eat. In re William B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 467 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 11, 2015).

Trial court's findings of a father's willful failure to visit and support the child were inclusive of the statutorily determinative period because the trial court found that the father had willfully failed to engage in more than token visitation during the entire time period that the child's custody was before it. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating an incarcerated father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father reasonably suspected that he might be the child's biological father when he committed the offenses that resulted in his probation being revoked, and the father was written up during his incarceration for fighting after he was on notice that he might be the child's biological father. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard prior to incarceration because the mother engaged in drug use and abuse, including during the pregnancy, engaged in criminal activity, and was periodically incarcerated; the mother refused to tend to the child's physical, emotional, and medical conditions. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Trial court's finding that a mother abandoned her child pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) (2014) was reversed where although her criminal history was varied and extensive, there was no evidence that she engaged in habitual criminal activity or violated her probation following the child's birth, and thus, it was not possible to conclude that the mother's decision to continue to engage in criminal behavior reflected a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Brittany D., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 732 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 9, 2015).

Trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to incarceration was vacated where both the trial court and the father miscalculated the relevant four-month period and did not consider the four months immediately preceding the father's incarceration. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent through wanton disregard was met by clear and convincing evidence based on the father's criminal history, his admitted drug abuse, and his neglect of the child while in his custody. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Department made reasonable efforts to assist the father in obtaining a suitable home while he was able to make progress in that regard, but then he was incarcerated primarily due to his own choices, and he would not be eligible for parole until July 2016; the father was in no position at the time of trial to provide a suitable home for the child, and thus the father abandoned the child pursuant to the statutory ground of failure to provide a suitable home. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Given that the mother engaged in meaningful visitation in the four months preceding her incarceration, and the trial court failed to identify the four-month period that applied to the father, the application of this abandonment ground was reversed because there was no clear evidence that either parent willfully failed to visit during the requisite time period. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Termination of parental rights for abandonment was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence was presented that the parent demonstrated a wanton disregard for the children's welfare as the parent was incarcerated due to the parent's criminal behavior, probation violations, incarcerations, and substance abuse. In re Jayden L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 357 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016).

Record revealed no clear and convincing evidence to support a finding that the mother was either incarcerated at the time the termination petition was filed or at any time in the preceding four months; her arrest, without more, did not constitute incarceration within the meaning of the termination statute. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Because the mother was not incarcerated at the time the termination petition was filed or shortly before, the termination ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent based on wanton disregard could not apply to her. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

From April 2013 until September 6, 2013 and again from January 14, 2014 through the April and May 2015 trial dates in this case, and was expected to be released in October 2015. Thus, it appears that, most recently, Father was not incarcerated for four consecutive months from September 14, 2013, through January 13, 2014. This period represents the relevant four month period with regard to Father's abandonment by willful failure to visit and support for an incarcerated parent. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Father was incarcerated at the time the department filed the petition to terminate his parental rights, and thus the trial court properly considered the abandonment by an incarcerated parent ground. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

In an appeal arising from the termination of a mother's parental rights, the appellate court concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence of abandonment within the meaning of T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). The child's paternal grandparents proved that the mother willfully failed to support the child during the four consecutive months immediately preceding the mother's incarceration. In re Trenton W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 378 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016).

Juvenile court properly determined that the father had not abandoned the children by his incarceration or exhibited a wanton disregard for their welfare, and the father was not incarcerated during the requisite time period. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

There was clear evidence that the mother abandoned her children by exhibiting wanton disregard for their welfare, as she was incarcerated for the requisite time period, she had an extensive history of criminal behavior, she was addicted to opiates for years, and her probation had been revoked for multiple violations. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

Trial court did not err in failing to terminate the father's rights on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father was not included in the class of people to whom subsection (1)(A)(iv) applied; there was no evidence that the father was incarcerated at the time of the institution of the action or that he was incarcerated during all or part of the four months preceding the institution of the action. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 20, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment where it showed that he was incarcerated on December 31, 2011 and remained incarcerated when the petition to terminate his parental rights was filed, and he made only one child support payment in 2011. In re Jacqueline G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 536 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

There was clear and convincing evidence that a father abandoned his children by exhibiting wanton disregard for their welfare prior to his incarceration because since the children were born, the father had been incarcerated three times; prior to incarceration the father exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children by exposing them to methamphetamine at such levels that it showed positive in the children's hair drug screen. In re Jason S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 715 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent for wanton disregard as the mother first became addicted to drugs and sold sex while she still had custody of the child; she repeatedly relapsed and engaged in criminal behavior; and that pattern continued even after the termination petition was filed. In re Michael B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent for willful failure to visit as the mother was incarcerated within the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition; she exercised visitation with the child only a single time in the four-month period preceding the petition; her visitation was merely token; and her failure to engage in more than token visitation was willful. In re Michael B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent for willful failure to support as the father and the stepmother failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the mother failed to pay support despite her capacity to do so because, although there was some evidence that the mother was employed as a prostitute at various times throughout the child's life, and the mother testified as to other jobs she held over the years, no proof was introduced as to the mother's actual or approximate income during the four-month period preceding her incarceration; and there was no evidence of the mother's expenses during the four-month period. In re Michael B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2016).

Abandonment by wanton disregard was not applicable to the mother, as the record was devoid of any testimony that reflected that the mother was incarcerated for the time periods required. In re Tamera W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 87 (Tenn. Feb. 9, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because the mother's few visits during the four-month period before the mother's incarceration were of such an infrequent nature that they represented mere token visitation and could not have been considered a reasonable effort to foster meaningful parent-child bonds. Moreover, the mother's failure to visit was willful as a drug screening requirement was not an unreasonable burden, the mother could communicate with the children, and transportation could have been arranged. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because the mother's pre-incarceration conduct displayed a wanton disregard for the welfare of the mother's children as the mother was incarcerated a few times and the mother's probation was terminated for driving under the influence and reckless endangerment. There was also evidence that the children's welfare was potentially compromised by the mother's drug usage, while one of the children observed a lot of fighting between the parents and extensive drinking of alcohol. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of failure to support before the mother was incarcerated was inappropriate because there was an absence of clear and convincing evidence that the mother willfully failed to support the mother's children in the four months preceding the mother's incarceration as the record was silent as to the mother's expenses during the relevant four-month period. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because, although the mother's visitation rights were suspended for a period of time before they were reinstated, the mother's few visits during the four-month period before the mother's incarceration were of such an infrequent nature that they represented mere token visitation, were marked by hostility, and could not have been considered a reasonable effort to foster meaningful parent-child bonds with the children. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Trial court erred in declining to terminate a father's parental rights because the evidence preponderated against its finding that the father did not engage in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children; the father's numerous drug charges and probation violations demonstrated that he had engaged in a pattern of conduct that caused him to be incarcerated. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for willful failure to visit by an incarcerated parent was supported by evidence that the father failed to engage in more than token visitation with the child and he made a conscious and willful decision to evade arrest and thereby forfeit supervised visits. In re Colton R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 88 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2017).

Father had been incarcerated since September 18, 2015, and the proceedings to terminate his parental rights were instituted on January 12, 2016, putting his incarceration squarely within the definition of T.C.A. § 36-1-102; his conduct met the definition of abandonment by an incarcerated parent, and termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was proper. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Father attended only two of eight visits available to him, he chose to ride his bicycle to visits, and there was testimony he did not ask for transportation help; his visitation prior to his incarceration was token at best and thus his failure to visit was willful, and termination of his rights for abandonment by willful failure to visit prior to incarceration pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113 was proper. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Regarding abandonment by failure to visit prior to incarceration under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) and the relevant four-month time period, the mother argued that her brief incarceration on January 30, 2015 for a few hours meant that the relevant time period ran from September 28, 2014 to January 29, 2015; however, a parent spending a few hours in jail did not qualify for the protections of the statute, and the relevant time period was the four-month period prior to her incarceration. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Out of the nine visits set up for the mother during the relevant time period, she attended only three, and her visits constituted only token visitation; the evidence supported the conclusion that the failure to visit was willful, and termination for abandonment by willful failure to visit prior to the mother's incarceration, pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113, was proper. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(a)(iv) where she was incarcerated within the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, drugs had been her primary priority, she continued to use illicit drugs, and thus, her conduct evinced a wanton disregard for her children's welfare. In re Seth B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 613 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 14, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 850 (Tenn. Dec. 11, 2017).

Termination of the father's rights due to abandonment by incarceration was not supported by the record, which did not contain any elaboration or factual findings in support of the trial court's conclusion. In re Brianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 805 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2017).

Trial court properly found that the father abandoned the child by exhibiting wanton disregard for the child's welfare prior to the father's incarceration where the testimony showed that he had physically assaulted the mother and half sibling, and there were several exhibits regarding the father's criminal charges. In re Brooke E., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 830 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2017).

Termination of a father's parental rights was appropriate because the father abandoned the father's child as the father engaged in criminal behaviour and was incarcerated when the termination petition was filed, and exhibited behavior that displayed a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child prior to the father's incarceration. Neighbors testified that the child was not being fed regularly and that the father played dangerously with the child, while a case worker testified that the conditions in the home were unsafe for any child. In re Kandace D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 4 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment, by the father demonstrating a wanton disregard for the child's welfare, because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to offer clear and convincing evidence that the father who was incarcerated knew of the child's existence when the father was engaging in the criminal behavior that demonstrated wanton disregard. In re Michael O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 42 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because he knew on or before the child's birth that he might have been the father, and his patterns of criminal behavior illegal drug use, and incarceration, along with his failure to take any voluntary actions to legitimate or support the child, amounted to a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Ke'Andre C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 44 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because she had been in jail for all or part of the four months preceding the filing of the proceedings, and she had not been willing or able to stay drug-free or out of jail in a way that would allow her to perform basic parenting duties for her children. In re Ke'Andre C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 44 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2018).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent for wanton disregard was appropriate because the father had spent the majority of the child's life in jail and the father's recidivism had resulted in an inability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child. The resultant problems were the direct result of the father's decision to intentionally engage in illegal activity, and they provided clear and convincing proof of the father's wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Victoria H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) was affirmed as her repeated incarceration, criminal behavior, substance abuse, and failure to support her children throughout the case exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her children. In re Veronica T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 147 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2018).

Trial court's findings of fact were insufficient to support its finding that the father abandoned his child by willfully failing to visit her during the four month period preceding his incarceration. In re Haley S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 164 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2018).

Trial court properly terminated parents'  rights to their child because it found clear and convincing evidence of the parents'  abandonment of the child by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the child's welfare; the Department of Children's Services presented ample evidence of the parents'  repeated incidents of criminal behavior and probation violations, resulting in repeated incarcerations, and considerable evidence demonstrated their substance abuse. In re Authur R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 170 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 3, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 380 (Tenn. June 22, 2018)

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence supported the finding that the mother engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the mother's child as the mother testified (telephonically from prison) concerning the mother's criminal behavior and involvement with illegal drugs, violation of probation, and choosing to become a fugitive and fleeing to Florida for over a year instead of complying with the terms of the mother's supervised release. In re Tegan W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 184 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 9, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. July 10, 2018).

Father's relevant four-month period ran from June 5, 2015 to September 28, 2015, and resumed December 3, 2015 to December 10, 2015, due to his incarceration. In re Addalyne S., 556 S.W.3d 774, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 225 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2018).

Mother's failure to provide an updated address to the mother's probation officer that resulted in the mother's probation violations, in combination with the mother's other conduct, did not support a finding by clear and convincing evidence that the mother abandoned the mother's child by exhibiting a wanton disregard for the child prior to the mother's incarceration. Furthermore, some of the mother's criminal convictions were a result of behavior occurring well before the child was conceived. In re Kyle F., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 217 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 25, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent was proper as she testified as to the dates of her incarceration, her use of heroin during her pregnancy, the fact that she and the child tested positive for drugs at the child's birth, and her failure to complete drug and mental health treatment programs. In re Kendall M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 298 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 29, 2018).

Father exhibited wanton disregard for the father's children because the father, before and after the birth of the children, repeatedly committed felonies and misdemeanors, and used alcohol and drugs without regard for the children's welfare, which resulted in the father's incarceration and inability to take care of the children when they were removed from their mother's custody and placed in foster care. The pattern of the father's conduct prior to incarceration exhibited disregard for the children and the father's relationship with them. In re Arianna Y., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 2, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 554 (Tenn. Aug. 31, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that grounds existed to terminate a father's parental rights for abandonment by wanton disregard because the father; through repeated incarcerations, criminal behavior, a probation violation, and substance abuse issues as shown in the father's criminal convictions showed a pattern of conduct that posed a risk of substantial harm to the welfare of the child. In re Ava H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 20, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 683 (Tenn. Nov. 16, 2018).

Denial of a petition to terminate an incarcerated father's parental rights was appropriate because there was not clear and convincing evidence to establish that the father willfully failed to visit and to support during the relevant time period as the father was unaware of the mother's whereabouts during that time period due to the mother's moving and changing the mother's phone number and the failure of the mother's family to respond to the father's inquiries. Further, the evidence did not establish the father's ability to remit support. In re Ella P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2018).

Evidence clearly and convincingly established the ground of abandonment for termination of the mother's parental rights because the mother had a long criminal history and was incarcerated for the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination, and her conduct prior to incarceration exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; the mother was serving a ten-year sentence and had other charges pending, and the child tested positive for illegal drugs at birth. In re Gabriel C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 516 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence was proven of grounds to terminate a father's parental rights to the father's children for abandonment by wanton disregard because the father was incarcerated when the petition to terminate the father's parental rights was filed and the father engaged in behavior during the relevant time period that violated the father's probation resulting in the father again being incarcerated. In re Sophie O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 521 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 4, 2018).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by incarceration was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence showed that the father violated the terms of the father's probation and was incarcerated for a portion of the relevant period before the institution of the proceeding, had not addressed the father's addiction to drugs, while the father's continued use of illegal substances was evidence that the father had abandoned the children by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard for their welfare. In re Virgil W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 11, 2018).

Having determined that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) failed to clearly demonstrate the mother's relevant periods of incarceration to facilitate a determination of the statutorily determinative period, that the trial court erred in declining to attempt such a determination, and that DCS's proof regarding the mother's ability to pay during all possibly relevant periods failed to rise to the level of clear and convincing, the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned the children by willfully failing to financially support them should be reversed. In re Steven W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 693 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 28, 2018).

Evidence did not establish that a father abandoned a child by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the child's welfare because, although the father violated probation, failed to remit child support, and expended minimal efforts on a permanency plan, the father attended visitation prior to incarceration and violated probation by failing to report the father's current address, conduct that was not particularly egregious or indicative of extensive criminal behavior. In re Jeromia W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported a trial court's termination of a father's parental rights to a minor child based upon a finding of abandonment related to the father's conduct prior to incarceration because the father, who was incarcerated for the entirety of the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, was advised of the obligation to remit support as evidenced by the parenting plans and the father's signing of the Criteria for Termination of Parental Rights, but did not remit support. In re Jeromia W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's finding that the father abandoned the child by displaying wanton disregard for his welfare because he had two parole violations, despite knowing that he was subject to re-incarceration if he committed additional criminal offenses. In re Jeffery D., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2019).

Record supported a finding of abandonment by an incarcerated parent by wanton disregard, as the mother criminal activity started after the children were born and she had opportunities to change but fell back into the pattern of drug use and criminal activity. In re Autumn L., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 73 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2019).

There was clear and convincing evidence that the father, who was incarcerated when the termination petition was filed, abandoned the children by exhibiting wanton disregard for their welfare. The father's repeated incarcerations coupled with the evidence of physical abuse and the father's unresolved substance abuse issues indicated that the father was either unfit to parent or posed a risk of substantial harm to the children's welfare. In re Julian J., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 99 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 250 (Tenn. June 11, 2019).

Because the evidence did not show that the mother was incarcerated at the time of the action or during the four preceding months, termination was not established under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). In re Jaxx M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2019).

Termination of the father's parent rights was proper on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent because the father had a history of incessant criminal behavior and drug abuse evincing a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children and a pattern of conduct that rendered him unfit to parent as he had been in and out of jail since 2008. In re O.M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 197 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2019).

Ground of abandonment by wanton disregard was established by clear and convincing evidence because the mother engaged in illegal drug use, exposed the children to drugs and domestic violence, failed to comply with requirements ordered by the juvenile court in order to regain custody of her children, continued her drug usage after removal of her children, and continued to engage in criminal activities, resulting in incarceration and continuous separation from her children. In re Gracie H. Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020), appeal dismissed, In re Gracie Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 462 (Tenn. June 19, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent demonstrating a wanton disregard for the children's welfare was appropriate because the mother had been in and out of jail and had failed entirely to place the children's needs before the mother's own as the mother's incarcerations had severely compromised the mother's ability to perform parental duties. Despite numerous incarcerations, the mother failed to take steps to address the mother's drug use and to stop the mother's criminal activities. In re Tucker H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 184 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard was proper because, after he was released from incarceration following the assault on his brother, he was placed on probation, but, rather than work on reunification with his child, the father engaged in activity that violated the terms of his probation and resulted in further incarceration; the decision to engage in such activities has resulted in the father not having stable employment or housing; he tested positive for methamphetamine on the day of the hearing to terminate his parental rights; and the father's engagement with people who used drugs not only showed poor judgment, but also put him at risk for further incarceration. In re Dustin M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 191 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. May 26, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that the father had abandoned the children by wanton disregard as he was a career criminal who had not changed his behavior since the children were born. In re Jessica V., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 275 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2020).

In a termination of parental rights action, due to the mother's 80-day incarceration, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) was not a proper ground for termination of her parental rights. Instead, § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) contained the applicable definition of abandonment but since this was not plead the juvenile court's finding of abandonment by the mother had to be reversed. In re A.V.N., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 406 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 10, 2020).

Trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment because the trial court's order stated no findings with respect to abandonment during the relevant four months preceding the father's incarceration in November 2017. In re Layton W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 445 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2020).

Trial court did not err by terminating the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because her criminal history was extensive prior to her incarceration, her substance abuse caused the initial removal of the child from her custody, when she was given the opportunity for a trial home placement she squandered that opportunity by using drugs, her positive drug test led to her probation violation and subsequent incarceration, she failed to provide adequate support or supervision for the child, and she pleaded guilty to child neglect. In re Brantley O., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 472 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2020).

Termination of parental rights for incarcerated parents on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard was appropriate because when the parents were not incarcerated the parents tested positive for illegal substances, failed to complete the permanency plan, failed to maintain regular visitation with the child, and ceased communication with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services prior to their incarceration. As a result, the parents abandoned the child by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Noah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

Trial court erred by terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because it did not set out the correct four-month period so as to put the father on notice and the Tennessee Department of Children's Services withdrew the ground at trial. In re Haskel S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's determination that the father abandoned the child because it showed that he had a long history of probation violations, criminal behavior, and substance abuse, and he did not contact DCS when he was released from prison even though he knew the child was in foster care. In re Malachi M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 527 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 20, 2020).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by exhibiting a wanton disregard for the children's welfare was appropriate because the father was incarcerated during part of the four months immediately preceding the filing of the termination action, and, given the father's long criminal history, the father's incarceration was part of a broader pattern of conduct that rendered him unfit or posed a risk of substantial harm to the welfare of the child. In re Brayden E., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 549 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 4, 2020).

8. —Suitable Home.

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of failure to provide a suitable home despite reasonable efforts made by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services was appropriate because the home was unsafe while the father was there. The court found that the father, who was not married to the mother, was given towards anger and domestic violence, still lived with the mother at the time of trial despite the mother's denial, and would continue to live with the mother at times in the future. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Father abandoned the child by failure to provide a suitable home pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102, as he failed to take reasonable steps to make lasting changes in his lifestyle or conduct that would allow him to provide the child with a suitable home; the father was currently incarcerated and when he was released, he had to address legal issues in another state regarding his parole violation there, and termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was proper. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper based on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) did not make reasonable efforts to assist the mother with housing during the relevant statutory period as DCS only provided the mother with a list of housing resources and discussing with her the options she could afford; and, despite knowing that the mother had mental health issues, DCS did not look into the nature of the mother's mental health issues or considered how her mental health issues might have contributed to her substance abuse or inability to secure stable housing. In re Skylar P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home requires a final dependency and neglect order under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii); there was no final dependency and neglect order regarding the father because his adjudication as dependent and neglected was combined with the termination of parental rights trial, the department conceded this termination ground with respect to the mother's and father's rights to the child, and this was reversed, for purposes of T.C.A. § 36-1-113. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii) requires the department to prove, with respect to the relevant four-month time period, three elements: (1) the parent has failed to make reasonable efforts to provide a suitable home, (2) the department has made reasonable efforts to assist the parent to establish a suitable home, and (3) the parent has demonstrated a lack of concern for the child to such a degree that it appears unlikely that they will be able to provide a suitable home for the child at an early date. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's rights for abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii); the department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother to find suitable housing, and she had been living in an acceptable home, had been drug-free for six months, and was employed, and thus the department failed to show that the mother demonstrated lack of concern to such a degree that it appeared unlikely she would be able to provide a suitable home. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court properly found that a mother failed to make reasonable efforts to establish a suitable home because the mother exhibited a lack of concern for the child to the degree that it was unlikely the child would be able to return to the mother's custody at an early date; the mother's relapse and decision to go “on the run” instead of correcting her drug addiction and legal problems demonstrated a substantial lack of concern for her child. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Mother and father had abandoned the children by failing to provide a suitable home where they had engaged in a transient lifestyle since the children were born, the mother continued her drug addiction, the father continued to enable her, and thus, the conditions that prevented them from obtaining and maintaining suitable housing persisted. In re Seth B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 613 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 14, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 850 (Tenn. Dec. 11, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence to support the determination that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services proved abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home as to both a mother and a father because they exhibited such a lack of concern for the welfare of the children that it appeared unlikely they would be able to provide them with a suitable home at an early date; both both parents had continuing problems with drug use and criminal activity failed to cooperate with the Department. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Termination by failure to establish a suitable home was improper, because it required establishment that the child had been placed in the custody of the Department of Children's Services, which the child had not been. In re Brianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 805 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment as the father failed to provide the children with a suitable home because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) caseworker testified that the father never provided DCS with a permanent address during the four months following the children's removal, making it difficult to reach the father to provide help in establishing a suitable home; the father made little to no attempt to find a suitable home during that time period; the father continued to use drugs until he was incarcerated in March 2016; and it appeared unlikely that the father would be able to provide a suitable, drug-free home for the children at an early date. In re Aaralyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2018).

Circuit court properly terminated a mother's parental rights based on abandonment, failure to provide a suitable home, and in the child's best interests because she left the child at a homeless shelter with no appropriate supervision, cycled through periods of homelessness and incarceration, demonstrated a lack of concern for the child, failed to substantially comply with the reasonable responsibilities set out in the permanency plan, the child was neglected while in the mother's care, the mother never obtained a safe, stable home to which the child could return, a change of caretakers and physical environment would likely be detrimental for the child, and the child was thriving in her foster parents'  home. In re Amarria L., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 20, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to provide a suitable home because his denial of ever using drugs, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, combined with his history of domestic violence and his failure to obtain stable housing, proved the ground by clear and convincing evidence. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the decision to terminate a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home because, during the four months immediately following removal of the children, the mother failed to make reasonable efforts to provide a suitable home and the mother's evasive, and sometimes deceitful, behavior demonstrated a lack of concern for the children. In re T.R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 542 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2018).

Termination of the mother's and the father's parental rights was proper as the parents abandoned the child by failing to provide a suitable home at the time of the hearing because the child was removed, in part, due to the parents'  alleged drug usage; mother was less than willing to establish her sobriety through the recommended assessments and tests; and the father was still dependent upon methadone at the time of the hearing. In re Camdon H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 672 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the children were removed from the mother's home, placed into foster care, and found to be dependent and neglected; despite reasonable efforts, at the time of trial, the mother did not provide any documentation of a written lease for the residence where she was living; and the mother never attended counseling to address her own history as a domestic violence victim. In re Steven W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 693 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 28, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned her children by failing to establish a suitable home because it showed that she made no efforts toward doing so during the four months following their removal, but focused instead on resolving her criminal charges. In re Michayla T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 712 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of failure to establish a suitable home because although she secured housing shortly before the hearing, the Department of Children's Services had not been able to verify it and the mother continued to deny her substance abuse problem and failed to follow the necessary steps to ensure a drug-free home. In re Lesley A., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 738 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment, by failure to establish a suitable home, because the mother, who had an intellectual disability, did not have a proper physical living location, could not provide a home free of drugs, was unlikely to establish a suitable home in the near future, and seemed incapable of giving the child appropriate care and attention. In re Frederick S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 756 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because the mother's children were removed from the mother's home and adjudicated dependent and neglected, there were issues concerning drug use, sexual abuse, and a lack of supervision of the children in the mother's home. Moreover, the mother had continued to engage in criminal activity throughout the pendency of the case and generally showed an unwillingness to parent the children. In re H. A., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2019).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because it showed that although she had completed a psychological evaluation and an alcohol and drug assessment, she had not followed up on the resultant recommendations, and she continued using illicit drugs despite the services offered by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. In re Kaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home was warranted; the department developed a permanency plan, referred her to the services providers, and facilitated visitation, but the mother took little or no action for six months. At trial, she was unable to provide a suitable home for the child, as she was living with various relatives, had only been drug free less than three months, and her support system was weak. In re Josiah T., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the case manager stated that, although the mother was not home and she could not go into the home, she was able to look in and observe no furniture in the home and just a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor; the mother's behavior in ignoring the case manager's requests for a home visit suggested a deeper problem; and the mother's failure to address her mental health issues rendered her unable to provide a safe and stable environment for the child and showed a lack of concern for the child and a lack of interest in regaining custody. In re Draven K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 7, 2020).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her daughter based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because at the time of the removal the daughter was residing in a hospital and the mother was not living at the hospital as evidenced by her failure to complete the mandatory rooming-in period. In re Ronon G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 16, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her son based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because, even though the son was staying primarily with the mother's relatives at the time of removal, because the mother was also staying at the residence periodically prior to the removal. In re Ronon G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 16, 2020).

Trial court failed to make sufficient findings to support the ground for termination of the mother's rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home concerning the Tennessee Department of Children's Services'  efforts during the relevant four-month period. In re Gracie H. Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020), appeal dismissed, In re Gracie Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 462 (Tenn. June 19, 2020).

Evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because the mother's child was removed and placed in custody when the mother's trial home placement was revoked, the mother had substance abuse and employment issues, the mother did not have consistent stable housing, the mother did not comply with court orders, reasonable efforts were made to assist the mother, and the mother was not in a position to provide a suitable home. In re Madux F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 166 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment for failing to provide a suitable home as the Department of Children's Services (DCS) was never permitted entry into the home the father lived in at the time of trial; and he visited the child twice over the nearly 27 months that she was in DCS's custody. In re Neveah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 168 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment because she did not verify that child support was being paid; and she failed to provide a suitable home as she failed drug screens and specifically avoided urine screens altogether, admittedly used marijuana pretty much every day to self-medicate for aggression, anger, and anxiety, and demonstrated noncompliance with mental health treatment. In re Neveah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 168 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence showed that the mother abandoned the child by failing to provide a suitable home, despite reasonable efforts made by Tennessee Department of Children's Services to assist her in doing so. Moreover, it appeared unlikely that the mother could have established a suitable home for the child at an early date as, throughout the custodial period, the mother did not adequately address her unstable housing and substance abuse issues. In re Kelty F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; despite services, the mother was unable to keep her home clean, as there was trash everywhere, one child came down with scabies, there were truancy issues, and the home was not free from domestic violence. In re Cheyenne S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 431 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment because she failed to provide a suitable home for the child as she continued to use drugs, engage in criminal activities, and live in an unsuitable home. In re Braden K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 437 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2020).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services established the ground for termination of parental rights of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home by clear and convincing evidence because the mother failed to follow through with the Department's recommendations, did not have a suitable home or transportation, failed to provide an accurate address for a home, and got into an abusive relationship. A year after the removal of the child from the home, the mother remained homeless and continued to have substance abuse issues. In re Meghan M.R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 457 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2020).

Termination of parental rights for abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home was appropriate because the child was removed from the parents'  home as the parents and the child were living in paternal grandparents'  home. The parents also did not make reasonable efforts to provide the child with a home that was free of drugs and the parents'  actions following the removal demonstrated a lack of concern for the welfare of the child such that it is unlikely that the parents would have been able to provide a suitable home at an early date. In re Noah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because she was not able to establish a home to which the children could safely return due to her lack of parenting skills and inattentiveness to the children's needs; she did not always actively participate or implement parenting skills during the visitation she was provided; she did not provide documentation concerning a mental health assessment or continued counseling; and she never progressed to the point of having unsupervised visitation with the children. In re Treymarion S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2020).

9. —Support of Child.

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by failure to visit and failure to support was proper pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) and 36-1-113(g)(1) because the absence of a court order requiring the mother to pay support did not “excuse” her from her obligation to pay support for her child and the mother candidly acknowledged that she knew that she had an obligation to pay support but nevertheless failed to do so. Further, the mother had the ability to pay support during the determinative four-month period because she was employed for at least part of that time. Stephen v. Christy C., 384 S.W.3d 731, 2010 Tenn. App. LEXIS 727 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2010), appeal denied, In re Keri C., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (Tenn. Feb. 17, 2011).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment for willful failure to support because other than nominal expenditures, there was no evidence the father provided any other support for the child despite having the means to pay some level of support; the maternal grandmother paid for the child's daycare expenses, clothing, food, and everything else the child needed. In re Jacobe M.J., 434 S.W.3d 565, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 790 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2013), appeal denied, In re Jacobe J., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 228 (Tenn. Mar. 5, 2014).

Evidence did not support a finding that the mother willfully or intentionally abandoned the child where the mother was actively pursuing litigation to regain custody of the child throughout the four-month period, and she was spending a substantial portion of her limited financial resources to do the things that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and the juvenile court instructed her to do. In re Alysia S., 460 S.W.3d 536, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 834 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 254 (Tenn. Mar. 16, 2015).

Trial court did not err in terminating a father's parental rights because the evidence did not preponderate against its finding that the father abandoned the children by failing to support them in the four months before he went to prison. In re S.C.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 96 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 2, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the father and stepmother did not show that the mother had the capacity to provide support as they did not submit sufficient evidence of the mother's employment status during the relevant four-month period prior to filing the petition to terminate, the number of hours she worked, the duration of her employment, her rate of pay, or whether she had assets other than regular income that might contribute to the support of the child; and the record contained no evidence regarding the mother's financial means, expenses, or obligations during the relevant four month period. In re Noah B.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 115 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2015).

Father simply failed to remit any form of support for the children even when he was admittedly capable of working and actually employed at various times, and there was clear and convincing evidence to establish that he abandoned the children by willfully failing to remit child support before, during, and after the relevant time period and that a statutory ground existed for termination of the father's parental rights. In re Agustine R., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 120 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for failure to pay child support because (1) the mother was advised of the duty to support and the consequences for not doing so, (2) the mother paid no support despite receiving income, and (3) the mother only inquired at the child support office after a termination petition was filed. In re Brittany M.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 182 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015), appeal denied, In re Brittany M C, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 522 (Tenn. June 17, 2015).

It was error to find a mother willfully failed to support a child because (1) willfulness required an ability to support, (2) nothing showed the mother was able to support the child, and (3) the mother was unemployed, expecting another child, and had to support a third child. In re Alexis B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 220 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment for willfully failing to support the children in the four months immediately preceding her incarceration because, inter alia, the mother conceded that she paid “little support” since the parties'  divorced and was paid “under the table” for cleaning houses; the mother was capable of working and offered no justifiable excuse for failing to maintain employment and pay child support. In re D.H.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2015).

Evidence supported a trial court's determination that a parent abandoned the parent's children by failing to visit them and willfully failing to support them financially in the four-month period preceding the filing of the termination petition. Although the parent argued that the failure to visit was not willful because the parent's visitation was suspended by the trial court, the suspension of visitation was the direct result of the parent's failure to produce negative drug screens. In re Roger T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 261 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2015).

For purposes of establishing abandonment by failure to pay child support, the relevant four-month period is October 14, 2013 through February 13, 2014, this latter date being the day before the filing of the petition. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Mother was aware of her child support obligations and she made some payments, but she was over $ 4,000 in arrears and the brief period she unintentionally worked without pay did not excuse her failure to pay support during the entire four-month period at issue, plus she did not resume making payments until months after the petition was pending; the mother willfully failed to pay child support and the trial court did not err in terminating her rights on the ground of abandonment by willful non-support. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper because she abandoned the child by willfully failing to support the child as she failed to pay child support; the fact that the mother provided food, clothing, and drinks during visits with her daughter constituted mere token support, which was not sufficient to preclude a finding of a willful failure to support; and she was aware of her duty to support the child, she had the ability to provide support, and she willfully failed to do so. In re Faith W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 360 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2015).

Evidence clearly and convincingly supported a finding that the parents willfully abandoned their daughter by willfully failing to support her, as it showed that they never paid her primary residential parents any support despite having the capacity to do so. In re Makenzie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 17, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Oct. 15, 2015).

Trial court did not err in terminating a father's parental rights based upon the statutory ground of willful failure to support the child because the father failed to make any reasonable payments toward support of the child even when he was employed; the father failed to offer any details that would support a finding that he sought other employment prior to his incarceration and failed to offer any justifiable excuse for his failure to provide at least some measure of financial support. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Trial court properly found clear evidence of abandonment through willful failure to support, as the evidence was unclear whether one payment the father made was made within the determinative period, plus he was unable to show that he had paid any support during the relevant period other than one payment; one payment would, at most, have constituted mere token support. In re Destaney D., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 495 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the juvenile court set an order of child support, which was signed by the mother's attorney, but the mother never paid child support despite having a job for a period of time. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Mother paid approximately 10 percent of the amount owed that year, but still her failure to make progress during the two years the child was in foster care was outside the scope of the abandonment determination; it was unclear whether or not the payments were insignificant given the mother's means, if the Department of Children's Services expects a finding of a willful failure to support, it must put on evidence that clearly shows willfulness, a trial court cannot be left to speculate about this, and the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned the child through a willful failure to make payments was not supported. In re L.J., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015).

In the absence of appropriate findings and conclusions regarding the mother's payment of support, it could not be determined whether her failure to support the children was willful, and the decision to terminate her rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support was vacated. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Evidence preponderated against the trial court's conclusion that the mother's sister and her husband established, by clear and convincing evidence, that the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to support the child, as the father testified that he gave money to the mother for the child's care and the evidence did not show, as found by the trial court, that the father paid for the metal detector and motorcycle or spent money on drugs during the pertinent period. In re C.J.A.H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 937 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2015).

Burden to prove abandonment by willful failure to support rests with the department; finding no clear evidence that the mother had the capacity to pay child support during the relevant four month period, the trial court's finding of abandonment for willful failure to support was vacated. In re Saliace P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 37 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to pay child support, as the mother was only obligated to pay support for about one-fourth of the relevant time period and thus, such failure was insufficient to establish willful failure to make reasonable support payments for a four-month period. In re M.A.P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 57 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment where it showed that despite her having appropriate housing and a job, she failed to make child support payments since August 2014. In re A'leah M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 136 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2016).

Trial court's finding that the paternal grandparents had not proved that the mother had abandoned the child by willful failure to support, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(D) was affirmed where there was no clear and convincing evidence as to the mother's employment, income, other non-monetary assets, or expenses during the four-month period. In re Destiny H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 24, 2016).

Mother's failure to support the children was willful, and termination of her parental rights based upon this statutory ground was proper; she was able-bodied with job skills and alleged no impairment of the ability to work, yet she was content to make no or a minimal effort toward securing and maintaining employment. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

Trial court properly found that the parents had abandoned their child by failing top provide a suitable home where the Department of Children's Services held child and family team meetings, arranged for an alcohol and drug assessment to take place in the parents'  home, arranged for the parents to have mental health assessments, and moved visitation to a more convenient location when the parents said that they were having difficulty with transportation, the father had failed his most recent drug screen, admitted to drug use, and had not completed the recommendations of his alcohol and drug assessment, and the mother did not maintain weekly contact with the Department or update her address and phone number when necessary as required in the permanency plans. In re Matthew T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 272 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2016).

Although the showed that the mother and father failed to provide their son with financial support, the evidence adduced at trial did not show that the failure was willful where the evidence at trial was that the mother was unemployed because she quit her job, but there was no evidence presented about why she quit her job. In re Matthew T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 272 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2016).

For abandonment by willful failure to support as to the mother, the trial court's oral ruling included detailed factual findings, but none appeared or were incorporated into the written order; mere legal conclusions did not fulfill the trial court's obligations and were not sufficient to satisfy the directive of the statute, such that termination as to this ground was vacated. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Order contained insufficient findings as to whether the father willfully failed to support the child, and the order omitted any reference to his income or expenses; without such evidence, a finding of willfulness could not be sustained. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental rights for abandonment based on failure to provide support was supported by evidence that the father, prior to being incarcerated, had two paying jobs but failed to pay child support or offer any assistance of the child. In re J.M.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 375 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 25, 2016).

Termination of parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence established that the parent abandoned their child by willfully failing to remit child support before, during, and after the relevant time period. Although the parent had limited education and difficulty in securing employment, the parent never paid child support, other than token support or small gifts, throughout the entirety of the child's lifetime even when the parent was admittedly capable of working and actually employed at various times. In re Hailey S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 380 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (Tenn. Mar. 1, 2017).

Abandonment by failure to support as a ground for termination was not shown by clear and convincing evidence because there was no clear testimony as to when and where the mother was employed. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

There was testimony that the mother failed to follow through on referrals for employment, that she was receiving financial support from her father, and that she was able to secure sufficient funds to be released on bond after being arrested for failure to support; she had the capacity to work or otherwise acquire funds to pay support in the four months preceding the filing of the petition and she consciously did not do so, and this failure was willful. In re Quadavon H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 16, 2016).

Father had no source of income other than some unspecified odd job, and it was the department's burden to prove that the father's lack of full-time employment was voluntary, which the department failed to prove; the father's testimony was not clear, and the proof was insufficient to support the finding that the father was capable of working and paying child support during the period in question. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

While the father admitted he did not pay any child support though he was aware of his obligation to pay, failure to pay was not enough to establish willfulness, and whether he had the financial ability to pay support had to be determined. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper as the mother did not abandon the child by willfully failing to pay child support as the evidence failed to show that the mother had the ability to pay child support during the relevant four month period preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights. In re Bryson C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2016).

Trial court did not err in failing to terminate the father's rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay support because there was ample evidence to support the findings that there was legitimate confusion over the payments and that there was an absence of willfulness in the father's failure to pay. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 20, 2016).

Trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support the children because, although the father failed to pay any support for the children during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate the father's rights, there was no evidence in the record to suggest that the father had the ability to provide financial support for the children during the relevant time period; thus, there was not clear and convincing evidence that the father's failure to support the children was willful. In re Keith W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016).

Grandmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the mother abandoned her son by willfully failing to support him where during the four-month period preceding the filing of the petition the mother made seven child support payments and her support was more than token, given that she was released from jail three weeks before the beginning of the four-month period, she was pregnant, and she lacked a driver's license or transportation. In re Ryder R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 570 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 5, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was properly denied on the grounds of abandonment for failure to pay support as the record was devoid of evidence establishing the mother's willful failure to remit child support because the record reflected that the mother was ordered to remit payment through an automatic income wage assignment; and the mother testified that she advised the requisite authorities of her changes in employment and that she believed her income was withheld in accordance with the wage assignment. In re Gabriella M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 587 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 15, 2016).

Trial court properly terminated a father's parental rights because the father willfully failed to support the child; the father conceded that he did not pay any child support during the relevant four-month period, despite admitting he was aware of his duty to pay child support, and the father was self-employed and admitted to buying cigarettes and illegal drugs. In re E.S.L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 630 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2016).

Finding of abandonment by failure to support as supported by evidence that the father never paid child support, even when he was actually employed at times. In re Kenneth G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 674 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2016).

Evidence was insufficient to support a finding of abandonment by willful failure to support, as it showed the mother provided the children with gifts and clothing, and made some child support payments, which the Department failed to prove were merely token. In re Stormie M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 675 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2016).

Abandonment by failure to support was proven against the mother by clear and convincing evidence, given that she owed over $ 6,000 in child support arrears, yet she earned between $ 200 - $ 450 each week cleaning houses after the children were removed from the home, and she was aware of her duty to provide support and yet made no attempt to pay more than token support and had no justifiable excuse for not providing support. In re C.C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 701 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Termination of a father's parental rights was appropriate because the Tennessee Department of Childrens Services proved by clear and convincing evidence that the father abandoned the father's children by willful failure to support them in that the father's failure to pay child support during the relevant four-month period before the filing of the petition for termination was willful, as the father was consistently employed during the period and did not argue inability to pay. Furthermore, termination was in the children's best interest. In re Jeramyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the basis of abandonment by willful failure to support was supported by evidence that the mother was capable of being employe but willfully failed to make any contributions toward the support of the children, providing only token support in the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights In re Tamera W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 87 (Tenn. Feb. 9, 2017).

Testimony corroborated the father's testimony that he last paid child support at the end of 2012, and thus there was clear evidence to support the trial court's finding that the father had abandoned this child by willful failure to provide support during the four months immediately preceding the father's incarceration. In re Maddox C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2016).

Ground of abandonment by failure to support was proven; the only child support payments the mother ever made were when money was taken out of her paychecks and when her tax refund was intercepted by the State, and although this occurred in the four months preceding the filing of the petition, the intercept did not constitute a voluntary payment of support, plus she was employed by several different employers and she never testified she was unable to make any contribution towards her support obligations. In re Dustin T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 876 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that a father had abandoned a child for willful failure to visit and failure to support where, despite knowing of the child, he made no effort to provide support, visit the child, or establish a relationship, and he had not initiated contact with the child after meeting with the state agency. In re M.E.T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 899 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2016), appeal denied, In re Miguel T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 152 (Tenn. Mar. 3, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support was improper, as the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to prove that the father, who had been released on bond but ordered to remain at home with few exceptions, had the capacity to provide support or lacked a justifiable excuse for failing to do so. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 913 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2016).

Termination based on abandonment by failure to support was proven, given that the mother knew of her support obligations and the consequences of not meeting those obligations, and the trial court properly found that the mother had enough income to support herself, make her support payments, and still have some money left over each month. In re Eddie F., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 924 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 2, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 158 (Tenn. Mar. 2, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper because the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to pay child support during the four months preceding his incarceration as the mother testified that she set up a bank account at the father's bank in order for him to deposit money to support the child the father only deposited $200 or $300 for child support; and the father testified that during the four months immediately preceding his incarceration, he made between $30,000 and $35,000, but he did not provide support for the child. In re Lydia N.-S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 55 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2017).

Trial court did not err in finding the ground of failure to support when terminating a father's parental rights because the record clearly showed that the father was capable of working, that he did work, and that he never paid any child support to the grandfather for his children. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Text messages purportedly showing that a mother engaged in illicit drug sales were not dispositive to the issue of the mother's alleged willful non-support because the text messages could be interpreted to show that the mother earned money selling drugs, which could in turn support a showing of willfulness in her failure to pay any child support, but they could perhaps better lend support to a conclusion that, if anything, the mother was a failed drug dealer. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Trial court's finding of willful non-support with respect to a mother was reversed because there was no clear and convincing evidence proving willfulness during the relevant four month period; the fact that the mother abused drugs and generally was irresponsible in her life could not alone impute willfulness as to her non-support, and the mother's drug abuse and general irresponsibility did not shift the burden of proof as to willfulness from Grandfather to her. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support was proper; the mother provided no financial support for the child, and her argument that there was no court order requiring her to pay support was not persuasive, as parents were presumed to know of their obligation to support their children. In re Charles A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the finding that a father's parental rights were to be terminated on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay support because the evidence did not preponderate against the trial court's findings that the father had the ability to provide support, but chose not to provide support, during the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights. In re Ja'miya T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2017).

Trial court properly denied grandparents'  petition to terminate parental rights because the grandparents failed to prove willful failure to support by clear and convincing evidence; the record contained no evidence regarding the father's income, work record, or expenses during the pivotal time frame, and the limited evidence did not demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the mother had the capacity to provide support and lacked a justifiable excuse for failing to do so. In re Sophia P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 207 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. June 13, 2017).

When determining whether to terminate a father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to support the child, the absence of a court order to support the child did not show the father did not willfully fail to support the child because the father had a duty to support the child without such an order. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

It was error to terminate an incarcerated father's parental rights based on abandonment due to the father's willful failure to support the child because it was not found that the father had an ability to support the child during the four months before the father's incarceration. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

Based on the father's own factual admissions and his failure to cite any applicable law or argument on the issue, the finding that he willfully failed to support the child as set forth in T.C.A. § 36-1-102 was affirmed, and termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was proper. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

In a parental rights termination proceeding, a trial court erred in finding that a father's failure to pay support for the child was not willful where there was no dispute that he had the ability to pay support, the father admitted that he was aware of his obligation to provide support, his petition to determine the child's parentage and set visitation did not include any effort to establish child support, and his lack of effort to pay child support after agreeing to do so evidenced that his failure to do so was the product of free will. In re Sydney B., 537 S.W.3d 452, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 302 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 469 (Tenn. Aug. 1, 2017).

Mother's testimony that the mother was aware that it was the mother's job as a parent to provide for the child, that the mother was able to and did maintain employment, and that the mother had other sources of income was clear and convincing evidence that the mother willfully failed to support the child during the four consecutive months preceding the filing of the petition for termination. In re Colby L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (Tenn. Aug. 15, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper based on the ground of abandonment by willfully failing to make reasonable support payments because the record included a child support payment summary showing that the mother made child support payments for January through March 2016; thus, the mother did not fail to support the children during the four months prior to prior to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services filing its petition to terminate her parental rights. In re Skylar P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Father had a job and was current on his child support payments, and thus the trial court properly denied termination of the father's rights for abandonment by failure to support prior to incarceration under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-113. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

While the department argued that the mother's decision to buy drugs rather than pay child support constituted a willful failure to support her children, the department had to prove by clear evidence that the mother had the capacity to pay support but made no attempt to do so and did not possess a justifiable excuse, which the department failed to do; termination of the mother's rights for abandonment by failure to support prior to incarceration under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-113 was improper. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Father's drug habit and payment of court fines did not amount to sufficient evidence of a willful failure to support his children, and the department failed to present enough evidence to eliminate any serious doubt that the father had the ability to pay support and that his failure to support his children was willful; thus, the termination of the father's rights on the ground of willful failure to support, under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(D), 36-1-113, was reversed. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Department failed to prove the ground of abandonment by failure to support by clear and convincing evidence as to the mother and father, under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), 36-1-113, as they were incarcerated during the relevant time period. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment for failure to remit child support because the father's claim that his failure to remit support was not willful when he was unaware of a duty to remit support was rejected as the record did not reflect that his mental capacity was so impaired that he did not understand that the child required food and other items for survival; he provided token support when the child visited his residence; the court credited the mother's testimony that he refused her request for support and advised her that it was not his responsibility to provide support; and he did not pay child support even when he was actually employed at various times. In re Bryson, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 483 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 17, 2017).

Trial court erred in finding that a mother abandoned her child by willfully failing to support the child because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) offered no proof as to the mother's income or assets to establish an ability to pay; the proof suggested that the mother did not have the ability to pay because she was incarcerated at the time DCS filed the petition, and she testified to not having a job during the relevant four-month period and relying on friends for her need. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment because it showed that they had not remitted support in the two years prior to the filing of the termination petition despite periods of employment and food and gifts provided were token support. In re Brennen T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 681 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2017), review or rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 19 (Tenn. Jan. 9, 2018).

Father's parental rights were properly terminated on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay support pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1), 36-1-102(1)(D), given that he made no payments toward child support when he had income and he was able to support his smoking habit; he had no justifiable excuse for failing to make child support payments. In re Miracle M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 593 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2017), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 845 (Tenn. Nov. 30, 2017).

Petitioners failed to present enough evidence to eliminate any serious or substantial doubt that the mother had the ability to pay support and that her failure to support her daughter was therefore, willful. In re Douglas H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 662 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2017).

Trial court properly terminated a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because the record clearly and convincingly established that her failure to pay support was willful; the mother was aware of her child support obligation, and she had the ability to pay because she was employed. In re Brantley B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 720 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2017).

The evidence did not preponderate against the trial court's holding that a mother's support was token because items and gifts did not assist the father in providing for the child on a meaningful and continuous basis; the mother testified that the money she earned or obtained, which could have been used for the child's support, was used to support her addiction. In re Brantley B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 720 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2017).

Trial court erred by concluding that clear and convincing evidence existed to show that a mother willfully failed to support her children during the relevant four-month time period because the mother had just completed drug rehabilitation and was attempting to care for her newborn baby; the mother was unemployed for approximately two of the relevant four months, and she lived with several different members of her husband's family. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Chancery court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights because the evidence was less than clear and convincing that the mother willfully failed to support her children; the child's father and stepmother presented no evidence of the mother's income or available resources during the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, and thus, there was no basis to find that the mother's failure to pay child support was willful. In re Alivia F., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 48 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Termination of a father's parental rights to the father's child on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support was inappropriate because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services did not meet its burden to show that the father had the ability to pay support so as to establish that the father's failure to do so was willful. In re Victoria H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2018).

Father admitted that he had no justifiable excuse for his failure to pay child support while he was gainfully employed, and the $ 80 amount he paid the grandparents for support was clearly token, and therefore the grandparents showed that the father willfully failed to provide no more than token support, for termination purposes. In re Addalyne S., 556 S.W.3d 774, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 225 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2018).

Grandparents failed to present sufficient evidence that the mother had the capacity to provide support or rebut her justifiable excuse for failing to do so, as there was no evidence of her hours worked, wage earned, or expenses; the mother's decision to purchase drugs indicated that she did have some funds for non-necessities, but the purchase of illegal drugs alone was insufficient to prove that her failure to provide support was willful, and thus abandonment by willful failure to support was not proven. In re Addalyne S., 556 S.W.3d 774, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 225 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights to her children because the record did not clearly and convincingly establish that her failure to pay support was willful; while there was some testimony with respect to the mother's income and expenses, the testimony did not establish what her income and expenses were during the period at issue, and as a consequence, there was not clear and convincing proof from which to conclude she had the capacity to pay support during that period. In re Emily J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 254 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 9, 2018).

Evidence found by the trial court to be credible amounted to clear and convincing evidence that a mother's parental rights had to terminated because the mother had abandoned the child by failing to support the child; after the mother was released from prison, she sent no gifts, clothing, or food for the child, and she was able-bodied and working. In re D.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2018).

Father was capable of and pursued employment, when it was available and he was able to arrange for transportation, he knew of his duty to support and he sought a modification of his support due to his inability to pay, and he was unable to pay for a period of time as a result of a criminal episode, and thus the evidence was not clear and convincing that he willfully failed to provide support within the meaning of the statute. In re Aden H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 333 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 19, 2018).

Without evidence to establish that the mother had the ability to pay support for her children during the relevant time period, the department failed to show that she failed to support or make reasonable payments toward the support of her children to prove the ground of abandonment, and termination of her rights was reversed as to this ground. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Because the mother was in jail when the petition was filed, the relevant four-month period for the abandonment for nonsupport purposes was four months prior to the day she went to jail. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Record contained insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the father had the capacity to pay child support and willfully failed to do so; the burden was not on him to demonstrate an inability to work or pay and there was no proof to establish his employment, income, expenses, or resources during the critical four-month period, and without such evidence, a finding of willfulness could not be sustained. In re Kylea K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 338 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a mother willfully failed to support the mother's children in the four months before a termination of parental rights petition was filed because the mother paid no support during that period despite being employed and receiving financial assistance from the mother's brother. In re Jarrett P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 371 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Despite the father's substantial business enterprises, his substantial monthly interest income and his significant annual income, he paid nothing for his son's support and only provided token gifts, and the father's testimony that he was not aware of his obligation to pay support did not excuse his failure to pay; therefore, termination of the father's rights based on his willful failure to support was proper. In re Gabriel B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 413 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 23, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to terminate the father's parental rights for abandonment based on nonsupport because while it showed that he was employment and paid $639 in child support in the relevant four month period, the father did not testify to his rent obligations or other living expenses. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Record did not contain clear evidence of the mother's abandonment by failure to support; while the mother knew of her support obligation, was able to work during a large portion of the relevant time period, and made some payments, the proof of her broken foot and childbirth did not convince the court that she had the capacity to work throughout the pertinent period of time. In re Piper B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 478 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support because she made no financial contribution to the support of the child, and the child's great aunt testified that the mother never provided any gifts or necessaries for the child during the relevant time period; the fact that the other was not under court order to provide support did not, ipso facto, relieve her of that obligation. In re Taylor C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 490 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2018).

Although the record supported for the determination that the father knew of his duty to support the child and the consequences of his failure to do so, the evidence was insufficient to establish the father's ability to remit support during the relevant time period, and the termination of the father's rights on this ground was reversed. In re Charles T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 501 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support; although there was proof that the mother was not disabled or otherwise precluded from gainful employment, the Department of Children's Services did not show that she not only had the capacity to pay support but did not do so, and had no justification for not doing so. In re Hayden L, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Trial court's finding of abandonment was vacated and findings of fact concerning the willfulness of the alleged abandonment were required on remand; the trial court did not consider the mother's arguments that her failure to provide support was not willful because she was in a rehabilitation program, and her income was used to pay for the program. In re Abagail D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 536 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to support because based on his testimony that he was gainfully employed during the all but two weeks of the pertinent period and that his paycheck was enough to cover his children's expenses, he had the ability to pay support. In re Jaylan W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 546 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2018).

Father abandoned the child by willfully failing to remit support, which supported the termination of his parental rights; although he claimed that his failure to prioritize his support payments was a result of his lack of understanding of a complex system, he was advised of his obligation to remit support by a child support order, parenting plans, and his signing of the Criteria for Termination of Parental Rights, plus every parent was presumed to know of his legal obligation to support his child. In re Kaycee M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 585 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2018), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to support was supported by the evidence; she knew of her duty to pay child support, she worked during part of the relevant time period, when she did not work during that time, she was not unable to work, and she admitted she failed to pay any support. In re Larry P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 606 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 15, 2018).

Because petitioners failed to present clear evidence that the mother's failure to support was willful, the court vacated the findings with respect to this ground for termination; she could not be blamed for using her monthly paycheck to pay rent at an rehabilitation facility, nor could she be blamed for using her tax refund to pay overdue bills, and that she bought cigarettes during the relevant four-month period was insufficient alone to produce a firm belief that her failure to pay support was willful. In re L.U.S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 613 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 19, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights to her youngest child based on abandonment for failing to visit and support that child during the four months immediately preceding her re-incarceration because the relevant four-month time period was March 13 through July 12, 2011, but there was no proof showing that the mother willfully failed to support or to visit the child prior to May of 2011. In re S.D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 664 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 15, 2018).

Termination of the mother's and the father's parental rights was proper as the parents abandoned the child by failing to visit and to remit support because they last visited the child more than two years prior to the termination petition; their telephone calls and video chats were not a substitute for in-person visitation; although they were both employed, they failed to provide any financial support until after the termination petition was filed; and their care packages did not satisfy their support obligation. In re Camdon H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 672 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned her children by willful failure to support because it showed that she was incarcerated within the four-month period preceding the filing of the termination petition, she failed to make any payments toward the support of her children, and she admitted that the auto body and repair shop she owned with the stepfather generated income sufficient to support them and the children. In re Michayla T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 712 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2018).

There was clear evidence that the father abandoned the children by willfully failing to support them; he paid nothing until ordered to do so and he provided no nonmonetary support, such as clothing or food, yet he worked several jobs and his expenses were minimal, and thus he could have provided some financial support for his children but willfully chose not to do so. In re Gaberiel S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 718 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2018).

Trial court noted that the parenting plan did not require the mother to remit child support but the trial court did not issue any findings of fact concerning her willfulness in relation to the terms contained in the plan; thus, the finding of abandonment for failure to support was vacated.  — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 745 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 19, 2018).

There was not clear and convincing proof from which to conclude that the mother had the capacity to pay support during the relevant period; while there was some testimony in the record that the mother worked while the children were in custody, the testimony did not establish what her income and expenses were during the period at issue. In re Antonio J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 759 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence to establish that the mother abandoned the child by failing to remit support because she admitted her physical ability to work during the relevant time period and that she later obtained employment after the relevant time period but still failed to provide any financial support. In re Ethan M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence did not show a mother abandoned her child by failing to pay child support because no evidence of the mother's failure to support for the entire four-month period before the mother was incarcerated was presented. In re J'Khari F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence was shown of grounds to terminate the mother's parental rights to the child for abandonment by willful failure to support because the mother had the ability to pay child support, and the capability of earning money to pay her child support, but simply chose not to work and willfully chose not to pay child support. In re Melinda N., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 69 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2019).

As there was no evidence about the mother's income, expenses, or living situation during the four-month period, and she testified that she was dependent on an abusive boyfriend for transportation and that he refused to allow her to work, willful failure to pay child support was not shown. In re Jaxx M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2019).

Although the mother did not provide cash to the child's guardians, she spent a portion of her disposable income that was not insignificant on the child during the relevant four-month period, thereby precluding the guardians from proving abandonment by clear and convincing evidence. Specifically, the mother had between $150 and $300 per month in disposable income that she could have used to pay child support. The evidence showed that the mother spent approximately $800 on the child over the relevant four-month period, which averaged out to about $200 per month. In re Anna G., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 208 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 1, 2019).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support because the record did not show that she had any capacity to pay support during the relevant period and the trial court's finding that she obtained employment well after the filing of the petition was insufficient. The evidence showed that the mother was incarcerated or in treatment for all but two weeks during the relevant time period and there was no dispute that she was not employed during this time. In re Kingston A. B., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 405 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2019).

Mother testified that on average she worked three or four days per week and at best, she earned $ 840 during the four months before the petition was filed; she had monthly expenses of $ 120 and paid an additional $ 90 toward the support of the child's half-siblings, such that her payments toward the child's support were not insignificant given her means. The department did not meet its burden to prove that the mother's payments were token support. In re Josiah T., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2019).

Ground of willful failure to support was proven against a father by the standard of clear and convincing evidence because the father had the capacity to pay support, did not do so, and had no justification for not doing so; the father testified that, at all times during the relevant statutory period, he was working, and when pressed by the trial court as to whether he had money to pay child support the father admitted that he did. In re Channing M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 516 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2019).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support; although the mother failed to provide any support for the child during the relevant time period, there was no proof that the mother's failure to provide support was willful, as the record was devoid of any evidence to show her income, expenses, or employment history. In re Dylan S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2019).

Mother and stepfather failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the father willfully failed to pay support because they presented no wage statements or other evidence of the father's employment during the relevant four-month period, emails suggested that he was in treatment for alcohol addiction for part of that time, and the father's lack of employment and income was supported by his bank and credit union records. In re Mattie L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Feb. 8, 2021).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for to support because the mother testified that the father never provided financial assistance and did not provide supplies for the child, and her testimony was corroborated by the maternal grandfather's testimony. In re Aubrie W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 21 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2020), review denied and ordered not published, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 224 (Tenn. Apr. 15, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on ground of abandonment was appropriate because the mother did not contend that the mother was incapable of paying support during the relevant four-month period, but refused to do so without some record. Moreover, to the extent that the mother did have discretionary income, the mother used it to buy illegal drugs, rather than support the children, and there was no evidence as to the actual amounts spent by the mother on gifts for the children during visitation in the four-month period or otherwise. In re Michael W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2020).

Evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support because the court had no evidence of his actual income during the four-month period, he had been doing odd jobs since he was injured and terminated by his employer, and he was barely able to keep his utilities turned on. In re Kelsea L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 31 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 354 (Tenn. May 13, 2020).

Trial court properly terminated the mother's parental rights under the ground of abandonment by failure to support; because she did not appear at trial and presented no evidence, the unrefuted proof was that she was working, yet never provided any type of financial support for the child. In re Imerald W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 43 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2020).

Trial court properly determined that it was not in a child's best interest for the father's parental rights to be terminated because his failure to visit the child within the statutory four-month period was not willful where his efforts to visit the child were thwarted by the mother, and, while the father did not support or make reasonable payments towards the support of the child, the child was still young enough that the father should be able to establish a meaningful relationship with him. In re Archer R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 68 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2020).

Foster parents'  petition to terminate the parental rights of the biological mother was improperly granted as the foster parents did not show abandonment by willful failure to support the child because the foster parents failed to establish that the mother was capable of working and paying child support during the relevant four-month period. In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2020), rev'd, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Trial court did not err in concluding that the child's great-aunt established the existence of abandonment by failure to support because the father testified that he was employed during the relevant four-month period and despite having the ability to pay some child support the father admitted that he failed make a single support payment or pay his portion of the child's $3,000 dental bill. In re Zaylee W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 145 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 9, 2020), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Evidence of the grounds for terminating a father's parental rights of abandonment by willful failure to support was less than clear and convincing and did not show that the father's failure to support was willful as the mother and stepfather failed to establish that the father had the capacity to pay child support during the relevant period. Furthermore, the father's responses to interrogatories showed only nominal income during the four-month period preceding the filing of the termination petition. In re Mattie L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 152 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2020).

Trial court's ruling that petitioners met their burden to prove the father's willful failure to support in the four months prior to incarceration was erroneous because, while the father was not employed during the relevant time period, he was required to pay a multitude of fines as a result of his criminal activity and there was no evidence presented of his expenses during the relevant period. In re London B., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 155 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper for abandonment by failure to support; the mother had the capacity to work during the relevant time period and did work for much of it, which provided her the means to pay her expenses and provide discretionary funds for travel and entertainment, and yet she admitted she did not pay money to the grandparents for the support of the child. In re Daisy A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 167 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support was proper because, although he testified that he had paid approximately $80 toward the child's support, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services produced documentation showing that he, in fact, paid $20 during the entire time the child was in foster care; and, when asked why the money he used to buy cigarettes was not tendered for support of his child, the father downplayed his habit. In re Dustin M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 191 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. May 26, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support was proper because the case worker testified that the mother was aware of the permanency plan requirement that she pay $20 per month in child support; the case worker testified that she was unaware of any impediments to the mother's ability to work; and the mother had made no payments toward the child's support. In re Dustin M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 191 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. May 26, 2020).

Upon the change in the statutory requirement eliminating the willfulness requirement, the trial court erred by requiring the grandparents to prove the mother's willfulness in her failure to provide support; however, the error was harmless because the mother testified that she would have sought employment but for a lack of child care for her newborn. Thus, she proved that her lack of support was not willful, and therefore there was a lack of evidence concerning abandonment for failure to support. In re Eli H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment for willful failure to visit and to support because, although the father had relocated to Tennessee and lived with his parents, the mother knew his email address and his parent's physical address; and, when the mother had disposable income, and had the ability to pay support, she chose not to. In re Aiden M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 361 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment because the mother did not provide support for the child from December 11, 2018 to April 10, 2019; she received the initial custody order that stated she had a duty to provide support for the child; she was reminded of that duty when she would attend court proceedings before the juvenile court or meetings with the family service worker; each permanency plan stated she was responsible for paying child support; and the mother provided no justifiable excuse for failing to provide support. In re Braden K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 437 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2020).

Burden was on the mother to prove her failure to support was not willful, which she failed to do; in the interim between the child entering petitioner's custody to petitioner being designated the new payee on the child's social security benefits, the mother never passed any of the benefits to petitioner for the child's benefit, plus a photograph of a belt and gifts that never were delivered was not child support. The ground of failure to support was proven by clear evidence, supporting termination of the mother's rights. In re Arianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2020).

Trial court correctly found that the father abandoned the child by failing to provide support because the father knew he had an obligation to support the child, was able to work pre-incarceration, and knew how to contact the foster parents but provided the child with no more than token support during the relevant four-month period; given the father's testimony of his ability to work in multiple capacities, there was no justification for his failure to support the child financially. In re Brooklyn R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 506 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2020).

Termination ground of abandonment by failure to support was proven against the father by clear and convincing evidence; in view of his $ 90 per month cigarette budget, his failure to pay $ 50 per month in child support was baffling, plus he testified that he was able to work and earn a living, such that his deficient support payments constituted only token support for the child. In re Ryan J. H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 582 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2020).

Father's failure to support the child was willful, and therefore the trial court properly found that the mother and stepfather met their burden of proving abandonment by failure to support, because by his own testimony the father's attempts to support the child were token at best and it would be incorrect to say that the mother thwarted the father's attempts at support because these attempts were sporadic and the funds offered were insignificant and made only when the father felt compelled. In re Ella H., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 13, 2021).

Trial court properly found that the mother abandoned the child because she did not show any proof of her compliance with her alcohol and drug treatment, she admitted using methamphetamine for six months, and she was able to work, but she paid no child support nor did she provide any necessary items for the child. In re Hadley R., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 61 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2021).

Termination of a mother's parental rights to the mother's child on the grounds of abandonment by failure to support because there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's findings that the mother abandoned the child by failing to provide support to the child during the relevant four-month period. Furthermore, the mother failed to meet the mother's burden to show that the mother's failure to do so was not willful. In re Lucas S., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 67 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2021).

10. —Failure to visit.

Finding of abandonment by failure to visit was supported by evidence that, once the child returned to the custody of the Department of Children's Services, the father only engaged in token visitation on two occasions. In re Kenneth G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 674 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental right based on abandonment for failure to visit had to be reversed, because the father was incarcerated at the time of the filing and for the four months preceding the filing of the petition. In re Colton R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 88 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2017).

Evidence was not clear and convincing as to the ground of a mother's willful failure to visit because the children's grandfather kept detailed logs on the mother's visits, and it was evidence from the logs that the mother visited 43 or 44 times; even if the mother visited 17 times in the relevant four-month period preceding the filing of the petition, as initially asserted, the court of appeals would be hard-pressed to deem that token visitation. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Evidence relevant to the trial court's findings on the issue of a father's alleged willful failure to visit did not rise to the level of clear and convincing because the children's grandfather testified that the father did visit many times. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit was proper; the last meaningful contact the mother had with the child was in 2014, and although she knew where appellees and the child lived, she made no attempt to see the child or communicate with him. In re Charles A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2017).

Trial court properly denied grandparents'  petition to terminate parental rights because the grandparents failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence a willful failure to visit; the parents visited their child numerous times despite the restrictions imposed by the grandparents, and regardless of whether the grandparents were well-intentioned, their actions had the effect of significantly interfering with the parents'  efforts to visit the child. In re Sophia P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 207 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. June 13, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights due to abandonment based on a willful failure to visit because (1) he only occasionally saw the child, (2) an order of protection did not prevent him from seeing the child, (3) he made no effort to secure or enforce visitation, and (4) his visitation occurred when he visited with the child's mother. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence that a mother abandoned the mother's child by failing to visit with the child in the four consecutive months preceding the filing of the petition for termination. Moreover, any attempt at visitation was only token visitation. In re Colby L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (Tenn. Aug. 15, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was improper on the ground of abandonment based on willful failure to visit because, while the father's alleged excuses did indeed appear poor, there was insufficient evidence in the record upon which to make a clear and convincing determination as to the father's intent not to visit; and not all of the possible reasons for the father's failure to visit rose to the level of a willful failure to visit. In re Kenya H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017).

Because the mother and father were incarcerated during the four months prior to the department's filing of the petition for termination, the ground of abandonment by failure to visit, for purposes of T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-113, was not established. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Although the father was incarcerated for significant periods of time, he was out of jail from August 2014 to August 2015, and thus the four-month period set forth in T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) was the appropriate statutory ground applicable to him. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Father was allowed a total of 16 hours of visitation during the four-month period, but he used only two, plus his failure to participate in more than token visitation was willful; he said he had problems with transportation because he lost his license, and while he could ride with others, he had problems paying for gas, and thus the father abandoned the children by a willful failure to visit pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), 36-1-113. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court properly found that a mother abandoned her child through willful failure to visit because during the relevant four month period, the mother made no attempt to visit with the child; the only excuse the mother could offer during trial for not visiting was being “on the run” after violating the terms of her probation, but evading arrest is not a justifiable excuse for failing to visit. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment because the record showed that the mother attended all but three or four visits during the entirety of the child's residency with his foster parents and the record was unclear as to the amount of visits the father missed. In re Brennen T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 681 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2017), review or rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 19 (Tenn. Jan. 9, 2018).

Father's parental rights were properly terminated on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay visit pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1), 36-1-102(1)(A), given that he willfully abandoned the children by failing to visit them, his engagement at the children's doctor's appointments was sporadic and amounted to no more than token visitation, and he failed to make any effort to spend time with the children until after the petition to terminate his rights was filed. In re Miracle M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 593 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2017), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 845 (Tenn. Nov. 30, 2017).

Trial court erred in finding clear and convincing evidence that a father's failure to visit was willful because weekly phone calls with the children did not constitute token visits; a Tennessee Department of Children's Services representative testified that during the relevant four-month time period, the father talked with the children about once a week, and the father visited them several times before he moved to another state. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the mother's parental rights to her daughter on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit during the four-month period prior to the filing of the original petition pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), as her visitation during the relevant time was token at best. In re Douglas H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 662 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2017).

Ground of abandonment for failure to visit by an incarcerated parent, under the former version of the statute, was inapplicable because, from the time of removal until the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights, the father was never free for a consecutive four-month period. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because the mother did not have the capacity to visit the children during the relevant time period; the mother testified, without contradiction, that she did not own a vehicle during the relevant four months, and the trial court did not make a specific finding rejecting that testimony. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because evidence in the record did not provide clear and convincing proof that the mother's failure to visit the children was willful; an Alabama court order effectively prohibited the mother from visiting the children because she was not entitled to supervised visitation under that order, and she had an affirmative duty not to visit her children until she satisfied the conditions of the order. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Mother's visits were more than perfunctory and were frequent enough to establish more than minimum contact with the child, and thus the mother's visitation did not meet the definition of token visitation, and the grandparents therefore failed to prove that the mother willfully failed to visit her child for abandonment purposes; the visitation was sufficient to continue the bond with the child, and the mother consistently maintained that she had problems obtaining reliable transportation. In re Addalyne S., 556 S.W.3d 774, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 225 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2018).

Ground for termination of the mother's parental rights of abandonment by failure to visit was not clearly and convincingly established because there was no evidence that the mother was unwilling to meet conditions in order to visit the child but that she was unable to do so. Upon leaving jail the mother's first call was to request permission to visit her child, petitioners, who had custody of the child, would not take the child to Georgia, the mother would not be permitted to take the child out of the home for overnight visitation, and petitioners advised the mother that she could not stay overnight with them. In re Emma S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 237 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to visit as the father and his current wife interfered with the mother's right to see her children or to communicate with them because the father did not have the right to unilaterally stop the mother's visitation, and he did not have the authority to convert the mother's unsupervised visitation to supervised visitation and then to use her failure to visit as a ground to terminate her parental rights; although the mother conceded that she abused alcohol during her marriage, she testified that she no longer drank and the children's testimony corroborated her statement; and the father blocked the mother from calling his cellular telephone. In re Justin P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 273 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 17, 2018).

Evidence found by the trial court amounted to clear and convincing evidence to terminate a mother's parental rights for willful abandonment by failure to visit because the mother was permitted to contact the child by mail and had not done so; the mother continually failed to attempt to contact and/or visit her child, despite being aware of her duty to do so. In re D.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2018).

Father willfully failed to visit the child during the relevant four-month period prior to his incarceration and thus grounds for termination existed based on abandonment by willful failure to visit; the father refused to provide his contact information to the department, failed to maintain contact with the department, never proactively attempted to establish paternity, and willingly forewent his opportunity to assume fatherly responsibilities. In re Kylea K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 338 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a mother willfully failed to visit the mother's children in the four months before a termination of parental rights petition was filed because the mother visited the children only once, despite accommodations, and showed no justifiable reason for the failure to visit. In re Jarrett P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 371 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Trial court properly terminated a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit because the father spent less than six hours with the child over a period of thirty-two months; the record clearly and convincingly establishes that the father's visits were no more than token in that they were of such an infrequent nature or of such short duration as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the child. In re D.N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 383 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 3, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for willful failure to visit because he admitted at trial that he had not seen the child for two years, he did not allege that he was prevented from seeing the child, and he admitted that he had not asked for visitation since 2014. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Evidence clearly and convincingly supported the trial court's termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit because despite the fact that the mother was granted the opportunity for supervised visits, she did not seek visitation until after she was served with the petition to terminate her parental rights; there was no evidence that the mother was thwarted or otherwise precluded from seeking visitation. In re Taylor C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 490 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights was proper under the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit; the mother only attended two of seven scheduled visits, her lack of visitation was due to her refusal to submit to required drug screens, and her two visits were deemed mere token visitation. In re Romeo T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 514 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Despite the mother's admission that she understood that she was required to petition the trial court to lift the no contact order so she could visit the child, she did not do so; as she had no contact with the child since June 2016 and she had taken no overt steps to petition the trial court to set aside or modify the no contact order, there was clear evidence that she abandoned the child by willful failure to visit. In re Hayden L, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Trial court's finding of abandonment was vacated and findings of fact concerning the willfulness of the alleged abandonment were required on remand; the trial court did not consider the mother's arguments that her failure to visit was not willful because she was in a rehabilitation program, and her attempts to visit via Skype were denied. In re Abagail D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 536 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to visit because it established that he attempted to arrange rides to visit the child and had 10 telephone calls and an in-person visit with the child. In re Jaylan W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 546 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit was supported by the evidence; the mother's visitation was contingent upon her ability to pass three consecutive, random drug screens, yet she did not make herself available for the visits and was unable to pass the necessary drug screens. In re Larry P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 606 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 15, 2018).

Trial court did not err in finding clear evidence to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit; her choice in refusing to cooperate with an order constituted a willful decision to discontinue visiting the child, and her filing a petition to restore visitation, then failing to appear at the hearing, did not show she was actively trying to maintain visitation. In re L.U.S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 613 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 19, 2018).

Finding of abandonment for failure to visit was vacated and the case was remanded for consideration of the mother's willfulness in light of the father's denial of visitation and the parties'  course of dealing in scheduling visitation with minimal notice since the time of the divorce; the mother visited four times during the pertinent time period, but visitation was interrupted on one date and two additional requests for visitation were denied, and the mother's attempt to visit should still be considered in assessing the willfulness of her failure to visit.  — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 745 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 19, 2018).

Mother's failure to visit her children was willful, as the evidence showed the same pattern of the mother's missing opportunities to visit with her children before and after the birth of her last child, and despite any asserted physical limitations, the mother was able to work during the four-month period. In re Antonio J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 759 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment by willful failure to visit was proper because her visitation was merely token visitation; and it was in the child's best interest as the mother did not have a job, she had not regularly visited or spoken with the child, she did not provide any support for the child, she and the child did not have a meaningful relationship, and the child was well-cared for by the grandparents and was thriving in their custody. In re Jayla H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 16 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 14, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's finding that the father abandoned the child by failing to visit because the father had no contact with the child after July 2015, the mother's brother, with whom the child was living, testified that he did not receive a telephone call from the father regarding setting up visitation after July 2015, and while the father claimed he did not know where the brother and his wife lived, he drove the mother to their house on the day of his only visit with the child on July 4, 2015. In re Jeffery D., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2019).

Trial court's ordering terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit because the record showed that visitation was suspended pursuant to a court order in August 2016, precluding any visitation during the majority of the pertinent time period. In re Ethan M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a mother abandoned the mother's child by failing to visit in the four months before the mother was incarcerated because the mother (1) did not seek relief from an order suspending the mother's visitation, (2) did not present herself to the court, as her counsel was instructed, and (3) was aware of her obligation to visit the child and that a failure to do so could lead to termination of parental rights. In re J'Khari F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence was shown of grounds to terminate the mother's parental rights to the child for abandonment by willful failure to visit because the mother waited for years before even attempting to set up visitation and the mother's attempts to set-up visitation after proceedings were commenced were minimal. In re Melinda N., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 69 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported termination of a mother's parental rights for willful failure to visit because the evidence showed the mother had not visited the child at all during the four months preceding the filing of an amended termination petition. In re Paetyn M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 81 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2019).

Chancery court properly terminated a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit because the father admitted that he had not visited the child for at least two years prior to the filing of the petition to terminate his parental rights, and, even if the mother refused all of the father's attempts at communication regarding his visitation rights, he never made any filing with the trial court seeking enforcement of his visitation rights. In re Maddox G., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 96 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2019).

Abandonment by failure to visit was sufficiently proven where, inter alia, the mother had not regularly visited and failed to maintain any contact with the child in the four months preceding the petition's filing. In re Jaxx M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment for willful failure to visit or to support her child because, during the four months leading up to the termination petition, the mother only visited with the child about five times; when the mother did visit, she was distracted and did not pay much attention to the child; the mother often missed her scheduled visits with the child; she only paid $18 in support; and she voluntarily quit both her jobs and did nothing to find a new job to pay child support. In re Laura F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 200 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2019).

Evidence was less than clear and convincing that a mother abandoned the mother's child by willful failure to visit during the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition because the mother did not engage in token visitation during the applicable time period. Considering the mother's visits, the mother's testimony concerning phone contact, and the circumstances surrounding a scheduled visit, the mother did not have merely minimal or insubstantial contact during the four-month period preceding the filing of the petition. In re Raeshad B., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 242 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 434 (Tenn. Aug. 19, 2019).

Trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit; the mother knew the child was with her grandmother, who did not keep the mother from contacting the child, and the mother had the capacity to visit the child, made no attempts to do so, and had no justifiable excuse for her failure to do so. In re Dylan S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2019).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to visit because it was undisputed that the father did not visit the child during the relevant time period and the record established that the father had the ability but made no effort to visit the child and he provided no justification for not doing so. In re Travis R., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2019).

Reversal of ground of abandonment by failure to visit was appropriate as there was too much ambiguity in the analysis of whether a mother failed to visit or exercise more than token visitation in the four month window before the filing of the petition. Although the record contained evidence that the mother failed to visit the children on several occasions in the four month window, given the lack of clarity as to which of the failures to visit the juvenile court held against the mother, the evidence fell short of clear and convincing evidence. In re Malik G., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 564 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2019).

Mother and stepfather failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the father willfully failed to visit because his lack of visitation from during the relevant four-month period resulted from coercion, the mother's refusal to allow visitation unless the father paid support. In re Mattie L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Feb. 8, 2021).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit because there was no evidence to suggest that the mother was incapacitated or otherwise unable to engage in visitation with the child; and the mother's lackadaisical attitude during visits, her failure to play with the child, and her shunning of the child's attempts to engage, resulted in a lack of even the most tenuous bond between the mother and child. In re Draven K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 7, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to visit because he did not dispute that he only visited with the child four or five times for approximately two hours each time during the relevant period. In re Aubrie W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 21 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2020), review denied and ordered not published, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 224 (Tenn. Apr. 15, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to visit because the father had no contact with the child during the four-month period, his last visit with the child occurred years before the petition was filed, and despite his knowledge of the court process for asserting his parental rights he took no action to do so. In re Kelsea L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 31 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 354 (Tenn. May 13, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by failure to visit, failure to substantially comply with permanency plans, and persistence of the conditions leading to removal of the children from the mother's home because her one or two visits with each of the children were of such an infrequent nature as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the children; she failed to pursue training in parenting her son due to his special needs; she presented no evidence of having obtained stable housing, income, or transportation; and she was unable to show that she could provide a home absent of the environmental neglect that initially caused the children to be removed from her custody. In re Serenity S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2020).

Foster parents'  petition to terminate the parental rights of the biological mother was improperly granted based on abandonment because the mother did not willfully fail to visit the child during the four months preceding the filing of the original termination petition as she attempted to maintain visitation with the child during her time at the drug treatment center, but had not been able to contact the foster parents. In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2020), rev'd, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on willfully failing to visit the child was proper; an affidavit of no visitation did not prohibit him from contacting the child by telephone or email, and while the no-visitation order was set aside after a final decree of divorce, the father still made no cognizable attempts to contact the child. The alleged order suspending the father's visitation did not preclude a finding of willfulness, nothing prevented him from finding where the child lived, but the father failed to do so. In re Bentley Q., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 103 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2020).

Even though the trial court erred in calculating the four-month period for purposes of abandonment for failure to visit by analyzing two alternative time periods when the mother was incarcerated, the error was harmless because the trial court's findings concerning the ground included the correct four-month period. In re Gracie H. Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020), appeal dismissed, In re Gracie Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 462 (Tenn. June 19, 2020).

Ground of abandonment by the mother's failure to visit the children was established by clear and convincing evidence because the record showed that she only had two token visits with the children, she was aware of her duty to visit the children, she had the capacity to visit, she did not make sufficient attempts to visit, and she had no justifiable excuse for not visiting. In re Gracie H. Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020), appeal dismissed, In re Gracie Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 462 (Tenn. June 19, 2020).

Evidence was not clear and convincing that a father's abandonment by failure to visit was willful because, in addition to cutting off direct communication and not appearing for exchanges, the mother took other steps to limit the father's access to the child such as telling the child's school that the father was violent and dangerous. At trial, the mother admitted to withholding visitation because the mother was frustrated and fed up with all the father had put the mother through. In re Mattie L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 152 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2020).

Willful failure to visit in the four months prior to the father's incarceration provided an appropriate ground for termination of the fathers parental rights based on abandonment, where the mother's testimony clearly demonstrated that no restraint, significant or otherwise, was placed on the father's ability to visit, as he had the means of contacting the mother for visitation but chose not to make any effort toward visitation during the relevant time period. In re London B., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 155 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper for abandonment by failure to visit; she was able to visit the child, yet only visited her five times during the relevant period, and during those visits, the mother was not fully present and engaged with the child, but instead spent much of their time together on her phone. The mother's behavior was willful and her visits amounted to token visitation. In re Daisy A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 167 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent for failure to visit in the four months preceding the mother's incarceration was appropriate as the mother clearly failed to engage in more than token visitation with the children-based on the mother's fear that another child would also be removed from the mother's custody due to the mother's continued use of illegal drugs while the child was in utero-and clearly failed to meet the mother's burden to show that the failure to do so was not willful. In re Tucker H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 184 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit the child during the four months preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights, as the mother made one token visitation of the child during that period. The mother did not point to any acts by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) that thwarted or actually prevented the mother from visiting the child and failed to cooperate with DCS and never asked for assistance to be provided. In re Kelty F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper under the abandonment by failure to visit ground, as the mother failed to prove that she lacked willfulness in her failure to visit the child or that her failure to visit was due to circumstances outside her control; she admitted not seeking any visitation with the child and she did not provide any evidence showing how the birth of her younger child would have prevented her from visiting the child. In re Eli H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported a finding that the father abandoned the children by willful failure to visit where he made only a token visit in the four months prior to his incarceration date, he provided no financial support even though gainfully employed, and his failures were willful. In re Jessica V., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 275 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2020).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services established the ground for termination of parental rights of abandonment by failure to visit by clear and convincing evidence because the mother, who was not in jail or incapacitated in any way, did not visit the child during the four months prior to the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights. Furthermore, the mother did not meet the mother's burden to prove at trial that the mother's failure to visit the child was not willful. In re Meghan M.R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 457 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2020).

Trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights to the child based on her failure to visit the child during the determinative period because the mother did not establish lack of willfulness of an affirmative defense, as the father's demands that she provide documentation of a clean drug screen and some type of mental health assessment prior to resumption of supervised visitation were aligned with the requirements in the juvenile court's order and the record revealed no indication that the father ever prevented the mother from providing the juvenile court or him with documentation of compliance with the order. In re Jude M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 469 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2020).

Trial court's finding of abandonment by failure to visit was proven by clear and convincing evidence because a father engaged in no more than token visitation with the child; the father visited the child at most three times during the relevant four-month period, he had no justifiable excuse for his failure to visit the child less than a handful of times, and there was no proof as to why he failed to visit more often. In re Brooklyn R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 506 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2020).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment for failure to visit was appropriate because the father did not attempt to contact the children and disappeared for months at a time. Furthermore, the father did not challenge no-contact order based on the father's continued noncompliance with the permanency plan until when the father filed a motion for visitation, and the father's frequent incarcerations did not prevent the father from contacting the children. In re Brayden E., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 549 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 4, 2020).

Father's failure to visit the child was willful, and therefore the trial court properly found that the mother and stepfather met their burden of proving abandonment by failure to visit, because the record showed he never made a genuine effort to visit the child. The father would not commit to the mother's reasonable request of establishing a consistent visitation schedule and there was no explanation as to why he failed to pursue visitation despite ample opportunity to do so. In re Ella H., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 13, 2021).

Trial court erred in finding that the mother abandoned the child by failure to visit; although she only visited for a total of five hours, it was not token, as one of her visits was unexpectedly cut short by the father, and the mother's two other attempts to visit were declined by the father. Furthermore, there was communication between the mother and the child, including five set of texts instigated by the mother and three sets instigated by either the child or the father and stepmother. In re Brianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 31 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2021).

Termination of a mother's parental rights to the mother's child on the grounds of abandonment by failure to visit was appropriate because there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's findings that the mother abandoned the child by failing to visit the child during the relevant four-month period. Furthermore, the mother failed to meet the mother's burden to show that the mother's failure to do so was not willful. In re Lucas S., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 67 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2021).

11. Aggravating Circumstance.

As termination of parents'  rights over one child was based on numerous instances of severe child abuse, which constituted “aggravating circumstances,” termination of their rights over their other child was proper without efforts towards reunification pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 37-1-166 and 36-1-102. In re Keara J., 376 S.W.3d 86, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 13, 2012), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Apr. 11, 2012).

12. Legal Parent.

Father does not fall within any of the various meanings of the statutory words legal parent; an intent to claim paternity filed with the Putative Father Registry is not the same as a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, and instead these are words of art, separate concepts with different meanings. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Termination grounds under the statute pertaining to persons not the legal parent or guardian of the child cannot be applied to legal parents; because there was no dispute that the mother in this case was the biological mother of the child, she was a legal parent for purposes of termination of her parental rights and this termination ground could not apply to her. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

Trial court properly found the father to be a putative father of the children because he did not file a paternity petition concerning either of the children and the trial court properly found that he was not a legal parent because he presented no evidence that he executed an unrevoked and sworn acknowledgement of paternity. He was recorded as the father on the children's birth certificates. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Although the juvenile court erred in taking judicial notice of a paternity test report previously entered as an exhibit in proceedings before a magistrate, the error was harmless because the mother's copy of the report was admissible; because the report showed a statistical probability of paternity of ninety-nine percent or greater, the putative father had an extremely high burden of proof to rebut the statutory presumption of paternity, but he failed to meet that burden. In re Michael J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 52 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. May 16, 2018).

Non-biological parent was not a biological parent, legal parent, or step parent, and she did not seek to adopt the child; thus, she did not fit within any of these statutory definitions of a parent, rendering her without standing to pursue a parentage action or visitation with the child. Pippin v. Pippin, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 220 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. Oct. 7, 2020).

Aunt and uncle were not the child's guardians within the meaning of the adoption statute and thus they were not necessary parties to the adoption proceeding, which was not void; aunt and uncle were never appointed or defined by law as the child's guardian or conservator, given that the juvenile court's order only awarded them visitation with the child, while the grandparents were awarded temporary legal custody. In re M.L.S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 458 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2020).

Legal parent who signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP) was properly ordered to pay child support, although the legal parent was not the biological father of the child, because the legal parent failed to prove the existence of a material mistake of fact that would have warranted rescission of the VAP and ordering the legal parent to pay child support was consistent with public policy. State ex rel. Kimberly C. v. Gordon S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 541 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2020).

12.5 Putative Father.

Father was the putative, rather than the legal, father of the child because the DNA test results do not appear in the record, nor is there an order regarding parentage or a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. In re Tiffany B., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2021).

13. Surrender.

A legal surrender of parental rights denotes a termination thereof and is totally separate and distinct from the situation where a parent maintains his or her parental rights but has relinquished custody to another. In re Estate of Dobbins, 987 S.W.2d 30, 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 616 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1998).

14. Termination of Parental Rights.

Order of termination of the mother's parental rights to her son was vacated to the extent that it was based upon a finding of abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv); the trial court's order failed to specify whether its decision was based upon a determination that the mother willfully failed to visit or support the child during the period immediately preceding her incarceration or, rather, upon a determination that the mother engaged in conduct prior to her incarceration that demonstrated a wanton disregard for her child's welfare. State v. C.H.K., 154 S.W.3d 586, 2004 Tenn. App. LEXIS 517 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004), appeal denied, In re J.W.P., — S.W.3d —, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 937 (Tenn. Nov. 8, 2004).

Termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii) was improper because the parents were never notified that the Tennessee department of children's services was seeking to terminate their parental rights based on this ground, and the department explicitly disclaimed that it was seeking termination on any grounds other than persistence of conditions and severe child abuse. In re Giorgianna H., 205 S.W.3d 508, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 192 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006).

Termination of parental rights under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(6) and (i) was affirmed because prior to the child's birth, the father began serving a ten-year prison sentence for felony possession of cocaine and possession with intent to sell, and there was ample evidence supporting the trial court's conclusion that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child. Fisher v. Young (In re K.B.H.), 206 S.W.3d 80, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 246 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006), appeal denied, In re Adoption of K. B. H., — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 638( Tenn. 2006).

Evidence clearly demonstrated a wanton disregard of the child where the evidence indicated that the mother used drugs in the later months of her pregnancy and she also admitted using drugs after the child's birth and while breast feeding the child; therefore, there was clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). In re S.L.A., 223 S.W.3d 295, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 808 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006), appeal denied, State v. Smith (In re S.L.A.), — S.W.3d —, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Apr. 2, 2007).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated on ground of abandonment because she exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her child, had 19 prior incarcerations, admitted to drug addiction problem to psychological examiner, and admitted that her mother was essentially taking care of and raising her child. State Dep't of Children's Servs. v. V.N., 279 S.W.3d 306, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 645 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2008), appeal denied, State v. V.N., — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Jan. 16, 2009).

In a termination case, the state made reasonable efforts at reunification because the mother moved around often and failed to stay in contact with the state, the state made efforts to help the mother obtain subsidized housing, and the mother's repeated stints in jail were a continuing obstacle; trial court found that the state provided job counseling to the mother during the intervals in which she was not incarcerated. State v. Estes, 284 S.W.3d 790, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 773 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2008), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 151 (Tenn. Mar. 16, 2009).

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(B) and (D), evidence clearly and convincingly established that a father abandoned his children by willfully failing to make reasonable payments towards their support, as the amount of payments that he made for his three children during the relevant four-month period were insignificant given his means, including his substantial salary and the value of his unencumbered property. In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

There was clear and convincing evidence that a father abandoned his children by willfully failing to visit them for a period of four consecutive months preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g), despite the fact that there was an order in place that suspended the father's visitation rights; the father had no contact with the children for three years prior thereto, and he took no action to reinstate visitation or to maintain a relationship during that four-month period, such that his actions were deemed willful under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i). In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(F), a father's payments of child support after an original petition to terminate his parental rights was filed was not considered for purposes of an abandonment analysis under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g). In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Termination of parents'  rights based on persistence of conditions pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) required the Department of Children's Services to prove that it made reasonable efforts at reunification with respect to the father, as a determination that termination was warranted due to his severe child abuse had been reversed pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102 and 37-1-166(g)(4)(A); however, the record indicated that such efforts were satisfactorily made. In re Dakota C.R., 404 S.W.3d 484, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 844 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2012), appeal denied, In re Dakota R., — S.W.3d —, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Mar. 6, 2013).

Contractual provisions in this case circumventing the statutory procedures for the termination of parental rights were unenforceable; there was no cognizable basis for the termination of the surrogate's parental rights. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

T.C.A. § 36-1-102(48)(B) [now (50)(B)] serves to clarify that no termination of “any” parental rights of a gestational surrogate is necessary, but does not operate as an additional independent procedure for termination. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

There was clear and convincing evidence of wanton disregard, given that the mother was incarcerated within four months prior to the filing of the petition, and bringing the child into the home of a man who had been abusive in the past, in addition to the mother's maintaining a relationship with another person who was abusive and used drugs, showed wanton disregard for the child, as did the mother's failure to seek treatment for her psychological issues; termination of the mother's rights was affirmed. In re Shaneeque M., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 20, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 128 (Tenn. Feb. 20, 2015).

Department was required to offer proof of an order in which the child was adjudicated dependent and neglected, but despite indications that there was such a judicial finding, no adjudicatory order appeared of record; the grounds of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home and the persistence of conditions that led to the child's removal were not established by clear and convincing evidence because of the absence of the necessary order, and because no grounds other than these two were alleged, the order terminating father's parental rights could not stand. In re R.L.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to support his children where the trial court did not expressly find that his failure to pay was willful and it did not make any findings regarding the father's income or earning capacity. In re K.M.K., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to provide a suitable home where there was no real evidence as to the condition of the father's residence, as the children were not removed from his home. In re K.M.K., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015).

Trial court erred by finding that the father's parental rights should not be terminated for willfully failing to support the child where there was no dispute that he paid no support to the child's mother, he was gainfully employed, and his substantial delay in failing to comply with a court order to provide insurance coverage for the child constituted token support. In re Brookelyn W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015).

Trial court erred by finding that the father's parental rights should not be terminated for willfully failing to visit the child where it was undisputed that he had no visitation with the child in the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, there was no evidence that he was thwarted in any effort to visit the child by the mother, and he placed all the onus to schedule and facilitate visitation on the mother and the stepfather. In re Brookelyn W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015).

Termination of a parent's parental rights to a minor child was appropriate because the parent willfully failed to contact, visit, or support the child during the four-month period preceding the filing of the petition in spite of the parent's assertion that the parent's right to visitation was restrained by a prospective adoptive parent and that the parent counter-petitioned to establish a parenting schedule. In re Jarett M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 213 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 13, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to terminate the mother's parental rights to her children based on abandonment where in addition to having no face-to-face visits the mother conceded she had not sent gifts or cards or otherwise attempted any contact with the children during the relevant four-month period or in the years since the children left Kentucky. In re E.G.H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 216 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2015), appeal denied, In re Elaina G. H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. June 19, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment for failure to visit because the visitations that occurred were token at best; and the mother brought additional parties to the visitations rather than spending that time with the children focusing on bonding and spending one-on-one time with them. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 328 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the children's welfare because the mother abused illegal substances prior to her incarceration; and she failed to make even minimal efforts to maintain contact with the children or the Tennessee Department of Children's Services in order to work towards reunification with the children. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 328 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that grounds existed to terminate parents'  parental rights to their child and that it was in the child's best interest to terminate the parents'  parental rights because (1) the parents'  repeated drug abuse and ongoing pattern of incurring criminal charges and incarceration, failure to support the child, and token visits with the child demonstrated their inability to parent the child; and (2) the child was in pre-adoptive foster care. In re Autumn L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 371 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2015).

Trial court erred in terminating a father's parental rights to seven children on grounds of failure to provide a suitable home because the child services agency conceded the record did not contain evidence indicating whether the agency's efforts occurred within the first four months after the children's removal. In re Kalob S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 465 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

It was not necessary for the grandparents to prove that the child was in immediate risk of substantial harm due to mother's substance abuse in order to prevail on the statutory termination ground of wanton disregard for the child's welfare exhibited prior to incarceration; it was sufficient that the mother's conduct that resulted in her incarceration rendered her an unfit parent. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Mother willfully failed to visit the child from March 2013 through September 2013, prior to her incarceration, and thus she had willfully failed to visit the child during the determinative four-month period immediately preceding the mother's incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition and the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based upon this statutory ground. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's determination that the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to support her during the determinative period prior to the mother's incarceration; she presented no evidence indicating that she had any conditions other than her addiction problems that prevented her from working, and she was capable of employment when not hindered by substance abuse and criminal activity, and termination was proper. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Trial court properly terminated the mother's parental rights based on the ground of abandonment by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; the mother's previous failure to address her substance abuse issues and her ongoing criminal behavior and probation violations prior to her most recent incarceration demonstrated a broad pattern of conduct that had rendered her unfit to care for the child. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Mother willfully failed to visit the child from March 2013 through September 2013, prior to her incarceration, and thus she had willfully failed to visit the child during the determinative four-month period immediately preceding the mother's incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition and the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based upon this statutory ground. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's determination that the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to support her during the determinative period prior to the mother's incarceration; she presented no evidence indicating that she had any conditions other than her addiction problems that prevented her from working, and she was capable of employment when not hindered by substance abuse and criminal activity, and termination was proper. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Trial court properly terminated the mother's parental rights based on the ground of abandonment by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; the mother's previous failure to address her substance abuse issues and her ongoing criminal behavior and probation violations prior to her most recent incarceration demonstrated a broad pattern of conduct that had rendered her unfit to care for the child. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Trial court did not err by terminating the father's parental rights to his son for abandonment where the evidence showed that the father did not visit his son during the relevant four-month period and his failure to do so was willful, despite the fact that he was living in a sober living facility during those months, because he was able to arrange visits and contact with individuals outside the facility but did not make such arrangements for his son. In re Gavin G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 500 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Grounds for termination of parental rights existed because the evidence was clear and convincing that a parent's pre-incarceration conduct constituted wanton disregard for the welfare of the parent's children. The parent physically abused one child, exposed a second child to illicit drugs in utero, ignored the orders of the juvenile court, and twice continued to use drugs and end up back in jail. In re Kaedince M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 849 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 19, 2015).

Ground of abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home was met by clear and convincing evidence where it showed that the child was found to be dependent and neglected and was placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the father was incarcerated and his sentence would expire in 2017, and the caseworker testified that her attempts to gain information to establish a suitable home for the child was thwarted by her inability to keep in contact with the father and his mother. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Mother and step-father's petition seeking to terminate the parental rights of the father was properly denied because the evidence did not support the findings that the father's failure to visit the child or to pay child support were willful as he exercised regular visitation with the child for the first five years of her life, but the situation changed when the mother became engaged to the step-father as the mother took steps that made it much more difficult for the father to exercise visitation with the child, and she took unreasonable steps restricting his access to the child; she failed to provide the father with the mailing address where she and the child resided; and she interfered with the father's ability to pay child support. In re Kiara S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 881 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2015), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 86 (Tenn. Jan. 28, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights due to abandonment where the evidence provided by the child's mother, her new husband, and the father showed that he willfully failed to visit the child and he presented no proof he or his agent appeared at the meeting location in the four months preceding the filing of the termination of parental rights petition. In re Hope A., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 914 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2015).

Trial court did not err in finding that grounds existed to terminate the father's parental rights to the children for abandonment by wanton disregard; the father was incarcerated at the time of the filing of the termination petition, and prior to that, he attacked two of the children and was found to have committed severe abuse, plus he attacked the mother with a baseball bat and had pleaded guilty to the offenses, which amounted to wanton disregard for the children's welfare. In re Kyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 986 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the juvenile court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights for abandonment-willful failure to visit where it showed that she did not visit her child in person during the four-month period immediately preceding the date the petition to terminate was filed, she failed to submit to drug screens that were her only obstacle to visiting her child, and her telephone conversations with the four-year-old child were not a sufficient substitute for in-person visitation. In re Candace J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 186 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the juvenile court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights for abandonment-failure to provide a suitable home where the Tennessee Department of Children's Services made reasonable efforts to assist her in establishing a suitable home for the child and the mother made no effort to establish a suitable home. In re Candace J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 186 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2016).

Even though the trial court erred by terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment for willfully failing to pay child support, because the record showed that he was receiving Supplemental Security Income and then Social Security Disability Income benefits, the trial court did not err by terminating his rights for failure to provide a suitable home, because the record showed that none of the homes he lived in was suitable for the child. In re Benjamin A., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 187 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 14, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights under any of the grounds contained in this section because, based on the Tennessee Supreme Court's holding in the Bernard case, the grounds contained in this section not apply where the defendant parent was a putative biological father, as the father was in the instant case. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights based on willful failure to visit where the evidence showed that he had substantial contact with the child within the four-month period, including that they were together, along with the mother, every day during July 2013 and they lived together the first week of August 2013. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights based on willful failure to support where the record contained some evidence that the father and his family were supporting the child during the early weeks of the four-month period and the record did not contain sufficient evidence regarding the father's expenses. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her son based on abandonment where her monthly visits for four months were so infrequent and of such short duration that they constituted token visitation. The mother admitted she spent the majority of her time during the visits with her daughter instead of her son and only a limited relationship had been established between them. In re Jayvien O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Termination of parental rights based upon abandonment, by a parent failing to provide a suitable home, was appropriate because the parent was unlikely to be able to provide a suitable home at an early date. The parent's then home was unlivable as a water pipe was broken, and the parent had only begun addressing the parent's mental health issues, had no plans to stop taking narcotic pain medication, and showed a lack of cooperation with Tennessee Department of Children's Services. In re Bailey W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 10, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment where it showed that he was sentenced to 130 months in prison on February 25, 2013 and since the child's birth the father engaged in violent behavior, abused drugs, and committed acts that resulted in a lengthy prison sentence. In re A.E.T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 537 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to visit where the children's great-grandmother's actions did not prevent the mother visiting the children and the mother failed to visit the children for four months preceding her incarceration. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support where the job opportunity she turned down did not occur during or prior to the relevant four months such that it would affect her income during the determinative period. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the children where she was involved in criminal activity and used illegal drugs. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the grounds of abandonment for failure to visit because the record reflected that the mother signed a copy of the Criteria and Procedures for Termination of Parental Rights and that she was advised of the consequences of her failure to visit during the requisite time period; and the mother simply failed to schedule visitation as required. In re Gabriella M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 587 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 15, 2016).

Trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard, given that the mother's conduct prior to her incarceration constituted wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; the mother had been in and out of jail, abused drugs, and did not show any effort to provide the child with the stability he needed. In re Zachariah G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 665 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 8, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights because the father did not substantially comply with the father's reasonable responsibilities in a permanency plan. In re Mac L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 883 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2016).

Trial court was correct in failing to terminate a father's rights on putative father grounds because the evidence did not clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the father failed to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody of his child; the evidence did not demonstrate that the father was aware of the Putative Father Registry or had access to the internet to register as the child's putative father. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017).

Trial court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights to her children because the evidence clearly and convincingly established that mother abandoned the children; the mother failed to maintain housing, missed appointments for drug and alcohol assessments, failed to maintain legal means of income, failed or refused drug screens, and missed psychological evaluations. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's determination that the mother willfully failed to visit her children because she failed to visit them during the relevant four-month period and the record showed that the Department of Children's Services tried to schedule drug screens in an effort to facilitate the mother's visitation but that she failed to communicate with them. In re S.P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2017).

Child's maternal grandparents did not establish an interest sufficient to permit intervention by right in a proceeding to terminate the parental rights of the child's parents. Despite having lived with the child, the grandparents were neither the guardian nor custodian of the child at the time the termination petition was filed. In re C.H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 57 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2017).

There was not clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the parents'  rights for abandonment under because, although they did not pay child support during the relevant time period, there was no evidence of either parent's income or available resources during the four months immediately preceding their incarcerations. In re Kayla B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 66 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the parents'  rights for failing to provide a suitable home because it showed that their case manager showed them the hazards in the home that needed to be remedied, the parents made little or no attempt to provide their children with a suitable home, and both parents continued to struggle with substance abuse and ran afoul of the law. In re Kayla B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 66 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the father's rights for the willful failure to provide support because there was no proof as to his income and expenses during the relevant four-month time period. In re Anna B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 70 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment because it showed that he failed to engage in anything more than token visitation with the child for several months, while he was able to work and held numerous jobs, any money he made went to purchase drugs rather than to pay support for the child, and he engaged in criminal behavior to support his drug habit which led to his incarceration. In re Kira G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 246 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 18, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on her willful failure to visit the child because it showed that she attempted to set up visitation only once in the relevant four-month period, the father never refused visitation prior to the mother's theft charge, and the main reason the mother did not attempt to satisfy the conditions to regain visitation was because she could not pass the required drug screens. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 289 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2017).

Evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on his willful failure to support the child because the trial court utilized an inappropriate four-month period, as it did not piece together the father's periods of non-incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment because it showed that he failed to establish a suitable home, he was incarcerated, and he engaged in illegal drug use. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to support because it showed that the father made no monetary contributions to the children's support during the determinative period, Christmas gifts he provided in 2014 constituted no more than token support, he did not claim to have legitimate, extraordinary expenses that would have prevented him from sending payments, and he acknowledged that he was capable of earning income when not incarcerated but instead chose to spend his discretionary income on drugs. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to visit because he did not dispute that he failed to visit the children or speak with them during the determinative period and admitted that his last visit with the children occurred in 2014. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Exceptional circumstances justified denying a parent relief from a void judgment terminating parental rights because the parent manifested an intention to treat the judgment as valid for 18 months after receiving actual notice of the judgment and the parent never attempted to contact, visit, or provide any financial support to the child. Furthermore, granting relief would have impaired the substantial reliance interests of the child and the adoptive parents and the child had developed significant relationships with the adoptive parents. In re Brooklyn J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 785 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2017).

In order to provide a suitable home for the children, the father needed to provide more than a physically sound structure, he needed to ensure that he could protect the children in the home from sexual abuse; he failed to complete recommendations and thus failed to address this issue, and therefore the termination ground of failure to provide a suitable home, for purposes of T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii), 36-1-113(g)(1), was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Da'Vante M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 797 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 12, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment through wanton disregard because his testimony established that he was aware of the child's existence when the committed aggravated burglary, he never attempted to contact, visit, or develop a relationship with the child, and he never financially supported the child. In re Catherine J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment through willful failure to visit and support the child because he never appeared for any medical appointments despite the child's foster mother providing him with notice of all medical appointments, and he never provided financially for the child during the four months prior to his incarceration. In re Catherine J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the parents'  rights for abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because it showed that the parents had continued to reside in an inappropriate home filled with lice, fleas, dog and cat feces, with insufficient food stores and they did not properly supervise the children. In re Mack E., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 71 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 9, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on willful failure to support because, given the frequency of the mother's incarcerations, her periods of non-incarceration were not as often as it would take to get a job. In re Homer, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 126 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failing to establish a suitable home because she moved in and out of friends'  homes for a couple of years, she moved in with a boyfriend who was a registered sex offender, and her mental illness rendered her unable to provide a stable, safe home for her children. In re Roderick R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 192 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 461 (Tenn. July 12, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment by failure to support because the mother was deemed to be aware of her obligation to support her children, the father was making child support payments for his other children, the parents were employed for the majority of the pertinent time period, and the children's foster parents testified that they received no support from the parents. In re Kah'Nyia J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018), appeal dismissed, In re Kah'Nyia J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. July 10, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because it showed that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services provided her with a multitude of services in four months following the removal of the child, she made little to no effort to free herself from drugs, and she only sporadically attended counseling. The evidence showed that because the mother continued to associate with the father, despite the domestic violence he inflicted on her, it was unlikely that she would be able to provide a suitable home for the child at an early date. In re Isaiah B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 247 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support because there was no proof introduced of the mother's income, employment (or willful unemployment), or expenses during the relevant time period from which the court could conclude that she had the capacity to pay support. In re Ethan B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 30, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to visit because the record did not contain clear and convincing proof that the mother's failure to visit was willful, as there was no proof as to the mother's capacity to visit or lack of an excuse for not visiting during the relevant period. In re Ethan B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 30, 2018).

Trial court erred by terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment because once DNA testing confirmed the father to be the child's biological father he maintained consistent visitation with her and although the father did not pay any child support, the DCS failed to establish that he had the ability to pay support, as there was no proof as to his income and expenses. In re Natascha B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 614 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to provide a suitable home because the record contained no order expressly adjudicating the children dependent and neglected. In re Francis R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 623 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support because she admitted that she willfully chose not to pay child support, and there was no evidence that she had any justification or infirmity, other than her drug addiction, to preclude her from obtaining gainful employment. In re Francis R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 623 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to visit because it showed that visitation was offered but the father refused the conditions because he felt uncomfortable, he only offered a day's  notice when requesting a suitable time to see the child, and while he saw the child out in the community, those visits were token in nature. In re Ruger N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 659 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment for nonsupport because the father admitted at the hearing that he had a duty to remit support, he had the capacity to remit support, and that he failed to do so because the mother refused his request for visitation. In re Ruger N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 659 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2018).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the children because there was no evidence that the father had any knowledge of one child when he committed the robbery and the record contained no evidence of conduct by the father showing a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children other than the robbery. In re Lailonnii J., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 89 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the mother took no action to establish a suitable home until mid-2018 and she lost that home due to failure to pay rent. In re Boston G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because it showed that prior to her incarceration the mother only visited the child once. In re Boston G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by exhibiting wanton disregard for the child's welfare because the father had an extensive list of criminal convictions and in several instances his pre-incarceration interactions with the mother were violent. In re Boston G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020).

Even though the trial court err by applying two different four-month periods, as the grandparents'  amended petition did not set forth separate or distinct allegations, the error was harmless because the ground of failure to support was proven by clear and convincing evidence, as the mother conceded she never paid the grandparents any child support and her sporadic gifts were token in nature. In re Ava M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 226 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard because the record was replete with evidence of the father's recidivism, as he was arrested or incarcerated numerous times during the child's life, and he was incarcerated at the time of the hearing. In re Haskel S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment based on the failure to visit ground was proper because her two abbreviated visits, totaling around three hours and both of poor quality, constituted nothing more than token visitation during the four-month period. In re Allie-Mae K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 529 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment based on the failure to support was proper because the mother did not file an answer raising the lack of willfulness as an affirmative defense; neither the mother nor the father offered proof as to why they were unable to pay any support or why their lack of support was not willful; and the mother waived her right to assert a lack of willfulness. In re Allie-Mae K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 529 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2020).

Trial court erred by terminating the mother's parental rights based on failure to visit because her failure to bring enough books or specific books on visits was not a basis for sustaining the ground against her. The record showed that she had three appropriate visits with the children during the relevant four-month time period. In re Azariah R., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan., 27,  , 2021).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was in the children's best interests because she physically abused two of the children, and she could not provide an environment free from alcohol and controlled substances. In re Kayden A., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2021).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated because the mother failed to manifest an ability to assume custody of the children, despite somewhat complying with the permanency plan prior to her incarceration, the mother failed to resolve her lack of suitable housing and did not financially support the children, she failed a drug screen and refused to comply with later testing requests, and she did not address her mental health issues and never began individual counseling. In re Kayden A., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2021).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was in the child's best interests because due to the mother's drug use and criminal behavior throughout the child's life she had very little visitation with the child, there was no bond between the mother and the child, and the child was very bonded to the foster mother, who had cared for her and had custody of her for the majority of her life. In re Hadley R., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 61 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2021).

15. Determination of Abandonment.

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the mother refused to show concern for the eight-month-old child's physical health, specifically his nutritional health and weight, which demonstrated a broader pattern of conduct that rendered the mother unfit; the mother missed a recheck appointment after a pediatrician expressed concern about the child's low weight and poor growth rate. In re Jaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 280 (Tenn. Mar. 25, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father abused prescription pain and anxiety medications in the family home, had to “doctor shop” in order to obtain the medication, and nutritionally and medically neglected the eight-month-old child. In re Jaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 280 (Tenn. Mar. 25, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's and a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by failure to provide suitable housing because, despite myriad services, in-home counseling, and ample opportunity, there was a general lack of progress in the areas of housekeeping and personal hygiene, and the parents continued to struggle with basic parenting skills; the children's clothes smelled of urine and the parents were hoarders. In re Kim C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 106 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment for failure to support where the testimony of the service worker did not show the mother's ability to prove support for her son during the applicable four month period. In re Malaki E., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's rights for failure to provide a suitable home where her whereabouts were unknown for several months even though she knew that her son was in the custody of Tennessee Department of Children's Services and she failed to visit him or advise the Department of her whereabouts. In re Malaki E., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2015).

It was not error to find a mother's visitation with the mother's child during a relevant period was “token,” for purposes of termination of parental rights, because (1) the mother visited only twice, (2) the mother's claim of lack of transportation was unavailing, and (3) the mother did not address the finding on appeal. In re Alexis B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 220 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2015).

Although the petition to terminate a mother's parental rights failed to specifically allege the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent, the ground was tried by the mother's implied consent because, inter alia, the father's attorney questioned mother and other witnesses regarding mother's contact with the children, her payment of support, and the time she spent in jail during the four month period of time preceding the filing of the termination petition. In re D.H.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2015).

Evidence supported a trial court's ruling that a parent abandoned the parent's children by failing to establish a suitable home because, when the children were removed while the parent was incarcerated after testing positive for drugs, they were staying at a camper that lacked both space and food. Furthermore, the parent did not make any significant strides, notwithstanding efforts in assisting the parent, towards providing suitable housing following release. In re Roger T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 261 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2015).

Statutorily determinative period applicable to consideration of the mother's alleged failure to visit and support the child began four months immediately preceding her incarceration; this determinative period would apply even under the assumption, arguendo, that Mother's incarceration ended on December 17, 2013, because she was nonetheless incarcerated for part of the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition on January 28, 2014. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Four-month determinative period was not applicable to the ground of abandonment through wanton disregard for the child's welfare because consideration of this ground required consideration of the mother's conduct throughout the child's life prior to the mother's incarceration. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a failure to establish a suitable home and lack of concern, because, in the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, the mother did not have a stable residence and did not visit the children, and the mother's failure to arrive on time for the termination hearing showed a continued lack of concern for the children. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Evidence was not clear and convincing that an unmarried parent abandoned the parent's children by willfully failing to visit them because the parent did visit the children during the four months preceding the parent's incarceration, including overnight on a weekend, and apparently sought to continue visitation following an altercation with the other parent. The parent's overnight visit constituted more than a token visit. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Evidence preponderated against the trial court's findings that an unmarried parent failed to support the parent's children in the four months preceding the parent's incarceration because the evidence was undisputed that the parent did provide monetary support for the children during the relevant time period. Specifically, the parent's payment of $1,300, from the parent's income tax return, to the other parent during the four months preceding incarceration was more than a token amount, given the parent's means. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Termination of a parent's parental rights to a minor child, on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit, was appropriate because the parent failed to visit the child during the four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate the parent's rights and for adoption of the child. Although the parent filed a petition seeking visitation, when the parent alleged interference with visitation had occurred, the petition was dismissed for the parent's failure to advance the petition. In re B.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 964 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2015).

Trial court's finding that the paternal grandparents had not proven that the mother's failure to visit was willful for purposes of abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(E) was affirmed where there was no clear and convincing evidence as to the exact requirements the mother was required to meet, and there was evidence that the mother had completed an alcohol and drug treatment plan during the four-month period. In re Destiny H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 24, 2016).

Because there was no dispute that Mother was incarcerated at the time of the filing of the termination petition, either of two abandonment definitions contained in the statute could apply in this case; although the latter definition was not pleaded, as the parties discussed the mother's visitation at length and neither party objected to evidence in this regard, it was considered whether the mother willfully failed to visit in the four months prior to her incarceration. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

Trial court was not entitled to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent through wanton disregard because the termination petition did not sufficiently allege this ground, it was not referenced in the trial court's prior order, and it was not tried by implied consent. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

While the trial court did find that the mother did not visit the child, there was no finding that the mother's failure to do so was willful; because no other grounds were found by the trial court and sustained on appeal, the case was remanded for the trial court to address the willfulness issue. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

Trial court erred by terminating parental rights based on a parent having abandoned the parent's children, as the parent failed to provide any child support while the children were in foster care, because the evidence was less than clear and convincing that the parent willfully failed to support the children as the parent, during the applicable four month period, was unemployed, apparently lived with various friends and family members, did not have a high school education, and was out of the work force during marriage. In re Bailey W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 10, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights due to abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the mother (1) did not make use of the Department of Children's Services'  efforts to assist the mother, (2) had no stable home, and (3) continued to abuse drugs and alcohol. In re S.D.D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 532 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

Although the trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard and for failure to support the children, termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by willfully failing to visit the children because the father did not visit the children during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate the father's rights; and the father was released from prison in late 2014, but up until the time of the hearing on November 19, 2015, he had not visited with the children a single time. In re Keith W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016).

Evidence did not support a finding that a father abandoned the father's children by failing to provide a suitable home because the father obtained sufficient housing during the relevant time period and maintained appropriate housing through trial. Moreover, there was insufficient evidence that the father's relationship with mother, who had a problem with the use of drugs, rendered the father's home unsuitable. In re Jeramyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment because the father, even before the father's incarceration, both willfully failed to visit, as the father failed to fulfill the father's responsibilities under the permanency plan to prove to the court the father was ready to resume visitation once it was suspended, and engaged in conduct exhibiting a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child. In re Mac L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 883 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2016).

Abandonment was a ground for terminating a father's parental rights because clear and convincing evidence showed that the father engaged in conduct prior to the father's incarceration that evidenced a wanton disregard for the welfare of the father's children as the father engaged in criminal conduct, substance abuse, reckless behavior, and was incarcerated at times. Because of this conduct and behavior, the father was unable to establish a stable father-child relationship with the father's children. In re Casyn B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 361 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii) was appropriate where the Department of Children's Services had made reasonable efforts to assist her in establishing a suitable home, and the mother continued to use drugs and made no corresponding efforts to remedy her living situation. In re Michael B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 545 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 3, 2017).

Grounds for termination of a father's parental rights existed because there was clear and convincing evidence that the father was willful in the father's failure to provide support and to visit the children during the relevant statutory period as neither the mother, nor circumstances outside the father's control prevented the father from visiting and providing support to the children. Accordingly, the trial court on remand was to determine whether termination of the father's parental rights was in the children's best interests. In re James D., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 56 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2020).

Termination of parental rights for incarcerated parents on the ground of failure to visit was inappropriate because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to properly plead the ground, and in the absence of evidence that indicated that the parents fully understood failure to visit was being tried by implied consent and because evidence relevant to the parents'  failure to visit was relevant to other issues, this ground for termination was not tried by implied consent. In re Noah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

16. Reasonable Efforts.

Department of children's services made reasonable efforts toward reunification where, upon receiving custody of the child, the Department met with the father to address his criminal issues and prescription drug abuse, and made reasonable efforts to find a family member to care for the child. In re Robert C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2015).

Record preponderated in favor of the trial court's finding that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) satisfied its requirement to make reasonable efforts to assist the parents, given in part that DCS funded an in-home service provider to help the family, DCS conducted numerous home visits, kept the parents apprised of the children's doctor appointments, and when the children were removed, DCS made numerous foster home visits to ensure that the children's needs were being met. In re Derrick J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 8, 2016).

Children's case worker testified that the department paid for homemaker services, clinical assessment, and pest control, plus, in part, provided gas cards and transportation to attend the children's appointments; there was clear proof that the department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother, who failed to avail herself of these opportunities. In re Jasmine B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 709 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Reunification efforts by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) were reasonable because, given the services which the DCS provided, which included drug and alcohol counseling, psychological evaluations, and bus passes, and the fact that, for a long period of time, a father was not in communication with the DCS, the efforts by the DCS to assist the father exceeded the father's efforts in the case. In re Ja'miya T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2017).

Actions of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services to assist a mother in establishing a suitable home were reasonable because the Department submitted an affidavit of reasonable efforts by its representative, detailing the services provided during the four months after the children's removal from the home; the Department developed a permanency plan, and it provided the mother with money to pay pay overdue utility bills in order to help her obtain suitable housing. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Juvenile court erred in terminating a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to meet its burden of proof on the question of reasonable efforts in that the appellate court was not able to determine from the testimony of a caseworker when the assistance was actually provided and whether the assistance was rendered within the four-month period following removal or some time thereafter. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

In connection with the termination ground of lack of a suitable home, the department's efforts were found to be reasonable given the circumstances of the case, and thus the termination judgment was not disturbed on the basis of an alleged lack of reasonable efforts by the department. In re Da'Vante M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 797 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 12, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence to establish that a mother abandoned the mother's child by failing to provide a suitable home. Furthermore, the record did not support the mother's claim that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to assist the mother in securing suitable housing as the record showed that the mother simply failed to accept the assistance provided. In re Jabari B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2018).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services'  (DCS) effort were reasonable where it attempted to assist the mother for well over a year before filing the petition to terminate her parental rights, DCS applied for funding and provided her with access to a parenting assessment, paid for an expensive bed for her disabled child, visited the mother monthly, made recommendations as how she could make her home suitable for the children, and invited her to all family meetings, foster care meetings, and permanency plan meetings. The mother's refusal to provide DCS with a release form so that it could obtain her medical records hindering DCS's attempts to offer her additional assistance. In re Roderick R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 192 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 461 (Tenn. July 12, 2018).

In a termination of parental rights case, the Department of Children's Services (DCS) made reasonable efforts to assist the mother in establishing a suitable home in the four months following removal of the children, including providing transportation and services to allow the mother to participate in supervised therapeutic visitation with the children, but she failed to follow up on information concerning housing opportunities and obtaining a mental health assessment; she voluntarily ceased attending individual counseling during the first four months the children were in DCS custody; and she refused to participate in family counseling, even telephonically. In re Treymarion S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2020).

17. Wanton Disregard.

Logically, a person cannot disregard or display indifference about someone whom he does not know exists, and while the statutory reference to “the child” can mean a child in utero, the wanton disregard language must be construed to require that the father has knowledge of the child at the time his actions constituting wanton disregard are taken; a father cannot exercise wanton disregard for the welfare of a child if he does not know the child exists, and in this case, the guardian ad litem did not prove that the father had such knowledge, and the holding that he abandoned the child was reversed. In re Anthony R., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 459 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 9, 2015).

Father's parental rights were properly terminated due to his wanton disregard for the welfare of his children since the father was involved in criminal behavior, he almost immediately violated his probation, and he committed domestic violence against his pregnant wife; moreover, the father was in substantial noncompliance with the statement of responsibilities in a permanency plan because he did not provide proof of housing or a legal means of income, he did not arrange a psychological evaluation or set up a drug and alcohol assessment, and he did not visit his children. Termination was in the best interest of the children based on the father's history of drugs and violence and the fact that the children were doing well in foster care. In re Lilly C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2016).

No case law was found holding that a person acts with wanton disregard by conceiving the child, regardless of the criminal and social history of the individuals involved, and the trial court's reasoning to the contrary was rejected; the father's actions in committing crimes and failing to send the mother any money were actions that occurred after his incarceration, and wanton disregard considers a parent's conduct prior to incarceration, and his actions then were insufficient to establish that he acted with wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard because the father was released from incarceration in October 2014, and the petition to terminate was not filed until June 2015; and the father was not incarcerated at the time of the filing of the petition or during the four months immediately preceding the institution of the action. In re Keith W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016).

Although the wanton disregard statute applies only when the parent has knowledge of the child in question, this is based on the statutory language that requires that the parent disregard the child; conversely, termination for incarceration for 10 years is not based on the parent's actions or knowledge, but is based on the parent's status, having received a prison sentence of ten or more years, and thus the father's knowledge of the child at the time of sentencing was irrelevant. In re Adrianna S., 520 S.W.3d 548, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 734 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 180 (Tenn. Mar. 14, 2017).

Trial court properly found that the father abandoned the child based on his engagement in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; since the child was approximately 21 months old, the father had engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, which has culminated in a prison sentence of approximately 15 years. In re Maddox C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2016).

State proved the grounds of wanton disregard against father, given that he had 19 judgments resulting from felonies, to which he pleaded guilty, he was incarcerated when the children were removed from the home, he violated his probation, and he continued to be charged with other crimes. In re Dustin T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 876 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to wanton disregard for the welfare of the child was proper, as the evidence showed that the father pled guilty to two counts of attempted child rape, with one victim being the child at issue In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 913 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2016).

Mother's parental rights were terminated for abandonment because her actions prior to her incarceration exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children; the mother's criminal convictions, probation violations, incarceration, and substance abuse placed her children in danger, and her actions showed a failure to act in the interest of her children on a consistent basis. Termination was in the best interest of the children because the mother continued to use drugs, she was unable to care for the children in a safe and stable manner, and it was difficult for her to maintain a meaningful relationship with the children due to her criminal behavior. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 43 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2017).

Given the father's multiple theft convictions, his decision to expose the child to criminal activity, and his decision to evade law enforcement, his conduct prior to incarceration exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child and supported termination of the father's rights. In re Colton R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 88 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2017).

It was error to find an incarcerated father abandoned the father's child by wanton disregard of the child's welfare because (1) the father's criminal conduct occurred before the child was born, and (2) the father's prison discipline did not fall under the purview of the applicable statute. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

It was not error to find an incarcerated father abandoned the father's child by wanton disregard of the child's welfare because, after he learned of the child's mother's pregnancy, he was charged with a probation violation and otherwise engaged in criminal behavior, including aggravated domestic assault and resisting arrest, and he was convicted of the offense for which he was currently incarcerated before the child's birth. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

Record was indicative of the father's patterns of criminal behavior, drug abuse, incarceration, and refusal to financially support the child, which amounted to a wanton disregard for the child's welfare, and this ground for termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was improper on the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and willful failure to visit, but proper on the ground of wanton disregard based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because the mother testified to the abuse perpetrated by the father upon her while she was pregnant with the child; and the abuse described by the mother was of an especially cruel nature and directly imperiled the child as the father pushed her down some steps and she landed directly on her stomach, beat her with extension cords, and held her hostage at the home without allowing her to seek medical attention for her injuries and medical attention to assist with the birth of the child. In re Kenya H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017).

Termination of the mother's rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113 was proper; the mother's chronic drug abuse and inability to maintain sobriety, plus her criminal behavior and unstable housing exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her children. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Plain language of T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) does not require a dependency and neglect order to base a termination of parental rights on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

For termination based on abandonment by wanton disregard, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) requires that wanton disregard be based upon the parent's conduct prior to incarceration, and the trial court erred in focusing on actions that occurred subsequent to the department's removal of the child from the mother's custody. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Termination of the father's rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113 was proper; while he exhibited the ability to provide support, his criminal behavior, probation violations, substance abuse, and incarcerations exhibited a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court properly found that a mother exhibited a wanton disregard for her child's welfare because the mother displayed a broad pattern of criminal behavior and drug abuse. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Termination of parental rights was appropriate because the parents engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for their children's welfare in that one child tested positive for opiates at birth, the mother did not begin to address the mother's drug addiction until one year after the child's birth, the mother engaged in criminal conduct that led to the mother's arrest almost on a continual basis, the father voluntarily left the children with the father's mother, and the father was convicted multiple times. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment based on behavior that demonstrated a wanton disregard for the welfare of his children because he was incarcerated beginning in March 2016, and was still incarcerated at the time of the termination proceeding in May 2017; the father's history of criminal behavior began well before the birth of the children but did not abate after their births; just one month after the children's removal, in September 2015, the father was charged with vandalism and, in March 2016, convicted of violating his probation; and he failed drug screenings after the children were removed, and admitted to consistent drug abuse until he was incarcerated in March 2016. In re Aaralyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2018).

Based on the father's string of criminal behavior, termination of his parental rights on the ground of wanton disregard for the child's welfare prior to his incarceration was proper because, during the relevant time period between the father learning of the mother's pregnancy and his incarceration, the father committed seven felony auto burglaries and one misdemeanor theft. In re Bentley D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 153 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 378 (Tenn. June 19, 2018).

Evidence was clear and convincing that the mother's conduct exhibited a wanton disregard for the children's welfare and termination proper; two of the children tested positive for drugs, another child was born with drugs in her system, the mother relapsed twice after treatment, and she was incarcerated at different times during the pendency of this action. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment through wanton disregard of the child's welfare because the father had been involved in criminal activity and been convicted of some offenses after the child's birth; he had not consistently financially supported the child; and he had not paid child support since April 2015. In re Amynn K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Father's conduct evidenced wanton disregard for the well-being of the child and constituted grounds to terminate his parental rights; the father was aware of his duty to visit, yet he had willfully not visited the child in the four month period prior to his incarceration, plus he had been incarcerated within four months of the petition to terminate being filed, and thus he engaged in drug abuse and criminal activities rather than making progress towards reunifying with his child. In re Charles T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 501 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

There was clear evidence to support termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard; the mother's criminal record was prolific, particularly troubling was the manufacture of methamphetamine and endangerment charges because the child was in the house where the drugs were being made, and the mother admitted to taking drugs during her pregnancy despite the fact that she had lost custody of her first child by the same action. In re Hayden L, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Father abandoned the child by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for her welfare; the child languished in custody while the father continued in his criminal behavior and continually failed to adequately address his substance abuse issues. In re Kaycee M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 585 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2018), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment through wanton disregard for the children's welfare because the mother never attended counseling to address her own history as a domestic violence victim; the mother repeatedly engaged in conduct that resulted in her incarceration and negatively affected the children; and the mother failed to make any monetary payments toward the financial support of the children. In re Steven W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 693 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 28, 2018).

Trial court's determination that petitioners proved abandonment by engaging in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child was supported by the mother's multiple arrests and incarcerations and multiple probation violations. In re Johnathan M., 591 S.W.3d 546, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 10 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Apr. 2, 2019).

Trial court correctly concluded that the mother abandoned her children by engaging in conduct that would exhibit a wanton disregard for the children, given that she continued to use drugs after the children's removal, she was incarcerated twice on different charges, and before her incarceration, she did not once visit the children, plus she willfully made no child support payments. In re Gabriella H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 75 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a mother's abandonment of her child by wanton disregard because the evidence showed she (1) was in and out of jail, (2) never provided stable housing or an appropriate environment for the child, (3) did not address being a domestic violence victim, and (4) did not obtain recommended treatment and continued to relapse. In re J'Khari F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the ground of wanton disregard for the children's welfare because she violated her probation, engaged in criminal behavior, abused drugs, and failed to properly care for the children as none of the children had ever been to a dentist, and they all had serious problems with their teeth; they were behind on their immunizations when they went with the mother to the shelter; and, the eldest, who was seven years old when the children were removed from the mother's care, had never been to school. In re Trey S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2019).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper on the ground of wanton disregard for the children's welfare because he was physically abusive to the mother in front of his daughter; at the time of trial, he had charges pending against him for manufacturing between 10 and 70 pounds of a controlled substance while the children were on their trial home visit; and evidence was presented that he was altering his urine drug tests. In re Trey S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment through wanton disregard because she was incarcerated during the entire four months preceding the termination petition; prior to her incarceration, she used drugs without a prescription, and she was arrested and convicted of theft, DUI, and aggravated assault; and she stayed with her boyfriend and agreed to the supervised visitation. In re Khloe B., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 415 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the child because the mother was incarcerated at various points during the four months before the termination petition was filed; she admitted to using cocaine while pregnant; and she used drugs, violated her probation, and was unable to supervise the child. In re Jayda S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2019).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on his exhibiting a wanton disregard for the child's welfare because it was undisputed that he was arrested multiple times in Tennessee after the child's birth and he admitted that he violated the terms of his probation again after being released in 2014. These acts, when coupled with his history of criminal behavior before the child's birth, demonstrated a pattern of conduct that rendered the father unfit to parent the child. In re Travis R., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2019).

Termination of parental rights for abandonment by wanton disregard was appropriate because a father was incarcerated when the termination petition was filed or during all or part of the four months immediately preceding the institution of the action and the father engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children, as the father failed to visit or support the children during the periods of non-incarceration and had pending criminal charges. In re Nevaeh B., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 133 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2020).

Evidence was clear and convincing that the father abandoned the child by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard for her welfare because he was incarcerated, and he engaged in parole violations, substance abuse, and assaulted the child's mother. In re Isabella W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 200 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 592 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Tennessee law requires more to sustain the ground of wanton disregard than just incarceration; if a parent's actions resulting in incarceration always are sufficient to show wanton disregard, the Tennessee General Assembly would just need to say incarceration alone is a ground for termination of parental rights, but it has not done so. The court thus vacated termination based on the ground of wanton disregard. In re Trinity H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 388 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper because she was incarcerated from November 2018 through April 2019, which was during part of the four months preceding the filing of the petition; and she exhibited wanton disregard for the child's welfare as she admitted to drug use while pregnant with the child, and she engaged in criminal behavior while the child was in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, resulting in the violation of her probation and hindering her ability to complete the requirements of her permanency plan. In re Kash F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 399 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 4, 2020).

18. Prospective Adoptive Parent.

Grandmother lacked standing to petition to terminate the mother's parental rights; the extended family member had to be caring for a related child, but she was not, plus she could not be considered a prospective adoptive parent because to adopt the child, the grandmother would have to terminate the rights to her son and daughter, the mother, and the petition made clear that she had no such intention. In re Ava B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. July 1, 2016).

Because the foster parents had physical custody of the child at the time the petition was filed, the foster parents had standing to file and pursue their adoption petition. In re Neveah W., 525 S.W.3d 223, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (Tenn. May 9, 2017).

19. Child Abuse.

Child was severely abused as a result of manufacturing of methamphetamine in the home and testing positive for methamphetamine; because the father was found to have committed severe abuse as defined in T.C.A. § 36-1-102 under a prior court order, this ground for termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Mother tested positive for amphetamine and her child tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine when she was born; termination of the mother's rights on severe child abuse grounds was proper. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Because the mother did not appeal the trial court's earlier order regarding severe child abuse of the older three children, the issue of whether her parental rights could be terminated as to those child on the ground of severe child abuse was res judicata. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

20. Abandonment.

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's rights for abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii); the department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother to find suitable housing, and she had been living in an acceptable home, had been drug-free for six months, and was employed, and thus the department failed to show that the mother demonstrated lack of concern to such a degree that it appeared unlikely she would be able to provide a suitable home. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court properly terminated a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because the record clearly and convincingly established that her failure to pay support was willful; the mother was aware of her child support obligation, and she had the ability to pay because she was employed. In re Brantley B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 720 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2017).

Juvenile court properly terminated a father's parental rights based on abandonment because, while the father knew the whereabouts of his child, for most of the child's life, the father was content to allow others to care for him, the father had not written, visited, or sent money or gifts for five years and only called once, the child had enjoyed a stable, loving home environment with a foster parent for two years who wanted to adopt him, and it was unclear when, if ever, the father would be in a position to provide a safe and appropriate home for his child. In re Jonathan M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 626 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 26, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment for willful failure to support because the mother's acknowledgment during her deposition that she had between $80 and $100 extra per month was not introduced into evidence and there was no competent evidence in the record showing that the mother had the ability to provide support. In re Alexis S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 526 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2019).

Trial court failed to make sufficient specific findings to support its termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment for willful failure to visit because the trial court made no specific findings of fact regarding the frequency, duration, or quality of the mother's visits. In re Alexis S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 526 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2019).

21. Persistent Conditions.

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because the record contained no adjudication or any finding the child was dependent and neglected; given the high standard of proof applicable, the court of appeals could not assume that the requirement that there be a finding that the child was dependent, neglected, or abused had been met or that there was clear and convincing evidence that he was found to be dependent or abused. In re Brantley B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 720 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2017).

36-1-103. Prior adoptions and terminations of parental rights involving minors and prior adoptions of adults ratified.

  1. All proceedings for the adoption of children in the courts of this state, including any proceedings that terminated parental or guardianship rights, are hereby validated and confirmed and the orders and judgments entered therein prior to January 1, 1996, are declared to be binding upon all parties to the proceedings and such parties' privies and all other persons, until such orders or judgments shall be vacated as provided by law; provided, that this section does not apply to adoption proceedings or terminations of parental rights proceedings actually pending on January 1, 1996, in which the validity of a prior adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding is at issue.
  2. Adoptions and terminations of parental rights pending on January 1, 1996, and surrenders and consents executed prior to January 1, 1996, shall be governed by prior existing law.
  3. All adoptions of persons who are adults as of January 1, 1996, that were completed before January 1, 1996, in the courts of this state, pursuant to the then-existing provisions of this part, are hereby in all things ratified and confirmed.
  4. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, surrenders taken and adoptions filed on or after January 1, 1996, and before October 1, 1996, which complied with the prior adoption law that was in effect on December 31, 1995, are in all things ratified and confirmed and shall be valid and lawful; provided, that this section does not apply to adoption proceedings or terminations of parental rights proceedings actually pending on January 1, 1996, in which the validity of a prior adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding is at issue. It is the intent of the general assembly to prevent any declaration of invalidity of any surrenders or adoptions taken or filed on or after January 1, 1996, and before October 1, 1996, for failure to properly comply with the provisions of Chapter 532 of the Public Acts of 1995, which took effect on January 1, 1996, and which amended prior adoption law and procedures. This section is remedial legislation and shall have retrospective effect in order to promote the public welfare and to preserve the permanency of adoptive placements for children.

Acts 1965, ch. 152, § 1; T.C.A., § 36-138; Acts 1978, ch. 704, § 2; T.C.A., § 36-139; § 36-1-138; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 105.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-103, concerning persons to whom part is applicable, was transferred to § 36-1-107, effective January 1, 1996.

Cross-References. “Placement” defined, § 36-1-108.

Law Reviews.

Domestic Relations — Adoption — Validity of a Legal Adoption in Tennessee, 39 Tenn. L. Rev. 361 (1971).

36-1-104. Withholding of material information concerning the status of the parents or guardian of a child subject to surrender, termination of parental rights or adoption — Misdemeanor.

Any person who, upon request by any party to an adoption or the party's agent or attorney, a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker, the department, or the court, knowingly and willfully withholds any information related to the child who is the subject of a surrender, a termination of parental rights, or an adoption proceeding, or who knowingly and willfully withholds any material information concerning the identity, status, or whereabouts of the child's legal parent or parents, putative father, or guardian or who knowingly and willfully gives false information concerning the child or the identity, status, or whereabouts of the child's legal parent, putative father, or guardian commits a Class A misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a person or agency to disclose any confidential or privileged information protected by any state or federal law or regulation.

Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 16; 2019, ch. 36, § 18.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-104, concerning venue, was transferred to § 36-1-114.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment, in the first sentence, substituted “child’s legal parent or parents, putative father, or guardian” for “child’s parent or parents or a guardian or guardians”, substituted “child’s legal parent, putative father, or guardian commits” for “child’s parent or parents or guardian or guardians commits”, substituted “in this section shall be construed to require a person or agency to disclose any confidential or privileged information” for “herein shall be construed to require any person or agency to disclose any information, the confidentiality or privilege of which is” in the second sentence.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, ch. 36, § 35. July 1, 2019.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

36-1-105. Violation of criminal provisions of part by state employee — Dismissal.

Any employee of the state of Tennessee who is convicted of the violation of any of the criminal provisions of this part shall be instantly dismissed from the state service and shall never again be eligible for employment in state service.

Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-105, concerning petition for adoption, was transferred to § 36-1-115.

36-1-106. Readoption.

  1. Any minor child who was previously adopted under the laws of any jurisdiction may be subsequently readopted in accordance with this part.
  2. With respect to a child sought to be adopted a second time or subsequent time by new adoptive parents, all provisions in this part relating to the biological parents or legal parents or guardians shall apply to the prior adoptive parents, except that in no case of readoption shall a biological or legal parent or guardian whose rights were previously terminated before the child was initially adopted and whose rights were not subsequently restored be made a party to the new adoption proceeding, nor shall such person's surrender, parental consent, or waiver of interest be necessary. The prior adoptive parents whose rights have not been previously terminated and any other persons who otherwise would be entitled to notice pursuant to this part subsequent to the previous adoption of the child shall be the only necessary parties to the new termination or adoption proceedings and only their surrenders or parental consent, or the termination of their rights, shall be necessary.
    1. With respect to a child sought to be readopted under the laws of this state who has been previously adopted pursuant to the laws of a foreign country, the circuit and chancery courts are specifically authorized to enter new orders of adoption as they may be required for purposes of compliance with any requirements of the government of the United States for children who were adopted in foreign countries. In such instances, if an adoption was conducted in accordance with the laws of the foreign jurisdiction, no further termination of parental rights of the child's parents or guardians need be made, no home study need be conducted, no court report need be made and no time period for which an adoption petition must be on file before a final adoption order is entered shall be required. Further, no consultation of the putative father registry maintained by the department shall be required, and the affidavits otherwise required by § 36-1-120(b)(1) and (2) need not be filed, if the attorney, social worker, or child-placing agency, as the case may be, that provided professional services in the underlying foreign adoption, does not maintain an office in the United States.
      1. When a Tennessee resident adopts a child in a foreign country in accordance with the laws of the foreign country and such adoption is recognized as full and final by the United States government, such resident may file, with a petition, a copy of the decree, order or certificate of adoption that evidences finalization of the adoption in the foreign country, together with a certified translation of the decree, order or certificate of adoption, if it is not in English, and proof of full and final adoption from the United States government, with the clerk of the chancery or circuit court of any county in this state having jurisdiction over the person or persons filing such documents.
      2. The court shall assign a docket number and file and enter the documents referenced in subdivision (c)(2)(A) with an order recognizing such foreign adoption without the necessity of a hearing. Such order, along with the final decree, order or certificate from the foreign country, shall have the same force and effect as if a final order of readoption were granted in accordance with this part.
      3. When the order referenced in subdivision (c)(2)(B) is filed and entered, the adoptive parents may request a report of foreign birth pursuant to § 68-3-310 by submitting an application for report of foreign birth.
      4. Individuals obtaining a report of foreign birth under subdivision (c)(2)(C) are exempt from the disclosure of fees requirements of § 36-1-116(b)(16).

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 31 (Williams, § 9572.45); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-137; Acts 1978, ch. 704, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-138; § 36-1-137; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 17; 2003, ch. 231, § 5; 2005, ch. 137, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-106 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 15 (Williams, § 9572.29); 1959, ch. 223, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-106; Acts 1986, ch. 767, § 6), concerning disclosure of adoption records, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1.

Textbooks. Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law, (1998-99 ed., Coppock).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Preclusion and Effect of Judgments.

As prior divorce litigation between a mother and father which was resolved by a parenting plan giving the mother visitation rights was a different cause of action than the father and stepmother's petition to terminate the mother's parental rights, res judicata did not bar the termination action. In re B. W., 397 S.W.3d 105, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 199 (Tenn. Feb. 21, 2013).

3. Best Interests Analysis.

Trial court's order did not reflect that the trial court considered the appropriate best interests factors for termination of parental rights set forth in the termination of parental rights statute as the trial court considered the best interest factors in the child custody statute, which addressed factors that a trial court had to consider in a suit for annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance; thus, the trial court's conclusions as to the child's best interests did not satisfy the analysis mandated by statute. In re Layton W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 445 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2020).

36-1-107. Persons to whom this part is applicable.

  1. Any person, irrespective of place of birth, citizenship, or place of residence, may be adopted or readopted in accordance with this part.
  2. A single person may file a petition for the adoption of a child.
  3. An adult may be adopted.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 3 (Williams, § 9572.17); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-103; § 36-1-103; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-107 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 14 (Williams, § 9572.28); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-107), concerning name of child used in adoption proceedings, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 20 Tenn. Juris., Parent and Child, § 21.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Adoption of Adults.

An adult may be adopted. Coker v. Celebrezze, 241 F. Supp. 783, 1965 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6358 (E.D. Tenn. 1965).

36-1-108. Entities authorized to place children for adoption — Advisory and agency capacity authorized — Injunction to stop illegal payments.

    1. No person, corporation, agency, or other entity, except the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker, as defined in § 36-1-102, shall engage in the placement of children for adoption; provided, that this section shall not be construed to prohibit any person from advising parents of a child or prospective adoptive parents of the availability of adoption, or from acting as an agent or attorney for the parents of a child or prospective adoptive parents in making necessary arrangements for adoption so long as no remuneration, fees, contributions, or things of value are given to or received from any person or entity for such service other than usual and customary legal and medical fees in connection with the birth of the child or other pregnancy-related expenses, or for counseling for the parents and/or the child, and for the legal proceedings related to the adoption.
    2. Only a licensed child-placing agency, as defined in § 36-1-102, a licensed clinical social worker, as defined in § 36-1-102, prospective adoptive parents, or a lawyer who is subject to the Tennessee supreme court rules regarding lawyer advertising may advertise for the placement of children for adoption in this state. In order to advertise for the placement of children for adoption in Tennessee, out-of-state licensed child placing agencies, licensed clinical social workers or lawyers must:
      1. Be authorized to do business in this state under respective licensing laws; and
      2. Maintain a physical office within this state or incur expenses involved in the transportation of a licensing consultant to the closest physical office of the agency, social worker or lawyer.
    3. Any advertisement in this state for the placement of children for adoption in another state by an agency or individual not licensed or authorized to do such business in this state shall clearly state that the agency or individual is not licensed or authorized to do such business in this state.
  1. “Placement of a child or children for adoption” means, for purposes of this section and § 36-1-109 and for licensing purposes in title 37, chapter 5, part 5, and for § 37-5-507, that a person, corporation, agency, or other entity is employed, contracted, or engaged, in any manner for any remuneration, fee, contribution, or thing of value, of any type by, or on behalf of, any person:
    1. In the selection of prospective adoptive parents for a child by determining the relative qualifications of prospective adoptive parents in a decision by that person, corporation, agency, or other entity to place any child or children, including specifically, but not limited to, the preparation of home studies, preliminary home studies, court reports for surrenders or adoptions, or the provision of supervision of a child in an adoptive home as part of the adoptive process; or
      1. In the business of arranging services or assistance directed primarily, and not as an incidental part of its primary business, toward bringing to or placing with prospective adoptive parents a child or children for the purpose of foster care leading to adoption or as an adoptive placement for a child or children, including, but not limited to, advertising for such services, accepting clients for a fee, or providing any placing services for a fee;
      2. Nothing in subdivision (b)(2)(A) shall include the provision of reasonable and necessary legal services related to the adoption proceedings, or medical or counseling services for the child or the parent in connection with the child's birth or in connection with the parent's decision to relinquish the child for adoption or for counseling services for the prospective adoptive parents.
    1. Any court of competent jurisdiction, upon the filing of a sworn complaint by the department or by a licensed child-placing agency, or by any person aggrieved, may temporarily enjoin or restrain any person, corporation, agency, or other entity from engaging or attempting to engage in placing children for adoption in violation or in threatened violation of this part or title 71, chapter 3, part 5, and upon final hearing, if the court determines that there has been a violation, or threatened violation, thereof, the injunction shall be made permanent.
    2. If the court finds that any person, corporation, agency, or other entity has engaged in the illegal placement of children for adoption, that person, corporation, agency, or other entity shall be liable for all the costs of the legal proceedings and for all attorney fees for private persons or private agencies who brought the action, or for the cost of attorney and staff time for the department, involved in the proceeding.
    1. In order to allow the prospective adoptive parents to have information available to them to permit informed choices regarding the employment of persons or entities involved in the placement of children, or in counseling, or in the provision of legal services, the department shall collect the information concerning fees or other costs charged by licensed child-placing agencies, licensed clinical social workers, attorneys, and counseling services that are disclosed in accordance with §§ 36-1-116(b)(16) and 36-1-120(b).
    2. This information shall be used by the department to develop an informational database in order for the department to provide, upon request of prospective adoptive parents or other interested persons, information concerning fees charged for home studies, placement services, counseling and legal fees. Such information shall be made available by the department in written form to any person so requesting. No employee of the department shall make any recommendation regarding or comment upon any information concerning such attorney, licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker.
    3. The department is specifically authorized to promulgate rules pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, to regulate fees charged by licensed child-placing agencies and licensed clinical social workers or their practices, if it determines that the practices of those licensed child-placing agencies or licensed clinical social workers demonstrate that the fees charged are excessive or that any of the agency's practices are deceptive or misleading; provided, that such rules regarding fees shall take into account the use of any sliding fee by an agency or licensed clinical social worker that or who uses a sliding fee procedure to permit prospective adoptive parents of varying income levels to utilize the services of such agencies or persons.
    4. The department shall promulgate rules pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act to require that all licensed child-placing agencies and licensed clinical social workers provide written disclosures to all prospective adoptive parents of any fees or other charges for each service performed by the agency or person, and file an annual report with the department that states the fees and charges for those services, and to require them to inform the department in writing forty (40) days  in advance of any proposed changes to the fees or charges for those services.
    5. The department is specifically authorized to disclose to prospective adoptive parents or other interested persons any fees charged by any licensed child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker, attorney or counseling service or counselor for all legal and counseling services provided by that licensed child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker, attorney or counseling service or counselor.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 36 (Williams, § 9572.50); impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-135; Acts 1986, ch. 767, § 9; T.C.A., § 36-1-134; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 18, 127; 2000, ch. 981, § 54; 2009, ch. 411, § 4; 2009, ch. 519, §§ 1, 2; 2018, ch. 758, § 1; 2018, ch 875, § 36.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-108, concerning parties to proceedings, consent of parent or guardian, and service of process, was transferred to § 36-1-117.

Acts 2009, ch. 411, § 12 provided that the act, which amended §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-108, 37-1-102, 37-2-402 and added new § 37-1-183, shall apply to conduct covered by the provisions of the act that occurs on or after July 1, 2009. The eighteen (18) month time period set out in § 37-1-102(b)(12)(J) [now § 37-1-102(b)(13)(J)] shall not commence until July 1, 2009.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment by ch. 758, effective January 1, 2019, substituted “forty (40) days” for “thirty (30) days” in (d)(4).

The 2018 amendment by ch. 875 substituted “§§ 36-1-116(b)(16) and 36-1-120(b)” for “§§ 36-1-111(k)(4)(A), 36-1-116(b)(16) and 36-1-120(b)” in (d)(1).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 758, § 2. January 1, 2019.Acts 2018, ch. 875, § 38. July 1, 2018.

Law Reviews.

New reproductive technologies: The legal problem and a solution, 49 Tenn. L. Rev. 303 (1982).

Attorney General Opinions. Role of DCS in the selection of an attorney under adoption assistance program. OAG 14-57, 2014 Tenn. AG Lexis 58 (5/20/14)

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Compensation to Surrogate Parent.

Consistent with the policies underlying T.C.A. §§ 36-1-108 and 36-1-109, the terms of a surrogacy contract pertaining to compensation will only be enforceable to the extent that they are not contingent upon the surrogate's surrender of the child or the termination of her parental rights, and to the extent that they reflect the reasonable costs of services, expenses, or injuries related to the pregnancy, the birth of the child, or other matters inherent to the surrogacy process. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

36-1-109. Illegal payments in connection with placement of child — Penalty.

  1. It is unlawful for any person, corporation, agency, or other entity other than the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker, as defined in § 36-1-102, that is subject to regulation by the department to:
      1. Charge or receive from or on behalf of any person or persons legally adopting or accepting a child for adoption any remuneration, fee, contribution, or thing of value whatsoever for rendering any service described in § 36-1-108 in connection with the placement of such child for adoption or in connection with the placement of such child for foster care or adoption with one other than the child's parent or parents other than that now or hereafter allowed by law;
        1. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the payment by any interested person of reasonable charges or fees for hospital or medical services for the birth of the child, or for medical care and other reasonable birth-related expenses for the mother and/or child incident thereto, for reasonable counseling fees for the parents or prospective adoptive parents and/or child, for reasonable legal services or the reasonable costs of legal proceedings related to the adoption of any child or for reasonable, actual expenses for housing, food, maternity clothing, child's clothing, utilities or transportation for a reasonable period not to exceed ninety (90) days prior to or forty-five (45) days after the birth or surrender or parental consent to the adoption of the child, unless a court with jurisdiction for the surrender or adoption of a child, based upon detailed affidavits of a birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents and such other evidence as the court may require, specifically approves in a written order, based upon a motion filed by the prospective adoptive parents for that purpose, any expenses specifically allowed in this subdivision (a)(1)(B) for a period prior to or after the periods noted above;
        2. Such expenses must be incurred directly in connection with the maternity, birth, and/or placement of the child for adoption, or for legal services or for costs of legal proceedings directly related to the adoption of the child, or for counseling for a period of up to one (1) year for the parent who surrenders the child or consents to the adoption of the child;
        3. The payment for such expenses may only be for expenses or costs actually incurred during the periods permitted in subdivisions (a)(1)(B)(i) and (ii). This shall not be construed to prohibit the actual payment or receipt of payment for such expenses or costs after those periods that were actually incurred during those periods;
    1. Sell or surrender a child to another person for money or anything of value; and it is unlawful for any person to receive such minor child for such payment of money or thing of value; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any person who is contemplating adopting a child not yet born or surrendered or for whom a parental consent may be given from payment of the expenses set forth in subdivision (a)(1)(B);
    2. Having the rights and duties of a parent or guardian with respect to the care and custody of a minor child, assign or transfer such parental or guardianship rights for the purpose of, incidental to, or otherwise connected with, selling or offering to sell such rights and duties for money or anything of value; or
    3. Assist in the commission of any acts prohibited in subdivision (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3).
  2. A violation of this section is a Class C felony.
  3. Any adoption completed before March 27, 1978, shall not be affected by this section.

Acts 1978, ch. 704, § 2; T.C.A., § 36-136; Acts 1992, ch. 1019, § 1; T.C.A., § 36-1-135; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 19; 2003, ch. 231, § 6.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-109, concerning parents under eighteen, was transferred to § 36-1-110.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C felony, § 40-35-111.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Compensation to Surrogate Parent.

Consistent with the policies underlying T.C.A. §§ 36-1-108 and 36-1-109, the terms of a surrogacy contract pertaining to compensation will only be enforceable to the extent that they are not contingent upon the surrogate's surrender of the child or the termination of her parental rights, and to the extent that they reflect the reasonable costs of services, expenses, or injuries related to the pregnancy, the birth of the child, or other matters inherent to the surrogacy process. In re Baby, 447 S.W.3d 807, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014).

36-1-110. Parent under eighteen years of age — Surrender.

  1. A parent who has not reached eighteen (18) years of age shall have the legal capacity to surrender a child or otherwise give parental consent to adoption or execute a waiver of interest and to release such parent's rights to a child, and shall be as fully bound thereby as if the parent had attained eighteen (18) years of age.
  2. The court shall have the authority to appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor parent of a child who may be surrendered or for whom a parental consent or waiver of interest is given if deemed necessary to advise and assist the minor parent with respect to surrender, parental consent, waiver, or termination of the minor parent's parental rights.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 8 (Williams, § 9572.22); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-109; § 36-1-109; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 20.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-110, concerning abandonment, was transferred to § 36-1-113.

Cross-References. Age of majority, § 1-3-105.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 20 Tenn. Juris., Parent and Child, §§ 20, 21.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Chancery Court (Frederic S. Le Clercq), 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 281 (1978).

When One Parent Goes and the Other Parent Stays: The Inconsistency and Inequality of Guaranteeing Absent Parents Permanent Parental Rights (Wendee M. Hilderbrand), 56 Vand. L. Rev. 1907 (2003).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Failure to Comply With Statutory Requirements.

A final adoption decree was res judicata, notwithstanding failure to strictly comply with the requirements of this section. Brown v. Raines, 611 S.W.2d 594, 1980 Tenn. App. LEXIS 407 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1980).

2. Prior Orders.

Chancery and circuit courts may proceed with an adoption without considering the effects of a prior juvenile court order concerning custody. In re Adoption of Hart, 709 S.W.2d 582, 1984 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3000 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1984).

36-1-111. Presurrender request for home study or preliminary home study — Surrender of child — Consent for adoption by parent — Effect of Surrender — Form of surrender — Waiver of interest — Interpreter for non-English speaking parents.

    1. Prior to receiving a surrender by a parent of a child or prior to the execution of a parental consent by a parent in a petition for adoption, the prospective adoptive parents shall request a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or, if indigent under federal poverty guidelines, the department, to conduct a home study or preliminary home study for use in the surrender, or parental consent proceeding, or in the adoption.
    2. A court report based upon the home study or preliminary home study must be available to the court or, when using a Tennessee surrender form, to the persons under subsection (h), (i), or (j), and, before the surrender to prospective adoptive parents is executed, the court report must be reviewed by the court or persons under those subsections in any surrender proceeding in which the surrender is not made to the department or a licensed child-placing agency. When a parental consent is executed, pursuant to § 36-1-117(g), the court report based upon the home study or preliminary home study must be filed with the adoption petition, and must be reviewed by the court before the entry of an order of guardianship giving the prospective adoptive parents guardianship of the child.
    3. All court reports submitted under this subsection (a) shall be confidential and shall not be open to inspection by any person except by order of the court entered on the minute book. The court shall, however, disclose to prospective adoptive parents any adverse court reports or information contained therein, but shall protect the identities of any person reporting child abuse or neglect in accordance with law.
    4. A surrendering party shall complete a social and medical history form as promulgated by the department of children's services, or a substantially similar form, and attach the completed and executed form to the surrendering party's pre-surrender information form.
    1. All surrenders must be made in chambers before a judge of the chancery, circuit, or juvenile court except as provided herein, and the court shall advise the person or persons surrendering the child of the right of revocation of the surrender and time for the revocation and the procedure for such revocation.
    2. A surrender form shall be legally sufficient if it contains statements comparable to the “Form of Surrender” set forth in subdivision (b)(3). The information requested on the pre-surrender information forms under subdivisions (b)(4) and (5) shall be collected, to the extent that such information is known to the surrendering or accepting party respectively, on the forms provided in subdivisions (b)(4) and (5) or by a substantially similar method and shall be attached to the surrender form proffered to the judge or officiant for execution.
    3. TENNESSEE SURRENDER FORM

      I, (full name of surrendering party)  , born (surrendering party's date of birth) , sign this surrender to end my parental rights and responsibilities to (full name of child)  , born (child's date of birth)  in (location of child's birth)  . I am this child's (circle one) mother / father / possible father / guardian.

      I surrender my parental rights to and request that this Court give guardianship to (a person/family with a current, approved home study, or a licensed child-placing agency)   .

      I know I only have three (3) days to change my mind and revoke this decision after I sign this form. This decision may not be changed if I do not revoke this surrender on or before  (three days after today, calculated under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 6.01). To revoke, I must sign a revocation form before the Judge or officiant with me now or his or her successor.

      I have completed the Surrendering Party Pre-Surrender Information Form. I have provided true and complete answers to all the questions on that form to the best of my knowledge.

      I know that I should only sign this form if I want my parental rights terminated. If I want to talk to my own lawyer before I sign this form, I should tell the Judge or other officiant now and this surrender process will stop. I can talk to my lawyer and then decide if I still want to end my parental rights.

      If anyone is putting pressure on me to sign this surrender, or trying to make me sign against my will, or has promised me something I value in order to make me want to sign this surrender, I understand that I should tell the Judge or officiant about that before I sign this form. The Judge or officiant will not allow me to be forced to sign this surrender.

      No one is pressuring, threatening, or paying me to get me to sign this form. I believe voluntary termination of my parental rights is in the best interest of my child.

      By signing below I voluntarily terminate my parental rights and surrender my child to the person(s) or agency listed above.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Surrendering Party's Signature

      Judge or Officiant Attestation

      I interviewed the surrendering party and witnessed execution of the foregoing surrender as required by T.C.A. § 36-1-111. The surrendering party understands that he/she is surrendering parental rights to this child. There is no reason to believe that this is not a voluntary act.

      The Surrendering Party's Pre-Surrender Information Form, the surrendering party's Social and Medical History Form, and if the surrender is to an individual, or individuals, as opposed to an agency, the individual's, or individuals', court report based upon a current and approved home study are attached to this form. The Pre-Surrender Information Form and Social and Medical History Form are properly verified by a notary or I reviewed the information with the surrendering party and he/she has attested before me to the correctness of those forms.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Judge or Officiant's Signature

      Name and Title:

      Court or Employing Institution and Location:

      ACCEPTANCE BY AGENCY or PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENT(S)

      I/We  and  individually or I,  , on behalf of the licensed child-placing agency,  , hereby accept the surrender of  (child) from  (surrendering party) and plan to adopt the surrendered child or for an agency, expect and intend to place this child for adoption with an appropriate family. I/We or the undersigned agency have physical custody of this child or will have physical custody upon discharge of this child from a healthcare facility. I/We or the undersigned agency agree(s) to assume responsibility for obtaining guardianship of the surrendered child through a court order within thirty (30) days of the date of the surrender. I/We or the undersigned agency agree(s), to be responsible for the care, custody, financial support, medical care, education, moral, and spiritual training of this child, pending an adoption.

      I/We have completed the Accepting Party's Pre-Acceptance Information Form. The information provided in that form is true to the best of my/our knowledge.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Signature of Prospective Adoptive Parent

      Signature of Prospective Adoptive Parent

      Signature of Agency Representative and Title

      Judge or Officiant Attestation

      I interviewed the accepting parties and witnessed execution of the foregoing acceptance.

      The Accepting Party's Pre-Acceptance Information Form and any accepting individual's/individuals' court report based upon a current and approved home study are attached to this form. The Accepting Party's Pre-Acceptance Information Form is properly verified by a notary or I reviewed the information with the accepting parties and they have attested before me to the correctness of the form.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Judge or Officiant's Signature

      Name and Title:

      Court or Employing Institution and Location:

    4. SURRENDERING PARTY'S PRE-SURRENDER INFORMATION FORM

      STATE OF

      COUNTY OF

      Being duly sworn according to law, affiant would state:

      1.  I am:

      a.  Mother:     (Date of Birth)  or

      b.  Father:     (Date of Birth)  or

      c.  Legal Guardian:     (Date of Birth)  of

      2.

      a.  Child's Name

      b.  Child's Date of Birth

      c.  Child's Place of Birth

      d.  Child's Sex

      e.  Child's Race

      3.  This child was born in wedlock [ ] out of wedlock [ ] in wedlock but the mother's husband is not the child's biological father [ ].

      4.  State the names and relationships of any other legal parents, putative fathers, and legal guardians for this child:

      a.

    5. Telephone Number: Home:  Work:
    6. Other identifying information concerning the above identified other legal or biological parent/legal guardian.

      b.

      5.  If the above named parties' whereabouts are unknown, please describe why that is the case:

      6.  Is the child or surrendering parent or another legal parent of the child a member of a federally recognized American Indian or Alaskan Native tribe?

      If “yes,” please provide the name and address of the tribe, all available information regarding the tribal membership, including a membership number if there is one, or the basis for the belief that one may be a tribal member. If there is a tribal membership card or tribal enrollment document please provide a copy by attaching it to this form.

      7.

      a.  Will this child be sent out of Tennessee to another state for adoption?

      Yes [ ] No [ ]

      b.  If yes, name of state:

      8.  Have you been paid, received, or promised any money or other remuneration or thing of value in connection with the birth of the above-named child or placement of this child for adoption?

      Yes [ ] No [ ] If no, go to #9.

      If yes, please list the amount paid, to whom the payment was made, who made the payment, when was the payment made, and for what purpose the payment was made:

      9.  Does the child own any real or personal property? Yes [ ] No [ ] If yes, please describe property, its value, and any relevant circumstances:

      10.

      a.  I currently have (___) legal, (___) physical, or (___) legal and physical custody of the child.

      b.  If someone else has legal or physical custody of the child, please identify the person or agency that holds custody of the child and whether they have legal custody, physical custody, or both.

      For a custodian, other than the surrendering party, please list the custodians:

      Custodian(s)

      Street

      City  , State  , Zip

      Telephone Number: Home:  Work:

      11.

      a.  There may be state assistance-money, classes, health insurance, food aid and such, available to help you if you parent the child yourself.

      b.  There is counseling available if you want to talk to a counselor about your choice before you sign a surrender form.

      c.  You can talk to a lawyer who only represents you, if you want to, before you sign a surrender form.

      Do you understand that all these things are available? Yes [ ] No [ ]

      12.  Contact Veto.

      I understand that information about who I am, where I live, my social and medical history and other similar information will be available to the adopted person when he/she is 21 years old or older if the adopted person asks for the information. Identifying information about me will not be released if I am the victim of rape or incest and that fact is known to DCS and I have not consented to release of the information. Even if the adopted person obtains information about me, I understand that I may direct that the adopted person not be allowed to contact me by registering a “contact veto” on this form or separately with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services at:

      Contact Veto Registry Post Adoption Unit Tennessee Department of Children's Services 315 Deaderick Street UBS Tower, 9th Floor Nashville, TN 37243

      I may also change my previously expressed direction regarding contact at the same address. If I am contacted in violation of a contact veto, the adopted person will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and I can sue them for injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees.

      a.  Do you want to register a contact veto in order to prevent the adopted person from contacting you in the future? Yes [ ] No [ ].

      b.  If identifying information about you is going to be released to the adopted person do you want to be notified before the information is released? Yes [ ] No [ ].

      c.  Please supply a permanent address and telephone number for the Department to use to consult with you regarding release of information about you to the adopted person:

      d.  Please describe any other directions regarding future contact and or any information you want passed on to the adopted person:

      FURTHER, AFFIANT SAITH NOT.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Signature: Biological [ ] Legal [ ] Mother  ________________________________

      Biological [ ] Legal [ ] Father  ________________________________

      Legal Guardian  of

      Name of Child

      Sworn to and subscribed before me this the  day of  , 20 .

      Notary Public

      My commission expires:

      (A notary is necessary if information on this form is not reviewed by and acknowledged before a Judge or officiant.)

      ACCEPTING PARTY'S PRE-ACCEPTANCE INFORMATION FORM

      STATE OF

      COUNTY OF

      Being duly sworn affiants would state:

      1.

      a.  I am  , Prospective Adoptive Parent.

      b.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Date of Birth

      c.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Place of Birth

      d.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Marital Status

      2.

      a.  I am  , Prospective Adoptive Parent.

      b.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Date of Birth

      c.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Place of Birth

      d.  Prospective Adoptive Parent's Marital Status  Or

      3.  I am  , representative of  a licensed child placing agency with offices at:

      4.  The following costs have been paid or promised by  (me/us) for activities involving the placement of this child. Please include, amount paid or promised, to whom, by whom, date paid and type of service or cost:

      5.

      a.  ____ I/We have physical custody of this child; or

      b.  ____ I/We will receive physical custody of the child from the parent or legal guardian within five (5) days of this surrender; or

      c.  ____ I/We have the right to receive physical custody of the child upon his or her release from a hospital or health care facility; or

      d.  _____ Another person or agency currently has physical control of the child. I/We have presented to the court an affidavit of the person or agency required by T.C.A § 36-1-111(d)(6) which indicates their waiver of right to custody of the child upon entry of a guardianship order pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-l-136(r).

      6.  Yes [ ] No [ ]. I/We have presented to the court a currently effective or updated home study or preliminary home study of my/our home conducted by a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or the Tennessee Department of Children's Services as required by Tennessee law. (Not applicable for agency placements)

      7.

      a.  If the child is to be removed from Tennessee for adoption in another state, will there be compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Yes [ ] No [ ] Not Applicable [ ].

      b.  If yes, who will be responsible for preparing and submitting the ICPC package?

      FURTHER, AFFIANT SAITH NOT.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Signature of Prospective Adoptive Parent

      Signature of Prospective Adoptive Parent

      OR

      Signature of Representative of Agency

      Name of Agency

      Sworn to and subscribed before me this the  day of  , 20 .

      Notary Public

      My commission expires:

      (A notary is necessary if information on this form is not reviewed by and acknowledged before a Judge or officiant.)

      REVOCATION OF SURRENDER BY A PARENT OR GUARDIAN

      STATE OF

      COUNTY OF

      Being duly sworn affiants would state:

      1.  I am:

      a.  Mother:

      b.  Father: , or

      c.  Legal Guardian: , of:

      2.

      a.  Child's Name:

      b.  Child's Date of Birth:

      c.  Child's Place of Birth:

      d.  Child's Sex:

      e.  Child's Race:

      3.  On (Date)  , I executed a surrender of my parental or guardianship rights to the child named in #2 to:

      a.  Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)

      b.  Licensed Child-Placing Agency

      c.  Tennessee Department of Children's Services

      4.  The surrender was executed before:  (Name of Judge or Officiant)

      5.  I hereby revoke the surrender of the above-named child.

      FURTHER, AFFIANT SAITH NOT.

      This  day of  , 20 .

      Signature:   Biological Legal Mother:

      Biological Legal Father:

      Legal Guardian:

      Sworn to and subscribed before me this  day of  , 20 .

      This Revocation of Surrender was received by me on the  day of  , 20 .

      Please Print:

      Signature:

      Judge or Officiant

  1. A surrender or parental consent may be made or given to any prospective adoptive parent who has attained eighteen (18) years of age, the department, or a licensed child-placing agency in accordance with this section.
    1. No surrender or any parental consent shall be valid that does not meet the requirements of subdivision (a)(2).
    2. No surrender or parental consent shall be valid that is made prior to the birth of a child, except a surrender executed in accordance with subsection (h).
    3. No surrender or parental consent shall be valid that is made within three (3) calendar days subsequent to the date of the child's birth, such period to begin on the day following the child's birth; provided, that the court may, for good cause shown, which is entered in an order in the minute book of the court, waive this waiting period.
    4. No surrender or parental consent shall be valid if the surrendering or consenting party states a desire to receive legal or social counseling until such request is satisfied or withdrawn.
    5. Unless the surrender or parental consent is made to the physical custodian or unless the exceptions of subdivision (d)(6) otherwise apply, no surrender or parental consent shall be sufficient to make a child available for adoption in any situation where any other person or persons, the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or other child-caring agency in this state or any state, territory, or foreign country is exercising the right to physical custody of the child under a current court order at the time the surrender is sought to be executed or when a parental consent is executed, or when those persons or entities have any currently valid statutory authorization for custody of the child.
    6. No surrender shall be valid unless the person or persons or entity to whom or to which the child is surrendered or parental consent is given:
      1. Has, at a minimum, physical custody of the child;
      2. Will receive physical custody of the child from the surrendering parent or guardian within five (5) days of the surrender;
      3. Has the right to receive physical custody of the child upon the child's release from a health care facility; or
      4. Has a sworn, written statement from the person, the department, the licensed child-placing agency, or child-caring agency that has physical custody pursuant to subdivision (d)(5), which waives the rights pursuant to that subdivision (d)(5).
  2. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
  3. The commissioner, or the commissioner's authorized representatives, or a licensed child-placing agency, through its authorized representatives, may accept the surrender of a child and they shall be vested with guardianship or partial guardianship of the child in accordance with this section and § 36-1-102; provided, that the department or any licensed child-placing agency may refuse to accept the surrender of any child.
  4. In any surrender proceeding, the court or other person authorized herein to conduct a surrender proceeding, and when a parental consent is executed in the adoption petition, the court shall require that the person or persons surrendering the child for adoption or the person or persons giving consent and the person or persons accepting the child through the surrender or receiving parental consent to satisfactorily prove their identities before the surrender is executed or the parental consent is accepted. No surrender or parental consent may be executed in any form in which the identities of the person or persons executing the surrender or parental consent or the person or persons or agencies receiving the surrender or the identity of the child whose name is known are left blank or in any form in which those persons, the child, or agencies are given pseudonyms on the form or in the petition at the time of the execution of the surrender or parental consent.
  5. In cases where the person executing the surrender resides in another state or territory of the United States, the surrender may be made in accordance with the laws of such state or territory or may be made before the judge or chancellor of any court of record or before the clerk of any court of record of such state or territory and such surrender shall be valid for use in adoptions in this state.
  6. In cases where the surrendering person using the Tennessee form of surrender or the form provided by applicable law resides or is temporarily in a foreign country, the surrender may be made before any officer of the United States armed forces authorized to administer oaths, or before any officer of the United States foreign service authorized to administer oaths. A citizen of a foreign country may, in accordance with the law of the foreign country, execute a surrender of a child that states that all parental rights of that person are being terminated or relinquished by the execution of the document or that the child is being given to an agency or other person for the purposes of adoption.
  7. In cases where the person executing surrender is incarcerated in a state or federal penitentiary, the surrender may be executed before the warden or deputy warden of the penitentiary or a notary public.
      1. When a person executing a surrender is unable to read, read in the English language, see, or otherwise unable to review and comprehend the surrender form and attachments offered for the person's signature or provided on the person's behalf, the person shall be provided with appropriate and sufficient assistance to make the documents and attachments understandable to the person both before and during the surrender hearing. The accepting party shall be responsible for payment of the cost of such interpreter or assistance if the surrendering party requires such assistance.
        1. The court, or other persons authorized by this part to accept surrenders, shall personally verify under oath by the surrendering or consenting person who has provided the information required surrender or parental consent process pursuant to this part, that the parent or guardian agrees with the information provided in the forms and attachments and that such person does accept the surrender of the subject child.
        2. The pre-surrender information forms for the birth parent and accepting party and all required attachments must be attached to the surrender or parental consent when the surrender and acceptance are executed and maintained with the surrender or parental consent form by the court or the court clerk, or person authorized by this part to accept surrenders, and transmitted to the department as otherwise required by this part.
        1. In all other respects, the court, or other persons authorized by this part to accept surrenders, must witness the actual act of surrender, or must confirm the parental consent, by verifying directly with the parent or guardian the parent's or guardian's understanding and willingness to terminate parental rights and, by witnessing the parent's or guardian's signature on the surrender form, or by questioning the parent on the matters required by this part before the entry of an order of confirmation of the parental consent.
        2. The court may not accept any surrenders executed prior to its approval of the surrender that relinquish the parent's or guardian's rights, nor may it enter any orders confirming a parental consent, based upon any written statement of the parent agreeing to relinquish the parent's rights to the child, except as may be otherwise specifically provided by this part.
        3. The execution of the surrender or parental consent shall occur in private in the chambers of the court or in another private area, and in the presence of the surrendering or consenting person's legal counsel if legal counsel has been requested by the surrendering or consenting person. In the discretion of the court or other person conducting the surrender or parental consent proceeding, the court's officer or other employee may be present.
      2. For surrenders taken pursuant to subsection (h), (i) or (j), the information required by this part to be supplied by the prospective adoptive parents, the department, or a licensed child-placing agency and the acceptance of a surrender by the prospective adoptive parents or the department or the licensed child-placing agency may be made by affidavit contained with the Tennessee surrender forms.
    1. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
    2. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
    3. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
    1. In the case of a surrender directly to prospective adoptive parents, if the person surrendering the child desires to have counseling prior to execution of the surrender and the child is being surrendered directly to the prospective adoptive parents, the prospective adoptive parents shall, if so requested by the surrendering person or persons, compensate a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or the department for such counseling, which must be completed before the surrender can be executed.
    2. If the person surrendering the child states a desire to have legal counseling prior to or during the execution of a surrender directly to the prospective adoptive parents, the prospective adoptive parents shall, if so requested by the surrendering person or persons, compensate the attorney for such counseling sought, which must be completed before the surrender can be executed.
    3. This subsection (l ) shall also apply to the use of parental consents pursuant to § 36-1-117(g) prior to entry of the order of confirmation.
    4. The payment of compensation by the prospective adoptive parents shall not establish any professional/client relationship between the prospective adoptive parents and the counselor or attorney providing services under subdivisions (l )(1) and (2).
    5. The department shall, by rule, establish the form of the certification required by this section, including the counseling criteria that must be met with the surrendering parent as part of the certification.
  8. Before the surrender is received and before an order of guardianship is entered based upon a parental consent, the person or persons to whom the child is to be surrendered or the persons to whom a parental consent is given, other than the department or a licensed child-placing agency, shall present with the surrender executed in this state or on a Tennessee form at the time of the execution of the surrender or before confirmation of a parental consent by the court, a court report based upon a currently effective or updated home study or preliminary home study conducted by a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or the department.
  9. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
  10. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
      1. The person or persons executing the surrender and the person or persons, the local representative of the department or the local representative of the licensed child-placing agency to whom the child is surrendered shall receive certified copies of the original surrender from the clerk of the court immediately upon the conclusion of the surrender proceeding.
      2. Costs of all certified copies provided under this subdivision (p)(1) shall be taxed only to the person or persons receiving the surrender, the department, or the licensed child-placing agency.
      1. The original of the surrender executed before the court shall be entered on a special docket for surrenders and shall be styled: “In Re: (Child's Name),” and shall be permanently filed by the court in a separate file designated for that purpose maintained by the judge, or the judge's court officer, who accepted the surrender and shall be confidential and shall not be inspected by anyone without the written approval of the court where the file is maintained or by a court of competent jurisdiction with domestic relations jurisdiction if the file is maintained elsewhere. There will be no court costs or litigation tax assessed for the surrender. Within five (5) days, a certified copy of the surrender shall be sent by the clerk or the court to the adoptions unit in the state office of the department in Nashville.
        1. The original of the surrender executed before the persons authorized under subsections (h) and (i), or, in out-of-state correctional facilities under subsection (j), shall be maintained in a separate file designated for that purpose, which shall be confidential and shall not be inspected by anyone else without the written approval of a court with domestic relations jurisdiction where the file is maintained.
        2. For surrenders executed under subsection (j) in federal and state correctional facilities in Tennessee, the original shall be filed in a secure file in the office of the warden, which shall not be open to inspection by any other person, and after ten (10) days from the date of the surrender, the original shall be sent to the adoptions unit in the state office of the department in Nashville and a copy shall be maintained by the warden.
      1. The clerk of the court, or the department as the case may be, upon request, shall send certified copies of the original surrender to:
        1. The court where the adoption petition or where the petition to terminate parental rights is filed;
        2. A party who is petitioning for an adoption in cases where the child was not placed by the department or a licensed child-placing agency; provided, however, where the child was placed by the department or a licensed child-placing agency, the parties petitioning for an adoption or termination of parental rights are not entitled to copies of the surrenders made to the department or a licensed child-placing agency; and
        3. The department's county office or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker that or who is performing any service related to an adoption or that has intervened in an adoption proceeding.
      2. Costs of providing certified copies under this subdivision (p)(3) may be taxed or charged to the person, the department, or the licensed child-placing agency that requests the certified copies, except where the department, the licensed child-placing agency, or licensed clinical social worker is responding to an order of reference from a court or where the department, licensed child-placing agency, or licensed clinical social worker is conducting any investigation related to the adoption or to the child's welfare.
    1. The party to whom the child is surrendered pursuant to subsection (h), (i) or (j) shall file a certified copy of the surrender of a child with the chancery, circuit, or juvenile court in Tennessee where the child or the prospective adoptive parents reside, or with the court in which an adoption petition is filed in Tennessee, within fifteen (15) days of the date the surrender is actually received, or within fifteen (15) days of the date the child or the person or persons to whom the child has been surrendered becomes a resident of this state, whichever is earlier.
    2. The surrender filed pursuant to subdivision (q)(1) shall be recorded by the court and shall be processed by the clerk as required by subdivision (p)(2)(A).
    3. In cases under subdivision (q)(1), where the child is in the legal custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency, the surrender also may be filed in the chancery, circuit, or juvenile court or other court that had placed custody of the child with the department or the licensed child-placing agency.
    4. In cases under subdivision (q)(1), and in accordance with subsection (r), the court shall enter such other orders for the guardianship and supervision of the child as may be necessary or required pursuant to this section or § 36-1-118.
        1. A surrender, a confirmed parental consent, or a waiver of interest executed in accordance with this part shall have the effect of terminating all rights as the parent or guardian to the child who is surrendered, for whom parental consent to adopt is given, or for whom a waiver of interest is executed. It shall terminate the responsibilities of the surrendering parent or guardian and the consenting parent. It shall terminate the responsibilities of the person executing a waiver of interest under this section for future child support or other future financial responsibilities pursuant to subsection (w) if the child is ultimately adopted; provided, that this shall not eliminate the responsibility of such parent or guardian for past child support arrearages or other financial obligations incurred for the care of such child prior to the execution of the surrender, parental consent, or waiver of interest; provided further, that the court may, with the consent of the parent or guardian, restore such rights and responsibilities, pursuant to § 36-1-118(d).
        2. If, after determining the surrender to be in the child's best interest, the department accepts a surrender of a child, who was previously placed for adoption by the department, from the child's adoptive parent or parents, the unrevoked surrender of such child shall terminate the responsibilities of the surrendering adoptive parent or parents for future child support or other future financial responsibilities; provided, that this shall not be construed to eliminate the responsibility of such parent or parents for past child support arrearages or other financial obligations incurred for the care of such child prior to the execution of the surrender; and provided further, that the court may, with the consent of the parent or parents, restore such rights and responsibilities pursuant to § 36-1-118(d).
      1. Notwithstanding subdivision (r)(1)(A), a child who is surrendered, for whom a parental consent has been executed, or for whom a waiver of interest has been executed, shall be entitled to inherit from a parent who has surrendered the child or executed a parental consent or waiver of interest until the final order of adoption is entered.
      1. Unless prior court orders or statutory authorization establishes guardianship or custody in the person or entity to whom the surrender or parental consent is executed, the surrender or parental consent alone does not vest the person, persons or entities who or that receive it with the legal authority to have custody or guardianship or to make decisions for the child without the entry of an order of guardianship or partial guardianship as provided in subdivision (r)(6)(A) or as provided in § 36-1-116(f). The court accepting the surrender or the parental consent shall not enter any orders relative to the guardianship or custody of a child for whom guardianship or custody is already established under prior court orders or statutory authorization, except upon motion under subdivision (r)(4)(D) by the person, persons or entities to whom the surrender or parental consent is executed.
      2. In order to preserve confidentiality, the court clerk or the court shall have a separate adoption order of guardianship minute book, which shall be kept locked and available for public view only upon written approval of the court.
      1. Except as provided in subdivisions (r)(2) and (4), a validly executed surrender shall confer jurisdiction of all matters pertaining to the child upon the court where the surrender is executed or filed until the filing of the adoption petition, at which time jurisdiction of all matters pertaining to the child shall transfer to the court where the adoption petition is filed; provided, that the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to adjudicate allegations concerning any delinquent, unruly, or truant acts of a child pursuant to title 37 shall not be suspended.
      2. A waiver of interest does not confer jurisdiction over the child in any court nor does it permit the entry of any order of custody or guardianship based solely upon such waiver, but shall only permit a court to find that that person's parental rights, if any, are terminated.
      1. When, at the time the surrender or parental consent is executed, a prior court order is in effect that asserts that court's jurisdiction over the child who is the subject of the surrender or parental consent, the prior court order shall remain effective until, and only as permitted by this section, an alternate disposition for the child is made by the court where the surrender is executed or filed or until, and only as permitted by this section, an alternate disposition is made for the child on the basis of a termination of parental rights proceeding, or, as permitted by § 36-1-116, until an alternate disposition for the child is made by the court where the adoption petition is filed.
      2. If the prior court order under subdivision (r)(4)(A) gives the right to legal and physical custody of the child to a person, the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or other child-caring agency, a surrender or parental consent by the parent or guardian to any other person, persons or entities shall be invalid as provided under subdivision (d)(5), and any purported surrender or parental consent to such other person or persons or entities shall not be recognized to grant standing to file a motion pursuant to subdivision (r)(6) and § 36-1-116(f)(3) to such other person or persons or entities who or that received the surrender or parental consent, and no order of guardianship or partial guardianship based upon that surrender or parental consent and motion shall be effective to deprive the existing legal or physical custodians under the court's prior order of legal or physical custody of that child. Any orders to the contrary shall be void and of no effect whatsoever.
      3. If the court that has entered the prior custody order under subdivision (r)(4)(A) has subject matter jurisdiction to terminate parental or guardian rights at the time a surrender of the child who is the subject of that order is validly executed in another court pursuant to subdivision (r)(4)(D) or at the time a petition to terminate parental rights is filed pursuant to subdivision (r)(4)(E), it shall continue to have jurisdiction to complete any pending petitions to terminate parental or guardian rights that are filed prior to the execution of the surrender or prior to the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights in the other court pursuant to subdivision (r)(4)(E). The court shall not have jurisdiction to complete any pending petitions to terminate parental rights subsequent to the filing of a petition for adoption. The court may enter orders of guardianship pursuant to the termination of parental rights proceedings unless prior thereto an order of guardianship is entered by another court pursuant to subdivisions (r)(4)(D) and (E). Any orders of guardianship entered pursuant to subdivisions (r)(4)(D) and (E) or pursuant to § 36-1-116 shall have priority over the orders of guardianship entered pursuant to this subdivision (r)(4)(C); provided, that orders terminating parental rights entered pursuant to this subdivision (r)(4)(C) shall be effective to terminate parental rights.
      4. If the person, persons or entities in subdivision (r)(4)(B) to whom the surrender is made have legal and physical custody of the child or the right to legal and physical custody of the child pursuant to a prior court order at the time the surrender is executed to them, any court with jurisdiction to receive a surrender may receive a surrender that is executed to them and shall have jurisdiction, upon their motion, to enter an order giving guardianship or partial guardianship to the person, persons or entities, and, notwithstanding subdivision (r)(4)(A), such order may make an alternate disposition for the child.
      5. Notwithstanding subdivision (r)(4)(A), a person, the department, or a licensed child-placing agency that had custody of the child pursuant to a court's prior order, may file in any court with jurisdiction to terminate parental or guardian rights, and in which venue exists, any necessary petitions to terminate the remaining parental or guardian rights of any person or persons to the child, and if they have any subsequent orders of guardianship or partial guardianship based upon an executed surrender or a termination of parental rights from the other court of competent jurisdiction, they may place the child for adoption in accordance with those subsequent orders.
    1. If multiple surrenders or parental consents are received with respect to the same child in different courts, subject to the restrictions of subdivisions (r)(2) and (4), the court that first receives a surrender or parental consent or in which the surrender is first filed pursuant to subsection (q), and that enters an order of guardianship or partial guardianship, shall have jurisdiction of the child and shall issue any necessary orders of reference required by this section. Any other court that receives a surrender or parental consent or in which a surrender or parental consent is filed pursuant to subsection (q) subsequent to the surrender shall, upon notification by the first court, send the original of the surrender or filed pleading to the first court and shall retain a certified copy of the original in a closed file, which shall not be accessed by any person without the written order of the court.
      1. Subject to the restrictions of subdivisions (r)(2) and (4), a validly executed surrender under this section or a parental consent shall give to the person to whom the child is surrendered or to whom a parental consent is given standing to file a written motion for an express order of guardianship or partial guardianship, as defined in § 36-1-102, from the court where the child was surrendered or where, under subsection (q), the surrender was filed, or in the court that, pursuant to subdivision (r)(4)(A), has granted legal custody of the child to such person, or in the court in which the adoption petition is filed. A validly executed surrender shall entitle the department or the licensed child-placing agency that received the surrender to have the court enter an order of guardianship pursuant to subdivision (r)(6)(C).
      2. The motion, which may be filed by any person or by that person's attorney, shall contain an affidavit that the party seeking the order of guardianship or partial guardianship has physical custody of the child, or if filed at the time of the execution of the surrender or the filing of the adoption petition containing a parental consent, it shall contain the affidavits otherwise required by subdivision (d)(6).
      3. If the person, the department, or the licensed child-placing agency to whom the child is surrendered or to whom parental consent is given has physical custody or has otherwise complied with the requirements of subdivision (d)(6), and if there has been full compliance with the other provisions of this section, the court may, contemporaneously with the surrender or the filing of an adoption petition, immediately upon written motion by the person or the person's attorney, and the court shall, if the surrender is to a licensed child-placing agency or the department, enter an order giving the person, the licensed child-placing agency, or the department, guardianship or partial guardianship of the child.
      4. A copy of the surrender, the motion and any resulting order shall be sent by the clerk to the adoptions unit in the state office of the department in Nashville, which shall record the surrender, the motion, and the order and their dates of filing and entry for purposes of tracking the child's placement status and the status of the adoption process involving the child.
    2. If an order of guardianship is entered, the appointed guardians shall have authority to act as guardian ad litem or next friend of the child in any suit by the child against third parties while the child is in the care and custody of the petitioners. The court may appoint a special guardian for the child for such purpose upon motion by the department for a child in its guardianship.
    3. If the court grants guardianship or custody of the child upon the filing of the surrender or upon the filing of a parental consent and the child is possessed of any real or personal property to be administered, the court shall appoint a guardian of the property of the child if no guardian of the property exists, and such guardian may be the same person or persons who are guardians of the person of the child except if the child is in the guardianship of the department in which case another person or entity shall be appointed.
  11. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
    1. Upon receipt of the surrender or upon filing a parental consent for an adoption by a person other than a related person, and if no home study had been completed or updated within six (6) months prior to the surrender or the filing of a parental consent, and no court report based upon the home study has been filed with the court, the court shall, by an order of reference issued within five (5) days, direct that a home study be conducted and filed as provided in this part.
    2. The order of reference shall be directed to a licensed child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker unless the prospective adoptive parents are indigent under current federal poverty guidelines, in which case the order shall be directed to the department.
    3. The court report based upon the home study shall be filed with the court within sixty (60) days of the date of the order of reference.
    4. The court shall order a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker, or the department, if the parents are indigent under federal poverty guidelines, to provide supervision for the child who is in the home of prospective adoptive parents pursuant to a surrender or a parental consent under this section, and to make any necessary court reports that the court should have concerning the welfare of the child pending entry of the final order in the case; provided, that this subdivision (t)(4) shall not apply when the surrender is made to related persons.
    5. If the adoption petition is filed before the home study is completed or before the court report based upon the home study is filed, and the adoption petition is filed in a court other than the one where the surrender was executed, the court where the surrender was executed shall, upon request of the court where the adoption petition is filed or upon motion of the prospective adoptive parents, send any court report it receives to the adoption court.
    6. Unless they are indigent under federal poverty guidelines, the prospective adoptive parents shall be assessed by the court the costs of the study and the supervision of the placement by the agency, and the costs shall be paid by them to the licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker that performed the home study or supervision.
    1. Failure to fully comply with this section or failure to file the surrender executed pursuant to subsection (h), (i) or (j) within the fifteen-day period required by subsection (q), or failure to obtain an order of guardianship in accordance with this section within thirty (30) days of the date the surrender is executed or filed, or within thirty (30) days of the date parental consent is filed, shall be grounds for removal of the child from the physical care and control of the person, the department, or licensed child-placing agency receiving the surrender; provided, that this shall not apply when the persons, the department or the licensed child-placing agency have legal custody or partial guardianship under an order of a court entered prior to the execution of the surrender or parental consent or pursuant to any statutory authority giving custody to the department or licensed child-placing agency.
    2. A sworn complaint concerning the grounds alleged in subdivision (u)(1) and concerning the best interests of a child for whom a surrender is sought or on whom a surrender or parental consent was executed or guardianship order entered, or which complaint otherwise seeks to present proof concerning the best interests of the child, may be filed by any person, the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or a licensed clinical social worker.
    3. The complaint may be filed in the court where the surrender was executed or filed or where the adoption petition containing a parental consent was filed. If the surrender was not executed or filed in Tennessee or if the surrender was not executed before a court or if the surrender was not filed at all, then the complaint may be filed in the circuit, chancery, or juvenile court in the county where the child resides.
      1. Upon its own motion or upon the complaint filed pursuant to subsection (u) and subject to the restrictions concerning custody of the child who is not in the custody of the prospective adoptive parents as stated in subdivisions (r)(2) and (4) and § 36-1-116(f)(1), the court receiving the surrender or entering the order of guardianship or partial guardianship and the adoption court to which jurisdiction may be transferred may make any suitable provisions for the care of the child and, notwithstanding the restrictions of subdivisions (r)(2) and (4) and § 36-1-116(f)(1), the court shall have jurisdiction to enter any necessary orders, including any emergency ex parte orders for the child's emergency protection, care, and supervision based upon probable cause that the child's health and safety is immediately endangered; provided, that such emergency orders shall only remain effective for thirty (30) days when the restrictions of subdivisions (r)(2) and (4) and § 36-1-116(f)(1) apply.
      2. If another court has jurisdiction under a prior order because of such restrictions, upon completion of all proceedings to protect the child, the court shall then return all jurisdiction over the child to the court having jurisdiction under the prior order; provided, that the juvenile court shall maintain jurisdiction pursuant to title 37 to adjudicate allegations of delinquency, unruliness, or truancy involving the child.
      3. If the child has no legal custodian with authority to provide temporary care for the child, then, subject to the restrictions of subdivisions (r)(2) and (4) and § 36-1-116(f)(1), the court shall give temporary legal custody pursuant to § 37-1-140 to the department or a licensed child-placing agency until full compliance has been effected and until a guardianship or partial guardianship order can be entered, or until some other disposition is made for the child by the court. The court may permit the department or a licensed child-placing agency, in its discretion, to place the child with any suitable person, including the prospective adoptive parents, under the department's or the licensed child-placing agency's supervision.
      4. If an emergency ex parte order removes the child from the custody of the prospective adoptive parents or the department or licensed child-placing agency, a preliminary hearing shall be held within five (5) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, to determine if probable cause exists for the continuance of such order.
    1. The prospective adoptive parents or entities from which the child was removed shall be necessary parties at the preliminary hearing and the final hearing, and the court may order the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker to provide any necessary information or court reports concerning the welfare of the child as it may require.
    2. A final hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days of the date of the preliminary hearing, except for good cause entered upon the record.
    3. Upon the final hearing, and based upon clear and convincing evidence that the action is in the best interests of the child, the court shall have jurisdiction to enter an order removing the child from the prospective adoptive parents or other custodian or guardian of the child, and may award temporary legal custody giving any person, the department or licensed child-placing agency, or a child-caring agency, the care and custody of the child as provided under § 37-1-140 or may enter a guardianship or partial guardianship order with the rights provided under this part, all subject to the rights of any remaining parent or guardian.
    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a waiver of interest and notice, when signed under oath by the alleged biological father, shall serve to waive the alleged biological father's interest in the child and the alleged biological father's rights to notice of any proceedings with respect to the child's adoption, custody or guardianship. The alleged biological father who executes the waiver shall not be required to be made a party to any adoption proceedings, custody or guardianship proceedings with respect to the child and shall not be entitled to receive notice thereof, and the court in any adoption proceeding, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, shall have jurisdiction to enter a final order of adoption of the child based upon the waiver, and in other proceedings to determine the child's legal custody or guardianship shall have jurisdiction to enter an order for those purposes. The waiver may not be revoked.
      1. The execution of the waiver, in conjunction with a final order of adoption of the child, shall irrevocably terminate all rights the alleged biological father has or may have to the child and any rights the child has or may have relative to the alleged biological father. Upon entry of a final order of adoption of the child, the waiver, except as provided in subdivision (w)(2)(B), shall also terminate the responsibility of the alleged biological father for any future child support or other financial obligations to the child, or to the child's mother that are related to the child's support, arising after the date of the execution of the waiver.
      2. If, after execution of the waiver, a final order of adoption is not entered, and a parentage action is initiated against the alleged biological father or the alleged biological father executes a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the alleged biological father shall become liable for child support or other financial obligations to the child, or to the child's mother that are related to the child's support, arising after the execution of the waiver and beginning with the date of the entry of an order establishing the biological father's parentage to the child or upon the date of the biological father's execution of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; provided, if paternity is later established, the alleged biological father who executed the waiver shall be liable for all or a portion of the actual medical and hospital expenses of the child's birth and all or a portion of the mother's prenatal and postnatal care up to thirty (30) days following the child's birth if the parentage action is initiated or the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is executed within two (2) years of the date of the execution of the waiver.
    2. The waiver shall not be valid for use by a legal father as defined under § 36-1-102 or for any man listed as the father of a child on the child's birth certificate.
    3. The waiver of interest and notice may be executed at any time after the biological mother executes a statement identifying such person as the biological father or possible biological father of the biological mother's child to be born, or at any time after the birth of the child.
    4. The waiver of interest and notice shall be legally sufficient if it contains a statement comparable to the following:

      WAIVER OF INTEREST AND NOTICE STATE OF   ) COUNTY OF   ) Pursuant to  Tennessee Code Annotated, § 36-1-111(w) , and first being duly sworn according to law, affiant would state the following: My name is  . I understand that I have been named by  , the mother of a child [to be born], or a [child who was born in   (City)   (State) on the   day of  , 19  (or 20 )], as the father or possible father of that child. I further understand that the mother has placed or wishes to place this child for adoption or that the child is the subject of legal proceedings leading to the child's adoption or leading to a determination of the child's legal custody or guardianship. I am not necessarily admitting or saying that I am the father of this child, but if I am, I do not wish to provide care for this child, and I feel it would be in the child's best interest for this adoption to occur, or for other custody or guardianship proceedings to occur in the child's best interests. I hereby formally waive any right to notice of the legal proceedings: to adopt this child; to otherwise make this child available for adoption; or to award the child's legal custody or guardianship to other persons or agencies. I hereby formally waive any further parental rights to the child and execute this document to finally terminate my rights, if I have any rights, to this child, upon entry of a final order of adoption for this child. If the child is not yet born:  [I have received and reviewed a copy of the statement of the child's mother in which the mother identifies me as the father of the child.] I consent to adoption of this child by any persons chosen by the child's mother or by any public or private agency, and consent to the establishment of any legal custody or guardianship arrangements for the child. I understand that by execution of this waiver, this child may be adopted by other persons or that other custody or guardianship proceedings regarding the child's status may occur and that I will have no rights, if I have any, to act as parent, to visit with, or otherwise be involved in this child's life, unless and until a legal relationship is established between me and the child. I further understand that I may not revoke this waiver at any time after I sign it. I further understand that if the child is not adopted, that legal proceedings can be brought to seek to establish me as the legal father, and I may become liable for financial support or financial obligations for this child or to the child's mother that are related to the child's support, arising after I sign this waiver, and beginning on the date an order is entered that establishes me as the child's father or beginning on the date I sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity of the child. I also understand that if the child is not adopted and paternity is later established by legal proceedings, or if I sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, I could be liable for all or a portion of the actual medical and hospital expenses of the child's birth and all or a portion of the mother's prenatal and postnatal care up to thirty (30) days following the child's birth if the legal proceeding to establish me as the child's father is brought, or the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity of the child is signed, within two (2) years of the date I sign this waiver.  FURTHER, AFFIANT SAITH NOT. DATED: THE   DAY OF  ,19  (20  ).     Alleged Father (Please Print)     Signature of Alleged Father     Address Personally appeared before me the above-named   who is known to me and who acknowledged that he executed the above Waiver of Interest and Notice as his own free and voluntary act.   Notary Public My commission expires:

      Click to view form.

    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a denial of paternity and notice of a child, when signed under oath by the child's legal father claiming not to be the child's biological father, who is not the child's adoptive father, and when accompanied by credible proof that the legal father is not the father of the child, shall waive the legal father's parental rights and all parental interests with respect to the child. No further notice to the legal father or termination of the legal father's parental rights is necessary for the child to be placed in guardianship or adopted. “Credible proof” includes the written sworn statement of the child's mother.
    2. The parental rights of a man denying paternity of a child are terminated and the man's future parental responsibilities with respect to the child are terminated upon adoption of the child by other persons.
    3. The denial of paternity and notice shall not be valid for use by a legal father who is also a biological parent as defined in § 36-1-102.
    4. A denial of paternity and notice under this section may be executed at any time after conception of the child who is the subject of the denial, and may not be revoked by the father unless the adoption plan is abandoned. A father who executes a denial of paternity and notice under this section relinquishes any right to petition to have the father's legal or biological relationship to the child determined by a court.
    5. The denial of paternity and notice shall be legally sufficient if it contains a statement comparable to the following:

      DENIAL OF PATERNITY AND NOTICE BY A LEGAL FATHER

      STATE OF

      COUNTY OF

      Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-1-111(x), and first being duly sworn according to law, affiant would state the following:

      My name is  . I am personally acquainted with  , the biological mother of  , a child [to be born], or a [child who was born] in  (City)  (State) on the  day of  , 20  .

      I am or I have been told that I am or may be the presumed and/or legal father of the above- named child.

      I AM CERTAIN THAT I AM NOT THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER OF THIS CHILD.

      I understand that the mother has placed or wishes to place this child for adoption, or that the child is the subject of legal proceedings leading to the child's adoption, or leading to a determination of the child's legal custody or guardianship. I do not want custody of this child. I either agree with an adoption plan or I do not wish to be involved in the decision.

      I HEREBY WAIVE MY PARENTAL RIGHTS TO THIS CHILD, IF I HAVE ANY RIGHTS, AND I WANT MY PARENTAL RIGHTS, IF ANY, TO BE TERMINATED WITHOUT FURTHER ACTION BY, OR NOTICE TO, ME.

      I formally waive my rights to notice of legal proceedings regarding the child including: adoption, custody, guardianship, and termination of other parents' rights and any other similar actions.

      I understand that by my execution of this Denial of Paternity and Notice, along with the finalization of the child's adoption, I will lose any right I may have to act as parent, to visit with, or otherwise be involved in this child's life. I also relinquish any right to petition to have my legal and biological relationship to this child determined by a court.

      I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT I MAY NOT REVOKE THIS DENIAL AT ANY TIME AFTER I SIGN IT.

      I also understand that while this denial is not revocable, it is not effective to terminate my parental rights or responsibilities unless or until an adoption of the child is finalized. If the adoption is not finalized, I understand that I retain any rights that I otherwise had to rebut a presumption that I am the father of the child.

      FURTHER AFFIANT SAITH NOT this  DAY OF  , 20 .

      Legal Father (Please Print)

      Signature of Legal Father

      Address

      City, State, Zip Code

      Personally appeared before me the above-named  , who is known to me and who acknowledged that he executed the above Denial of Paternity and Notice as his own free and voluntary act.

      Notary Public  My commission expires:

    1. If a child is surrendered to a person other than a licensed child-placing agency or the department, and, after the expiration of the three-day period for revocation, the person or persons to whom the child was surrendered decide that they no longer wish to adopt the child, and if no order of guardianship has been entered by a court that gives those persons who had received the surrender the guardianship of the child, they may surrender the child to a licensed child-placing agency or the department without notice to the parent or guardians who originally had executed the surrender to them.
    2. In this event, the licensed child-placing agency or the department shall have the same rights as set forth above just as if the child had been originally surrendered to them; provided, that if the court has entered a guardianship order as set forth above, the surrender cannot be utilized in this manner, and a motion must be made to the court to modify the existing guardianship order.
    3. Certified copies of all such surrenders and orders modifying any order of guardianship shall be sent by the clerk to the adoptions unit in the state office of the department in Nashville.
  12. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]

Name

Relationship to the child

Address

City, State, Zip

Name

Relationship to the child

Address

City, State, Zip

Telephone Number: Home:  Work:

Other identifying information concerning the above identified other legal or biological parent/legal guardian.

Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 21-39, 106-110; 1998, ch. 1098, § 3; 2000, ch. 922, § 3; 2003, ch. 231, § 7; 2005, ch. 409, § 1; 2010, ch. 915, § 1; 2015, ch. 113, § 4; 2016, ch. 636, § 1; 2016, ch. 919, §§ 3-5; 2018, ch. 875, §§ 21-31, 37; 2019, ch. 36, §§ 1, 2, 5-17.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-111 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 6 (Williams, § 9572.20); 1975, ch. 196, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-111; Acts 1984, ch. 681, § 2; 1986, ch. 767, § 1; 1992, ch. 994, §§ 2, 3), concerning children born out of wedlock, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1, effective January 1, 1996.

This section, as enacted by Acts 1995, ch. 532, did not contain a subdivision (p)(3). The compiler has redesignated (p)(4) in the act as (p)(3).

Amendments. The 2018 amendment, in (a)(2), inserted “pursuant to § 36-1-117(g),” following “When a parental consent is executed,”; added (b)(2) through(b)(6); at the end of (d)(4), substituted “until such request is satisfied or withdrawn” for “under subdivisions (k)(2)(E) and (F) until certification of satisfaction or withdrawal of such request is received by the court as provided in subsection (l )”; deleted (e) which read: “Any public or private agency that may have custody or complete or partial guardianship of the child and that has not given consent as provided under this part shall be made a defendant and given notice of the filing of the adoption or termination of parental or guardian rights petition filed under this part or under title 37, and shall be permitted to assert its rights to custody or guardianship of the child.”; rewrote (k)(1)(A) which read: “Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, in obtaining any medical or social background information, contact veto information or other information required as part of the surrender or parental consent process pursuant to this part, the court, or, at its direction, its court officers or its clerks, or other persons authorized to accept a surrender or parental consent pursuant to this part, may accept notarized statements attached to each of the forms promulgated by the department that verify that the informant of the required information has previously reviewed the form or, if unable to read, has had the contents of the form explained to the person, and that the person has accurately supplied the information on the form and the person's responses have not been subject to duress by any person.”; in (k)(1)(B)(i), deleted “, however,” following “personally”, substituted “required” for “in a” preceding “surrender or”, and substituted “and attachments and that such person does accept the surrender of the subject child” for “required pursuant to this part, and the notarized statement shall have a section for the court, or other persons authorized by this part to accept surrenders, to ratify that this verification has occurred by providing a space for the signature of the judge or chancellor accepting the surrender or parental consent or other person authorized by this part to accept a surrender, and the date on which this was done.” at the end; in (k)(1)(B)(ii), substituted “pre-surrender information forms for the birth parent and accepting party and all required attachments” for “notarized statements” following “The” and inserted “when the surrender and acceptance are executed”; deleted (k)(2) through (k)(4), which read: “(2) In accordance with subdivision (k)(1), the following information shall be obtained under oath at the time of the surrender in Tennessee, when using a Tennessee surrender form, or at the time of the confirmation of the parental consent:“(A) A statement of the surrendering or consenting parent identifying any other legal or biological parent or legal guardian of the child being surrendered or for whom parental consent is being given and such person's whereabouts, or a statement that the identity or whereabouts of such other parent or guardian is not known;“(B) Whether the child is of Native American heritage and the tribal organization of which the child is a member or in which the child is eligible for membership, if known;“(C) Whether the child is intended to be sent out of state for the purposes of adoption, and, if the child surrendered is to be adopted under the laws of any jurisdiction other than Tennessee, a statement of the surrendering parent or guardian stating that the surrendering parent or guardian elects to have the surrender governed in all respects by Tennessee law, including choice of law;“(D) Whether the person has paid or received or has been promised any money or other remuneration or thing of value in connection with the birth of the child or placement of the child for adoption and, if so, to or from whom, the specific amount, and the purpose for which it was or is to be paid or received;“(E) Whether such person desires counseling from the department or a licensed child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker concerning the decision to surrender or give parental consent to the adoption of the child and if the person has been made aware of any assistance that might be available to the person should the person decide not to place the child for adoption;“(F) Whether the person is represented by legal counsel and, if not, whether the person wishes to consult with legal counsel prior to execution of the surrender or prior to the confirmation of the parental consent;“(G) Whether such person is freely and voluntarily executing the surrender or parental consent with full knowledge of its consequences and whether such person knows and understands the right to revoke the surrender or consent and the time limits in which the revocation may be executed;“(H) Whether the child is possessed of any real or personal property of any kind, or has any expectation of any real or personal property and the nature of such interest;“(I) A statement of the surrendering parent or guardian concerning whether that parent or guardian or some other person or persons or entity has legal and/or physical custody of the child at the time of the surrender or whether such person intends to give custody to the prospective adoptive parents, the department or a licensed child-placing agency.“(3)(A) The court shall require the person or persons surrendering the child for adoption or consenting to the child's adoption to complete the portion of the surrender or a parental consent form that indicates whether the person desires, or wishes to veto, further contact with other persons eligible under this part to have contact with the surrendering parent at a later time in accordance with §§ 36-1-12736-1-131.“(B) The form that the surrendering or consenting parent signs shall notify the parent that the parent may withdraw or vary the veto or consent at any time and the form, or an attachment to the form, shall inform the parent of the procedures for doing so.“(C) Upon receipt of the completed form, the department shall enter the surrendering or consenting person's request on the contact veto registry and shall maintain a copy of the form and all modifications to the form as part of the post-adoption record.“(4)(A) The court or persons authorized to receive the surrender shall obtain from the prospective adoptive parents or from a licensed child-placing agency receiving the surrender at the time of the execution of the surrender, or the court shall obtain, at the time an order of guardianship is entered that is based upon the execution of a parental consent, a statement of the fees paid to any person or persons, licensed child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker, attorney, or other entity for the placement of the child or for legal costs or any other costs related in any way to the adoption or placement for adoption of the child as of the time the surrender is executed or at the time the parental consent is executed.“(B) In the case of a surrender of a child to be removed from Tennessee for adoption, the court shall obtain a statement from the prospective adoptive parents that there will be compliance with the interstate compact on the placement of children and how that compliance will be effected;”; in (l )(1), deleted “under subdivision (k)(2)(E)” following “desires” and “certified as having been” following “must be”; in (l )(2), deleted “under subdivision (k)(2)(F)” following “a desire” and “certified as having been” following “must be”; in (m), in the introductory language, substituted “this state” for “Tennessee” following “executed in” and deleted “all of the following documents” following “the court”; removed the (m)(1) designation and changed the semicolon at the end of former (m)(1) to a period; deleted former (m)(2) through (m)(5) which read:“(2) Certification of the completion of any counseling requested under subsection (l );“(3) An affidavit of the person or persons stating whether they have physical custody of the child at the time of the surrender or the affidavits required by subdivision (d)(6);“(4) If the child has been brought to Tennessee from another state or territory, a copy of the ICPC Form 100A, or other substitute form required for ICPC compliance, showing approval of the department for the child brought into Tennessee for foster care or adoption or a sworn statement stating why such form is not required pursuant to the ICPC; and“(5) A sworn statement that if the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.), applies because of the child's Native American heritage, there has been compliance with that act.”; deleted (n) and (o) which read:“(n)(1) A licensed child-placing agency receiving the surrender shall complete the provisions of subdivisions (m)(3)–(5).“(2) The department, when receiving the surrender, shall complete the provisions of subdivisions (m)(3) and (5).“(o) No surrender shall be accepted by the Tennessee court or on a Tennessee form by those persons authorized to accept a surrender under subsection (h), (i) or (j), nor shall a parental consent be confirmed by the court, nor shall an order of guardianship be entered by the court under subsection (r) based upon a surrender or a parental consent until there has been compliance with subsections (l ), (m) and (n).”; deleted (s) which read: “(s) The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, compiled in chapter 6, part 2 of this title, shall govern jurisdiction for the disposition of the child and the proceedings under this section.”; in (w)(4), deleted “sworn” preceding “statement” and inserted “the biological father or possible”; and deleted (z) which read: “(z) An interpreter shall be provided to a surrendering parent or guardian who is not fluent in English, before a final hearing on an adoption is conducted. The prospective adoptive parent or parents shall be responsible for payment of the cost of such interpreter.”

The 2019 amendment added (a)(4), in (b)(3), substituted “before I sign this form” for “before I sign the form”, substituted “execution of the foregoing surrender as required” for “execution of the foregoing surrender and as required”, substituted “true to the best of” for “true and to the best of”; in (b)(4), substituted “go to #9” for “go to #10”, substituted “who made the payment” for “whom made the payment”, substituted “punitive damages” for “putative damages”, substituted “UBS” for “USB” in the address for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services; in (b)(5), substituted “Prospective Adoptive Parent’s Marital Status ______ Or 3. I am ______, representative of _____ a licensed child placing agency with offices at: ______ 4. The following costs have been paid or promised by ______ (me/us) for activities involving the placement of this child. Please include, amount paid or promised, to whom, by whom, date paid and type of service or cost: ______.” for “Prospective Adoptive Parent's Marital Status ______ 3.  The following costs have been paid or promised by ______ (me/us)  for activities involving the placement of this child. Please include, amount paid or promised, to whom, by whom, date paid and type of service or cost: ______ 4.  I am ______  representative of ______ a licensed child placing agency with offices at: ______”, deleted “. The affidavit required by T.C.A. § 36-1-111(d)(6) of the custodial parent or guardian to this effect has been presented to the court at this time” following “(5) days of this surrender” in 5.b.; substituted  “; or” for “, and the affidavit of the custodial parent or guardian to this effect required by T.C.A. § 36-1-111(d)(6) has been presented to the court at this time;” in 5.c.; substituted “Guardian” for “Gaurdian” in (b)(6)1.c.; in (d)(6), deleted “, as evidenced by the affidavit of the person or persons receiving the surrender and by affidavit of the surrendering or consenting parent or guardian or court order” at the end of (d)(6)(B); deleted “as evidenced by an affidavit of the person or persons or entities receiving the child and by the affidavit of the surrendering or consenting parent or guardian or court order” at the end of (d)(6)(B)(C); and deleted “sworn” following “copy of the” in (w)(5).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 875, § 38. July 1, 2018.

Acts 2019, ch. 36, § 35. July 1, 2019.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

Law Reviews.

Adoption and Custody: Current Trends in Tennessee Family Law: Tennessee's New Adoption Contact Veto is Cold Comfort to Birth Parents, 27 U. Mem. L. Rev. 843 (1997).

Family Law — Adoption — Retrospective and Prospective Opening of Adoption Records to Adopted Persons Twenty-One Years of Age or Older, 67 Tenn. L. Rev. 1019 (2000).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Compliance With Statutory Requirements.

Where the biological mother did not contend that the juvenile judge failed to ask the questions required by T.C.A. § 36-1-111(k)(1)(C)(i), and was knowledgeable about and comfortable with her decision at the time of the surrender, the proceedings substantially complied with the requirements contained in this section. In re Hatcher, 16 S.W.3d 792, 1999 Tenn. App. LEXIS 832 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999).

Where proceedings substantially complied with the requirements in this section for a valid surrender, biological mother no longer had standing to raise other unfulfilled requirements that undoubtedly lurk in the labyrinthine provisions of the adoption laws. In re Hatcher, 16 S.W.3d 792, 1999 Tenn. App. LEXIS 832 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999).

Notwithstanding the fact that the biological parent surrendered all parental rights to the child, the parent had the right to choose the child's adoptive parent, subject to the trial court's later determination that the proposed adoption was in the child's best interests. In re M.J.S., 44 S.W.3d 41, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 704 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

Dismissal of maternal grandparents'  complaint was appropriate because, although the grandparents were allowed to intervene when a parent surrendered parental rights to the parent's minor child to adoptive parents, the grandparents failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the child's best interest was served by taking the child away from the adoptive parents. In re R.S.M., 466 S.W.3d 766, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 93 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015), appeal denied, In re Rebecca M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 479 (Tenn. June 11, 2015).

2. Construction.

Adoption statutes repeatedly utilize the terms, physical custody and legal custody, as two distinct and separate concepts; the statutory sections intimate that the concept of physical custody is synonymous with having physical possession of the child inasmuch as they expressly provide for an order of custody to follow. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

Term “legal custody” denotes a distinction from physical possession, which is demonstrated by the fact that the Department of Children's Services often exercises legal custody or guardianship over children who are in the possession of foster parents or relatives. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

Construing the language of the adoption and termination statutory scheme, the term “physical custody” as utilized in the statutory sections would be synonymous with having physical possession of a child and would not require a court order or other judicial act; the statutory definition of custody contained in the juvenile court statutory scheme is inapplicable in the context of a termination or adoption proceeding, and physical custody means physical possession of a child, as granted by a parent, guardian, child-placing agency, or court, but physical custody as used in the statutory scheme does not include the unlawful taking of a child. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

Guardianship order pursuant to the surrender statute cannot be entered when an adoption court has previously assumed exclusive jurisdiction and any guardianship actions were thereby suspended pursuant to the adoption statute; the court interprets the surrender statute as authorizing the entry of a guardianship order only in the absence of a suspension due to a pending adoption petition, and the surrender statute entitles Tennessee Department of Children's Services to obtain the entry of an order of guardianship only in the absence of any existing suspension of guardianship proceedings pursuant to the adoption statute. In re Neveah W., 525 S.W.3d 223, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (Tenn. May 9, 2017).

3. Guardianship Orders.

Chancery court had exclusive jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the child due to the filing of the adoption petition in 2014, and pursuant to the adoption statute, any separate proceedings seeking guardianship of the child should have been suspended pending orders in the adoption proceeding and should not have been heard until final adjudication of the adoption; the chancery court was not authorized to enter the order awarding guardianship of child to the department in the context of the surrender proceeding. In re Neveah W., 525 S.W.3d 223, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (Tenn. May 9, 2017).

36-1-112. Revocation of surrender or parental consent — Form.

      1. A person who executed a surrender may revoke the surrender at any time within three (3) calendar days of the date of the surrender. The three-day period shall be calculated using the method for computation of time established in the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 6.01.
      2. The surrender shall be revoked by appearing before the judge who accepted the surrender or that judge's successor or substitute, or another judge of a court with jurisdiction to accept a surrender in the absence of the judge who accepted the surrender or that judge's successor or substitute, or by appearing before the person, or that person's successor, pursuant to § 36-1-111(h), (i) or (j) before whom the surrender was executed and by executing the revocation of surrender form.
      3. The three-day period for revocation of the surrender shall not limit the court's authority to order the revocation of the surrender pursuant to § 36-1-118.
      4. The revocation of the surrender shall be executed under oath by the parent or guardian who executed the surrender of the child, and the judge or other person who accepted the surrender or the judge's successor or substitute as indicated in subdivision (a)(1)(B) shall sign and date the revocation form.
      5. In the event the person under § 36-1-111(h), (i) or (j) is unavailable or has no authorized successor, the person may apply to a court that is qualified to receive a surrender in Tennessee or a court with domestic relations jurisdiction in another state or country to execute the revocation before a judge of that court as provided herein.
        1. No surrender may be revoked by the person surrendering the child or set aside by a court after the expiration of the three-day period except as the surrender may be invalidated by court order entered pursuant to a timely filed complaint filed pursuant to subsection (d) or as permitted by order of the court entered pursuant to § 36-1-118.
        2. The execution of a revocation of a surrender within the three-day period shall be grounds for the dismissal of any adoption petition filed during that period and, upon motion of the person who revoked the surrender, the court shall dismiss the adoption petition without prejudice.
      1. A parental consent may be revoked at any time prior to the entry of an order of confirmation of the parental consent by the court.
      2. The parent who executed the parental consent shall appear before the judge of the court in which the adoption petition is filed, or in the judge's absence, the judge's successor or substitute or, if no successor or substitute, any judge or a court with jurisdiction to adjudicate adoption petitions, and shall execute a revocation of the parental consent.
  1. [Deleted by 2018 amendment.]
    1. The court or person receiving the revocations shall maintain the originals in the office of the clerk or the office of the person receiving the surrender, together with the original of the surrender or adoption petition containing the parental consent, if available, and shall personally give or shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, certified copies of the revocations to the child's parents, the prospective adoptive parents, the local office of the department, or a licensed child-placing agency to whom the child had been surrendered, and if the prospective adoptive parents are represented by counsel, a certified copy of the revocation shall be forwarded to such counsel.
      1. When the revocation is received, the court or the person before whom the revocation was executed shall attach a certified copy of the revocation to a certified copy of the surrender or petition for adoption containing the parental consent, and shall within three (3) days mail the copies of both documents by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the adoptions unit in the state office of the department in Nashville.
      2. If the revocation must be executed before a court or person before whom the surrender was not executed or in which the adoption petition was not filed, the original of the revocation shall be sent within three (3) days to the court or person before whom the surrender was executed or in which the adoption petition was filed, and that court or person shall be responsible for sending the forms to the department and to the persons or agencies who are entitled to copies of the revocation.
      3. The department shall record the revocation with the copies of the surrender or adoption petition containing the parental consent and the order of guardianship for purposes of tracking the adoptive placement status of the child.
  2. After the revocation period has expired or after the court has entered an order confirming a parental consent, no surrender or waiver of interest or parental consent shall be set aside by a court except upon clear and convincing evidence of duress, fraud, intentional misrepresentation or for invalidity under § 36-1-111(d), and no surrender, waiver of interest, or parental consent may be set aside for any reason under this part unless the action based on these grounds is initiated within thirty (30) days of the execution of the surrender, waiver of interest or within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of the order of confirmation of the parental consent.
    1. A surrender or parental consent that is revoked shall have the effect of returning the child's legal status to that which existed before the surrender was executed, and the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or the person who or that had custody or guardianship of the child prior to the surrender pursuant to any parental status, prior court order or statutory authorization shall continue or resume custody or guardianship under that prior parental status, prior court order, or statutory authority, that had established the custodial or guardianship status of the child prior to the execution of the surrender or parental consent, unless a court of competent jurisdiction shall otherwise determine as specifically provided herein.
      1. Unless they had received or maintained custody or guardianship of the child pursuant to a court order entered or pursuant to statutory authority prior to the execution of the surrender or parental consent, the department, the licensed child-placing agency, or the person or persons to whom the child was surrendered and who has physical custody of the child, shall, within five (5) days of the receipt by such department, agency or person of the revocation, return the child to the child's parents or guardian who executed and revoked the surrender or parental consent; provided, that a sworn complaint may be filed in the court where the revocation was executed, or in the event that the surrender was executed before a person or court pursuant to § 36-1-111(h), (i) or (j), in the chancery, circuit, or juvenile court where the child resides in Tennessee, to show cause why the child would likely suffer immediate harm to the child's health and safety if returned to the child's parent or parents or guardian who had executed the surrender.
      2. If a complaint is filed pursuant to subdivision (e)(2)(A), the child shall remain in the physical and/or legal custody or guardianship of the persons or agencies to whom the child was surrendered or with respect to whom the parental consent was executed until the court makes any further orders pursuant to this section, and those persons or agencies shall have authority to provide any necessary care and supervision of the child, subject to further orders of the court.
        1. The complaint filed under this subdivision (e)(2) shall name the parent or parents or guardian or guardians who executed and revoked the surrender or parental consent as defendant or defendants. Except for cause shown in an order entered on the record, the court shall hold a preliminary hearing within three (3) days of the filing of the petition to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the child will be subject to immediate harm to the child's health or safety if the child is returned to the child's parent or parents or guardian or guardians.
        2. If probable cause is not established in the preliminary hearing, the child shall be immediately returned to the child's parent or parents or guardian who executed the surrender that has been revoked.
        3. If probable cause is established, the court shall continue the child in the custody of the persons or the agency to whom the child was surrendered or with respect to whom a parental consent was executed, subject to further orders of the court, pending the final hearing.
        4. The court may make any necessary orders pending the final hearing for the protection of the child.
      3. The case shall be set for a final hearing on the merits within thirty (30) days of the preliminary hearing except for cause shown in a written order of the court entered on the record.
      4. Unless clear and convincing evidence at the final hearing shows that the child's safety and health would be in immediate danger if the child is returned or remains in the custody of the parent or guardian who executed the surrender or filed the parental consent, the complaint shall be dismissed. If the child was not returned to the parent at the preliminary hearing, the child shall be immediately returned to the child's parent or guardian who had executed the surrender or filed the parental consent.
      1. If no complaint is filed pursuant to subdivision (e)(2), the court where the surrender or parental consent was revoked shall enter any orders that are necessary to effect the return of the child to the parent or parents or guardian who had custody of the child prior to the execution of the surrender or prior to filing the parental consent, unless another person, the department, or a licensed child-placing agency had custody or guardianship of the child under a prior order entered before the execution of the surrender or filing of the parental consent, or that had custody or guardianship under statutory authorization prior to the execution of the surrender or parental consent that was revoked by that parent.
      2. The court in which a surrender, revocation or parental consent is given or filed, or adoption court may not modify any prior custody or guardianship order that had given custody or guardianship of the child to the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or another person under a prior order or pursuant to any statutory authorization prior to the surrender or the filing of the parental consent, and if such order or statutory authority exists, the court's jurisdiction over the child shall terminate after the execution of the revocation of the surrender or parental consent, and the prior parental status, prior court order or prior statutory authority shall continue in effect; provided, that if for any reason, the agencies or persons who had prior custody or guardianship of the child are unable or unwilling to resume custody of the child, the court receiving the revocation shall be authorized to make a custody determination and award temporary custody of the child to any suitable person, the department, or a licensed child-placing agency with custodial authority pursuant to § 36-1-140, or it may make an order of guardianship or partial guardianship pursuant to § 36-1-102, with the right to adopt or consent to the child's adoption.
    2. In the event that the surrender was executed before a person or court under § 36-1-111(h), (i) or (j), the chancery, circuit or juvenile court where the surrender was filed pursuant to § 36-1-111(q), or in the county where the child resides in Tennessee if the surrender has not been filed, shall have jurisdiction to enter orders in compliance with this subsection (e) to effect the child's return to the child's parent or parents or guardian or to provide for the child's custody or guardianship as permitted herein.
  3. If the child is not returned to the child's parent or parents or guardian pursuant to subdivision (e)(2)(E), and unless the department, a licensed child-placing agency, or another person to whom the child was surrendered or to whom a parental consent was executed had custody or guardianship of the child pursuant to a court order entered prior to the filing of the surrender or the parental consent or pursuant to statutory authorization prior to the execution of the surrender or parental consent, the court where the revocation was executed shall have jurisdiction following a revocation of the surrender or parental consent to award temporary custody to any appropriate person, the department, or any other licensed child care agency, with the authority as legal custodian pursuant to § 37-1-140, or the court may award guardianship or partial guardianship pursuant to § 36-1-102 with the right to adopt or consent to the child's adoption.
  4. The department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker shall have the right to intervene in any complaint filed pursuant to subdivision (e)(2)(A) for the purpose of introducing proof as to the child's health and safety.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 11 (Williams, § 9572.25); 1959, ch. 223, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-117; Acts 1986, ch. 767, § 7; 1993, ch. 124, § 3, 4; T.C.A., § 36-1-117; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 40, 111; 2000, ch. 981, § 51; 2015, ch. 113, §§ 1-3; 2016, ch. 919, § 6; 2018, ch. 875, § 33.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-112 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, §§ 9, 11 (Williams, §§ 9572.23, 9572.25); impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-112), concerning filing of consent making the consenting person a party to the proceedings, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1, effective January 1, 1996.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment deleted former (b) which read: “The form for the revocation of a surrender or parental consent shall be prescribed by the department pursuant to rules promulgated by it pursuant to this part, and a copy of the form shall be attached to the parent's copy of the surrender.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 875, § 38. July 1, 2018.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 20 Tenn. Juris., Parent and Child, § 21.

Law Reviews.

Adoption Proceedings — Revocation of Surrender Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 36-1-117 (Bradley E. Trammell), 23 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 293 (1993).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction.

A final order of adoption is subject to the provisions of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02 that provide that fraud or undue influence are good grounds for vacating an adoption order; however, the physical and emotional welfare of all parties requires assurance of the finality of the adoption order. Therefore, after a final adoption order is entered, a natural parent who consented to the adoption must present clear and convincing evidence in order to set aside the adoption order. In re Bishop, 678 S.W.2d 471, 1984 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2925 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1984).

Adoption statutes repeatedly utilize the terms, physical custody and legal custody, as two distinct and separate concepts; the statutory sections intimate that the concept of physical custody is synonymous with having physical possession of the child inasmuch as they expressly provide for an order of custody to follow. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

Construing the language of the adoption and termination statutory scheme, the term “physical custody” as utilized in the statutory sections would be synonymous with having physical possession of a child and would not require a court order or other judicial act; the statutory definition of custody contained in the juvenile court statutory scheme is inapplicable in the context of a termination or adoption proceeding, and physical custody means physical possession of a child, as granted by a parent, guardian, child-placing agency, or court, but physical custody as used in the statutory scheme does not include the unlawful taking of a child. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

This statute applies to surrenders, not to orders of guardianship, and thus the trial court erred in refusing to set aside the order of guardianship based on this statute. In re Neveah W., 525 S.W.3d 223, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (Tenn. May 9, 2017).

2. Proceedings After Thirty-Day Period.

Where mother of illegitimate child prior to marriage with father and legitimation of child surrendered and released child to child-placing agency the consent was irrevocable after 30-day period, and petition for writ of habeas corpus by parents after 30-day period was properly denied by chancellor, but petition could be amended at discretion of chancellor so as to pray for adoption of child at which time the chancellor could consider the best interest of the child in determining whether child should be placed with parents or placed with others. State ex rel. “A” v. A Licensed or Chartered Child-Placing Agency, 194 Tenn. 400, 250 S.W.2d 776, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (1952), (decision under prior law).

3. Compliance with Statutory Requirements.

Proceedings substantially complied with statutory requirements for a valid surrender. In re Hatcher, 16 S.W.3d 792, 1999 Tenn. App. LEXIS 832 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999).

36-1-113. Termination of parental or guardianship rights.

  1. The chancery and circuit courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the juvenile court to terminate parental or guardianship rights to a child in a separate proceeding, or as a part of the adoption proceeding by utilizing any grounds for termination of parental or guardianship rights permitted in this part or in title 37, chapter 1, part 1 and title 37, chapter 2, part 4. All pleadings and records filed in the chancery and circuit courts pursuant to this section shall be placed under seal and shall not be subject to public disclosure, in the same manner as those filed in juvenile court, unless otherwise provided by court order.
    1. The prospective adoptive parent or parents, including extended family members caring for a related child, any licensed child-placing agency having physical custody of the child, the child’s guardian ad litem, or the department shall have standing to file a petition pursuant to this part or title 37 to terminate parental or guardianship rights of a person alleged to be a parent or guardian of the child. The child’s parent, pursuant to subdivision (g)(10), (g)(11), or (g)(15), shall also have standing to file a petition pursuant to this part or title 37 to terminate parental or guardianship rights of a person alleged to be a parent or guardian of the child. The prospective adoptive parents, including extended family members caring for a related child, shall have standing to request termination of parental or guardianship rights in the adoption petition filed by them pursuant to this part.
    2. The court shall notify the petitioning parent that the duty of future child support by the parent who is the subject of the termination petition will be forever terminated by entry of an order terminating parental rights.
  2. Termination of parental or guardianship rights must be based upon:
    1. A finding by the court by clear and convincing evidence that the grounds for termination of parental or guardianship rights have been established; and
    2. That termination of the parent's or guardian's rights is in the best interests of the child.
    1. The petition to terminate parental rights may be made upon information and belief and shall be verified. If a parent whose parental rights are proposed for termination is the legal parent of the child, as defined in § 36-1-102, and if such parent is alleged to be deceased, then diligent efforts must be made by the petitioner to verify the death of such parent. Upon proof satisfactory to the court that such parent is deceased, no further action shall be required to terminate parental rights of that person.
      1. The petition to terminate parental rights shall state:
        1. The child's birth name;
        2. The child's age or date of birth;
        3. The child's current residence address or county of residence or that the child is in the custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency;
        4. Any other facts that allege the basis for termination of parental rights and that bring the child and parties within the jurisdiction of the court;
        5. Any notice required pursuant to subdivision (d)(4) has been given; and
        6. The medical and social history of the child and the child's biological family has been completed to the extent possible on the form promulgated by the department pursuant to § 36-1-111(k); provided, however, the absence of such completed information shall not be a barrier to termination of parental rights.
      2. Initials or pseudonyms may be used in the petition in lieu of the full names of the petitioners to promote the safety of the petitioners or of the child, with permission of the court;
      1. The petition to terminate parental rights must state that:
        1. The Tennessee putative father registry has been consulted prior to the filing of the petition or will be consulted within ten (10) days thereafter unless the biological father has been identified through DNA testing as described in § 24-7-112 and that identification is set out in the petition; and a copy of the response to this inquiry shall be provided to the court immediately upon receipt by the petitioner; and
        2. Notice of the filing of the termination petition has been provided to the Tennessee putative father registry if the child is less than thirty (30) days old at the time the petition is filed.
      2. [Deleted by 2019 amendment.]
      3. The petition to terminate, or the adoption petition that seeks to terminate parental rights, shall state that:
        1. The petition or request for termination in the adoption petition, if granted, shall have the effect of forever severing all of the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians to the child who is the subject of the order, and of the child to the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians;
        2. The child will be placed in the guardianship of other person, persons or public or private agencies who, or that, as the case may be, shall have the right to adopt the child, or to place the child for adoption and to consent to the child's adoption; and
        3. The parent or guardian shall have no further right to notice of proceedings for the adoption of the child by other persons and that the parent or guardian shall have no right to object to the child's adoption or thereafter, at any time, to have any relationship, legal or otherwise, with the child, except as provided by contract pursuant to § 36-1-145.
    2. The petition to terminate parental rights, if filed separately from the adoption petition, may be filed as provided in § 36-1-114. If the petition is filed in a court different from the court where there is a pending custody, dependency, neglect or abuse proceeding concerning a person whose parental rights are sought to be terminated in the petition, a notice of the filing of the petition, together with a copy of the petition, shall be sent by the petitioner to the court where the prior proceeding is pending. In addition, the petitioner filing a petition under this section shall comply with the requirements of § 36-1-117(e).
  3. Service of process of the petition shall be made as provided in § 36-1-117.
  4. Before terminating the rights of any parent or guardian who is incarcerated or who was incarcerated at the time of an action or proceeding is initiated, it must be affirmatively shown to the court that such incarcerated parent or guardian received actual notice of the following:
    1. The time and place of the hearing to terminate parental rights;
    2. That the hearing will determine whether the rights of the incarcerated parent or guardian should be terminated;
    3. That the incarcerated parent or guardian has the right to participate in the hearing and contest the allegation that the rights of the incarcerated parent or guardian should be terminated, and, at the discretion of the court, such participation may be achieved through personal appearance, teleconference, telecommunication or other means deemed by the court to be appropriate under the circumstances;
    4. That if the incarcerated parent or guardian wishes to participate in the hearing and contest the allegation, such parent or guardian:
      1. If indigent, will be provided with a court-appointed attorney to assist the parent or guardian in contesting the allegation; and
      2. Shall have the right to perpetuate such person's testimony or that of any witness by means of depositions or interrogatories as provided by the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure; and
    5. If, by means of a signed waiver, the court determines that the incarcerated parent or guardian has voluntarily waived the right to participate in the hearing and contest the allegation, or if such parent or guardian takes no action after receiving notice of such rights, the court may proceed with such action without the parent's or guardian's participation.
  5. Initiation of termination of parental or guardianship rights may be based upon any of the grounds listed in this subsection (g). The following grounds are cumulative and nonexclusive, so that listing conditions, acts or omissions in one ground does not prevent them from coming within another ground:
    1. Abandonment by the parent or guardian, as defined in § 36-1-102, has occurred;
    2. There has been substantial noncompliance by the parent or guardian with the statement of responsibilities in a permanency plan pursuant to title 37, chapter 2, part 4;
      1. The child has been removed from the home or the physical or legal custody of a parent or guardian for a period of six (6) months by a court order entered at any stage of proceedings in which a petition has been filed in the juvenile court alleging that a child is a dependent and neglected child, and:
        1. The conditions that led to the child's removal still persist, preventing the child's safe return to the care of the parent or guardian, or other conditions exist that, in all reasonable probability, would cause the child to be subjected to further abuse or neglect, preventing the child's safe return to the care of the parent or guardian;
        2. There is little likelihood that these conditions will be remedied at an early date so that the child can be safely returned to the parent or guardian in the near future; and
        3. The continuation of the parent or guardian and child relationship greatly diminishes the child's chances of early integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home;
      2. The six (6) months must accrue on or before the first date the termination of parental rights petition is set to be heard;
    3. The parent or guardian has been found to have committed severe child abuse, as defined in § 37-1-102, under any prior order of a court or is found by the court hearing the petition to terminate parental rights or the petition for adoption to have committed severe child abuse against any child;
    4. The parent or guardian has been sentenced to more than two (2) years' imprisonment for conduct against a child that has been found under any prior order of a court or that is found by the court hearing the petition to be severe child abuse, as defined in § 37-1-102. Unless otherwise stated, for purposes of this subdivision (g)(5), “sentenced” shall not be construed to mean that the parent or guardian must have actually served more than two (2) years in confinement, but shall only be construed to mean that the court had imposed a sentence of two (2) or more years upon the parent or guardian;
    5. The parent has been confined in a correctional or detention facility of any type, by order of the court as a result of a criminal act, under a sentence of ten (10) or more years, and the child is under eight (8) years of age at the time the sentence is entered by the court;
    6. The parent has been:
      1. Convicted of first degree or second degree murder of the child's other parent or legal guardian; or
      2. Found civilly liable for the intentional and wrongful death of the child's other parent or legal guardian;
      1. The chancery and circuit courts shall have jurisdiction in an adoption proceeding, and the chancery, circuit, and juvenile courts shall have jurisdiction in a separate, independent proceeding conducted prior to an adoption proceeding to determine if the parent or guardian is mentally incompetent to provide for the further care and supervision of the child, and to terminate that parent's or guardian's rights to the child;
      2. The court may terminate the parental or guardianship rights of that person if it determines on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that:
        1. The parent or guardian of the child is incompetent to adequately provide for the further care and supervision of the child because the parent's or guardian's mental condition is presently so impaired and is so likely to remain so that it is unlikely that the parent or guardian will be able to assume or resume the care of and responsibility for the child in the near future; and
        2. That termination of parental or guardian rights is in the best interest of the child;
      3. In the circumstances described under subdivisions (8)(A) and (B), no willfulness in the failure of the parent or guardian to establish the parent's or guardian's ability to care for the child need be shown to establish that the parental or guardianship rights should be terminated;
      1. The parental rights of any person who, at the time of the filing of a petition to terminate the parental rights of such person, or if no such petition is filed, at the time of the filing of a petition to adopt a child, is the putative father of the child may also be terminated based upon any one (1) or more of the following additional grounds:
        1. [Deleted by 2019 amendment.]
        2. The person has failed, without good cause or excuse, to make reasonable and consistent payments for the support of the child in accordance with the child support guidelines promulgated by the department pursuant to § 36-5-101;
        3. The person has failed to seek reasonable visitation with the child, and if visitation has been granted, has failed to visit altogether, or has engaged in only token visitation, as defined in § 36-1-102;
        4. The person has failed to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody of the child;
        5. Placing custody of the child in the person's legal and physical custody would pose a risk of substantial harm to the physical or psychological welfare of the child; or
        6. The person has failed to file a petition to establish paternity of the child within thirty (30) days after notice of alleged paternity, or as required in § 36-2-318(j), or after making a claim of paternity pursuant to § 36-1-117(c)(3);
        1. For purposes of this subdivision (g)(9), “notice” means the written statement to a person who is believed to be the biological father or possible biological father of the child. The notice may be made or given by the mother, the department, a licensed child-placing agency, the prospective adoptive parents, a physical custodian of the child, or the legal counsel of any of these people or entities; provided, that actual notice of alleged paternity may be proven to have been given to a person by any means and by any person or entity. The notice may be made or given at any time after the child is conceived and, if not sooner, may include actual notice of a petition to terminate the putative father's parental rights with respect to the child;
        2. “Notice” also means the oral statement to an alleged biological father from a biological mother that the alleged biological father is believed to be the biological father, or possible biological father, of the biological mother's child;
      1. The parent has been convicted of aggravated rape pursuant to § 39-13-502, rape pursuant to § 39-13-503, or rape of a child pursuant to § 39-13-522, from which crime the child was conceived. A certified copy of the conviction suffices to prove this ground;
      2. When one (1) of the child's parents has been convicted of one (1) of the offenses specified in subdivision (g)(10)(A), the child's other parent shall have standing to file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the convicted parent. Nothing in this section shall give a parent standing to file a petition to terminate parental rights based on grounds other than those listed in this subdivision (g)(10) or subdivision (g)(11) or (g)(15);
        1. The parent has been found to have committed severe child sexual abuse under any prior order of a criminal court;
        2. For the purposes of this section, “severe child sexual abuse” means the parent is convicted of any of the following offenses towards a child:
          1. Aggravated rape, pursuant to § 39-13-502;
          2. Aggravated sexual battery, pursuant to § 39-13-504;
          3. Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, pursuant to § 39-17-1004;
          4. Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, pursuant to § 39-17-1005;
          5. Incest, pursuant to § 39-15-302;
          6. Rape, pursuant to § 39-13-503; or
          7. Rape of a child, pursuant to § 39-13-522;
      1. When one (1) of the child’s parents has been convicted of one (1) of the offenses specified in subdivision (g)(11)(A)(ii), the child’s other parent shall have standing to file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the abusive parent. Nothing in this section shall give a parent standing to file a petition to terminate parental rights based on grounds other than those listed in subdivision (g)(10), this subdivision (g)(11), or subdivision (g)(15);
    7. The parent or guardian has been convicted of trafficking for commercial sex act under § 39-13-309;
    8. The parent or guardian has been convicted on or after July 1, 2015, of sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion under 18 U.S.C. § 1591, or a sex trafficking of children offense under the laws of another state that is substantially similar to § 39-13-309;
    9. A parent or guardian has failed to manifest, by act or omission, an ability and willingness to personally assume legal and physical custody or financial responsibility of the child, and placing the child in the person's legal and physical custody would pose a risk of substantial harm to the physical or psychological welfare of the child; and
      1. The parent or legal guardian has been convicted of attempted first degree murder or attempted second degree murder of the child's other parent or legal guardian;
      2. When one (1) of the child's parents or legal guardians has been convicted of attempted first degree murder or attempted second degree murder of the child's other parent or legal guardian, the child's non-offending parent or legal guardian shall have standing to file a petition to terminate the parental or guardianship rights of the convicted parent or legal guardian. Nothing in this section shall give a parent or legal guardian standing to file a petition to terminate parental or guardianship rights based on grounds other than those listed in subdivision (g)(10) or (g)(11) or this subdivision (g)(15).
    1. The department shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parents (or, if such a petition has been filed by another party, seek to be joined as a party to the petition), and, concurrently, to identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for an adoption, under the following circumstances:
      1. In the case of a child who has been in foster care under the responsibility of the department for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months; or
      2. If a court of competent jurisdiction has determined a child to be an abandoned infant as defined at § 36-1-102; or
      3. If a court of competent jurisdiction has made a determination in a criminal or civil proceeding that the parent has committed murder of a child, committed voluntary manslaughter of a child, aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter of a child, or committed a felony assault that has resulted in serious bodily injury or severe child abuse as defined at § 37-1-102 to a child. For the purposes of this subsection (h), such a determination shall be made by a jury or trial court judge designated by § 16-2-502 through an explicit finding, or by such equivalent courts of other states or of the United States; or
      4. If a juvenile court has made a finding of severe child abuse as defined at § 37-1-102.
    2. At the option of the department, the department may determine that a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parents shall not be filed (or, if such a petition has been filed by another party, shall not be required to seek to be joined as a party to the petition), if one of the following exists:
      1. The child is being cared for by a relative;
      2. The department has documented in the permanency plan, which shall be available for court review, a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or
      3. The department has not made reasonable efforts under § 37-1-166 to provide to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the department permanency plan, such services as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the child's home.
  6. In determining whether termination of parental or guardianship rights is in the best interest of the child pursuant to this part, the court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Whether the parent or guardian has made such an adjustment of circumstance, conduct, or conditions as to make it safe and in the child's best interest to be in the home of the parent or guardian;
    2. Whether the parent or guardian has failed to effect a lasting adjustment after reasonable efforts by available social services agencies for such duration of time that lasting adjustment does not reasonably appear possible;
    3. Whether the parent or guardian has maintained regular visitation or other contact with the child;
    4. Whether a meaningful relationship has otherwise been established between the parent or guardian and the child;
    5. The effect a change of caretakers and physical environment is likely to have on the child's emotional, psychological and medical condition;
    6. Whether the parent or guardian, or other person residing with the parent or guardian, has shown brutality, physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect toward the child, or another child or adult in the family or household;
    7. Whether the physical environment of the parent's or guardian's home is healthy and safe, whether there is criminal activity in the home, or whether there is such use of alcohol, controlled substances or controlled substance analogues as may render the parent or guardian consistently unable to care for the child in a safe and stable manner;
    8. Whether the parent's or guardian's mental and/or emotional status would be detrimental to the child or prevent the parent or guardian from effectively providing safe and stable care and supervision for the child; or
    9. Whether the parent or guardian has paid child support consistent with the child support guidelines promulgated by the department pursuant to § 36-5-101.
  7. In the hearing on the petition, the circuit, chancery, or juvenile court shall admit evidence, pursuant to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence, and shall recognize the exemptions to privileges as provided pursuant to §§ 37-1-411 and 37-1-614.
  8. The court shall ensure that the hearing on the petition takes place within six (6) months of the date that the petition is filed, unless the court determines an extension is in the best interests of the child. The court shall enter an order that makes specific findings of fact and conclusions of law within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the hearing. If such a case has not been completed within six (6) months from the date the petition was served, the petitioner or respondent shall have grounds to request that the court of appeals grant an order expediting the case at the trial level.
    1. An order terminating parental rights shall have the effect of severing forever all legal rights and obligations of the parent or guardian of the child against whom the order of termination is entered and of the child who is the subject of the petition to that parent or guardian. The parent or guardian shall have no further right to notice of proceedings for the adoption of that child by other persons and shall have no right to object to the child's adoption or thereafter to have any relationship, legal or otherwise, with the child. It shall terminate the responsibilities of that parent or guardian under this section for future child support or other future financial responsibilities even if the child is not ultimately adopted; provided, that the entry of an order terminating the parental rights shall not eliminate the responsibility of such parent or guardian for past child support arrearages or other financial obligations incurred for the care of such child prior to the entry of the order terminating parental rights.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (l )(1), a child who is the subject of the order for termination shall be entitled to inherit from a parent whose rights are terminated until the final order of adoption is entered.
  9. Upon termination of parental or guardian rights, the court may award guardianship or partial guardianship of the child to a licensed child-placing agency or the department. Such guardianship shall include the right to place the child for adoption and the right to consent to the child's adoption. Upon termination of parental or guardian rights, the court may award guardianship or partial guardianship to any prospective adoptive parent or parents with the right to adopt the child, or to any permanent guardian who has been appointed pursuant to title 37, chapter 1, part 8. In any of these cases, such guardianship is subject to the remaining rights, if any, of any other parent or guardian of the child. Before guardianship or partial guardianship can be awarded to a permanent guardian, the court shall find that the department or licensed child-placing agency currently having custody of the child has made reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption and that permanent guardianship is in the best interest of the child.
  10. An order of guardianship or partial guardianship entered by the court pursuant to this section shall supersede prior orders of custody or guardianship of that court and of other courts, except those prior orders of guardianship or partial guardianship of other courts entered as the result of validly executed surrenders or revocations pursuant to § 36-1-111 or § 36-1-112, or except as provided pursuant to § 36-1-111(r)(4)(D) and (E), or except an order of guardianship or partial guardianship of a court entered pursuant to § 36-1-116; provided, that orders terminating parental rights entered by a court under this section prior to the filing of an adoption petition shall be effective to terminate parental rights for all purposes.
  11. If the court terminates parental or guardianship rights, under this part or title 37 or a consent is given pursuant to § 36-1-117(f) or (g), or if there have been surrenders of parental or guardianship rights of all other necessary parties, then no further surrender or consent of that parent or guardian shall be necessary to authorize an adoption; provided, that the adoption court may review and confirm the validity of any denials of parentage made by persons under any statutory provisions from outside the state of Tennessee.
  12. A copy of the order or orders obtained by the prospective adoptive parents terminating parental or guardianship rights under this section shall be filed with the petition for adoption.
  13. After the entry of the order terminating parental rights, no party to the proceeding, nor anyone claiming under such party, may later question the validity of the termination proceeding by reason of any defect or irregularity therein, jurisdictional or otherwise, but shall be fully bound thereby, except based upon a timely appeal of the termination order as may be allowed by law; and in no event, for any reason, shall a termination of parental rights be overturned by any court or collaterally attacked by any person or entity after one (1) year from the date of the entry of the final order of termination. This provision is intended as a statute of repose.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 5 (Williams, § 9572.19); Acts 1955, ch. 320, § 1; 1957, ch. 292, § 1; 1959, ch. 111, § 1; 1959, ch. 223, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-110; § 36-1-110; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 41-44; 1997, ch. 379, § 1; 1997, ch. 551, § 54; 1998, ch. 1097, §§ 4-11; 1998, ch. 1098, § 4; 1999, ch. 467, § 1; 2000, ch. 683, §§ 1, 3; 2003, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 2003, ch. 231, §§ 9, 10; 2006, ch. 890, § 2; 2007, ch. 372, §§ 1, 2; 2008, ch. 1059, §§ 1-3; 2008, ch. 1162, §§ 3, 4; 2010, ch. 821, § 1; 2010, ch. 842, § 1; 2010, ch. 881, § 2; 2012, ch. 848, § 8; 2012, ch. 1042, §§ 1-3; 2013, ch. 298, § 1; 2013, ch. 365, § 1; 2015, ch. 237, § 1; 2016, ch. 636, § 5; 2016, ch. 659, § 1; 2016, ch. 919, §§ 7-9, 20; 2017, ch. 263, § 1; 2018, ch. 560, §§ 1-5; 2018, ch. 875, §§ 7, 9-12, 17; 2019, ch. 36, §§ 3, 4, 24-28; 2020, ch. 525, §§ 5-7.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-113 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 9 (Williams, § 9572.23); impl. am. Acts 1975, ch. 219, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-113), concerning consent filed with petition, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1, effective January 1, 1996.

Acts 2000, ch. 683, § 4 provided that the act shall apply to all proceedings and petitions pending on May 8, 2000 and all arising on or after May 8, 2000.

Acts 2006, ch. 890, § 1 provided that the provisions of the act may be collectively known as the “Child Protection Act of 2006.”

Acts 2018, ch. 560, § 6 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to petitions filed on or after March 14, 2018.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment, in (j), substituted “shall admit evidence, pursuant to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence,” for “shall, in addition to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence, admit evidence as permitted under the Tennessee Rules of Juvenile Procedure,”.

The 2018 amendment by ch. 560, in (b)(1), substituted “(g)(10), (g)(11), or (g)(15)” for “(g)(11)” following “subdivision”; rewrote the introductory language in (7) which read: “The parent has been convicted of or found civilly liable for the intentional and wrongful death of the child's other parent or legal guardian;” and added (A) and (B); in (g), inserted “or subdivision (g)(11) or (g)(15)” following “in this subdivision (g)(10)(B)” and substituted “in subdivision (g)(10), this subdivision (g)(11), or subdivision (g)(15)” for “in this subdivision (g)(11)” in (g)(11)(B); and added (g)(15.

The 2018 amendment by ch. 875 added (d)(2)(B); rewrote (d)(3)(A)(ii) and (d)(3)(A)(iii) which read: “(ii) Indicates if there exists any other claim or potential claim to the paternity of the child; “(iii) Describes whether any other parental or guardianship rights have been terminated by surrender, parental consent, or otherwise, and whether any other such rights must be terminated before the child can be made available for adoption;”; redesignated former (d)(3)(A)(iv) and (d)(3)(A)(v) as (d)(2)(A)(v) and (d)(2)(A)(vi), respectively; in (d)(3)(C)(i), inserted “, if granted,”; rewrote the former introductory language in (g)(3) which read: “The child has been removed from the home of the parent or guardian by order of a court for a period of six (6) months and”, and redesignated it as (g)(3)(A); rewrote former (g)(3)(A) which read: “The conditions that led to the child’s removal or other conditions that in all reasonable probability would cause the child to be subjected to further abuse or neglect and that, therefore, prevent the child’s safe return to the care of the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians, still persist;” and redesignated it as (g)(3)(A)(i); rewrote former (g)(3)(B) which read: “There is little likelihood that these conditions will be remedied at an early date so that the child can be safely returned to the parent or parents or the guardian or guardians in the near future;” and redesignated it as (g)(3)(A)(ii); redesignated former (g)(3)(A)(C) as (g)(3)(A)(iii); added present (g)(3)(B); at the end of (g)(4), substituted “any child” for “the child who is the subject of the petition or against any sibling or half-sibling of such child, or any other child residing temporarily or permanently in the home of such parent or guardian”; and, in (g)(14), deleted “legal” preceding “parent”.

The 2019 amendment,  in (d), deleted “, or allegations in the adoption petition,” following “The petition” at the beginning, and added the third sentence in (d)(1); substituted “petition to terminate parental rights” for “petition, or allegations in the adoption petition,” in (d)(2)(A); rewrote (d)(3)(A), which read: “The petition, or allegations in the adoption petition, shall contain a verified statement that: (i) The putative father registry maintained by the department has been consulted within ten (10) working days of the filing of the petition and shall state whether there exists any claim on the registry to the paternity of the child who is the subject of the termination or adoption petition; (ii) Any putative father registry maintained by another state in which the child was born has been consulted within ten (10) working days of the filing of the petition and shall state whether there exists any claim on that registry to the paternity of the child who is the subject of the termination or adoption petition; and (iii) If the petitioner knows or has reason to believe that the mother was living or present in another state at the time of the child's conception, any putative father registry maintained by that state has been consulted within ten (10) working days of the filing of the petition and shall state whether there exists any claim on that registry to the paternity of the child who is the subject of the termination or adoption petition.”; deleted (d)(3)(B), which read: “Any person or persons entitled to notice pursuant to § 36-1-117 shall be named as defendants in the petition to terminate parental rights or in the adoption petition and shall be served with a copy of the petition as provided by law.”; and substituted “petition to terminate parental rights, if filed separately from the adoption petition,” for “petition, if filed separately from the adoption petition,” in (d)(4); deleted (g)(9)(A)(i), which read: “The person has failed, without good cause or excuse, to pay a reasonable share of prenatal, natal, and postnatal expenses involving the birth of the child in accordance with the person’s financial means promptly upon the person’s receipt of notice of the child’s impending birth;” and inserted “or possible biological father,” in (g)(9)(B)(ii).The 2020 amendment substituted “with the child, except as provided by contract pursuant to § 36-1-145” for “with the child” in (d)(3)(C)(iii);  substituted “a child” for “the child who is the subject of the petition, or for conduct against any sibling or half-sibling of the child or any other child residing temporarily or permanently in the home of such parent or guardian,” in (g)(5); and rewrote the first sentence of (h)(1)(C) which read: “If a court of competent jurisdiction has made a determination in a criminal or civil proceeding that the parent has committed murder of any sibling or half-sibling of the child who is the subject of the petition or any other child residing temporarily or permanently in the home, committed voluntary manslaughter of another such child, aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter of the child that is the subject of the petition or any sibling or half-sibling of the child who is the subject of the petition or any other child residing temporarily or permanently in the home, or committed a felony assault that has resulted in serious bodily injury or severe child abuse as defined at § 37-1-102 to the child that is the subject of the petition or any sibling or half-sibling of the child who is the subject of the petition or any other child residing temporarily or permanently in the home.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2017, ch. 263, § 5. July 1, 2017.

Acts 2018, ch. 560, § 6. March 14, 2018.

Acts 2018, ch. 875, § 38. July 1, 2018.

Acts 2019, ch. 36, § 35. July 1, 2019.

Acts 2020, ch. 525, § 13. March 6, 2020.

Cross-References. Concurrent jurisdiction of juvenile court, § 37-1-104.

Rule Reference. This section is referred to in Rule 803 of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence.

Law Reviews.

New Reproductive Technologies: The Legal Problem and a Solution, 49 Tenn. L. Rev. 303 (1982).

Parental Immunity from Liability in Tort: Evolution of a Doctrine in Tennessee (Irene Hansen Saba), 36 U. Mem. L. Rev. 829 (2006).

Storied Anna Mae He Decision Clarifies Law But Leaves Unanswered Questions (Christina A. Zawisza), 38 U. Mem. L. Rev. 637 (2008).

When One Parent Goes and the Other Parent Stays: The Inconsistency and Inequality of Guaranteeing Absent Parents Permanent Parental Rights (Wendee M. Hilderbrand), 56 Vand. L. Rev. 1907 (2003).

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of 1997 amendment, OAG 97-082, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 81 (5/21/97).

Juvenile court disposition of children following a termination of parental rights, OAG 99-208, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 190 (10/20/99).

T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(6) authorizes the termination of parental rights even if the parent has already served his or her sentence and been released.  OAG 11-33, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (4/12/11).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

Neither T.C.A. § 36-1-113(c)(2) nor (g)(6) is blatantly unconstitutional. In re Adoption of E.N.R., 42 S.W.3d 26, 2001 Tenn. LEXIS 287 (Tenn. 2001).

Incarcerated mother's constitutional rights were not violated when the trial court terminated her parental rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(4) for prior criminal convictions for actions against the child's sibling, and not for any action, neglect, or abuse directed against the child herself. In re C.A.F., 114 S.W.3d 524, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003).

A judicial finding of severe child abuse against any child creates an obvious presumption of parental unfitness and the incorporation of this presumption into statutory law is not obviously or blatantly unconstitutional. In re C.A.F., 114 S.W.3d 524, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003).

Under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(c)(1), in every case in which parental rights are terminated, there must be a finding by the court by clear and convincing evidence that the grounds for termination of parental or guardianship rights have been established, and this finding must be contained in a written order entered by the trial court; therefore, as long as the juvenile court has correctly found that at least one of the statutory grounds for termination of parental rights exists, the constitutional requirement of a showing of parental unfitness or a risk of substantial harm to the welfare of a child has been satisfied. Once a statutory ground for termination has been established, there is no constitutional requirement that the trial court make an additional finding of substantial harm. In re Audrey S., 182 S.W.3d 838, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 539 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2005), appeal denied, In re A.M.S. v. Ferrell, — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 1020 (Tenn. 2005).

T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(6) is constitutional and does not violate a parent's due process rights because trial court does not have to make a finding of unfitness or a risk of substantial harm after finding at least one of the statutory grounds for termination of parental rights. In re T.M.G., 283 S.W.3d 318, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 713 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 25, 2008), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 86 (Tenn. Feb. 24, 2009).

2. Construction.

Construing the language of the adoption and termination statutory scheme, the term “physical custody” as utilized in the statutory sections would be synonymous with having physical possession of a child and would not require a court order or other judicial act; the statutory definition of custody contained in the juvenile court statutory scheme is inapplicable in the context of a termination or adoption proceeding, and physical custody means physical possession of a child, as granted by a parent, guardian, child-placing agency, or court, but physical custody as used in the statutory scheme does not include the unlawful taking of a child. In re Joseph F., 492 S.W.3d 690, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 227 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. May 10, 2016).

3. Applicability.

T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was inapplicable because the order that the Tennessee department of children's services alleged was superseded was not an order of guardianship, but rather, a pending custody petition; therefore, it was inapplicable under its own terms. State Dep't of Children's Servs. v. Owens, 129 S.W.3d 50, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 182 (Tenn. 2004).

Trial court terminated father's parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113 and not T.C.A. § 36-1-111; father consented to termination of his parental rights, and on appeal did not dispute that he agreed to terminate his parental rights before the trial court at the hearing on the amended petition for termination of parental rights and for adoption by a step-parent. In re Adoption of A.E., — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 679 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2008), rev'd, In re Angela E., 303 S.W.3d 240, 2010 Tenn. LEXIS 87 (Tenn. Feb. 16, 2010).

Statute expressly provides that the termination language is not applicable to a legal parent of a child; rather, it is only applicable to a father who is described in the putative father statute. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Juvenile court erred in terminating a father's parental rights on the ground that the father failed to assume legal and physical custody because that ground was inapplicable to putative biological fathers. In re Mac L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 883 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2016).

Trial court erred by applying an amended version of this section that was not yet in affect when the children's grandparents filed the action to terminate the father's parental rights. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Grounds of abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home and persistence of conditions were inapplicable because the proof showed that the children were removed from the home of the father, who was living with the father's mother at the time. At the time of removal, the mother was incarcerated. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

4. Jurisdiction to Declare Child Abandoned.

The chancery or circuit court has jurisdiction to declare a child an “abandoned child” only in a case in which abandonment has been alleged in support of a petition to adopt. St. Peter's Orphan Asylum Asso. v. Riley, 43 Tenn. App. 683, 311 S.W.2d 336, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 144 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

Under the former Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), Tennessee courts could adjudicate child custody issues, including termination of parental rights proceedings, even if one of the parents did not have minimum contacts with Tennessee. Graham v. Copeland (In re Copeland), 43 S.W.3d 483, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 221 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000), review or rehearing denied, In re Adoption of Copeland, — S.W.3d —, 2001 Tenn. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Apr. 16, 2001).

5. Jurisdiction for Adoption.

A decree of abandonment by the juvenile court does not deprive the chancery or circuit court of jurisdiction of adoption proceedings. In re Matthews, 204 Tenn. 155, 319 S.W.2d 69, 1958 Tenn. LEXIS 254 (1958).

Trial court erred in separating grandparents'  termination and adoption actions and transferring only the termination portion of the proceedings to the juvenile court because once the grandparents filed their adoption and termination petition, the trial court acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the matter to the exclusion of all other courts, including the juvenile court. In re Tyler G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 280 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 3, 2017).

6. Standing.

In a termination of parental rights case, a court properly denied grandparents' motion to intervene where the grandparental relationship did not alone support intervention, and intervention as of right was not appropriate, because there was a party in the underlying suit, the child's father, who could adequately represent the grandparents' interests. Gonzalez v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 136 S.W.3d 613, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 566 (Tenn. 2004).

Jurisdiction to terminate parental or guardianship rights resides concurrently in the chancery, circuit, and juvenile courts under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(a); standing to intervene in a termination proceeding in juvenile court should be analyzed under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 24. Gonzalez v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 136 S.W.3d 613, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 566 (Tenn. 2004).

Child's great aunt and uncle did not have standing to file a petition to terminate a father's parental rights because they were not members of any of the groups to standing was granted; extended family members caring for related children were granted standing if they were prospective adoptive parents, and the great aunt and uncle were not. In re M.L.P., — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 217 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2008), aff'd, 281 S.W.3d 387, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 299 (Tenn. 2009).

Standing existed because original petition was filed jointly by one biological parent and a stepparent seeking termination of the other biological parent's parental rights and seeking adoption of the subject child. In re Jarett M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 213 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 13, 2015).

As an abuse and neglect proceeding in juvenile court, the rule applied to the guardian ad litem's original appointment, and notwithstanding the adjudicatory hearing order, which relieved all attorneys of further responsibility, the guardian ad litem had standing to petition for termination of parental rights, and the mother's argument effectively precluded the court from considering the standing issue. In re Destiny W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 289 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2015).

Statute provided only a single circumstance under which a parent could petition to terminate the parental rights of another parent, where the respondent parent had been found to have committed severe child sexual abuse under any prior order of a criminal court; in this case, the father made no claim that the mother had been convicted of such an offense, and thus he lacked standing to petition to terminate the mother's parental rights. In re Ava B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. July 1, 2016).

Grandmother lacked standing to petition to terminate the mother's parental rights; the extended family member had to be caring for a related child, but she was not, plus she could not be considered a prospective adoptive parent because to adopt the child, the grandmother would have to terminate the rights to her son and daughter, the mother, and the petition made clear that she had no such intention. In re Ava B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. July 1, 2016).

Despite having lived with a child, the child's maternal grandparents lacked standing to file a termination petition under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(b)(1), as the grandparents had not filed a petition for termination or for adoption, nor had they filed a petition to intervene in an adoption proceeding. In re C.H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 57 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights where, with the exception of a stepparent, T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(11) unambiguously stated that the rights of both parents had to be terminated before a third party became eligible to adopt the child, the grandmother was not a stepparent under T.C.A. § 36-1-117(f), and under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(b)(1), the father and grandmother lacked standing to file an adoption petition without first terminating the rights of both parents. In re Lyric A., 544 S.W.3d 341, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 690 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 12, 2017).

Trial court had subject matter jurisdiction of a stepmother's termination of parental rights petition because the stepmother sought to adopt the subject child. In re Paetyn M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 81 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2019).

7. Defects in Petition.

Although the petition to terminate a mother's parental rights failed to specifically allege the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent, the ground was tried by the mother's implied consent because, inter alia, the father's attorney questioned mother and other witnesses regarding mother's contact with the children, her payment of support, and the time she spent in jail during the four month period of time preceding the filing of the termination petition. In re D.H.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2015).

8. Procedural Matters.

Although a biological parent, who married, had no standing to petition for the termination of the parental rights of the other biological parent, the biological parent who married was a necessary party to the stepparent's petition for adoption. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Any alleged deficiencies in the dependency and neglect proceedings were remedied by the protections afforded the father by the termination proceeding, and in any event, he was not disadvantaged by any alleged deficiencies. In re Aniston M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2016).

Lack of a transcript prevented the appellate court from determining whether sufficient evidence supported the termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment and denied the father proper appellate consideration of his claims. The statement of the evidence included only the most general summary of the testimony of each of the witnesses and fell far short of what was necessary to permit a proper review of the father's claims. In re Ian B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 318 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 11, 2016).

While there were logistical difficulties for counsel in Tennessee to consult with the father, who was incarcerated in Florida, the record did not show any basis upon which to conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in denying a continuance of the second hearing, particularly because there was a hearing held on a third day and the father filed no motion or sought any relief or specific accommodation between the second and third hearing days; the father was not deprived of his right to due process of law. In re Elizabeth D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 706 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Although the court can find no prohibition to conducting hearings on dependency and neglect and termination of parental rights consecutively, the hearings must be distinct, and one method of accomplishing that goal would be to separate the hearings by at least a day or more; furthermore, evidence admitted in a dependency and neglect hearing should not be relied upon for parental termination unless that evidence was also admitted in the hearing on parental termination. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Mother failed to timely object to the admission of the exhibits from the dependency and neglect hearing in the parental termination proceeding; counsel for the mother initially agreed that the exhibits from the dependency and neglect would be admitted in the termination hearing, and when counsel for the department announced its intention to put on no further proof regarding severe abuse but was still proceeding on the ground of severe abuse for terminating rights, counsel should have objected, but failed to do so, and the issue was thus waived. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Nothing in the definition of a dependent and neglected child requires that a ground for termination of parental rights has been established by appropriate proof, and the same is true of the definition of severe abuse; there are no cases in which Tennessee courts have held that a ground for termination or a best interest determination must be made in order to adjudicate a child dependent and neglected or the victim of severe abuse, and dependency and neglect proceeding and termination of parental rights proceeding are separate proceedings. In re Tamera W., 515 S.W.3d 860, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 859 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 10, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 88 (Tenn. Feb. 8, 2017).

Nothing in either the definition of a dependent and neglected child or severe abuse requires that the trial court determine whether the parent has complied with an applicable permanency plan; whether the parent has made lasting adjustment after reasonable efforts by available social services agencies alone does not prevent the trial court from finding the children dependent and neglected or to be the victims of severe abuse. In re Tamera W., 515 S.W.3d 860, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 859 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 10, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 88 (Tenn. Feb. 8, 2017).

Mother failed to appear at the hearing and never requested the appointment of counsel, and thus the court did not err in failing to appoint counsel for her. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 6, 2017).

Return of service provided that the summons and petition were delivered to the mother on March 26, 2016, and the process server was also identified by name and address on the return as required; thus, the trial court acquired personal jurisdiction over the mother in this termination case through service of process. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 6, 2017).

Trial court properly found the father to be a putative father of the children because he did not file a paternity petition concerning either of the children and the trial court properly found that he was not a legal parent because he presented no evidence that he executed an unrevoked and sworn acknowledgement of paternity. He was recorded as the father on the children's birth certificates. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Evidence supported the trial court's findings that a guardian was provided with enough information to qualify a father as a putative father because the mother specifically named the father in a previous court proceeding with the guardian present and gave the city and state where he lived; the guardian made no further attempt to diligently inquire into the father's whereabouts so as to provide him with service and include him in the adoption proceeding. In re Gabrielle W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 465 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 11, 2017), review denied and ordered not published, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 737 (Tenn. Nov. 29, 2017).

Expedition of the hearing in a termination of parental rights case, not dismissal, was the appropriate remedy when more than six months had passed from the filing of the petition. In re Preston L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 649 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Trial court properly exercised its decision to deny a father's motion to stay and/or continue termination proceedings because it determined that even if the father's convictions were eventually overturned, it would take several years to do so, and the children at issue deserved resolution; by the time of the hearing on the termination petition, the father's convictions had been upheld by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court. In re Hailey C., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 658 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 895 (Tenn. Dec. 21, 2017).

Trial court erred in relying upon the ground of persistence of conditions in terminating a mother's parental rights because, while a magistrate found probable cause to believe the mother's child was dependent and neglected by order which the magistrate entered, the record was devoid of evidence of an order actually finding the child as such until entry of the final order less than six months prior to the termination petition. In re Jabari B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2018).

Trial court did not err by not compelling the Department of Children's Services (DCS) to join in the foster parents'  petition to terminate parental rights because the record supported the trial court's determination that DCS had a compelling reason not to pursue the petition, as the permanency plans submitted to the trial court adequately documented the parents'  compliance. In re Zayne P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 239 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018).

Trial court did not err by terminating parental rights prior to ruling on a petition by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services to adjudicate dependency and neglect. In re J.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 256 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 10, 2018).

Consideration of whether grounds for the termination of a father's parental rights to his son existed and whether the termination of his rights was in the child's best interest was ripe for adjudication because the son's sexual abuse of his sibling was reported and addressed from that time up until the time of trial; the father was made aware of the son's issues as soon as the Department of Children's Services was notified of them, prior to the petition for termination being filed. In re Dakota M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 329 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2018).

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mother's motion for a continuance of a termination of parental rights proceeding because, although the mother claimed to have been sexually assaulted before the hearing, the court properly followed its statutory obligation to expedite termination proceedings in a manner that was consistent with due process. Furthermore, the court, with the benefit of hearing the mother's testimony and observing the mother's demeanor, found the mother to be coherent and able to participate in the proceeding. In re T.R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 542 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2018).

Applicable four-month window includes the four months preceding the day the petition to terminate parental rights is filed but excludes the day the petition is filed; the same holds true for the start date of the parent's incarceration. In re Kaycee M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 585 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2018), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2019).

Based on the trial court's delay concerning the entry of its order, the father contended that the order should be reversed, but this argument was rejected, as case law held that failure to comply with the statute did not require vacating the judgment, nor did a trial court lose jurisdiction over a case if it failed to enter a timely order. In re Mason C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 723 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 14, 2018).

It was not an abuse of discretion to deny a mother's request for a continuance of a hearing on termination of the mother's parental rights because (1) the matter was pending for 21 months, (2) a hearing was statutorily required within six months, and (3) the mother's documentation did not support the mother's stated reason for seeking a continuance. In re Paetyn M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 81 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2019).

Adoption statute had no application in this case because although the end goal was adoption of the child, the only remedy sought by the department was the termination of the mother's rights, and the department could be afforded complete relief without the father's participation; his rights were terminated before this trial, he had no interest to protect, and the mother failed to show that the father had to be joined. In re Josiah T., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2019).

Father did not receive sufficient notice of the grounds for termination of his parental rights; despite the fact that the order did not cite abandonment by an incarcerated parent, by applying the time period prior to the father's incarceration, the trial court terminated his rights on this ground, which appellees did not plead, plus the ground was not tried by consent of the parties. In re Justine J., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 505 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 10, 2019).

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by proceeding with termination of parental rights proceedings against a parent, despite the pendency of related criminal charges against the parent, so as to prevent the parent's children from languishing in foster care unnecessarily. In re Deishun M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 562 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2019).

As the trial court only addressed two of the four grounds for termination raised in the petition, the trial court's judgment was not final and thus the case was remanded for further proceedings. In re A.W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2020).

Termination of parental rights for incarcerated parents on the ground of failure to visit was inappropriate because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to properly plead the ground, and in the absence of evidence that indicated that the parents fully understood failure to visit was being tried by implied consent and because evidence relevant to the parents'  failure to visit was relevant to other issues, this ground for termination was not tried by implied consent. In re Noah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

9. Right to Counsel.

Court erred in finding that the parents, in a complex, extended dependency and neglect case, were not indigent and finding their seven children dependent and neglected and that the parents had committed severe child abuse; that finding could have led to termination of parental rights and the parents clearly had a right to appointed counsel if they were indigent. The parents were entitled to a thorough hearing in compliance with T.C.A. § 40-14-202 to determine if they were indigent and thus, entitled to appointed counsel under Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 13(d)(2)(B). Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs. v. David H., 247 S.W.3d 651, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 193 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2006).

Trial court properly denied a father's motion to disqualify opposing counsel in a termination of parental rights proceeding because counsel gained no information in the prosecution of a criminal case against the father that would give her an advantage and make it unethical to represent the mother; Grounds for termination were established on the face of the father's convictions, and nothing in the record suggested counsel used any information not otherwise available to the public. In re Hailey C., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 658 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 895 (Tenn. Dec. 21, 2017).

10. Presence at Hearing.

Termination of father's parental rights violated his right to due process as his motion to continue was denied and the trial proceeded in his absence after the father's counselor refused to allow him to participate in the trial by telephone from a detention center as permitted by T.C.A. § 36-1-113(f)(3). In re A'mari B., 358 S.W.3d 204, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 488 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2011), appeal denied, In re A'Mari B., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 1067 (Tenn. Nov. 14, 2011).

In a termination of parental rights case, the trial court did not err in denying the father's motion to continue the trial because the transcript reflected that the proceedings were transmitted via telephone to the father, who was in prison; the court instructed the father to let the court know if for any reason he could not hear; the father participated and was able to respond to questions as they were asked; the father's counsel was present and participated fully in the proceeding; and the father was able to communicate with the court when he was unable to hear so that the witnesses or the attorneys could repeat what they had said, reposition the telephone, and/or speak more loudly. In re Lydia N.-S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 55 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2017).

Mother had notice of the trial and was present before it began, and upon learning she was absent from the courtroom, the trial court granted time to call out and permitted the attorneys to attempt to contact her, but when she failed to appear, the trial court conducted a full hearing, requiring the State to prove each element; as the mother had notice of the hearing, was present before it began, and was represented by counsel, the decision of the trial court was affirmed. In re Gabriella H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 75 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

11. Evidence.

In a termination of the mother's parental rights case, although the trial court did not make a specific finding that rule of sequestration was violated, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the child's paternal grandmother to testify only with respect to her desire to adopt the child, but did not permit her to testify with respect to any grounds supporting termination, or in regard to anything that was discussed outside of the courtroom between the grandmother and her daughter regarding the care given to the child by the daughter. In re Brayden S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 735 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 11, 2015).

In a termination of the mother's parental rights case, the mother's brief did not clearly articulate how the rule of sequestration might have been violated by the court's allowance of the paternal grandmother's testimony, and it did not provide the appropriate references to the record to establish how the testimony violated the rule of sequestration. In re Brayden S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 735 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 11, 2015).

Order of adjudication was erroneously introduced through the mother after she denied knowledge of the document; the order was also not self-authenticating because it failed to meet the rule requirements, plus the petition was inadmissible because it contained hearsay, but any error in the admission of the evidence was harmless when the facts in the documents were duplicative and unnecessary to support the grounds of termination or the best interest finding. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Facts supported the finding of severe abuse, and termination of the mother's rights was proper on this ground; the mother had tested positive for marijuana, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, the child's drug screens were positive for marijuana, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines, and shortly after he was born, he suffered from an enlarged heart and a flap of skin covering his airway, and he was likely to have lifelong respiratory issues and special needs. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Any objection to admission of the chancery court order raised for the first time on appeal could not be considered in the absence of plain error affecting substantial rights; any appeal from the order would have been time-barred, the mother failed to show that an appeal was pending, and there was no abuse of discretion by the trial court in admitting the order terminating the mother's rights to two of her other children. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Mother's objection based on chain of custody was misplaced; the witnesses identified the drug screen result forms entered into evidence, the mother signed both forms in the presence of each witness, and the witnesses recorded the results shown on the drug test cups, and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the drug screen results in this termination case. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Personal appearance by the father, who was incarcerated out of state, was not feasible, nothing indicated that teleconferencing capabilities were available, and the court and parties made the best use of the available technology, and the father's right to participate in the hearing was not violated. In re Elizabeth D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 706 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Identity of the children's father had no bearing on the grounds for terminating the mother's parental rights and was not considered in the trial court's best interest determination; thus, the admission of the DNA test establishing paternity of the children, if error, was harmless. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Documents from a prior juvenile court proceeding were relevant in the mother's termination case in explaining how and why the investigator took the steps she did when contacting the mother, and the documents as offered were not hearsay for that reason. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Trial court erred in terminating a father's parental rights to his son based upon his stipulation that the Department of Children's Services could prove that grounds to terminate existed because the father's stipulation that the evidence satisfied the statutory grounds for termination was a nullity; the court of appeals was obliged to consider whether the evidence clearly and convincingly established that grounds existed to terminate the father's rights. In re Dakota M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 329 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2018).

12. Burden of Proof.

In a termination of parental rights proceeding, given the absence of information regarding steps taken to identify the father, an adoption agency did not carry its burden of demonstrating the diligent inquiry required by T.C.A. § 21-1-203(a) in order to use service by publication, as simply asking the birth mother if she knew the name of the father and then giving up was not sufficient; the location of the party, the name of the host of the party, the names of attendees of the party, and the type of vehicle in which the child was conceived were all obvious areas of inquiry. Adoption Place, Inc. v. Doe, 273 S.W.3d 142, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 750 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2007), appeal denied, The Adoption Place, Inc. v. Doe, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 90 (Tenn. Feb. 4, 2008).

Termination of father’s parental rights was proper because clear and convincing evidence established that father was mentally incompe- tent and it was the in the children’s best interest. Department of Children's Servs. v. Mims, 285 S.W.3d 435, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 706 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2008), appeal denied, In re N.B., — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 146 (Tenn. Mar. 16, 2009).

Termination of parents'  rights based on persistence of conditions pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) required the Department of Children's Services to prove that it made reasonable efforts at reunification with respect to the father, as a determination that termination was warranted due to his severe child abuse had been reversed pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102 and 37-1-166(g)(4)(A); however, the record indicated that such efforts were satisfactorily made. In re Dakota C.R., 404 S.W.3d 484, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 844 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2012), appeal denied, In re Dakota R., — S.W.3d —, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Mar. 6, 2013).

Father's parental rights were erroneously terminated based on a finding of severe child abuse pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 37-1-102 and 36-1-113(g)(4), as the father was apparently absent from the home when one child was injured, and there was a lack of proof that the children were abused prior to that time; there was conflicting evidence as to the existence of, cause of, and seriousness of, the children's other “marks” on their bodies. In re Dakota C.R., 404 S.W.3d 484, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 844 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2012), appeal denied, In re Dakota R., — S.W.3d —, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Mar. 6, 2013).

It was the burden of the Department of Children Services to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, the existence of at least one ground for termination. In re R.L.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2015).

Trial court found two grounds for termination had been established against both parents: the failure to provide a suitable home and the failure to remedy persistence of conditions; the children's services department must establish proof of these grounds against each individual parent, however, given the mother and father's living situation, as well as issues that caused the children's removal, the court disagreed that the mother and father generally had substantially different circumstances as it related to these two grounds. In re C.C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 701 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Record contained clear and convincing evidence that a father was criminally convicted of the intentional and wrongful death of the children's mother and that termination of the father's parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(7) was in his children's best interest. The father had exhibited brutality, and physical, emotional, and psychological abuse toward the children's mother, and the father's incarceration prevented him from providing a home for his children or maintaining any meaningful relationship with them. In re Christopher J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 784 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 4, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence demonstrated that a father of two children engaged in conduct prior to his incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children. The trial court's finding that termination of the father's parental rights was in the best interest of the children was also proven by clear and convincing evidence. In re Addison E., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 13 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2018).

There was not enough evidence to determine how a change of caretaker and environment would affect the children, as the only information in the record was that the children had been in the same foster home since being placed in Department of Children's Services'  custody and they were doing well in that placement; because the department bore the burden to show evidence of this factor, this factor weighed against termination. In re Briana H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

13. Findings of Fact.

While summation of the evidence may be necessary and helpful to the trial court in making its findings and conclusions, the court must go beyond mere summation by linking the evidence to its clearly stated findings of fact and conclusions of law. In re S.S.-G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 917 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2015).

Trial court stated only that the father had sexually abused the child, which constituted severe abuse, but the trial court's failure to include the specific statutory definitions that it relied upon prevented meaningful review; where the statute provides several possible definitions for a ground, the trial court must specify the exact definition that it relies upon in reaching its ultimate conclusion, and the termination of the father's rights on the ground of severe child abuse was vacated. In re S.S.-G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 917 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2015).

Although the trial court entered a conclusion of law as to certain termination grounds of abandonment, its order did not contain any findings of fact with respect to these grounds in contravention of the statute. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Trial court failed to make any other findings of fact or conclusions of law with respect to the termination ground of substantial noncompliance, plus it appeared the trial court applied an incorrect standard; the appropriate standard is whether there has been substantial noncompliance, and in the absence of appropriate findings on this ground and the application of an incorrect standard, the trial court's decision to terminate the mother's rights on this ground was vacated. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Trial court's final judgment terminating a father's parental rights did not include or incorporate written findings of fact justifying its decision as required by T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k). The trial court's noncompliance with this rule fatally undermined the validity of the termination order. In re K.J.G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 216 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2016).

Trial court complied with the requirements of T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k) in terminating the parent's rights where it deliberated and made its own decision, made oral findings that several of the grounds alleged in the petition had been proven by clear and convincing evidence and that termination of parental rights was in the child's best interest of the child, and then signed and entered a written order containing more specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. In re Matthew T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 272 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2016).

Trial court satisfied the statutory requirements by making extensive written findings of fact and conclusions of law that supported the finding of severe abuse. In re Envy J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 944 (Tenn. Dec. 16, 2016).

Trial court's order only provided a conclusory statement regarding the ground of mental incompetence and offered little explanation as to how the lower court arrived at its determination, as it failed to explain or identify the mother's diagnoses, the doctor's qualifications as an expert, the effect of the diagnoses on the child, and whether any amount of training, education, or counseling could bring the mother to a level where she could parent the child. In re B.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2017).

Trial court said that the father “apparently” had a relapse; however, “apparently” was not a finding of a relapse by clear and convincing evidence. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Because a trial court failed to provide a rationale for its decision to terminate parental rights and the final order entered by the trial court was nearly a verbatim recitation of the termination petition, the order of the trial court was vacated,and the case was remanded for the entry of an order that reflected that it was the product of the trial court's individualized decision-making and independent judgment. In re Colton B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 829 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support because although the order contained a legal conclusion, the trial court failed to support its conclusion with any factual findings. In re Noah S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 27 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2018).

Despite the father's consent to trying the statutory ground for termination that he was incarcerated subject to at least a 10-year sentence, the trial court failed to make requisite findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the establishment of that ground because, although the trial court considered the father's criminal sentence of at least 10 years in making its determination regarding the best interest of the child, no express determination was made regarding its basis as a statutory ground for termination of his parental rights; however, because the father was on notice of and consented to trying that ground for termination, the matter was remanded for entry of the requisite findings of fact and conclusions of law. In re Haley S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 164 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2018).

Trial court's findings of fact were insufficient to support its finding that the father abandoned his child by willfully failing to visit her during the four month period preceding his incarceration. In re Haley S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 164 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2018).

In a case in which a mother appealed a judgment of the trial court that terminated her parental rights, the appellate court concluded that the trial court did not make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k) to support its ruling that the Department of Children's Services had proven the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. In re K.O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 327 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 14, 2018).

Court of appeals was unable to conduct its review due to the lack of specific factual findings in the trial court's order terminating a father's parental rights to his son; the order did not comply with subsection (k) because the trial court did not discuss the grounds in its oral ruling at the conclusion of trial and did not allow the court of appeals to conclude that the order was the result of the trial court's own considered conclusions. In re Dakota M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 329 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2018).

Even if the trial court, which denied a petition to terminate parental rights, held the authority to designate the children's stepfather as their permanent guardian, the trial court did not issue the requisite findings in support of its order of guardianship. In re Kira D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 358 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 26, 2018).

Order terminating the mother's parental rights did not satisfy the trial court's responsibility imposed by T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k), as it was largely a verbatim recitation of the allegations in the petition and contained no discussion or elaboration beyond the allegations of the petition. In re Atrivium K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2018).

Differences between the trial court's oral ruling and the subsequent written order were significant and it could not be determined on appeal that the written order represented the trial court's own independent analysis and judgment; remand was required for entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law in compliance with the statute that reflected the trial court's independent deliberations and decision. In re Marneasha D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 588 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2018).

Trial court's written order contains a dearth of findings of fact to support its conclusion that the parents had abandoned the children and that termination was in their best interest; as the trial court failed to enter sufficient findings and conclusions, the judgment was vacated and the case was remanded. In re Mason C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 723 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 14, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the finding that a father failed to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody of a child because based upon his course of conduct, he did not have the ability to provide a reliable source of financial support and a stable household for the child; the father was incarcerated at the time the petition was filed, he acknowledged his criminal history and past problems with alcohol, and he had not paid child support in the past. In re Rilyn S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 124 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2019).

Trial court made an independent determination that the evidence constituted clear and convincing evidence to satisfy each ground for termination of a father's parental rights and made the required findings of fact and conclusions of law because in its memorandum opinion and order, the trial court detailed the stipulated facts as well as the facts proven by exhibits submitted at trial and the facts proven through testimony. In re Rilyn S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 124 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2019).

Trial court failed to comply with subsection (k) because instead of making specific findings of fact to support its legal conclusions, the trial court's order simply made broad, conclusory statements regarding the grounds for termination and the child's best interests; because the trial court failed to comply, the case was remanded to the trial court with instructions to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. In re M.N., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 281 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 5, 2019).

Trial court made sufficient findings of fact to support its conclusion that guardianship should be placed with the paternal grandparents because it recognized that the maternal grandmother and the child loved each other, but it found that the child was more stable and performed better at school and home during times that the child was not exposed to the grandmother. The trial court also agreed with the recommendation that the child not visit the grandmother due to her maladaptive behaviors and the psychological harm that has occurred to the child during times of visitation. In re Alexis S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 526 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2019).

Appellate court reversed the trial court's finding that abandonment by wanton disregard was established because it failed to identify specific findings of fact upon which the conclusion was based. In re Aubrie W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 21 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2020), review denied and ordered not published, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 224 (Tenn. Apr. 15, 2020).

On remand, the trial court failed to remedy the deficiencies of its original order terminating the parents'  rights because it did not determine the relevant time period for abandonment and failed to make a determination on the willfulness criterion as it was silent regarding the parents'  ability to pay. The trial court also again failed to independently weigh the best interest factors, and rather than engaging in the required independent analysis it simply adopted appellee's filings and conclusions over the parents'  objections. In re Nathan C., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 61 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2020).

Trial court did not identify specific factual findings and conclusions of law related to each ground for termination separately, but did elucidate factual findings that could apply to one or more of the grounds; despite the order's lack of clarity, taken as a whole, the order provided sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law to support the decision to terminate the father's parental rights respecting two statutory grounds and remand was not required. In re Bentley Q., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 103 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2020).

Vacating of order terminating a father's parental rights and remanding of the case for further proceedings was appropriate because the appellate court found that it was unable to review the trial court's decision as there were significant deficiencies in the trial court's order in that the order lacked necessary findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court failed to fully analyze one of the grounds for termination upon which it based its ruling and failed to address all of the relevant factors regarding the best interest analysis. In re Autumn D., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 487 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2020).

Because a trial court failed to make sufficient findings of fact relevant to the statutory grounds of abandonment by failure to visit a child and failure to provide financial support for the child and the statement of the evidence approved by the court was insufficient for the appellate court to review the termination of parental rights on appeal, the court's judgment was vacated and the case was remanded for the court to make sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law. In re Maddox F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 594 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2020).

14. Adequate Record Required.

Although the trial court is required to find only one statutory ground for termination of parental rights, given the importance of establishing the permanent placement of a child who is the subject of a termination of parental rights proceeding, the trial court should include in its final order findings of fact and conclusions of law with regard to each ground presented, as if the trial court addressed each ground that is raised in a termination proceeding, so the child's permanent placement will not be unnecessarily delayed due to a remand for findings on alternate grounds. In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

Trial court's order of termination of the mother's parental rights to her son was vacated to the extent that it was based upon a finding of abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv); it was remanded for preparation of findings of fact and conclusion of law as required by T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k). Where a trial court does not comply with T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k), the appellate court cannot simply review the record de novo and determine where the preponderance of the evidence is, as it would in other civil, non-jury cases. State v. C.H.K., 154 S.W.3d 586, 2004 Tenn. App. LEXIS 517 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004), appeal denied, In re J.W.P., — S.W.3d —, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 937 (Tenn. Nov. 8, 2004).

Provisions of T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k) are mandatory, and the failure to comply with the section may necessitate remand to prepare written findings of fact and conclusions of law; however, where a termination of parental rights case had been proceeding for seven years, a court proceeded to decide an appeal on the basis of the trial court's oral findings. White v. Moody, 171 S.W.3d 187, 2004 Tenn. App. LEXIS 890 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 265 (Tenn. Mar. 21, 2005).

Trial court did not err in refusing to terminate the biological father's parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113 because the trial court's finding that there was no convincing evidence of the father's willful abandonment of the child was presumed correct where the mother and her husband failed to provide an adequate record on appeal as required by Tenn. R. App. P. 24; the trial court had considered affidavits and presumably testimony regarding whether the mother had prevented the father from continuing his relationship with the child by refusing to allow him access to the child. In re M.L.D., 182 S.W.3d 890, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 339 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2005), appeal denied, In re Adoption of M.L.D., — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 779 (Tenn. Sept. 12, 2005).

Remand was necessary in a termination of parental rights case for the juvenile court to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law because the juvenile court's order failed to comply with the requirement that the court make specific factual findings, which precluded appellate review of grounds for termination and the best-interests determination. In re Nakayia S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 548 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2018).

15. Timeliness of Final Order.

While a juvenile court did not comply with the statutory requirements in the timeliness of entering its order, there was no specified remedy such as remand required. The juvenile court already had made sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law, and to remand would have been pointless. In re Autumn L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 371 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2015).

Even though the trial court failed to strictly comply with this section's 30-day timeline, as the order terminating the father's parental rights was entered approximately seven days after the expiration of the 30-day time period, reversal was not warranted where the father received notice of the ruling within the statutory timeframe and filed his notice of appeal before the entry of the final order. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Trial court's failure to enter its order, which contained detained and specific findings of fact, within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing on the petition to terminate the mother's parental rights was not fatal to the validity of the order. In re Maison W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 356 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2016).

Mother was denied relief due to the trial court's failure to enter a timely written order as T.C.A. § 36-1-113(k)' s 30-day time frame was not mandatory. In re Jaxx M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2019).

16. Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights, Generally.

It is beyond question that before a parent's rights can be terminated, there must be a showing that the parent is unfit or that substantial harm to the child will result if parental rights are not terminated. Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, Inc. v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 2 S.W.3d 180, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. 1999).

The existence of any one of the statutory bases under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g) will support a termination of parental rights. In re C.W.W., 37 S.W.3d 467, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 327 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

There was clear and convincing evidence of wanton disregard, given that the mother was incarcerated within four months prior to the filing of the petition, and bringing the child into the home of a man who had been abusive in the past, in addition to the mother's maintaining a relationship with another person who was abusive and used drugs, showed wanton disregard for the child, as did the mother's failure to seek treatment for her psychological issues; termination of the mother's rights was affirmed. In re Shaneeque M., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 757 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 20, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 128 (Tenn. Feb. 20, 2015).

Juvenile court erred in terminating a father's parental rights because no permanency plan was admitted into evidence upon which the court could find that the father failed to substantially comply, the father's standing as a putative biological father precluded the application of the statutory ground of failure to legitimate one of his children, and the juvenile court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction where the father was properly served with the termination petition, he and the children were domiciled in Tennessee, he made a voluntary general appearance in order to defend the suit on the merits, and he claimed at all times to be the children's biological father. In re Cloey R., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 23 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015).

Neither the trial court nor the court is permitted to proceed to termination absent clear and convincing proof of every necessary element of a ground for termination. In re R.L.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2015).

Because the mother did not present an argument that the juvenile court erred in finding statutory grounds for termination of her parental rights, any such issue was waived. In re Destiny W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 289 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2015).

Record contained clear and convincing proof to support the trial court's findings regarding the mother's substantial noncompliance with her plan; she failed to comply substantially with the requirements, in part, that she submit to random drug screens, take her medication as prescribed by treating professionals, and continue with mental health services. In re Carrington H., 483 S.W.3d 507, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (Tenn. Jan. 29, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights under any of the grounds contained in this section because, based on the Tennessee Supreme Court's holding in the Bernard case, the grounds contained in this section not apply where the defendant parent was a putative biological father, as the father was in the instant case. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Certain grounds for termination apply to any person who is not the legal parent of such child or who is described in the statute, as in this case; when the petition to terminate his rights was filed, father was not the child's legal parent, as he filed a petition to establish paternity after the child was the subject of an adoptive proceeding, and he had not established paternity at that time and he filed an intent to claim paternity a few weeks before the child's birth. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Father failed to manifest an ability to assume legal and physical custody of the child; he continued to be reliant on his mother and stepfather for housing and transportation, his employment could not be verified, and he had significant demands on his income due to child support, probation fees, and restitution fees. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Petitioners had a significant bond with the child, who knew no other family besides them, and father did not have a relationship with the child, and thus petitioners proved that removing the child from their custody and placing her with father would cause her substantial physical and psychological harm. In re F.N.M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 274 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2016).

Children were placed with the maternal grandparents as an alternative to custody with the department when it was determined that neither parent could adequately care for the children, and they were then removed from the maternal grandparents and placed into department custody when the grandparents indicated that they could no longer provide adequate care; thus, the facts of this case supported the court's consideration of the abuse neglect statutory ground of termination. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Termination grounds under the statute pertaining to persons not the legal parent or guardian of the child cannot be applied to legal parents; because there was no dispute that the mother in this case was the biological mother of the child, she was a legal parent for purposes of termination of her parental rights and this termination ground could not apply to her. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

State proved the grounds of wanton disregard against father, given that he had 19 judgments resulting from felonies, to which he pleaded guilty, he was incarcerated when the children were removed from the home, he violated his probation, and he continued to be charged with other crimes. In re Dustin T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 876 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2016).

Juvenile court made detailed findings to support termination of the father's parental rights on the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and persistent conditions, finding that the father failed to maintain sobriety, failed to submit to drug screens, failed to address anger management issues, and failed to establish a suitable home for the children. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 998 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016).

It was no error to rely on T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(6) to terminate a father's parental rights when the ground was not specifically pled because the father had adequate notice of this ground. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

Record was indicative of the father's patterns of criminal behavior, drug abuse, incarceration, and refusal to financially support the child, which amounted to a wanton disregard for the child's welfare, and this ground for termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Father abandoned the child by failure to provide a suitable home pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102, as he failed to take reasonable steps to make lasting changes in his lifestyle or conduct that would allow him to provide the child with a suitable home; the father was currently incarcerated and when he was released, he had to address legal issues in another state regarding his parole violation there, and termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was proper. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on wanton disregard because despite knowing that the child's mother was pregnant and the child might be his, the father incurred a number of drug charges and a federal gun possession charge, the result being that he was incarcerated and unable to provide for the child's welfare, and he also violated probation for a previous charge. In re Jase P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on his failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal custody of the child because the trial court found that the father took no action once he suspected or knew the child was his. In re Jase P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on the failure to establish paternity of the child because the trial court found that the father took no action once he suspected or knew the child was his. In re Jase P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on risk of substantial harm to the child's physical or psychological welfare because the father was not in a position to assume physical custody due to his incarceration, he knew nothing of the child's heightened physical and psychological needs secondary to his in utero drug exposure. In re Jase P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 411 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Termination of the mother's rights on the ground of prior conviction of sever child abuse with a sentence of greater than two years was supported by evidence of the mother's prior conviction for aggravated child neglect, resulting in a sentence of 15 years in prison. In re Jayden R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2017).

Evidence that the mother had been convicted of aggravated neglect, which by definition adversely impacted the welfare of the children, was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of wanton disregard. In re Jayden R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2017).

In order to provide a suitable home for the children, the father needed to provide more than a physically sound structure, he needed to ensure that he could protect the children in the home from sexual abuse; he failed to complete recommendations and thus failed to address this issue, and therefore the termination ground of failure to provide a suitable home, for purposes of T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii), 36-1-113(g)(1), was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Da'Vante M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 797 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 12, 2017).

Only one statutory ground is required to support the termination of parental rights. In re Jabari B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2018).

Circuit court properly terminated a mother's parental rights based on abandonment, failure to provide a suitable home, and in the child's best interests because she left the child at a homeless shelter with no appropriate supervision, cycled through periods of homelessness and incarceration, demonstrated a lack of concern for the child, failed to substantially comply with the reasonable responsibilities set out in the permanency plan, the child was neglected while in the mother's care, the mother never obtained a safe, stable home to which the child could return, a change of caretakers and physical environment would likely be detrimental for the child, and the child was thriving in her foster parents'  home. In re Amarria L., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 20, 2018).

Termination ground under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(14) could not serve as a basis for terminating the parents'  rights, as they wanted to assume legal and physical custody of the children and were willing to assume financial responsibility for them; the court declined to adopt the department's suggestion that the word “and” in the statute be interpreted in the disjunctive so the department only had to prove an inability or unwillingness of the parents to assume custody of the children. In re Ayden S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 306 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020), overruled, In re Tavarius M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 579 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2020).

T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(14) requires the party seeking termination to prove a negative: that the parent failed to manifest an ability and willingness to personally assume legal and physical custody or financial responsibility of the child. In re Ayden S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 306 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020), overruled, In re Tavarius M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 579 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2020).

First prong of T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(14) requires that a petitioner prove that a parent has failed to meet the requirement of manifesting both a willingness and an ability to assume legal and physical custody of the child or has failed to meet the requirement of manifesting both a willingness and an ability to assume financial responsibility of the child. In re Amynn K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on his inability and unwillingness to personally assume legal and physical custody of the child and financial responsibility for the child because he had incurred several criminal charges, had not maintained safe and stable housing, and had not visited with the child as he should have; he had failed to pay child support for the child since April 2015 and had no legal, verifiable income by which to support the child; placing the child in the father's legal and physical custody would pose a risk of substantial harm to the child's physical and psychological welfare; and the child had been placed with the foster parents for four years and had developed a bond with them. In re Amynn K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights for failure to manifest an ability to assume custody or financial responsibility was proper; the mother continued to associate with abusive men, did not complete the domestic violence class, and struggled to maintain a stable home or job, plus she failed to fully address her drug addiction, mental illness, and domestic violence issues through therapy, all of which created a substantial hazard to the children's welfare. In re Piper B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 478 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights for failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody or responsibility for the child was proper; the stability of the mother's home was relevant to the substantial harm analysis inasmuch as it demonstrated whether the child would be at risk of substantial harm if placed in that environment. In re Alexis C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights for failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody or responsibility for the child was proper; the child has remained out of the mother's custody since 2015, the mother had failed to provide a stable home to which the child could return, plus she had not maintained stable employment or addressed her mental health issues. In re Alexis C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

Father's ability to assume legal and physical custody of the child was extremely questionable, and termination of the father's rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(14) was proper; the father's drug habits, homeless situation, and incarceration made it near impossible for the child to be raised without a risk of substantial harm. In re Charles T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 501 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights was proper under the failure to manifest an ability and willingness to personally assume custody ground; despite the array of resources offered to her, the mother had been unable to personally assume custody of the children, and she exhibited a complete unwillingness to parent them, as she was suicidal and using methamphetamine on a daily basis. In re Briana H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Father failed to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody of the child and her placement in the home would pose a risk of substantial harm to her welfare; his criminal behavior continued, he failed to address his substance abuse issues, and his home was also not yet suitable for the child as evidenced by the lack of sufficient utilities at the time of the hearing. In re Kaycee M., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 585 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2018), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on a failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody of the children was supported by evidence that the mother had no place to live or legal means to support herself or her children and was reliant on other for support. In re Karisah N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 684 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 27, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on the failure to manifest ability or willingness to assume custody or financial responsibility of the children was supported by evidence that the mother failed to show she was able to provide sufficient housing and indictees a lack of willingness to assume custody or financial responsibility due to her inaction and non-compliance with substance abuse treatment. In re Alexis S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 700 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was appropriate due to his failure to show an ability and willingness to assume custody of the children; the father did not complete his responsibilities under the permanency plans, he did not manifest an ability and willingness to assume financial responsibility of the children, and he failed to establish safe and stable housing. In re Gaberiel S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 718 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2018).

Terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody was inappropriate because the mother had made positive changes and, while a relapse was possible, the Department of Children's Services failed to prove it was a reasonable probability. In re Serenity W., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 75 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2019).

Juvenile court had subject matter jurisdiction to determine custody because Tennessee was the child's home state on the date of the commencement of the juvenile court action; the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to terminate the father's parental rights because when the foster parents filed their termination petition, Tennessee remained the home state and exercised continuing jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. In re Rilyn S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 124 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2019).

termination ground of failure to establish a suitable home was proven by clear and convincing evidence, given that despite the department's reasonable efforts to assist the mother, she never made even minimal efforts to improve her home or personal condition, despite being advised of the threat to her parental rights should she not act. In re Charlie-Lynn P., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 27, 2019), appeal denied, In re Charlie-Lynn P., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 335 (Tenn. July 18, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by failure to visit, failure to substantially comply with permanency plans, and persistence of the conditions leading to removal of the children from the mother's home because her one or two visits with each of the children were of such an infrequent nature as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the children; she failed to pursue training in parenting her son due to his special needs; she presented no evidence of having obtained stable housing, income, or transportation; and she was unable to show that she could provide a home absent of the environmental neglect that initially caused the children to be removed from her custody. In re Serenity S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2020).

17. Persistent Conditions.

Conditions that led to the removal of the child persisted, as the father remained unable to provide a suitable and stable home for the child and continued to engage in a pattern of wanton disregard. In re Robert C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for persistence of conditions where the children were not removed from his home. In re K.M.K., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's and a father's parental rights on grounds of persistence of conditions because the children were previously found to be dependent and neglected, the lack of proper hygiene in the parents'  home continued and the problems ran the proverbial gamut from spoiled food to insect infestation, and the parents had not gained sufficient parenting skills during the course of the proceedings nor learned to co-parent. In re Kim C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 106 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's rights for persistence of conditions where the child had been removed for lack of supervision and drug exposure and the mother continued to use drugs. She also made very few visits and eventually ceased visiting. In re Malaki E., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for persistence of the conditions leading to removal of the mother's child from the mother's custody because (1) the child was removed due to the mother's homelessness and drug addiction, and (2) the mother was still without a stable residence and had not received treatment for drug addiction. In re Brittany M.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 182 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015), appeal denied, In re Brittany M C, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 522 (Tenn. June 17, 2015).

Termination of parental rights was appropriate because the parent continued to struggle with drugs following the children's removal, and although the parent was participating in a rehabilitation program, the parent had not completed the program. Moreover, the parent had not maintained a suitable home for the children to live in as of the date of trial, and the evidence convincingly suggested that there was little likelihood that the parent would be able to provide one at an early date. In re Roger T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 261 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2015).

Mother's lack of progress in addressing her deficiencies showed that the conditions persisted, plus the mother offered no evidence that she had any means of support, and thus the preponderance of the evidence supported the holding that the conditions not only persisted but would not be remedied. In re Eve C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 279 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights to seven children on grounds of substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and persistence of conditions because the father failed to allege that he substantially completed the permanency plan requirements or resolved the conditions that led to the children's removal; the father did not, inter alia, abide by the terms of his probation, refrain from incurring new legal charges, and remain drug free. In re Kalob S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 465 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

Trial court found that the children had been removed from the parents' home for at least six months, the conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted and would prevent their safe return, given the fact that the mother did not fully complete alcohol treatment and the father had yet to address his anger issues, there was little likelihood they could remedy their issues in the near future, and the children deserved the opportunity to integrate into a safe and stable home; the trial court did not err in concluding that termination of parental rights was justified on the ground of persistence of conditions. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's and father's parental rights to two children on grounds of persistence of conditions because neither parent demonstrated the ability to parent the children for extremely short periods of time without continual prompting, placing the children with either parent would cause the children to be subjected to further neglect, and it was unlikely the parents would ever retain the information necessary to properly parent any child. In re Aisha R., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 15, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions, was supported by the mother's long history of chronic emotional and behavioral instability, coupled with drug used and its related issues.In re M.P.H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 15, 2015).

Evidence that the child was removed from the parents'  custody as a result of his mother leaving the rehabilitation program she was assigned to and the father, by his own testimony, being in circumstances which rendered him unable to care for the child, and that the father suffered from alcoholism and mental illness that he refused to treat, was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights due to the persistence of conditions. In re Steven C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 503 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 15, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 743 (Tenn. Sept. 9, 2015).

Persistence of conditions could not be considered as a potential ground for termination of the parents'  rights to their daughter because the February 2012 order naming her great-aunt and uncle as her primary residential parents did not adjudicate the daughter dependent or neglected. In re Makenzie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 17, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Oct. 15, 2015).

Statutory ground of persistence of conditions was not applicable to the father because the record contained no court order removing the child from the father's home; when the trial court entered the emergency protective order placing the child in the temporary custody of the maternal aunt and her husband, the child had not been residing in the father's home. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Statutory termination ground of persistence of conditions was not applicable to the father as the record contained no court order removing the children from the father's home, and the finding on this ground was reversed. In re Destaney D., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 495 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions where the mother was mentally incompetent to care for her children she was unable to ameliorate her current intellectual deficiencies to the point where it was safe for her to resume care of the children, and expert testimony established that despite her best efforts, she simply did not have the abstract capacity to develop into an adequate caretaker for her children. In re Domingo W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 590 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 23, 2015).

Child was removed by court order from the father's home as well as the mother's home and the department established the threshold consideration for the persistence of conditions statutory ground; prior to the child's physical removal from the mother's home, the child had been residing during alternating weeks with the father, and the child was removed from his home based on the father's failure to provide a stable home. In re Alleyanna C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2015).

Child was removed from the father's home because he admittedly could not provide a stable home, had been using marijuana in the recent past, and refused a drug screen; continuation of the parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the child's chances of integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home, and the trial court properly terminated the father's parental rights on the persistence of conditions ground. In re Alleyanna C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2015).

Mother failed to acknowledge responsibility for the situation giving rise to the child's removal from her care, and continuation of the parent-child relationship between the mother and the child would greatly diminish the child's chances of integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home, such that termination of the mother's rights on the persistence of conditions ground was proper. In re Alleyanna C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for persistence of conditions because, (1) while the mother had six years to improve the mother's living conditions, the mother had not done so, as the mother was living temporarily with a person the mother met while incarcerated, awaiting repairs at two other locations, (2) the mother had no driver's license or job, (3) it appeared unlikely the mother would be able to provide suitable living conditions for the children in the near future, and (4) continuing the parent-child relationship would harm the children's chances of integrating into a stable home. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Mother had developed a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse, violent and threatening behavior, and criminal activity that had not been remedied sufficient enough to allow the children to return to the home at an early date, and the trial court's decision finding clear evidence to support the termination ground of persistent conditions was affirmed. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence existed to support a finding that the conditions which led to the children's removal persisted because, inter alia, the mother denied the dangers her children faced and was unable to grasp the gravity of the abuse one child faced, the mother did not have a plan on how she could prevent the abuse in the future, and the children were placed in a relative foster home that wished to adopt the children. In re Nolan G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 825 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015).

Ground of persistent conditions was met by clear and convincing evidence where it showed that the child had been removed from the father's custody for incarceration and drug use and placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for more than six months, the court was unable to discern if any improvements the father had made with his drug use would continue upon his release from prison, and he was likely to remain incarcerated until 2017. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

If the order outlining the conditions that led to the removal of the child is pending appeal, that order is not res judicata, and until that order has reached its final completion, the prior order cannot form the basis alone for termination on any ground that contemplates reliance on a previous finding or order; because the current posture of the father's appeal from the order on dependency and neglect, where the juvenile court found the child was a victim of sexual abuse, could be determined, the trial court erred in terminating his rights on the ground of persistence of conditions. In re S.S.-G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 917 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2015).

Persistence of conditions ground for termination of parental rights did not apply to the father because the permanent parenting plan was not an “order of the court” by which the child had been removed from the father's home. In re Hope A., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 914 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2015).

Evidence supported the findings as to persistence of the conditions; the mother had not remedied conditions to the point that she could care for the child or would be able to care for the child in the foreseeable future, the mother's continuing struggle with substance abuse was closely linked to the actions that led to her incarceration and inability to care for the child, and the mother's progress was too tenuous to constitute a change in conditions. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Evidence supported the findings as to persistence of the conditions; the conditions leading to removal of the child into protective custody persisted, the father was incarcerated, and continuation of the parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the child's chances of integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Mother remained in a relationship plagued by domestic violence, she was in need of drug and mental health treatment, and she did not have suitable home; continuing the parent-child relationship greatly diminished the children's chances of early integration into a stable and permanent home, and termination on persistent conditions grounds was affirmed. In re Saliace P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 37 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016).

Record contained clear and convincing proof to support the trial court's findings of persistent conditions; the mother's behavioral problems stemming from her histrionic personality disorder were among the conditions that resulted in the child's removal, and the mother's behavioral problems had not improved and were unlikely to improve sufficiently in the near future to make it safe for the child to return to her care. In re Carrington H., 483 S.W.3d 507, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (Tenn. Jan. 29, 2016).

Termination of parental rights was appropriate, on the ground of persistent conditions, because clear and convincing evidence showed that the parent, despite improving the parent's education and obtaining employment, did not remedy the situation such as to correct the conditions that led to removal of the parent's children. The parent never comprehensively completed treatment for the parent's own mental health issues and acknowledged that the children were not ready to reside with the parent. In re Phillip I.P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 127 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights for persistent conditions where it showed that she refused to take responsibility for her own actions and she continued to use marijuana. In re A'leah M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 136 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2016).

Trial court's finding of persistent conditions was affirmed where the father had continued to use drugs, although the mother had attempted to make some changes, she was still in constant contact with the father and her parents, with whom she purported to live, abused prescription medication. In re Matthew T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 272 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2016).

Termination of a parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence showed that the parent had not remedied the persistent conditions of criminal activity and drug use which led to the child's removal in a sufficient manner to allow the child to return to the parent at an early date. Moreover, continuing the relationship between the parent and the child greatly diminished the child's chances of early integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home. In re Tristan B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2016).

Record did not contain evidence that the conditions that led to the child's removal persisted and thus, termination based on persistent conditions was erroneous. In re Jimmy B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 321 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 11, 2016).

Juvenile court erred in finding the ground of persistent conditions, when the children had not been removed from the father's home for six months or more, and there was no basis for the court to look at the aggregate time over the four years of the case. In re Kaitlin W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 16, 2016).

Evidence does not preponderate against the finding that persistent conditions were established, that continuation of the parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the children's integration into a safe home, and this ground existed for termination of the father's rights; he did not claim to be able to care for the children. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Mother was commended for her success in addressing her substance abuse issues, but the fact remained that she was unable to provide stable housing or meet the children's basic needs and could not provide the trial court with a definitive answer as to when she might be able to support them; the department was in the process of securing the children's placement in a potential adoptive home, and the evidence did not preponderate against the finding that persistent conditions were established. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistent conditions was supported by evidence that the mother failed a drug screen, returned the company of know drug users, and lived with her brother who had a criminal record. In re Maison W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 356 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2016).

Trial court did not err in concluding that termination of parental rights was justified on the ground of persistence of conditions because each of the elements were established by clear and convincing evidence; the conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted and would prevent their safe return to the mother, and there was little likelihood that the mother could remedy her substance abuse and mental health issues. In re Malaya B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 360 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (Tenn. Aug. 10, 2016).

Ground of persistence of conditions was proved by clear and convincing evidence, as the mother had developed a pattern of drug abuse that had not been sufficiently remedied to allow the children to return to the home at an early date; the mother showed that it was uncertain if she would ever be able to stop abusing cocaine, and she had not made a lasting adjustment or change to her lifestyle involving drug abuse. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Termination of parental rights, based upon the alleged persistence of conditions that led to removal, was inapplicable to a parent at the time of the hearing to terminate parental rights when a final order had not yet been entered. In re Hailey S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 380 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (Tenn. Mar. 1, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights to her children under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) where, after receiving three years of assistance from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, she was unable to care for herself and the six children at the same time, and the children had adjusted to their placements and had bonded with their respective families. In re Christian P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 391 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 6, 2016).

Evidence was clear and convincing that the conditions that led to the child's removal persisted because the mother continued to use drugs while in treatment programs. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Termination of parental rights based on persistence of conditions, which prevented the safe return of the children to the parent in the near future, was appropriate because the children would have been subjected to further abuse or neglect. The parent had unreliable and insufficient income, could not live in the parent's own home, was relying on the generosity of friends and family to pay bills, had only attended one therapy session to address the parent's mental health issues, and was still taking narcotic pain medication. In re Bailey W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 10, 2016).

For persistent conditions purposes, the focus is not solely on the conditions which led to the removal of the children but includes the consideration of whether other conditions exist which would prevent the children's return, and the evidence in this case met that criteria; the trial court made findings regarding the mother's living situation, drug abuse treatment, employment, and efforts to receive counseling, and the findings were supported and established that the conditions that led to the children's removal persisted, along with other conditions preventing their safe return. In re Quadavon H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 16, 2016).

There was insufficient evidence to establish the statutory ground of persistence of conditions given the absence of a prior order removing the children from the parents'  home based on a judicial finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

Termination of the parents' rights under the persistence of conditions ground was proper, given that they stipulated to a finding of dependency and neglect based on environmental neglect, and they made no reasonable efforts to provide a clean home for the children, which demonstrated a lack of concern on the parents' part. In re Derrick J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 8, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistent conditions was proper because the mother's lack of a suitable home and lack of a legal means of income existed, which would in all reasonable probability cause the child to be subjected to further abuse or neglect, as the mother's current housing situation was dependent upon her boyfriend and her boyfriend's parents, whom she had known for a very short period of time; and the mother had not had a job for months and had no legal means of income. In re Bryson C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a persistence of conditions, authorizing a termination of a father's parental rights, because the father (1) did not address anger control issues, (2) minimized the father's participation in the child's abuse, (3) did not consistently visit the child, and (4) did not consistently participate in required treatment. In re Daymien T., 506 S.W.3d 461, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 540 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 752 (Tenn. Oct. 21, 2016).

Clear evidence did not support the trial court's reliance on persistent conditions as a ground for terminating the mother's parental rights; the mother's efforts to stop using pain medication were severely disrupted by her arm injury and the three surgeries that followed; while there was little evidence of the mother's efforts to overcome her addiction to pain medication, given the peculiar circumstances of this case, the record did not contain sufficient evidence that it still persisted at the time of the termination hearing. In re Destiny S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 559 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 4, 2016).

While the mother's failure to complete plan requirements was sufficient to support termination for substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan, it did not relieve the department of its burden to prove that the condition still persisted by clear and convincing evidence. In re Destiny S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 559 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 4, 2016).

Grandmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence persistence of conditions where the record lacked a prior order removing the son from the mother's home or custody based on a judicial finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse. In re Ryder R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 570 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 5, 2016).

Trial court erred by terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because the children were not removed from the mother's home and there was not an order adjudicating dependency and neglect. In re Rylee R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 582 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2016).

Where the child was adjudicated as dependent and neglected and placed with the grandmother as an alternative to Department of Children's Services (DCS) custody when it was determined that the mother could not adequately care for the child, and the child was then removed from the grandmother and placed into DCS custody based upon the grandmother's inability to provide a suitable home, the facts of the case supported the court's consideration of the statutory ground for termination regarding the persistence of conditions which led to removal. In re Gabriella M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 587 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 15, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the grounds of the persistence of conditions which led to removal because the mother was still unable to parent and provide a suitable home for the child; despite adequate time in which to address the conditions, the mother failed to progress or estimate when she might be able to provide suitable care; and the child resided in a pre-adoptive home and was bonded to her foster family. In re Gabriella M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 587 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 15, 2016).

Evidence did not support a finding of persistent conditions, as there was no countervailing evidence in the record to dispute the mother's testimony that she has not had contact with a former abusive boyfriend in a few years, and the mother was living in a two-bedroom apartment with two of her children and was currently employed, earning sufficient income to maintain her housing and to provide daycare for the two other children. In re Jaiden C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 18, 2016).

Trial court did not err by terminating the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions under § 36-1-113(g)(3) where the evidence showed that mother's mental condition had not improved at the time of trial such that she was capable of safely caring for her child and that it was unlikely to improve in the near future so as to allow the child to return to the mother's custody. In re Lillian D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 626 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on persistent conditions was supported by evidence he failed to provide a suitable home for the child, paid little support, and violated probation and returned to jail. In re D.R.S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 631 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2016).

Because there was no judicial finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse removing the children from the custody of the mother and the father more than six months prior to the termination hearing, the ground of termination of parental rights due to persistence of conditions was not shown by clear and convincing evidence. In re Savannah F., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 657 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2016).

Although the record shows that the children were removed from Mother's home for a period of more than six months on the basis of a court order, the other elements of persistence of conditions were not established by clear and convincing evidence, as, even in spite of the mother's admission that her mental health issues generally persisted and that she would never be through with therapy, the record did not clearly show the impact that the mother's mental health has on her ability to parent. In re Stormie M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 675 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 15, 2016).

Statutory ground for termination of parental rights due to persistence of conditions was not applicable to the father because the record contained no court order removing the child from the father's home on grounds of dependency and neglect or otherwise, and the father was incarcerated at the time of the child's removal. In re Mickia J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 678 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 19, 2016).

Termination was proper for both the mother and father due to their failure to remedy persistent conditions, in part because the children had numerous medical and emotional issues that the parents did not tend to, the parents failed to provide a suitable home for the children, even though the department had made reasonable efforts to help the parties remedy those conditions, the mother was in a master-slave sexual relationship with another man, in addition to being married to someone else and living with the father, and the children were exposed to this lifestyle and the mother's business in the marketing of sex toys. In re C.C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 701 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Evidence established the elements necessary to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions; the mother had failed to secure adequate employment, obtain dependable transportation, and be involved in the children's activities, the conditions would likely lead to further abuse and neglect of the children, plus the matter has been in litigation since 2013 and the court could not foresee any reasonable probability that the conditions would be remedied at an early date. In re Jasmine B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 709 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services met its burden of proving persistence of conditions because the conditions that prevented the children's return to the mother and father remained at the time of the hearing and would cause the children to be subjected to further abuse or neglect, and there was little likelihood the mother and father would remedy them; the children's foster family met all of the children's medical needs and ensured the children's success in school. In re Jason S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 715 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Termination of the mother's rights on the grounds of persistent conditions was proper; the testimony was independent evidence that the conditions that led to the findings in the order finding severe abuse of one of the children had not changed and were unlikely to change, and thus the trial court was permitted to draw a negative inference about these facts from the mother's invocation of the Fifth Amendment, and her refusal to testify made it impossible to determine that the child would be provided with a safe home, which the mother had to prove in this instance. In re Alfonzo E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 797 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 76 (Tenn. Jan. 24, 2017).

Evidence did not support a finding that a father's parental rights were to be terminated based on persistence of conditions because, although the mother's abuse of drugs was a concern, the evidence did not conclusively show that the parents were still in a relationship as the father was attempting to share parenting responsibilities with the mother. In re Jeramyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Persistent conditions are established if evidence shows the existence of conditions that led to the children's removal or other conditions that in all reasonable probability would lead to further abuse or neglect; the proof was clear that at the time of trial, the mother did not have stable housing or employment, she was financially unstable and had failed to provide ongoing support for the children, and she had been sporadic in maintaining contact with the children, plus she was in violation of her probation and at risk of continued incarceration. In re Dustin T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 876 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2016).

Father was currently incarcerated and was not in a position to parent the children, no reliable evidence was introduced showing when he would be released, and thus the ground of persistent conditions was proven. In re Dustin T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 876 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2016).

Evidence preponderated against the trial court's finding that termination was appropriate due to persistent conditions where a dependency and neglect order only removed the child from the mother's custody, not the father's custody. In re M.E.T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 899 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2016), appeal denied, In re Miguel T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 152 (Tenn. Mar. 3, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on persistent conditions was improper, as there was no evidence of an appropriate order removing the child from the home based on a finding of dependency and neglect. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 913 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2016).

Termination of the mother's rights on persistent conditions grounds was proper; nothing had substantially changed within a two-year time frame to allow for the children's safe return to the home, from which they had been removed based on neglect, the mother had relapsed into drugs, and she was still incarcerated for failing to support the children. In re Eddie F., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 924 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 2, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 158 (Tenn. Mar. 2, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was appropriate because the mother's children were removed from the mother's care for over six months, and the evidence showed that a return of the children to the mother's care was inhibited by the father's continued presence. The father, who was not married to the mother, was given towards anger and domestic violence. In re Jakob O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 959 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights due to a persistence of conditions because the mother did not take advantage of offered assistance to address conditions leading to removal of the mother's children, and the mother's circumstances were unlikely to change with additional time. In re Casey C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 966 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Jan. 25, 2017).

Termination of the mother's rights based on persistence of conditions, was supported by evidence that she returned to the father's home despite the history of domestic violence, the mother's drug use and mental health issues remained a problem, and the mother lacked stable housing In re Linette B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2016).

Ground of persistent conditions did not apply to the father, because the child who was the subject of the termination of parental rights action never lived with the father or was in the custody of the father. In re Heaven J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 979 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2016).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated due to persistence of conditions, as, despite initial progress toward establishing a safe and secure home, the parents had repeatedly shown they were unable to maintain a safe, stable, and appropriate environment for the children, with their being environmental neglect issues, lack of supervision issues, and inappropriate persons living in the family home with unrestricted access to the children. In re Renaldo M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 1003 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 90 (Tenn. Feb. 7, 2017).

Conditions that led to removal had not been remedied, namely the mother's failure to address her substance abuse issues, and despite services, she failed to progress; the trial court's termination decision based upon the persistence of conditions was proper. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 6, 2017).

Trial court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights to her children because the evidence clearly and convincingly established persistence of conditions as to the mother; the mother tested positive for medications not prescribed to her and showed up for visitation with track marks on her arms, she refused to attend drug and alcohol treatment, and she also incurred new legal charges. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017).

Evidence preponderated against the trial court's finding that the ground of persistence of conditions existed to terminate the mother's parental rights because the children were living with their grandparents and not their mother at the time they were removed. In re S.P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the parents'  rights for persistence of conditions because neither parent had sufficiently addressed their substance abuse issues, both failed drug screens, and previously the children had spent almost two years in foster care because of the parents'  drug use. In re Kayla B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 66 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

Record contained only a temporary order from the juvenile court, and there was no indication that an adjudicatory hearing actually occurred; as temporary orders were not sufficient to support termination of parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions, this ground for termination of the mother's parental rights was reversed. In re Charles A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a father's parental rights because the conditions that led to removal of the father's child persisted, specifically, the father's insistence on remaining in the home with the mother despite the mother's untreated drug addiction and unaddressed mental health issues. The father's complacency in this regard indicated too high a risk that the child would be further exposed to neglect and abuse if placed in a household in which these issues persisted. In re Ja'miya T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2017).

In a termination of parental rights case, the juvenile court erred in finding the ground of persistent conditions because there was an outstanding appeal to circuit court of the juvenile court's dependency and neglect order; thus, the order was not res judicata. In re Lorenda B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 243 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2017).

Statutory ground for termination of parental rights based on persistence of conditions was not applicable to the father under the facts presented, as the record contained no court order removing the child from the father's home (on grounds of dependency and neglect or otherwise), and there was no evidence to suggest that the child was residing in the father's home at the time of his removal. In re Damien G. M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 282 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 3, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on substantial non-compliance with permanency plans because it showed that he failed to follow the recommendations from the assessments, failed to establish a suitable home, and was incarcerated at the time of trial. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because of the father's incarceration and ongoing concerns regarding his ability to find a suitable home for the child and to refrain from engaging in further criminal activity or drug use. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence to terminate the father's parental rights based on persistent conditions under T.C.A. § 36-1-113; while the record was unclear regarding when the father's current incarceration would end, upon release he would have to return to Kentucky to resolve legal issues there, the child has been in foster care since 2013, the child was doing well in that foster home, and lingering in state custody any longer would be detrimental to the child. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Termination of parental rights based on persistence of conditions was improper, as six months had not elapsed from the date of the adjudicatory hearing order and filing the termination petition. In re Lena G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 358 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper under the persistence of conditions ground because the mother had not secured a safe and stable home for the children by the time of the trial; she was unsuccessful in completely removing drugs from her life; although the mother completed an alcohol and drug assessment and submitted to random drug screens, she admitted to using methamphetamine four to six months prior to trial; she continued to surround herself with other drug users; she failed to obtain sponsorship through Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous; and the foster mother testified that she and her husband would like to adopt the children if they became available for adoption. In re Skylar P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Termination of both parents rights for persistence of conditions was proper, as the mother obtained new criminal charges multiple times after the development of the plan and the father failed to complete an alcohol and drug assessment. In re C.J.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 436 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2017), appeal denied, In re Chaz B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 624 (Tenn. Sept. 22, 2017).

Termination based on persistent conditions under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g) was proper; the mother's improvements in the months preceding the hearing were too little too late in light of her long history of unstable housing, drug use, and incarcerations, and continuation of the mother's relationship with the children greatly diminished their chances of early integration into a safe and permanent home. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court properly terminated a mother's parental rights on the ground that persistent conditions could subject the child to further neglect or abuse because the child would not be able to safely return to the mother's custody within a reasonable time since the mother was a drug addict; the child was in the care of a foster family that wished to adopt, and to delay the integration into a permanent home would be unfair to the child, who needed stability. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Termination of the mother's rights on the ground of persistent conditions was supported by evidence that the conditions that led to removal still existed and had never been remedied In re Jayden R., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 11, 2017).

Statutory ground of persistence of conditions under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) was not applicable to the father as there was no evidence to suggest that the children were residing in his home at the time of their removal. In re Miracle M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 593 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2017), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 845 (Tenn. Nov. 30, 2017).

Mother's and father's parental rights were properly terminated under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) where clear and convincing evidence showed that the mother was still addicted to drugs, had not properly addressed her mental health issues, and had not established stable housing or employment, there was proof that the father was unable to acquire stable housing and employment, there was evidence suggesting that the father was unable to separate himself from the mother so as to provide the children with a stable and drug-free home, and given the pattern of behavior by and between the parents, there was little likelihood that the conditions that led to the children's removal would be remedied at an early date. In re Seth B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 613 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 14, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 850 (Tenn. Dec. 11, 2017).

Trial court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistent conditions because the mother continued to have criminal problems, and she was arrested on charges of theft and criminal trespass; the mother did not have stable housing at the time of trial, and she conceded that she was not ready to have the children return to her care. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services presented clear and convincing evidence that the conditions that necessitated removal of the children because housing instability, lack of cooperation with the Department, and outstanding criminal issues, prevented the safe return of the children. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Record did not contain clear and convincing evidence that a mother's substance abuse problems persisted at the time of trial because the inference that the mother's failure to comply with drug screens and attend follow-up alcohol and drug treatment strongly suggested ongoing drug issues did not constitute clear and convincing evidence to support the persistence of conditions ground. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Termination of a father's parental rights based on persistent conditions was appropriate where his failure to provide an appropriate home for the children led to their removal, he had subsequently failed to secure housing that would have been safe and appropriate for the children, he failed to maintain contact with the Department of Children's Services (DCS), had been uncooperative with DCS throughout the case, failed to take responsibility for his actions leading to the removal of the children, and refused to acknowledge the harm that he had caused the children. In re L.M.H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 657 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2017).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was inappropriate because the trial court's analysis improperly focused on the father's efforts rather than whether the conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted. The evidence was less than clear and convincing that the conditions which led to the children's removal or other conditions that in all reasonable probability would have caused the children to be subjected to further abuse or neglect still persisted. In re Isabella G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 667 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017).

Father was unable to grasp the importance that he had to protect the children from sexual abuse and he never addressed his mental health issues or received the specialized training he needed to parent the children, and thus the conditions that led to the children's removal still existed; as the father did not appear able or willing to rectify those conditions in the near future, the ground of persistent conditions was established by clear and convincing evidence. In re Da'Vante M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 797 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 12, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on persistence of conditions was not proper, as the record contained no order related to the prior proceedings in which the child was allegedly adjudicated dependent and neglected. In re Brianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 805 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights was appropriate because the mother's children were in foster care for over a year and there was little likelihood that the mother would remedy the mother's housing situation or end the mother's associations with individuals who had histories of violence and drug use at an early date in the near future. In re M.E.N.J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 835 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 27, 2017).

There was clear evidence of persistence of conditions, given that the conditions that led to the removal of the children involved a lack of appropriate housing for the children, yet the mother continued to having housing issues, and it was unlikely the children could be safely returned to her in the near future. In re B.L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 846 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2017).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was inappropriate because the child had already been removed from the father's home by a neighbor with the biological parents'  consent at least a month before the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) became involved. The ground of persistence of conditions required both that the child be adjudicated to be dependent and neglected and that the child be removed from the parent's home by the DCS. In re Kandace D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 4 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on persistent conditions because the father had ongoing issues with maintaining a stable home, resolving his drug problems, and refraining from illegal activities that were not likely to be remedied in the near future; and those issues prevented the safe return of the children to the father's home at the time of trial and in the foreseeable future. In re Aaralyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a mother's rights to the mother's child, based upon the persistence of the conditions that led to the removal of the child, because the child had resided in the same foster home for more than three years, the mother had issues with the mother's mental and emotional status and finances and housing, and there was little likelihood that the mother was able to remedy the mother's mental and financial instability at an early date. In re K.Y.H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 30 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2018).

Chancery court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights because the evidence was less than clear and convincing that the conditions that led to the child's removal or other conditions that in all reasonable probability would cause the child to be subjected to further abuse or neglect still persisted; there was no evidence that the mother continued to abuse illegal drugs or that her relationship with a man that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services had warned her against continued. In re Alivia F., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 48 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Although the statutory ground of persistence of conditions refers to “conditions that led to the child's removal or other conditions, an apparent isolated incident of alcohol use is not indicative of a condition that might lead to further abuse or neglect of the child. In re Alivia F., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 48 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the record showed that the children were removed from the home of their grandmother and the mother did not live at the home. In re Homer, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 126 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2018).

Grounds for terminating a mother's parental rights to the mother's child for persistent conditions were proven by clear and convincing evidence as the child was removed from the parents'  home by court order for more than six months and was adjudicated dependent and neglected and the conditions that led to the child's removal–illegal drug use, a lack of safe and stable housing–still persisted, so that there was little likelihood that the conditions would be remedied at an early date for the safe return of the child in the near future. In re Riley W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights based on the statutory ground of persistence of conditions because the record contained no court order removing the children from the mother's custody based on a finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse. In re Haley S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 164 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2018).

Trial court properly found by clear and convincing evidence that the conditions leading to removal of the child from the mother's home persisted because the mother made no effort to improve her circumstances and failed to procure stable housing or employment; the child was in the mother's custody from the time of his birth until his removal, such that he was clearly removed from her “home,” and the fact that the mother was “homeless” and living in a motel did not alter the analysis. In re Authur R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 170 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 3, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 380 (Tenn. June 22, 2018).

Persistence of conditions could not be a ground for terminating a mother's parental rights because the children had not been removed from her home for a period of six months by court order based on a finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse. Accordingly, the juvenile court erred in relying on T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g)(3) as a ground for terminating the mother's parental rights. In re Maya R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 171 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 4, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because six months had passed since this children's removal, the mother's mental instability persisted, and the expert testified that the mother was presently unable to parent her children and would likely never be able to do so because of her mental illness and prognosis. In re Roderick R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 192 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 461 (Tenn. July 12, 2018).

Persistence of conditions was not available as a ground to terminate the parents'  rights because at the time the children came into the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children Services, they were in the custody of a neighbor, not in that of either parent. In re Kah'Nyia J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018), appeal dismissed, In re Kah'Nyia J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. July 10, 2018).

Child's foster parents failed to prove persistence of conditions by clear and convincing evidence because the evidence showed that the parents had fully complied with the permanency plan and drug treatment and that they had provided a safe environment for the child. In re Zayne P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 239 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the mother's parental rights based on on persistence of conditions because it showed that the mother continued to associate with the father and domestic violence was still a substantial risk as long as he was involved in the mother's life. In re Isaiah B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 247 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence of each element of subsection (g)(3) because the conditions that led to children's removal from a mother's home persisted from the time of the children were placed in the custody of their paternal aunt and uncle to the time of trial; the children were placed in the legal custody of the aunt and uncle in a proceeding that resulted in a finding that they were dependent and neglected, and the statute did not require that they be placed in foster care. In re Emily J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 254 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 9, 2018).

Because the record contained no final adjudicatory dependency-and-neglect order that removed the children from the parents'  home, the trial court erred in its determination that clear and convincing evidence supported the ground of persistence of conditions. In re J.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 256 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 10, 2018).

Evidence was less than clear that the conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted, and thus termination under the persistence of conditions ground was improper; the mother had not failed a drug test since 2013, no one could remember the last time the father failed a drug test, the evidence was insufficient to establish that their drug problems persisted, plus there was inadequate evidence as to whether the father committed domestic violence since he received services, and evidence of the mother's inadequate parenting skills was mixed. In re Ayden S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 306 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020), overruled, In re Tavarius M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 579 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a father's parental rights, based on persistent conditions, because the father was either unable or unwilling to adjust the conditions that led to the child's removal and keep the child's mother away from the child until the mother stopped abusing drugs. In re D.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 328 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2018).

Evidence that the children were removed for parents for more than six months, the conditions that led to their removal would likely subject the children to further abuse or neglect, and there was little liklihood that the conditions would be remedied in the near future to safely return the children to the parents'  custody supported termination based on persistence of conditions. In re Damon B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 25, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 607 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2018), cert. denied, Michael B. v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 205 L. Ed. 2d 32, 140 S. Ct. 107, — U.S. —, 2019 U.S. LEXIS 5246 (U.S. Oct. 7, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the ground of persistence of conditions because, although the record did not contain clear and convincing evidence that the mother's substance abuse problems persisted at the time of trial, she still lacked stable housing, was unemployed, and did not have valid transportation; and there was little chance that those conditions would be remedied soon so that the children could be returned safely to the home. In re McKenzie O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 387 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2018).

Persistence of conditions termination ground was shown by clear and convincing evidence, as the child was dependent and neglected, having been initially removed because the parents were caught shoplifting to buy drugs and were subsequently jailed, the father never provided proof that he was legally employed, the conditions that led to the child's removal still persisted and would not remedied anytime soon, and the child's foster parents were interested in adopting him. In re Gabriel B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 413 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 23, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for persistence of conditions because the child was removed from the father's custody due to exposure to drugs and domestic violence and at the time of the hearing those conditions persisted. The father's ongoing domestic violence issues were shown by his admitted arrest record, he tested positive for cocaine on more than one occasion, and he continued to live in a “three-quarter house.” In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions was supported by evidence that the mother had now acknowledged her own abuse of the child, the mother had harassed and coerced the child into making disclosures she was being sexually abused by children at school, and the mother made no progress in seeking treatment. In re McKenzi W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 9, 2018).

Termination of the mother's rights for persistence of conditions was proper; the mother had no stable living situation, continued to involve herself in abusive relationships, and chose not to fully address her drug addiction and mental health issues, and the conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted. In re Piper B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 478 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2018).

Mother had not remedied the conditions that led to the child's removal and other conditions persisted that would cause the child to be subjected to further abuse and neglect, as the mother was still unable to provide a stable home for the child, and she had failed to address her mental health concerns; termination of the mother's rights for persistent conditions was affirmed. In re Alexis C., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 499 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2018).

Supplemental protective custody order found there was probable cause to believe that the children were dependent and neglected, but the order did not find by clear and convincing evidence that the children are dependent and neglected; such a temporary order was not sufficient to support termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions. In re Romeo T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 514 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Persistence of conditions ground for termination was proven, as the children were adjudicated dependent and neglected and remained in the Department of Children's Services'  custody for 14 months before the filing of the termination petition, plus the mother had no plan for housing, continued to test positive for cocaine and methamphetamine throughout the case, and attended mental health treatment on an irregular and inconsistent basis. In re Briana H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence was proven of grounds to terminate a father's parental rights to the father's children for persistent conditions because the  conditions that led to removal of the children still persisted as the father allowed the mother to move in to the father's home, despite a no-contact order between the mother and the children. Further, there was crime in the father's home and the father was incarcerated with no certain release date. In re Sophie O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 521 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 4, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because, although the children were in foster care and an examination of the mother's home was not completed, the mother continued to display signs of substance abuse and it was unlikely that the mother's financial hardships were to remedied at an early date. If the children were returned to the mother, it also was likely they would have been living in a home where substance abuse and criminal activity was rampant. In re T.R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 542 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was supported by the evidence; the children were removed from the mother's home due to concerns that she was abusing drugs, the conditions that led to removal still persist as to the mother, and there was little chance that mother would be able to rectify her conditions in the immediate future as mother has not consistently shown she could stay sober and even after a period of sobriety, she relapsed. In re Larry P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 606 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 15, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the appellate record did not contain a court order removing the children from the mother's custody based on a finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse. In re Francis R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 623 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2018).

Termination of the mother's and the father's parental rights based on the persistence of conditions ground was proper because, given the mother's failure to address her possible substance abuse issues, and the father's continued dependency on methadone, there was little likelihood that the conditions which led to removal would be remedied at an early date so that the child could be safely returned in the near future; and the continuation of the relationship greatly diminished the child's chances of early integration into a safe, stable and permanent home. In re Camdon H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 672 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on a finding that the conditions that led to the children's removal persisted was supported by evidence that the mother had done little to combat her drug issues and had done little to remedy her admitted mental health issues. In re Karisah N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 684 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 27, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on persistence of conditions leading to removal of the children from her home because the children were removed from the mother's custody and found to be dependent and neglected; the mother's lack of stable housing was not the sole reason for the children's removal from her custody as, at the time of removal, the mother and her family were the subject of several referrals and an investigation focusing on allegations of inadequate supervision, lack of stable housing, child abuse, substance abuse, and domestic violence concerns; and continuation of the parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the children's chances of integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home. In re Steven W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 693 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 28, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on the persistence of conditions was supported by evidence of the mother's ongoing drug abuse and overall noncompliance with attempts to assist her in improving her condition and regaining custody. In re Alexis S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 700 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's finding of persistence of conditions because the mother still struggled with abusing illegal drugs, there was little likelihood that she could remedy her substance abuse and other issues in the near future so that the children could be safely returned to her, and she acknowledged that she at least seven and a half months of inpatient treatment to complete. In re Michayla T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 712 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was proper; the department made efforts to provide help to improve the parenting abilities over a long period of time, and those efforts have proved ineffective, as the father had over two years to cooperate and make the necessary adjustments that would enable the children's safe return to his care, yet he failed to do so. In re Gaberiel S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 718 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2018).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistent conditions because she failed to follow the recommendations designed to address her prescription drug dependency, and at the time of the hearing the Department of Children's Services had not determined whether her new residence was satisfactory. In re Lesley A., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 738 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on the persistence of conditions because one of the main reasons the children were removed from the father was a positive marijuana test and the father rectified that and no longer had a substance abuse issue, and the father no longer misunderstood the issues regarding his daughter's dental care. In re Kiara S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 750 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 20, 2018).

in light of other clear and convincing proof that the mother had not remedied the conditions that led to the children's placement with the child placement agency and the trial court's holding that the children were dependent and neglected, certain testimony did not establish, as the mother claimed, that there were no conditions preventing the children's return. In re Antonio J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 759 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2018).

Trial court determined that the children were dependent and neglected as the mother was unable to care for them without the assistance of others, and the trial court approved an agreement that the children remain in child placement agency's custody; there was no basis for the mother's argument that the children were not removed because she voluntarily placed them with the agency, and the order satisfied the persistence of conditions requirement that the child be removed from the parent's home by order of the court. In re Antonio J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 759 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2018).

Conditions leading to the removal of the children persisted and there was little chance that these conditions would be remedied soon; once the children were removed, the mother failed to complete random drug screening and an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, she declined to maintain consistent visitation with the children, and she was incarcerated four times. In re Gabriella H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2019), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 75 (Tenn. Feb. 11, 2019).

Evidence clearly and convincingly established the elements necessary to terminate the parents'  rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because they repeatedly showed that they were unable to maintain an appropriate home environment free from debris, clutter, animals, animal waste, and unsafe conditions, and they had shown an inability to keep persons not approved by the Department of Children's Service from entering their home as required by permanency plans and trial court orders. In re Savannah M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 44 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported termination of a mother's parental rights based on a persistence of conditions because (1) the conditions leading to the removal of the mother's child persisted, (2) other conditions persisted that would, in all probability, cause the child to be subjected to further abuse and neglect, (3) there was little likelihood the mother would remedy the conditions at an early date to allow the child's return, and (4) continuation of the legal parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the child's chances of early integration into a stable and permanent home. In re J'Khari F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019).

The trial court's finding that appellants met their burden to show that the conditions that led to the children's removal persisted was supported by evidence that the mother had an admitted history of drug use and criminal activity and relapse and the children did not want to live with her because they did not think she would ever change. In re Autumn L., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 73 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 8, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because the mother's children were removed from the mother's home and adjudicated dependent and neglected, there were issues concerning drug use, sexual abuse, and a lack of supervision of the children in the mother's home. Moreover, the mother had continued to engage in criminal activity throughout the pendency of the case and generally showed an unwillingness to parent the children. In re H. A., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2019).

It was not appropriate to terminate a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions because such a ground was not alleged in the petition. In re Paetyn M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 81 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2019).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that termination of a father's parental rights to both of the father's children was appropriate on the ground of persistent conditions because the children were removed from the father's custody when the father was arrested and the father's lenghty incarceration rendered the father unable to provide the children with a home until they attained adulthood. In re D.V., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 111 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2019).

Termination was proper on the ground of persistence of conditions as the child was removed because of the father's involvement with child pornography and use of drugs, but the mother had returned to live with him for a time; the mother was still struggling to get back on her feet after leaving the father; the mother had no job and was living in a shelter for domestic violence victims; and continuation of the parent and child relationship greatly diminished the child's chances of early integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home. In re Laura F., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 200 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2019).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the child was removed from the mother's custody due to her drug use, noncompliance with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) Family Support Services in obtaining drug treatment, and failure to ensure that the child received his medication. she had failed to complete the recommended intensive outpatient drug treatment or parenting classes. Throughout the time that the child was in DCS custody, the mother had continued using drugs and had failed to complete treatment to remedy her drug addiction. In re Kaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 230 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of persistence of conditions because she seemed to have substituted alcohol for drugs, and had not presented evidence showing that she had addressed her struggles with alcohol; there was a concern that the mother would reunite with the father despite past domestic violence; and the children's court appointed special advocate testified that she was concerned about returning the children to the mother because of her substance abuse issues and her difficulty controlling the children. In re Trey S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2019).

Ground of persistent conditions was proven by clear and convincing evidence; by trial, the mother had not fully addressed the issues that precipitated the children's removal, the main barriers to reunification was her mental health situation and domestic violence, the court only had the mother's word to go on that she resolved her mental health issues and proclivity toward violence, and the children were thriving in the foster mother's care. In re Charlie-Lynn P., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 27, 2019), appeal denied, In re Charlie-Lynn P., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 335 (Tenn. July 18, 2019).

Trial court properly concluded that the undisputed evidence in the record clearly and convincingly supported termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistent conditions because six months after the child's removal, the mother continued to use illegal drugs; given the mother's consistent drug use, failure to follow treatment recommendations, and other acts of noncompliance with the permanency plan, it was unlikely she would resolve her drug issues. In re K.S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 376 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 2, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was proper; the child had been removed from the mother's custody for more than six months, the mother was homeless, and her recent relapse and lack of progress on other issues made reunification in the near future unlikely. In re Josiah T., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2019).

In the absence of the necessary adjudicatory order on dependency and neglect, appellees failed to meet their burden to show that the conditions that led to the child's removal from the mother persisted, and the court reversed termination on this ground. In re Dylan S., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2019).

Termination of a father's parental rights was appropriate because the conditions that led to the children's removal persisted as the father testified at the termination hearing that the father had been on drugs from when the father was twelve years old and the court stated that attempts at rehabilitation had been unsuccessful. The father's drug use occurred before the children were born, led to their removal, and continued uninterrupted thereafter. In re B.A., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 549 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 12, 2019).

Termination of a mother's parental rights to the mother's children on the ground of persistent conditions was appropriate because the trial court properly found persistence of conditions due to the mother's lack of suitable housing, failure to comply with her mental health treatment, and pending criminal charges, leading to the finding that there was little chance the existing conditions preventing the children's return to the mother would be remedied soon. In re Deishun M., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 562 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2019).

Termination of mother's parental rights on ground of persistent conditions was appropriate because the mother's living situation was precarious, the mother had only begun to truly address substance abuse problems and was defiant about treatment, and there was no proof that the mother could adequately provide for the children. In multiple respects, the mother's circumstances remained what they were at the time of removal, with no indication that they were likely to change fundamentally. In re Malik G., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 564 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 21, 2019).

Record clearly and convincingly established the persistence of conditions ground for termination because a father failed to take the situation seriously or make any significant improvement in his circumstances until after the filing of the petition to terminate his rights, and the conditions that led to removal of the child continued to persist as of the time of the filing of the petition; it was extremely doubtful that the father's circumstances would be remedied in the near future. In re Jayda H., — S.W.3d —, 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 571 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 25, 2019).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper except on the ground of persistence of the conditions that led to the child's removal because, although the trial court entered an order finding that there was probable cause to believe the child was dependent and neglected, none of the subsequent orders from the trial court adjudicated dependency and neglect by clear and convincing evidence. In re Draven K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 7, 2020).

Evidence was clear and convincing that the conditions preventing the child's safe return persisted where the mother lacked an appropriate home and had not prioritized her drug or mental health treatment, those conditions were unlikely to be remedied in the near future, and continuation of the parental relationship diminished the child's chances of early integrations into a stable home. In re Emma S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 8 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 9, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on the ground of persistent conditions was supported by evidence that the children were removed from the home of parents, and the removal was predicated upon the domestic violence, the mother's drug use, the father's continued relationship with the mother despite her drug use and the father's failure to attend family counseling. In re Mahaley P., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 10 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 9, 2020).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her daughter based on persistence of conditions because the daughter was not removed from the mother's home but rather was living at a hospital at the time of her removal. In re Ronon G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 16, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her son based on persistence of conditions because at the time of trial, he had been removed from the mother's custody for a period of over four years pursuant to adjudication of dependency and neglect, the mother moved from one unsuitable home to another, never making any real progress, and there was a lack of safe, stable housing and a means of support. In re Ronon G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 16, 2020).

Terminating parents'  parental rights for persistent conditions was proper because, (1) while a mother remedied a lack of housing causing the children's removal, the mother was consistently voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, took no parenting classes, provided no mental health recommendations, and smoked in the children's presence, while (2) the father refused alcohol treatment. In re C.L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 20 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2020), appeal denied, In re Carson L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 419 (Tenn. May 21, 2020), appeal denied, In re Carson L., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 423 (Tenn. May 27, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence was presented that the mother's drug abuse issue that led to the removal of the children still persisted, that there was little likelihood that the condition was to be remedied in the near future, and the mother's inability to maintain sobriety deprived the children of a safe, stable, and permanent home so long as the mother was a part of their lives. In re Michael W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 23, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights for persistence of conditions was proper, as she failed to comply with or complete any plan requirements, refused to have a home study completed, and failed to acknowledge the inappropriateness of her discipline techniques. In re Imerald W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 43 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2020).

Whether the mother was admitted to a mental health institute had no bearing on her failure to remedy the conditions that led to removal when the statute did not require that the parent's failure be willful; therefore, exclusion of the evidence, even if admissible, was harmless. In re Benjamin P., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2020).

Conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted in the mother's case, for termination of parental rights purposes; one child was hospitalized as a result of the mother's nutritional neglect and she was homeless at the time of the hearing and without the ability to provide a stable and habitable residence in the near future. In re Benjamin P., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2020).

Trial court properly found that persistent conditions as a ground to terminate a mother's parental rights where the children had been removed six months prior due to the mother's drug issues and neglect of the children, following the removal, issues related to the mother's mental health, housing, and lack of reliable transportation surfaced, and at the time of trial, more than a year following the removal, these issues had not been remedied. In re Jadarian C., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 87 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2020).

Ground of persistence of the conditions leading to the children's removal from the mother was established by clear and convincing evidence because the record showed that the children were removed from the mother's custody due to her drug use and a physical assault against one child by the mother's boyfriend, the mother's drug use had continued, she tested positive on a drug test for methamphetamine and amphetamines at trial, as of the date of trial she had failed to complete drug treatment to address her drug abuse issues, and she failed to address her mental health issues. In re Gracie H. Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2020), appeal dismissed, In re Gracie Y., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 462 (Tenn. June 19, 2020).

Sufficient evidence supported the termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because it showed that the child was removed from the mother's custody in large part because of her consistent drug use and the presence of drugs in her home, and her testimony made it clear that she continued to use methamphetamine, did not complete her required treatments, and saw her drug use as necessary for her to function. In re Caydan T., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 7, 2020).

With respect to the ground of persistence of conditions, the was no evidence that the mother's manufacturing of methamphetamine persisted since she had been incarcerated and, due to her incarceration, no assessment could be made as to whether the conditions prior to her arrest persisted. Accordingly, the elements of the ground of persistence of conditions were not clearly and convincingly established as to the mother. In re Eli S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 150 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 9, 2020), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Trial court's reliance on the persistence of conditions ground for terminating a mother's parental rights was vacated because the trial court failed to make specific findings regarding each of the elements applicable to the persistence of conditions ground. In re Madux F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 166 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2020).

Termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was appropriate because the trial court adjudicated the child dependent and neglected and a victim of severe child abuse, the child was removed from the mother's custody and placed in foster care for two-and-a-half years, and the conditions that led to the child's removal still existed, preventing the child from returning safely as the mother put forth minimal effort to improve the conditions that led to the child's removal. In re Kelty F., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 185 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions was proper because, toward the end of the home visit period, the mother tested positive for methamphetamine; although Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) continued to work with the mother, she refused to submit to further drug screens; she stopped taking the case worker's phone calls and failed to appear in court; the mother refused to return the child when ordered; the child's condition on return was poor as he was dirty, with bruises and scratches on his arms and face; the mother was largely absent and refused to cooperate with DCS; and, on the day of the termination hearing, the mother tested positive for methamphetamine. In re Dustin M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 191 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. May 26, 2020).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on persistence of conditions was proper because, in addition to violating his probation and fraternizing with drug users, the father testified that he had been unable to secure appropriate housing or employment; he tested positive for methamphetamine on the day of the termination hearing; and it was not likely that the father would take steps to remedy those conditions. In re Dustin M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 191 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 470 (Tenn. May 26, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the month prior to trial the mother had moved to a long-term treatment facility, she had yet to address her issues with domestic violence, and she had barely begun to obtain a mental health assessment and drug and alcohol treatment. In re Boston G., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020).

Conditions that led to the child's removal from the mother's legal custody persisted, preventing the child's safe return to her care, and there was little likelihood that these conditions would be remedied at an early date; the mother had incurred criminal charges and was incarcerated for a period of time, the grandparents testified that the mother had struggled with drug addiction for years, and the residence where she lived was leased to the father, who also had a drug problem, and the mother had no independent source of support. In re Eli H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2020).

Child was removed from the mother's legal custody by court order dated January 30, 2017, following entry of a court order dated July 5, 2016 finding the child to be dependent and neglected; accordingly, the trial court erred in determining that this statutory ground was inapplicable. Because the child was removed from the mother's legal custody on January 30, 2017, the child had been removed for a period of more than six months by the time of the termination trial on May 14, 2019, in satisfaction of the statute's requirement. In re Eli H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2020).

Evidence supported the juvenile court's finding that the parents'  rights should be terminated on the ground of persistence of conditions; the children had been previously adjudicated dependent and neglected and victims of severe child abuse, and the parents never accepted responsibility for their behavior and refused to acknowledge the severe child abuse, which showed that conditions that led to the children's removal still persisted and there was little likelihood that the conditions would be remedied in the near future. In re Shyanne H., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 25, 2020), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 516 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2020).

Conditions remained present that would likely cause the child to be subjected to further neglect and these conditions were likely to remain for the near future, making termination for persistence of conditions proper; whether the mother would be offered support from a rescue mission and whether she would be able to care for her son were precariously balanced on a slew of contingencies, plus she would need to maintain her sobriety. In re Raylan W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 375 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 20, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the record showed that the mother was not equipped to deal with the child's health needs, as she had difficulty understanding those needs and taking directions from medical professionals. The mother was unable to answer basic questions about the child's medical needs and history. In re Katrina S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 398 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2020).

Termination based on persistent of ocnditions was proper because there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the parents conditions would be remedied at an early date, as the mother continued to use drugs and saw no issue with sharing an apartment with other drug users, the mother had a pending DUI charge and $3,500 of unpaid fees on her driver's license, and the parents'  difficulties in maintaining employment were caused in large part by their drug and criminal issues. In re A.V.N., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 406 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 10, 2020).

Termination of the mother's rights was proper under the persistence of conditions ground; at the time of trial, the children had been removed from the mother's custody for more than six months and the conditions preventing the children's safe return remained, as the mother's house was still very dirty, there was a lack of food, and the pest issue continued. In re Cheyenne S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 431 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 24, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the persistence of conditions that led to the child's removal because the child was removed due to the mother's drug use, alcohol abuse, and environmental neglect; she continued to consume illegal drugs and drink alcohol and engage in criminal activity; her current home had several attributes that would likely lead to environmental neglect of a child; and a continuation of a parent-child relationship between the mother and the child would greatly diminish his chances of integrating into a safe and stable home. In re Braden K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 437 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2020).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services established by clear and convincing evidence grounds for termination of parental rights because the record did not indicate that the mother has remedied the conditions that caused the mother's child to be removed from the mother's custody or that the mother was likely to remedy the conditions anytime soon. Continuing the mother/child relationship would have greatly diminished the child's opportunity to be integrated into the safe, stable, and permanent home the foster mother was offering to provide. In re Meghan M.R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 457 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2020).

Trial court did erred in terminating the mother's parental rights to the child based on persistence of conditions leading to the child's removal because the father and stepmother failed to demonstrate the threshold requirement of a petition having been filed in the juvenile court that alleged the child to be a dependent and neglected child, as they failed to provide the court or the trial court with the father's juvenile court petition and whether he alleged that the child was a dependent and neglected child in his juvenile court petition was not discernible from the juvenile court's orders. In re Jude M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 469 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2020).

Termination based on persistence of conditions was supported by findings that the parents had not completed the required tasks on teh permanency plan to make it safe for the children to return home and refused to accept responsibility or acknowledge the child abuse. In re Brian W., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 479 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2020).

Conditions that led to removal still persisted and prevented the safe return of the children to the care of the parent. The mother was still battling her addiction and mental health issues, and there was little likelihood that those conditions would be remedied soon. In re Edward R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 496 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

Termination of parental rights on the basis of persistence of conditions was appropriate because the child was removed from the parents'  custody, the trial court adjudicated the child as dependent and neglected, and the parents'  substance abuse and inability to provide a suitable home that led to the child's removal persisted as the parents tested positive for unprescribed substances and still had not provided a suitable home for the child so that the child could not safely be returned to the parents'  custody in the near future. In re Noah A., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2020).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on substantial non-compliance with the permanency plan because the caseworker testified that the father's drug and alcohol abuse and the incarcerations stemming from his behaviors while under the influence had been the primary concerns, the caseworker testified that he refused to go to treatment but instead continued to engage in behaviors that resulted in more criminal charges and incarcerations. The father's pattern of incarceration resulted in his inability to provide suitable housing for the child and his inability to visit the child so as to develop any parental bond. In re Haskel S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 18, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistent conditions was reversed as the appellate court was unable to determine, by clear and convincing evidence, whether the children were removed from her home or custody by a court order entered at any stage of proceedings in which a petition had been filed in the juvenile court alleging that a child was a dependent and neglected child. In re Allie-Mae K., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 529 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2020).

Termination of parental rights based on persistence of conditions was supported by evidence that the child had been removed from the parents'  custody for more than six months and that the conditions underlying the child's removal, primarily drug exposure and a transient, unstable living situation, has not been remedied. In re Collwynn J., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 562 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2020).

Evidence supported the persistence conditions finding where the mother's housing remained unstable, she had a dangerous pattern of engaging in romantic relationships with men she barely knew and relying on them for support, and she was unable to provide a clean home or budget her money. In re Amber R., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 597 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the persistence of the conditions leading to removal of the children because, although the mother was provided services by the Department of Children's Services (DCS) for almost three years by the time of trial, she had still failed to establish a suitable home or exhibit appropriate parenting skills during supervised visitation; based on the length of time that the children had been in DCS custody, there was little likelihood that the conditions would be remedied at an early date so that the children could be safely returned to the mother; and the continuation of the parent-child relationship would inhibit the children's ability to integrate into a stable home. In re Treymarion S., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 599 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2020).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based a failure to remedy persistent conditions where the conditions that cause the children's removal, including the mother drug use and its impact on her ability to parent, persisted and there was little likelihood that they would change any time soon. In re Katelynn S., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2021).

Trial court's termination of a mother's parental rights based upon persistence of conditions was inappropriate because the mother's incarceration, standing alone, did not amount to a persistent condition preventing the children's return to the mother's custody. Furthermore, there was no proof of the mother's continued neglect after the children's removal into the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services as the mother was incarcerated before that event occurred. In re Scarlet W., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 16 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 15, 2021).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated because the mother failed to manifest an ability to assume custody of the children, despite somewhat complying with the permanency plan prior to her incarceration, the mother failed to resolve her lack of suitable housing and did not financially support the children, she failed a drug screen and refused to comply with later testing requests, and she did not address her mental health issues and never began individual counseling. In re Kayden A., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 46 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2021).

Trial court erred by terminating the father's parental rights based on persistence of conditions because the record did not indicate that the child was ever removed from the father's custody based on a judicial finding of dependency, neglect, or abuse as to the father. In re Tiffany B., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2021).

Because a child's father and stepmother did not plead the ground of persistence of conditions that led to the child's removal and because the threshold requirements for that ground were not met, in that the child was not removed from the mother's home as the child had lived with the father following the parents'  divorce, the termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of persistence of conditions was inappropriate. In re Lucas S., — S.W.3d —, 2021 Tenn. App. LEXIS 67 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2021).

18. Abandonment.

Definition of abandoned child contained in § 36-1-102 by its express provisions applies only to an action or proceeding to declare a child to be an abandoned child and has not been extended to adoption proceeding. Ex parte Wolfenden, 49 Tenn. App. 1, 349 S.W.2d 713, 1959 Tenn. App. LEXIS 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1959), superseded by statute as stated in, Fykes v. State, — S.W.3d —, 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998) , superseded by statute as stated in, Tennessee Baptist Children's Home v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Baker v. He (In re A.M.H.), — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2005).

Issue of whether natural father had abandoned child was of vital importance in adoption proceeding and was an issue of fact to be determined by trial court. Ex parte Wolfenden, 49 Tenn. App. 1, 349 S.W.2d 713, 1959 Tenn. App. LEXIS 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1959), superseded by statute as stated in, Fykes v. State, — S.W.3d —, 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998) , superseded by statute as stated in, Tennessee Baptist Children's Home v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Baker v. He (In re A.M.H.), — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2005); Fancher v. Mann, 58 Tenn. App. 471, 432 S.W.2d 63, 1968 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (1968).

Abandonment to warrant a court in allowing an adoption over the protest of the natural parent must be unequivocal and the evidence clear and convincing. Ex parte Wolfenden, 49 Tenn. App. 1, 349 S.W.2d 713, 1959 Tenn. App. LEXIS 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1959), superseded by statute as stated in, Fykes v. State, — S.W.3d —, 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998) , superseded by statute as stated in, Tennessee Baptist Children's Home v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 322 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 14, 1998), superseded by statute as stated in, Baker v. He (In re A.M.H.), — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 736 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2005); Fancher v. Mann, 58 Tenn. App. 471, 432 S.W.2d 63, 1968 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (1968).

Abandonment imports any conduct on the part of the parent that evinces a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child; however, it does not follow that the purpose may not be repented of and in proper cases all parental rights again acquired but when abandonment is shown to have existed it becomes a judicial question whether or not it has been terminated or can be consistently with the welfare of the child. Ex parte Wolfenden, 48 Tenn. App. 433, 348 S.W.2d 751, 1961 Tenn. App. LEXIS 85 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1961); Fancher v. Mann, 58 Tenn. App. 471, 432 S.W.2d 63, 1968 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (1968).

Abandonment by natural parents may be found only where, being given benefit of every controverted fact, such inference follows as a matter of law. Ex parte Wolfenden, 48 Tenn. App. 433, 348 S.W.2d 751, 1961 Tenn. App. LEXIS 85 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1961); Fancher v. Mann, 58 Tenn. App. 471, 432 S.W.2d 63, 1968 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (1968).

The ultimate question in an abandonment situation is whether there is clear and convincing evidence of an overall lack of any parental responsibility. A finding of a possible abandonment, or the lack of such a finding, on the part of one parent is not to be interpreted as conclusive on the other parent or the ultimate issue. Koivu v. Irwin, 721 S.W.2d 803, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3160 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

There is a distinction in the law between those cases where an abandonment is asked to be declared and those cases where not only is there an abandonment request, but also an adoption of the abandoned child. In the former situation, there is a statutory definition of abandonment, contained in § 36-1-102, while in the later, case law sets out the definition. Koivu v. Irwin, 721 S.W.2d 803, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 3160 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

Mother abandoned child when she left the very young child alone at home, voluntarily surrendered custody to child's father, made no contribution to child's support and exercised no visitation after child went to live with father. Webb v. Wilson (In re Gordon), 980 S.W.2d 372, 1998 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1998), appeal denied, 1998 Tenn. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Oct. 5, 1998).

The definition found in T.C.A. § 36-1-102 of “willfully failed to support” and “willfully failed to make reasonable payments toward such child's support” is unconstitutional because it creates an irrebutable presumption that the failure to provide monetary support for the four months preceding the petition to terminate parental rights constitutes abandonment, irrespective of whether that failure was intentional. Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, Inc. v. Swanson (In re Swanson), 2 S.W.3d 180, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. 1999).

The effect of the decision in Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, Inc. v. Swanson, 2 S.W.3d 180, 1999 Tenn. LEXIS 475 (Tenn. 1999), that T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(D) was unconstitutional was to restore the definition of abandonment as it existed before the 1995 amendment, with the element of intent intact. Menard v. Meeks (In re Menard), 29 S.W.3d 870, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 129 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

Although the mother had made significant adjustments in her conduct and circumstances, the evidence supported the finding that termination of mother's rights was in the child's best interests because the mother was unemployed, unable to provide a home for the children or other support, and had not used any of the funds she received from a drug treatment program to provide her child with gifts or basic necessities. In re C.W.W., 37 S.W.3d 467, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 327 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

In the definition of abandonment, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) uses the phrase “a proceeding or pleading to terminate parental rights” in the same statutory subsection where the legislature also uses the phrase “the petition for termination of parental rights or adoption”; read as a whole, T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) requires that the willful failure to visit, support, or make reasonable payments toward the support of the child must occur in the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition currently before the court. In re D.L.B., 118 S.W.3d 360, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 983 (Tenn. 2003).

Mother's failure to visit her minor children for the four months immediately preceding the filing of the termination petition constituted abandonment. In re S.Y., 121 S.W.3d 358, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 130 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003).

Court erred by finding that a mother had willfully abandoned her children where the mother was indigent, and the state did not present any proof to the trial court that showed that the mother was able to financially support her children in any way and did not do so. State v. Stewart (In re L.J.C.), 124 S.W.3d 609, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 515 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003), appeal denied, State Dep't of Child's Servs. v. Stewart (In re L.J.C.), — S.W.3d —, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 1288 (Tenn. 2003).

Trial court properly dismissed a petition to terminate parental rights, because the evidence did not establish that either parent intended to abandon a minor child. The evidence showed that the father paid child support, but was unaware of the child's residence; and the mother was unable to pay child support due to a loss of employment, but she attempted to contact the child shortly before the petition was filed. Means v. Ashby, 130 S.W.3d 48, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 712 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 161 (Tenn. Mar. 1, 2004).

Record included no evidence that the department of children's services explained to the father that he was obligated to pay support, lest he lose all parental rights to his children; the permanency plans not only failed to state the father was obligated to pay child support, they, in fact, implied that he was not required to do so unless there was a court order of support, such that the father's failure to pay could not have been considered willful, and the termination of his parental rights on the ground of abandonment had to be reversed. State v. Calabretta (In re J.J.C.), 148 S.W.3d 919, 2004 Tenn. App. LEXIS 47 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004), appeal denied, In re J.J.C., — S.W.3d —, 2004 Tenn. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. May 10, 2004).

Record did not support the juvenile court's implicit finding that the mother “willfully” failed to visit or support her two children during the four months preceding the filing of the joint termination petition as provided under the statutory definition of abandonment in T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), because the mother was incarcerated during that four-month period and the fathers of the children refused to allow visitation at the prison. However, only one statutory ground was required to support termination of the mother's parental rights under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g) and there was sufficient evidence to support the finding that the mother failed to support or visit her children in the four months before her incarceration, which constituted abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), and that the mother's conduct prior to her incarceration showed a wanton disregard for children's welfare, which also constituted abandonment under § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). In re Audrey S., 182 S.W.3d 838, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 539 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2005), appeal denied, In re A.M.S. v. Ferrell, — S.W.3d —, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 1020 (Tenn. 2005).

Court properly terminated a mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment where the mother made child support payments in November of 2004, but made no payments during the months of December of 2004, January of 2005, and February of 2005. In addition, the mother was required to return to the child support court to have that court reassess her child support obligations, and the mother never did so. Dep't of Children's Servs. v. S.M.D., 200 S.W.3d 184, 2006 Tenn. App. LEXIS 244 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006), appeal denied, State Dep't of Children's Servs. v. S.M.D., — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 634 (Tenn. 2006), appeal denied, In re D.J.D., — S.W.3d —, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 637 (Tenn. 2006).

Juvenile court did not err in terminating a father's parental rights based on abandonment pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1) and 36-1-102(1)(A)(i); the mother and her new husband had not prevented the father from visiting his child and, except for one call on his fourth birthday, the father failed to visit or contact the child from the age of two onwards, and the child was five at the time the petition to terminate the father's parental rights was filed. And, the court found that it would not have been in the child's best interest to go back and try to establish some sort of relationship with the father. In re F.R.R., 193 S.W.3d 528, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 334 (Tenn. 2006).

Evidence in this case did not support a finding that appellant parents intentionally abandoned their daughter; although the daughter had now been with appellees for more than seven years, six of the years elapsed after the parents'  first unsuccessful legal filing to regain custody. In re A.M.H., 215 S.W.3d 793, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 13 (Tenn. Jan. 23, 2007), rehearing denied, 215 S.W.3d 793, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 235 (Tenn. 2007), cert. denied, Baker v. Shao-Qiang He, — U.S.—, — S. Ct. —, — L. Ed. 2d —, 2007 U.S. LEXIS 8357 (U.S. June 25, 2007).

Court erred by failing to terminate a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because it was undisputed that the father did not visit or support the child during the four-month period leading up to the termination petition, and the father never sent financial support or gifts to the child. In re M.L.P., — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 217 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2008), aff'd, 281 S.W.3d 387, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 299 (Tenn. 2009).

Where father failed to support or make reasonable payments in support of his children for four months preceding filing of the petition to terminate parental rights, trial court did not err by terminating parental rights on the ground of abandonment under T.C.A. § 36-1-113; father was employed and received an inheritance during this time period, yet failed to make any efforts to provide support for his children. In re L.M.W., 275 S.W.3d 843, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2008), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2008 Tenn. LEXIS 768 (Tenn. Oct. 6, 2008).

Mother's parental rights were properly terminated on ground of abandonment because she exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her child, had 19 prior incarcerations, admitted to drug addiction problem to psychological examiner, and admitted that her mother was essentially taking care of and raising her child. State Dep't of Children's Servs. v. V.N., 279 S.W.3d 306, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 645 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2008), appeal denied, State v. V.N., — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. LEXIS 77 (Tenn. Jan. 16, 2009).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by failure to visit and failure to support was proper pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) and 36-1-113(g)(1) because the absence of a court order requiring the mother to pay support did not “excuse” her from her obligation to pay support for her child and the mother candidly acknowledged that she knew that she had an obligation to pay support but nevertheless failed to do so. Further, the mother had the ability to pay support during the determinative four-month period because she was employed for at least part of that time. Stephen v. Christy C., 384 S.W.3d 731, 2010 Tenn. App. LEXIS 727 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2010), appeal denied, In re Keri C., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 120 (Tenn. Feb. 17, 2011).

Termination of mother's parental rights was proper as: (1) the mother did not visit the child in the four months before the petition was filed; (2) the mother was not denied visitation by the child's foster mother; (3) the mother did not return to Tennessee where the child was living upon her release from prison; and (4) the mother did not pay the child support ordered by the court. In re A'mari B., 358 S.W.3d 204, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 488 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2011), appeal denied, In re A'Mari B., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 1067 (Tenn. Nov. 14, 2011).

Mother's claim that her conduct did not exhibit a wanton disregard for a child's welfare was rejected as the mother's parental rights were terminated because she abandoned the child by willfully failing to support or visit during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; T.C.A. § 36-1-102(l)(A)(iv) did not apply. In re A'mari B., 358 S.W.3d 204, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 488 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2011), appeal denied, In re A'Mari B., — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 1067 (Tenn. Nov. 14, 2011).

There was clear and convincing evidence that a father abandoned his children by willfully failing to visit them for a period of four consecutive months preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g), despite the fact that there was an order in place that suspended the father's visitation rights; the father had no contact with the children for three years prior thereto, and he took no action to reinstate visitation or to maintain a relationship during that four-month period, such that his actions were deemed willful under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(i). In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Although an amended petition for termination of a father's parental rights did not mention abandonment by willful failure to support pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g), but both parties discussed the issue and provided proof thereon as if it had been alleged in the petition, the court considered the petition amended to include that ground pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 15.02. In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(F), a father's payments of child support after an original petition to terminate his parental rights was filed was not considered for purposes of an abandonment analysis under T.C.A. § 36-1-113(g). In re Angela T., — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 112 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2012), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, In re Angela E., 402 S.W.3d 636, 2013 Tenn. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2013).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment for willful failure to visit because the father had visited the child, at most, two times, once in December 2010 and once in January 2011, prior to the filing of the termination petition in April 2012 and it was only after the petition was filed that the father attempted to see the child; the father's visitation after the petition was filed was, at best, token visitation. In re Jacobe M.J., 434 S.W.3d 565, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 790 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2013), appeal denied, In re Jacobe J., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 228 (Tenn. Mar. 5, 2014).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father, engaged in criminal behavior, had continued incarcerations, had unresolved substance abuse issues, failed to meet the child's material needs, and demonstrated a general a lack of concern towards the child. In re Jocilyn M.P., 435 S.W.3d 773, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 248 (Tenn. Mar. 11, 2014).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the father had an income of at least $ 2,867 during the relevant time, paid over $ 1,600 for pain management consultations and prescriptions, but paid no support despite being aware of his duty to support the child. In re Jocilyn M.P., 435 S.W.3d 773, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 24 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. LEXIS 248 (Tenn. Mar. 11, 2014).

Evidence did not support a finding that the mother willfully or intentionally abandoned the child where the mother was actively pursuing litigation to regain custody of the child throughout the four-month period, and she was spending a substantial portion of her limited financial resources to do the things that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and the juvenile court instructed her to do. In re Alysia S., 460 S.W.3d 536, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 834 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 254 (Tenn. Mar. 16, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the mother refused to show concern for the eight-month-old child's physical health, specifically his nutritional health and weight, which demonstrated a broader pattern of conduct that rendered the mother unfit; the mother missed a recheck appointment after a pediatrician expressed concern about the child's low weight and poor growth rate. In re Jaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 280 (Tenn. Mar. 25, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father abused prescription pain and anxiety medications in the family home, had to “doctor shop” in order to obtain the medication, and nutritionally and medically neglected the eight-month-old child. In re Jaden W., — S.W.3d —, 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2014), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 280 (Tenn. Mar. 25, 2015).

Department was required to offer proof of an order in which the child was adjudicated dependent and neglected, but despite indications that there was such a judicial finding, no adjudicatory order appeared of record; the grounds of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home and the persistence of conditions that led to the child's removal were not established by clear and convincing evidence because of the absence of the necessary order, and because no grounds other than these two were alleged, the order terminating father's parental rights could not stand. In re R.L.M., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 29, 2015).

Trial court's finding that the father abandoned the child by displaying wanton disregard was supported by evidence that the father was incarcerated for the four-month period prior to the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights, remained incarcerated for the six months the petition was pending, and continued to engage in criminal activities. In re Robert C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2015).

Termination based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home and lack of concern was supported by evidence that the father never maintained stable housing and displayed a lack of care of concern for the child, whom he never supported. In re Robert C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 58 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2015).

Decision that a father abandoned his child by willful failure to visit was improper, as it is not at all clear from the record that the father failed to visit the child in the requisite time period; the record showed that the father, the mother, the father's girlfriend, and the child all lived together during the relevant time period. In re Jonathan F., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 79 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 20, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to support his children where the trial court did not expressly find that his failure to pay was willful and it did not make any findings regarding the father's income or earning capacity. In re K.M.K., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to provide a suitable home where there was no real evidence as to the condition of the father's residence, as the children were not removed from his home. In re K.M.K., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 92 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's and a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by failure to provide suitable housing because, despite myriad services, in-home counseling, and ample opportunity, there was a general lack of progress in the areas of housekeeping and personal hygiene, and the parents continued to struggle with basic parenting skills; the children's clothes smelled of urine and the parents were hoarders. In re Kim C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 106 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit because she did not visit her son during the four month period prior to the filing of the termination petition; she had not seen the child for approximately 21 months; the problem of being arrested was one of the mother's own making as she was aware of the order of protection; even after the order of protection was dismissed, the mother never contacted the father about setting up supervised visitation in accordance with the parenting plan; she did not contact the facility that could provide supervised visitation; and she never filed a petition or motion with the divorce court to enforce the visitation schedule or to modify it. In re Noah B.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 115 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the father and stepmother did not show that the mother had the capacity to provide support as they did not submit sufficient evidence of the mother's employment status during the relevant four-month period prior to filing the petition to terminate, the number of hours she worked, the duration of her employment, her rate of pay, or whether she had assets other than regular income that might contribute to the support of the child; and the record contained no evidence regarding the mother's financial means, expenses, or obligations during the relevant four month period. In re Noah B.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 115 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2015).

Father simply failed to remit any form of support for the children even when he was admittedly capable of working and actually employed at various times, and there was clear and convincing evidence to establish that he abandoned the children by willfully failing to remit child support before, during, and after the relevant time period and that a statutory ground existed for termination of the father's parental rights. In re Agustine R., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 120 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2015).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment for failure to support where the testimony of the service worker did not show the mother's ability to prove support for her son during the applicable four month period. In re Malaki E., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's rights for failure to provide a suitable home where her whereabouts were unknown for several months even though she knew that her son was in the custody of Tennessee Department of Children's Services and she failed to visit him or advise the Department of her whereabouts. In re Malaki E., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2015).

Trial court erred by finding that the father's parental rights should not be terminated for willfully failing to support the child where there was no dispute that he paid no support to the child's mother, he was gainfully employed, and his substantial delay in failing to comply with a court order to provide insurance coverage for the child constituted token support. In re Brookelyn W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015).

Trial court erred by finding that the father's parental rights should not be terminated for willfully failing to visit the child where it was undisputed that he had no visitation with the child in the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, there was no evidence that he was thwarted in any effort to visit the child by the mother, and he placed all the onus to schedule and facilitate visitation on the mother and the stepfather. In re Brookelyn W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 141 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to terminate the mother's parental rights to her children based on abandonment where in addition to having no face-to-face visits the mother conceded she had not sent gifts or cards or otherwise attempted any contact with the children during the relevant four-month period or in the years since the children left Kentucky. In re E.G.H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 216 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2015), appeal denied, In re Elaina G. H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 518 (Tenn. June 19, 2015).

It was not error to find a mother's visitation with the mother's child during a relevant period was “token,” for purposes of termination of parental rights, because (1) the mother visited only twice, (2) the mother's claim of lack of transportation was unavailing, and (3) the mother did not address the finding on appeal. In re Alexis B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 220 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 14, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment for willfully failing to support the children in the four months immediately preceding her incarceration because, inter alia, the mother conceded that she paid “little support” since the parties'  divorced and was paid “under the table” for cleaning houses; the mother was capable of working and offered no justifiable excuse for failing to maintain employment and pay child support. In re D.H.B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment for failure to visit because the visitations that occurred were token at best; and the mother brought additional parties to the visitations rather than spending that time with the children focusing on bonding and spending one-on-one time with them. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 328 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper based on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the children's welfare because the mother abused illegal substances prior to her incarceration; and she failed to make even minimal efforts to maintain contact with the children or the Tennessee Department of Children's Services in order to work towards reunification with the children. In re Addison B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 328 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 13, 2015).

For purposes of establishing abandonment by failure to pay child support, the relevant four-month period is October 14, 2013 through February 13, 2014, this latter date being the day before the filing of the petition. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Mother was aware of her child support obligations and she made some payments, but she was over $ 4,000 in arrears and the brief period she unintentionally worked without pay did not excuse her failure to pay support during the entire four-month period at issue, plus she did not resume making payments until months after the petition was pending; the mother willfully failed to pay child support and the trial court did not err in terminating her rights on the ground of abandonment by willful non-support. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Evidence indicated safety hazards and environmental issues with the mother's home, and her pattern of inviting manipulative and abusive men into her home and life was at the heart of the problem, and more than a year after the child was removed, the mother was no closer to being able to provide the child with a suitable home; the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based on her failure to provide a suitable home. In re K.G.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2015).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper because she abandoned the child by willfully failing to support the child as she failed to pay child support; the fact that the mother provided food, clothing, and drinks during visits with her daughter constituted mere token support, which was not sufficient to preclude a finding of a willful failure to support; and she was aware of her duty to support the child, she had the ability to provide support, and she willfully failed to do so. In re Faith W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 360 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2015).

Trial court did not err in terminating the father's parental rights, as the evidence did not preponderate against the findings in support of its determination that the father abandoned the child by exhibiting a wanton disregard for her welfare; the father engaged in sexual conduct with the child for years. In re T.L.G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 369 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2015).

Termination of the father's parental rights based on willful abandonment was supported by evidence that the father's failure to visit was willful and of his own free will, as the father moved to Puerto Rico and made no effort to locate the children in order to visit them. In re Ariana S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 28, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Aug. 24, 2015).

Trial court erred in finding abandonment by failure to support, as the only proof in support of a finding that the father had the ability to pay was his testimony that he was employed six years earlier, which was not clear and convincing evidence of his ability to pay support in the four months proceeding his incarceration. In re Ariana S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 28, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 705 (Tenn. Aug. 24, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the child prior to the father's incarceration because, inter alia, the father had a lengthy history of criminal conduct, repeated episodes of incarceration throughout the child's life, and abused prescription and non-prescription drugs; the father traded food stamps for drugs even though there was often very little food for the child to eat. In re William B., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 467 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 11, 2015).

During the relevant four-month period, the father visited the children only once, and one visit during a four-month period constitutes only token visitation, at best; the father had no excuse for failing to visit, his failure was willful, and the facts provided clear evidence that he abandoned his children. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

In this case, the petition was filed on February 7, 2014, and thus the relevant four-month period for abandonment purposes began on October 7, 2013 and ended on February 6, 2014. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

During the relevant four-month period, the father visited the children only once, and one visit during a four-month period constitutes only token visitation, at best; the father had no excuse for failing to visit, his failure was willful, and the facts provided clear evidence that he abandoned his children. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

In this case, the petition was filed on February 7, 2014, and thus the relevant four-month period for abandonment purposes began on October 7, 2013 and ended on February 6, 2014. In re Bonnie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 12, 2015).

Evidence clearly and convincingly supported a finding that the parents willfully abandoned their daughter by willfully failing to support her, as it showed that they never paid her primary residential parents any support despite having the capacity to do so. In re Makenzie L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 17, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Oct. 15, 2015).

Mother willfully failed to visit the child from March 2013 through September 2013, prior to her incarceration, and thus she had willfully failed to visit the child during the determinative four-month period immediately preceding the mother's incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition and the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based upon this statutory ground. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's determination that the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to support her during the determinative period prior to the mother's incarceration; she presented no evidence indicating that she had any conditions other than her addiction problems that prevented her from working, and she was capable of employment when not hindered by substance abuse and criminal activity, and termination was proper. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Mother willfully failed to visit the child from March 2013 through September 2013, prior to her incarceration, and thus she had willfully failed to visit the child during the determinative four-month period immediately preceding the mother's incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition and the trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights based upon this statutory ground. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's determination that the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to support her during the determinative period prior to the mother's incarceration; she presented no evidence indicating that she had any conditions other than her addiction problems that prevented her from working, and she was capable of employment when not hindered by substance abuse and criminal activity, and termination was proper. In re Kayden H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 493 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Statutory ground of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home was inapplicable to the father because the child resided with the mother prior to her exit from the home and the filing of the emergency petition for temporary custody. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Trial court erred in finding that the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit him because the evidence was insufficient to support its finding that the father's visitation with the child during the statutorily determinative period was only token; the father visited the child on seven to eight occasions during the four-month determinative period. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Statutory ground of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home was inapplicable to the father because the child resided with the mother prior to her exit from the home and the filing of the emergency petition for temporary custody. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Trial court erred in finding that the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit him because the evidence was insufficient to support its finding that the father's visitation with the child during the statutorily determinative period was only token; the father visited the child on seven to eight occasions during the four-month determinative period. In re Jayden B.T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015), appeal denied, In re Jayden T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 818 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2015).

Trial court properly found clear evidence of abandonment through willful failure to support, as the evidence was unclear whether one payment the father made was made within the determinative period, plus he was unable to show that he had paid any support during the relevant period other than one payment; one payment would, at most, have constituted mere token support. In re Destaney D., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 495 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Trial court did not err by terminating the father's parental rights to his son for abandonment where the evidence showed that the father did not visit his son during the relevant four-month period and his failure to do so was willful, despite the fact that he was living in a sober living facility during those months, because he was able to arrange visits and contact with individuals outside the facility but did not make such arrangements for his son. In re Gavin G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 500 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit because the mother had numerous opportunities to visit with the child but was a “no-show,” the mother did not visit or ask to visit the child for an appreciable time period, and on one occasion when the mother did visit the child, the mother appeared intoxicated and ended the visitation early. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support because the juvenile court set an order of child support, which was signed by the mother's attorney, but the mother never paid child support despite having a job for a period of time. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the mother engaged in drug use and abuse, including during the pregnancy, engaged in criminal activity, and was periodically incarcerated; the mother refused to tend to the child's physical, emotional, and medical conditions. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment by wanton disregard because the father reasonably suspected that he might be the child's biological father when he committed the offenses that resulted in his probation being revoked, and the father was written up during his incarceration for fighting after he was on notice that he might be the child's biological father. In re Serenity L., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 622 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 31, 2015).

Department elected not to defend the abandonment statutory ground for termination and had not presented an argument that the ground was tried by implied consent, and thus the finding regarding the ground of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home was reversed. In re Alleyanna C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 642 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2015).

For almost all of his life, the child's relationship with his mother had been built during scheduled visits, many of which she failed to attend, and the mother's claim of interference was unfounded, such that the trial court's finding that she abandoned the child through a willful failure to visit was not contrary to the preponderance of the evidence. In re L.J., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015).

Mother paid approximately 10 percent of the amount owed that year, but still her failure to make progress during the two years the child was in foster care was outside the scope of the abandonment determination; it was unclear whether or not the payments were insignificant given the mother's means, if the Department of Children's Services expects a finding of a willful failure to support, it must put on evidence that clearly shows willfulness, a trial court cannot be left to speculate about this, and the trial court's finding that the mother abandoned the child through a willful failure to make payments was not supported. In re L.J., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 696 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a willful failure to visit, because the evidence showed the mother did not make use of multiple opportunities to visit the children, showing willfulness. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence did not support terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a failure to support, because the trial court's findings were insufficient. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a failure to establish a suitable home and lack of concern, because, in the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, the mother did not have a stable residence and did not visit the children, and the mother's failure to arrive on time for the termination hearing showed a continued lack of concern for the children. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a willful failure to visit, because the evidence showed the mother did not make use of multiple opportunities to visit the children, showing willfulness. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence did not support terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a failure to support, because the trial court's findings were insufficient. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights for abandonment, due to a failure to establish a suitable home and lack of concern, because, in the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, the mother did not have a stable residence and did not visit the children, and the mother's failure to arrive on time for the termination hearing showed a continued lack of concern for the children. In re A.C.S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 767 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2015).

Evidence preponderated against the trial court's findings that an unmarried parent failed to support the parent's children in the four months preceding the parent's incarceration because the evidence was undisputed that the parent did provide monetary support for the children during the relevant time period. Specifically, the parent's payment of $1,300, from the parent's income tax return, to the other parent during the four months preceding incarceration was more than a token amount, given the parent's means. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Parent engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the parent's children, which constituted a ground for terminating the parental rights of the parent, because the parent admitted to being a drug addict who was at times “high” in the presence of the children. Furthermore, the parent admitted to probation violations for driving on a revoked license and various criminal charges. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Evidence was not clear and convincing that an unmarried parent abandoned the parent's children by willfully failing to visit them because the parent did visit the children during the four months preceding the parent's incarceration, including overnight on a weekend, and apparently sought to continue visitation following an altercation with the other parent. In re Malina W., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 799 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).

Clear evidence supported the finding of abandonment by willful failure to visit; the mother willfully failed to comply with an order of the trial court, and her efforts to comply with conditions to have visitation reinstated with the child were too little, too late. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Taking the department's assertion as true that clear evidence did not exist as to certain abandonment grounds, the trial court's decision to terminate the mother's rights based on these grounds was reversed. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Four-month period for purposes of establishing abandonment by failure to visit and support was September 11, 2014 until January 11, 2015, the day before the petition was filed. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

In the absence of appropriate findings and conclusions regarding the mother's payment of support, it could not be determined whether her failure to support the children was willful, and the decision to terminate her rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support was vacated. In re Jaylah W., 486 S.W.3d 537, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 94 (Tenn. Feb. 1, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported a trial court's finding that a mother willfully abandoned her children by failing to support them because the mother was aware of her duty to pay support of $ 40 per week, there was no proof that the mother was unable to work or had a condition which necessitated her resignation, and providing diapers during visitation was a requirement of the permanency plan and did not satisfy the requirement to provide financial support. In re Nolan G., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 825 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 7, 2015).

Ground of abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home was met by clear and convincing evidence where it showed that the child was found to be dependent and neglected and was placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the father was incarcerated and his sentence would expire in 2017, and the caseworker testified that her attempts to gain information to establish a suitable home for the child was thwarted by her inability to keep in contact with the father and his mother. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to incarceration was vacated where both the trial court and the father miscalculated the relevant four-month period and did not consider the four months immediately preceding the father's incarceration. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent through wanton disregard was met by clear and convincing evidence based on the father's criminal history, his admitted drug abuse, and his neglect of the child while in his custody. In re Abbigail C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 856 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2015).

Mother and step-father's petition seeking to terminate the parental rights of the father was properly denied because the evidence did not support the findings that the father's failure to visit the child or to pay child support were willful as he exercised regular visitation with the child for the first five years of her life, but the situation changed when the mother became engaged to the step-father as the mother took steps that made it much more difficult for the father to exercise visitation with the child, and she took unreasonable steps restricting his access to the child; she failed to provide the father with the mailing address where she and the child resided; and she interfered with the father's ability to pay child support. In re Kiara S., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 881 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2015), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 86 (Tenn. Jan. 28, 2016).

Termination of a father's parental rights based upon abandonment was proper because the father did not visit or contact the child within the four months preceding his incarceration, and the record did not reflect that the father seriously attempted to visit the child or that he was prevented from doing so. Additionally, the father had a laundry list of criminal offenses in conjunction with his lengthy history of drug abuse. In re Thomas T., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 907 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2015).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights due to abandonment where the evidence provided by the child's mother, her new husband, and the father showed that he willfully failed to visit the child and he presented no proof he or his agent appeared at the meeting location in the four months preceding the filing of the termination of parental rights petition. In re Hope A., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 914 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2015).

Trial court erred in not finding that the father abandoned the child by willfully failing to support her where he never presented medical proof documenting a disability, he was unsuccessful in obtaining disability benefits and did not provide evidence of an inability to work during the relevant four-month period, and he spent the money he was given by his mother on pain medication and gave none to his child. In re Hope A., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 914 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2015).

Termination of a parent's parental rights to a minor child, on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit, was appropriate because the parent failed to visit the child during the four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate the parent's rights and for adoption of the child. Although the parent filed a petition seeking visitation, when the parent alleged interference with visitation had occurred, the petition was dismissed for the parent's failure to advance the petition. In re B.C., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 964 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2015).

Trial court did not err in finding that grounds existed to terminate the father's parental rights to the children for abandonment by wanton disregard; the father was incarcerated at the time of the filing of the termination petition, and prior to that, he attacked two of the children and was found to have committed severe abuse, plus he attacked the mother with a baseball bat and had pleaded guilty to the offenses, which amounted to wanton disregard for the children's welfare. In re Kyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 986 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2015).

During the determinative time period, the mother was unable to make reasonable efforts toward establishing a suitable home and department personnel were constrained in their efforts to assist her; the trial court's judgment regarding the abandonment ground was reversed. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence existed that the father abandoned the child through his conduct prior to incarceration by exhibiting wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Department made reasonable efforts to assist the father in obtaining a suitable home while he was able to make progress in that regard, but then he was incarcerated primarily due to his own choices, and he would not be eligible for parole until July 2016; the father was in no position at the time of trial to provide a suitable home for the child, and thus the father abandoned the child pursuant to the statutory ground of failure to provide a suitable home. In re Aaliyah E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 36 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2016).

Burden to prove abandonment by willful failure to support rests with the department; finding no clear evidence that the mother had the capacity to pay child support during the relevant four month period, the trial court's finding of abandonment for willful failure to support was vacated. In re Saliace P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 37 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016).

Termination was proper under the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, given that the mother failed to make reasonable efforts to provide a suitable home and she demonstrated a lack of concern for the children to such a degree that it appeared unlikely that she would be able to provide a suitable home at an early date. In re Saliace P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 37 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental rights for abandonment due to failure to support was supported by evidence that he had the means to provide support for the child but did not. In re Riley C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 113 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2016).

Termination of the father's parental rights for abandonment due to failure to visit was supported by evidence that he made no attempts to restore visitation for more than seven months after the child's mother died, supporting a finding his failure was willful. In re Riley C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 113 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights for abandonment where it showed that despite her having appropriate housing and a job, she failed to make child support payments since August 2014. In re A'leah M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 136 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the juvenile court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights for abandonment-willful failure to visit where it showed that she did not visit her child in person during the four-month period immediately preceding the date the petition to terminate was filed, she failed to submit to drug screens that were her only obstacle to visiting her child, and her telephone conversations with the four-year-old child were not a sufficient substitute for in-person visitation. In re Candace J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 186 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the juvenile court's decision to terminate the mother's parental rights for abandonment-failure to provide a suitable home where the Tennessee Department of Children's Services made reasonable efforts to assist her in establishing a suitable home for the child and the mother made no effort to establish a suitable home. In re Candace J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 186 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2016).

Even though the trial court erred by terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment for willfully failing to pay child support, because the record showed that he was receiving Supplemental Security Income and then Social Security Disability Income benefits, the trial court did not err by terminating his rights for failure to provide a suitable home, because the record showed that none of the homes he lived in was suitable for the child. In re Benjamin A., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 187 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 14, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights based on willful failure to visit where the evidence showed that he had substantial contact with the child within the four-month period, including that they were together, along with the mother, every day during July 2013 and they lived together the first week of August 2013. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Trial court did not err in declining to terminate the father's parental rights based on willful failure to support where the record contained some evidence that the father and his family were supporting the child during the early weeks of the four-month period and the record did not contain sufficient evidence regarding the father's expenses. In re Ashton B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 188 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. LEXIS 512 (Tenn. July 6, 2016).

Termination of a parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence supported a trial court's finding of abandonment by wanton disregard because the parent's pre-incarceration criminal activity and drug use constituted wanton disregard for the welfare of the parent's child. In re Tristan B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2016).

Termination of the father's rights for abandonment by wanton disregard was affirmed; in part, the father's own testimony at trial reflected his lengthy history of drug abuse and criminal activity. In re Aniston M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 309 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2016).

While the father did not pay child support during the relevant four-month period, the evidence was insufficient to support termination of his parental rights based on abandonment, because the Department of Children's Services failed to prove that the father had the capacity to support the child but did not do so. In re Jimmy B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 321 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 11, 2016).

Juvenile court erred in finding the ground of wanton disregard to terminate the father's parental rights, when the father was incarcerated for less than 24 hours. In re Kaitlin W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 16, 2016).

Given that the mother engaged in meaningful visitation in the four months preceding her incarceration, and the trial court failed to identify the four-month period that applied to the father, the application of this abandonment ground was reversed because there was no clear evidence that either parent willfully failed to visit during the requisite time period. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Record supported the finding of abandonment based upon the father's conduct prior to incarceration, which demonstrated a wanton disregard for the children's welfare, as he engaged in domestic violence against the mother in the presence of the children, and he failed to address his mental health and substance abuse issues. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

While the mother was commended for taking the first step toward rehabilitation by renouncing her substance abuse, her extensive criminal activity and substance abuse issues could not be ignored; she also disregarded the children's welfare by leaving them with the father, who assaulted her and others, and thus there was clear evidence to establish that the mother engaged in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children, and termination was proper. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Plan requirements were reasonable and related to remedying the conditions that led to the children's removal from the home, and the mother met some requirements, but termination was based on her failure to not meet other requirements; the application of this statutory ground was reversed because the mother diligently completed the requirements to the best of her ability and there was no clear evidence of substantial noncompliance. In re Charles K., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 344 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 19, 2016).

Because there was no dispute that Mother was incarcerated at the time of the filing of the termination petition, either of two abandonment definitions contained in the statute could apply in this case; although the latter definition was not pleaded, as the parties discussed the mother's visitation at length and neither party objected to evidence in this regard, it was considered whether the mother willfully failed to visit in the four months prior to her incarceration. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

Trial court was not entitled to terminate the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent through wanton disregard because the termination petition did not sufficiently allege this ground, it was not referenced in the trial court's prior order, and it was not tried by implied consent. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

While the trial court did find that the mother did not visit the child, there was no finding that the mother's failure to do so was willful; because no other grounds were found by the trial court and sustained on appeal, the case was remanded for the trial court to address the willfulness issue. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 345 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 20, 2016).

Statute governing abandonment is clear that different time periods apply to different definitions. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

For the termination ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, this ground is inapplicable when the child is not removed from the parent at issue's home before being placed with the child services department; in this case, the child could not have been removed from the father's home where he never provided one in the first instance, and thus this ground did not apply based on the dearth of evidence to establish whether the child was ever removed from the father's home. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Department made reasonable efforts to assist the mother in establishing a suitable home for the children in continually maintaining contact with the mother, providing her with drug screens, and assisting her with coordinating drug and alcohol assessments; while the mother's home was neat and clean, she had been unable to stop her cocaine abuse, and thus while she established a proper physical living location, her home was not free of drugs, plus she was currently incarcerated and could not provide a home at all for the children. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Because of the grave consequences and high stakes in termination cases, trial courts should endeavor to be as specific as possible in their orders and treat each definition of abandonment as a separate ground for which specific findings are required In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

For abandonment by willful failure to support as to the mother, the trial court's oral ruling included detailed factual findings, but none appeared or were incorporated into the written order; mere legal conclusions did not fulfill the trial court's obligations and were not sufficient to satisfy the directive of the statute, such that termination as to this ground was vacated. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

For abandonment by willful failure to visit as to the father, despite the incorrect date as stated in the order, the ground was considered as the trial court's error of five days regarding the correct calculation of the four-month period was not determinative. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Trial court's determination that the father, for abandonment purposes, exhibited a wanton disregard for the child was vacated; despite the abundance of evidence concerning the father's drug use, charges of selling drugs, fleeing, and assault, probation violations, and transient lifestyle, the trial court's order omitted reference to any factual findings that would support a finding of wanton disregard, in clear violation of the statute. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Statute did not direct the court to review whether the father did what he could to maintain a relationship with the child while in prison; what was to be determined was whether, in the four-months preceding his incarceration, the father attempted to visit the child, and yet he made no attempt to present himself to the trial court in an effort to regain visitation, and thus he willfully failed to visit the child prior to his incarceration. In re Navada N., 498 S.W.3d 579, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 367 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016).

Termination of parental rights for failure to remedy persistent conditions was proper because there was clear and convincing evidence that the conditions that led to the children's removal a year earlier still persisted and prevented their safe return, there was little likelihood that these conditions would be remedied at an early date so that the children could be safely returned in the near future, and continuation of the parent-child relationship diminished the children's chances of early integration into a safe, stable, and permanent home. In re Jayden L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 357 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016).

Termination of parental rights was appropriate because clear and convincing evidence established that the parent abandoned their child by willfully failing to remit child support before, during, and after the relevant time period. Although the parent had limited education and difficulty in securing employment, the parent never paid child support, other than token support or small gifts, throughout the entirety of the child's lifetime even when the parent was admittedly capable of working and actually employed at various times. In re Hailey S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 380 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 31, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (Tenn. Mar. 1, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights to her son based on abandonment where her monthly visits for four months were so infrequent and of such short duration that they constituted token visitation. The mother admitted she spent the majority of her time during the visits with her daughter instead of her son and only a limited relationship had been established between them. In re Jayvien O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Juvenile court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights because the finding that the mother failed to visit her child in the four months preceding the filing of the petition was supported by clear and convincing evidence; the mother gave no testimony upon which to conclude that her failure to visit the child during that period was not willful. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Abandonment by failure to support as a ground for termination was not shown by clear and convincing evidence because there was no clear testimony as to when and where the mother was employed. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Because the juvenile court did not mention the failure to provide a suitable home in its oral ruling, the fact that they were included in the order did not reflect the juvenile court's own deliberation and decision that termination would be granted on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home. In re Milli L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 7, 2016).

Termination of parental rights based upon abandonment, by a parent failing to provide a suitable home, was appropriate because the parent was unlikely to be able to provide a suitable home at an early date. The parent's then home was unlivable as a water pipe was broken, and the parent had only begun addressing the parent's mental health issues, had no plans to stop taking narcotic pain medication, and showed a lack of cooperation with Tennessee Department of Children's Services. In re Bailey W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 10, 2016).

Trial court erred by terminating parental rights based on a parent having abandoned the parent's children, as the parent failed to provide any child support while the children were in foster care, because the evidence was less than clear and convincing that the parent willfully failed to support the children as the parent, during the applicable four month period, was unemployed, apparently lived with various friends and family members, did not have a high school education, and was out of the work force during marriage. In re Bailey W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 408 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 10, 2016).

There was testimony that the mother failed to follow through on referrals for employment, that she was receiving financial support from her father, and that she was able to secure sufficient funds to be released on bond after being arrested for failure to support; she had the capacity to work or otherwise acquire funds to pay support in the four months preceding the filing of the petition and she consciously did not do so, and this failure was willful. In re Quadavon H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 416 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 16, 2016).

Abandonment by failure to secure a suitable home was not established, since an order adjudicating the children as dependent and neglected was not found. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

There was clear evidence that the mother abandoned her children by exhibiting wanton disregard for their welfare, as she was incarcerated for the requisite time period, she had an extensive history of criminal behavior, she was addicted to opiates for years, and her probation had been revoked for multiple violations. In re Aiden R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 420 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 23, 2016).

There was clear and convincing evidence that the father abandoned the child by failing to visit her, as he had no excuse for not visiting the child from the time she was less than two years old until the hearings and the father was free and able to make such visits. In re Tianna B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 471 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 6, 2016).

All evidence indicated that the parents failed to make necessary changes to ensure that their home was sanitary, and the findings that their parental rights could be terminated on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; photographs were admitted into evidence showing, in part, bugs throughout the house, animal feces and urine on the floors and beds, beer cans scattered throughout, and continuing clutter in the home. In re Derrick J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 477 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 8, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper as the mother abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit because, even giving the mother credit for the one visit in June, which was rescheduled, and accepting the mother's testimony that she visited in March, her visitation during the four month period preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights could not be viewed as regular visitation; and the mother gave no explanation as to why she did not, or could not, have visited more often during the relevant time period. In re Bryson C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper as the mother did not abandon the child by willfully failing to pay child support as the evidence failed to show that the mother had the ability to pay child support during the relevant four month period preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights. In re Bryson C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 498 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights due to abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the mother (1) did not make use of the Department of Children's Services'  efforts to assist the mother, (2) had no stable home, and (3) continued to abuse drugs and alcohol. In re S.D.D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 532 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment where it showed that he was sentenced to 130 months in prison on February 25, 2013 and since the child's birth the father engaged in violent behavior, abused drugs, and committed acts that resulted in a lengthy prison sentence. In re A.E.T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 537 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 26, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to visit where the children's great-grandmother's actions did not prevent the mother visiting the children and the mother failed to visit the children for four months preceding her incarceration. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to support where the job opportunity she turned down did not occur during or prior to the relevant four months such that it would affect her income during the determinative period. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the children where she was involved in criminal activity and used illegal drugs. In re Selena L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 538 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2016).

In a termination of parental rights case, the trial court did not err in finding that the mother had abandoned the child because the mother had been convicted of driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, sale of counterfeit controlled substance, delivery of Schedule III controlled substance, shoplifting, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and had pled guilty to two violations of probation, which constituted the kind of conduct that exhibited wanton disregard for the welfare of a child. In re Kendra P., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 544 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2016).

Although the trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard and for failure to support the children, termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by willfully failing to visit the children because the father did not visit the children during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate the father's rights; and the father was released from prison in late 2014, but up until the time of the hearing on November 19, 2015, he had not visited with the children a single time. In re Keith W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016).

Trial court erred in terminating the father's parental rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard because the father was released from incarceration in October 2014, and the petition to terminate was not filed until June 2015; and the father was not incarcerated at the time of the filing of the petition or during the four months immediately preceding the institution of the action. In re Keith W., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 557 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2016).

Grandmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the mother abandoned her son by willfully failing to support him where during the four-month period preceding the filing of the petition the mother made seven child support payments and her support was more than token, given that she was released from jail three weeks before the beginning of the four-month period, she was pregnant, and she lacked a driver's license or transportation. In re Ryder R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 570 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 5, 2016).

Evidence did not clearly and convincingly support a finding that the mother's failure to visit the child was willful, as required for a finding of abandonment, because the mother's supervised visits were “canceled” when the paternal grandmother's husband became ill, the day of visitation got changed, and the mother was unable to attend due to her work schedule. In re Jaiden C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 18, 2016).

Termination of parental rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home was supported by evidence that the father was incarcerated when the child was taken into custody and, thus, was not then providing a suitable home, failed to provide a suitable home once released, and the mother remained incarcerated and unable to provide a home for the child. In re D.R.S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 631 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2016).

Termination of parental rights based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent was supported by evidence that the father violated probation and the mother continued to use drugs and alcohol, resulting in their incarceration. In re D.R.S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 631 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2016).

Juvenile court properly terminated a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because he was incarcerated during the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination, and he willfully failed to visit and support the child; the father had only seen the child once since the child was born, and despite being ordered to do so, the father never paid any child support until several months after the filing of the termination petition. In re Braxton R., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 660 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2016).

Trial court did not err in terminating the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by wanton disregard, given that the mother's conduct prior to her incarceration constituted wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; the mother had been in and out of jail, abused drugs, and did not show any effort to provide the child with the stability he needed. In re Zachariah G., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 665 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 8, 2016).

Abandonment by failure to support was proven against the mother by clear and convincing evidence, given that she owed over $ 6,000 in child support arrears, yet she earned between $ 200 - $ 450 each week cleaning houses after the children were removed from the home, and she was aware of her duty to provide support and yet made no attempt to pay more than token support and had no justifiable excuse for not providing support. In re C.C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 701 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Termination of the mother's rights was proper on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; the prior adjudication of dependency and neglect criterion was met in this case, the mother lacked a suitable home for the children, as it did not have sufficient bedrooms, and the mother's ability to set proper boundaries for the children, who had significant mental issues and had been abused in the past, was questionable. In re Jasmine B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 709 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2016).

Father's failure to visit the child was willful, and thus termination of the father's rights was proper; the father was not incarcerated for the first year of the child's life, he claimed his addictions prevented him from visiting the child, and it appeared that the father's failure to visit was a conscious choice, not that he was prevented from doing so. In re Elizabeth D., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 706 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Juvenile court erred in finding that a mother abandoned her children because although there was sufficient evidence that the mother willfully failed to visit her children, the time frame only accounted for two months of the relevant time period; there was sufficient evidence that the mother attempted to visit the children on two occasions, and there was not evidence that she was offered assistance or alternative transportation. In re Jason S., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 715 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2016).

Terminating a father's parental rights for abandonment due to a willful failure to visit was proper because (1) the father's visitation was token, as, during the four months before the termination petition was filed, the father visited only twice, leaving after one hour of a two-hour visit, and the father's phone calls did not try to establish a healthy parental relationship, and (2) the failure to visit was willful, as, despite knowing more than token visitation was required and an ability to visit, the father did not attempt more visitation. In re Jose L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 814 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Evidence did not support a finding that a father abandoned the father's children by failing to provide a suitable home because the father obtained sufficient housing during the relevant time period and maintained appropriate housing through trial. Moreover, there was insufficient evidence that the father's relationship with mother, who had a problem with the use of drugs, rendered the father's home unsuitable. In re Jeramyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Termination of a father's parental rights was appropriate because the Tennessee Department of Childrens Services proved by clear and convincing evidence that the father abandoned the father's children by willful failure to support them in that the father's failure to pay child support during the relevant four-month period before the filing of the petition for termination was willful, as the father was consistently employed during the period and did not argue inability to pay. Furthermore, termination was in the children's best interest. In re Jeramyah H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 2016).

Trial court properly found that the father abandoned the child based on his engagement in conduct prior to incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; since the child was approximately 21 months old, the father had engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, which has culminated in a prison sentence of approximately 15 years. In re Maddox C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 860 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2016).

Ground of failure to provide a suitable home was proven by clear and convincing evidence where the mother's home could not be deemed suitable so long as she refused to cooperate fully regarding her abuse of prescription drugs. In re Dillon E., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 872 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 15, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a father's parental rights on grounds of abandonment because the father, even before the father's incarceration, both willfully failed to visit, as the father failed to fulfill the father's responsibilities under the permanency plan to prove to the court the father was ready to resume visitation once it was suspended, and engaged in conduct exhibiting a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child. In re Mac L., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 883 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2016).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that a father had abandoned a child for willful failure to visit and failure to support where, despite knowing of the child, he made no effort to provide support, visit the child, or establish a relationship, and he had not initiated contact with the child after meeting with the state agency. In re M.E.T., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 899 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2016), appeal denied, In re Miguel T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 152 (Tenn. Mar. 3, 2017).

Termination for abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home was reversed, given that the trial court impermissibly based its decision in part on facts outside of the applicable four-month period defined in the statute, which would have been four months following the removal of the children from the mother's home. In re Eddie F., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 924 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 2, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 158 (Tenn. Mar. 2, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported terminating a mother's parental rights due to a failure to establish a suitable home and lack of concern because the mother did not engage in gainful employment, resulting in the mother continuing to reside with the person accused of abusing her child. In re Casey C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 966 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Jan. 25, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to visit was supported by evidence that the mother failed to visit the child during the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition and that the mother's failure to willful, as her relapse into drug use did not incapacitate her or make her physically unable to keep up with responsibilities and she admitted she avoided contact with the Department of Children's Services because she feared the caseworker would learn of her continued drug use. In re Lynx C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 977 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 20, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to support was not supported by evidence, as the record lacked any evidence related to the mother's wages, expenses, or other financial responsibilities. In re Lynx C., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 977 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 20, 2016).

Father's parental rights could not be terminated based on abandonment by willful failure to visit, as the evidence showed that the father attempted to visit the child but could not get visits arranged. In re Heaven J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 979 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2016).

Father's parental rights could not be terminated based on abandonment by willful failure to support, as the record contained no evidence regarding his income, ability to work, or expenses during the relevant time period. In re Heaven J., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 979 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2016).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment due to conduct amount to a wanton disregard for the children's welfare and nonsupport was supported by evidence the mother had been incarcerated on several occasions for using drugs and the mother had the ability to provide support but failed to due to her decision to use drugs and not seek employment as a result of the drug use. In re Sophie O., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 985 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2016).

Trial court properly found that the father's failure to support could not be considered willful because he made sincere efforts to provide support, yet his efforts were rebuffed by the mother; therefore, the mother failed to provide grounds to terminate the father's parental rights to the child. In re Neylan H., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 997 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 175 (Tenn. Mar. 14, 2017).

Grounds to terminate the father's parental rights for abandonment by wanton disregard had been proven by clear and convincing evidence, as he was incarcerated at the time the termination petition was filed, and he engaged in conduct prior to his incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child, which included kidnapping his girlfriend with the child in the car. In re Cheyanna B., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 1000 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016).

Trial court erred in termination the mother's parental rights based on abandonment due to wanton disregard, because the evidence of the mother's pre-incarceration conduct, her show of care and concern for the children, effort to establish a meaningful relationship with them, and her completion of tasks on the permanency plan, did not support such a finding. In re Renaldo M., — S.W.3d —, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 1003 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2016), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 90 (Tenn. Feb. 7, 2017).

Record was devoid of any evidence that the department made any efforts related to housing during the relevant time period, and thus there was no clear evidence to establish that the mother abandoned the children by failing to provide a suitable home, and termination based on this ground was reversed. In re Yariel S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 6, 2017).

Trial court did not err in terminating a mother's parental rights to her children because the evidence clearly and convincingly established that mother abandoned the children; the mother failed to maintain housing, missed appointments for drug and alcohol assessments, failed to maintain legal means of income, failed or refused drug screens, and missed psychological evaluations. In re A.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's determination that the mother willfully failed to visit her children because she failed to visit them during the relevant four-month period and the record showed that the Department of Children's Services tried to schedule drug screens in an effort to facilitate the mother's visitation but that she failed to communicate with them. In re S.P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 41 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2017).

There was clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the parents'  rights for failing to provide a suitable home because it showed that their case manager showed them the hazards in the home that needed to be remedied, the parents made little or no attempt to provide their children with a suitable home, and both parents continued to struggle with substance abuse and ran afoul of the law. In re Kayla B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 66 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

There was not clear and convincing evidence to support the termination of the parents'  rights for abandonment under because, although they did not pay child support during the relevant time period, there was no evidence of either parent's income or available resources during the four months immediately preceding their incarcerations. In re Kayla B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 66 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's rights for the willful failure to visit because it was undisputed that the father had not seen the children for approximately six years and there was no indication in the record that he had made any attempt to seek visitation. In re Anna B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 70 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2017).

Mother's extensive criminal record and involvement in a domestic altercation with a paramour who lived in her home and had previously been arrested for domestic assault supported termination of the mother's rights based on abandonment by exhibiting wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re John J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2017).

Evidence that the mother knew she had to support her child but failed to do so because her alcohol and drug addiction, supported the termination of her parental rights based on abandonment by wilfully failing to support the child. In re John J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2017).

Evidence that the mother engaged in no more than token visitation within the meaning of T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(C), supported the termination of her parental rights based on abandonment by wilfully failing to visit. In re John J., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2017).

Evidence was not clear and convincing as to the ground of a mother's willful failure to visit because the children's grandfather kept detailed logs on the mother's visits, and it was evidence from the logs that the mother visited 43 or 44 times; even if the mother visited 17 times in the relevant four-month period preceding the filing of the petition, as initially asserted, the court of appeals would be hard-pressed to deem that token visitation. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Evidence relevant to the trial court's findings on the issue of a father's alleged willful failure to visit did not rise to the level of clear and convincing because the children's grandfather testified that the father did visit many times. In re Karissa, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 134 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2017), appeal denied, In re Karissa V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 330 (Tenn. May 24, 2017).

Termination of the father's rights for failure to establish a suitable home was inappropriate where the evidence showed that the children lived in a different home from the father at the time they were placed in foster care. In re Promise A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 177 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2017).

Termination of parental rights on the ground of abandonment by failure to visit and provide support was appropriate where his past visits and admission that he was not prevented from visiting showed that his failure to visit was willful, and he had not paid any child support despite the fact that he was working. In re Promise A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 177 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit was proper; the last meaningful contact the mother had with the child was in 2014, and although she knew where appellees and the child lived, she made no attempt to see the child or communicate with him. In re Charles A., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the finding that a father's parental rights were to be terminated on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay support because the evidence did not preponderate against the trial court's findings that the father had the ability to provide support, but chose not to provide support, during the four months preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights. In re Ja'miya T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 206 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2017).

Trial court properly denied grandparents'  petition to terminate parental rights because the grandparents failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence a willful failure to visit; the parents visited their child numerous times despite the restrictions imposed by the grandparents, and regardless of whether the grandparents were well-intentioned, their actions had the effect of significantly interfering with the parents'  efforts to visit the child. In re Sophia P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 207 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. June 13, 2017).

Trial court properly denied grandparents'  petition to terminate parental rights because the grandparents failed to prove willful failure to support by clear and convincing evidence; the record contained no evidence regarding the father's income, work record, or expenses during the pivotal time frame, and the limited evidence did not demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the mother had the capacity to provide support and lacked a justifiable excuse for failing to do so. In re Sophia P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 207 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 394 (Tenn. June 13, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment because it showed that he failed to engage in anything more than token visitation with the child for several months, while he was able to work and held numerous jobs, any money he made went to purchase drugs rather than to pay support for the child, and he engaged in criminal behavior to support his drug habit which led to his incarceration. In re Kira G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 246 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 18, 2017).

In the absence of any proof as to the father's income and expenses during either the four-month time period before his alleged incarceration, or during the four-month time period immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate his parental rights, the Department of Children's Services failed to show, by clear and convincing proof, that the father abandoned the child by willful failure to provide support. In re Damien G. M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 282 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 3, 2017).

When determining whether to terminate a father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to support the child, the absence of a court order to support the child did not show the father did not willfully fail to support the child because the father had a duty to support the child without such an order. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

It was error to terminate an incarcerated father's parental rights based on abandonment due to the father's willful failure to support the child because it was not found that the father had an ability to support the child during the four months before the father's incarceration. In re Jeremiah N., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 283 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 432 (Tenn. July 21, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the mother's parental rights based on her willful failure to visit the child because it showed that she attempted to set up visitation only once in the relevant four-month period, the father never refused visitation prior to the mother's theft charge, and the main reason the mother did not attempt to satisfy the conditions to regain visitation was because she could not pass the required drug screens. In re Addison P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 289 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment because it showed that he failed to establish a suitable home, he was incarcerated, and he engaged in illegal drug use. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

Evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's termination of the father's parental rights based on his willful failure to support the child because the trial court utilized an inappropriate four-month period, as it did not piece together the father's periods of non-incarceration prior to the filing of the termination petition. In re Travis H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 290 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 468 (Tenn. July 31, 2017).

Father had been incarcerated since September 18, 2015, and the proceedings to terminate his parental rights were instituted on January 12, 2016, putting his incarceration squarely within the definition of T.C.A. § 36-1-102; his conduct met the definition of abandonment by an incarcerated parent, and termination under T.C.A. § 36-1-113 was proper. In re Wesley P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 301 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 12, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 400 (Tenn. July 6, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights to the mother's child on the grounds of abandonment was appropriate because the mother wilfully failed to visit and to support the child in the four consecutive months preceding the filing of the petition for termination. In re Colby L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (Tenn. Aug. 15, 2017).

Abandonment was a ground for terminating a father's parental rights because clear and convincing evidence showed that the father engaged in conduct prior to the father's incarceration that evidenced a wanton disregard for the welfare of the father's children as the father engaged in criminal conduct, substance abuse, reckless behavior, and was incarcerated at times. Because of this conduct and behavior, the father was unable to establish a stable father-child relationship with the father's children. In re Casyn B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 361 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2017).

Termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment was supported by evidence that the parents failed to provide a suitable home, where the mother's mental health issues were addressed and the father participated in services to adequately parent the child. In re Lena G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 358 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 26, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper based on the ground of abandonment by willfully failing to make reasonable support payments because the record included a child support payment summary showing that the mother made child support payments for January through March 2016; thus, the mother did not fail to support the children during the four months prior to prior to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services filing its petition to terminate her parental rights. In re Skylar P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was improper based on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) did not make reasonable efforts to assist the mother with housing during the relevant statutory period as DCS only provided the mother with a list of housing resources and discussing with her the options she could afford; and, despite knowing that the mother had mental health issues, DCS did not look into the nature of the mother's mental health issues or considered how her mental health issues might have contributed to her substance abuse or inability to secure stable housing. In re Skylar P., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 417 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 21, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home, because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services did not meet its burden to show that it exercised reasonable efforts to assist the mother in obtaining suitable housing. In re Rylan G., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 429 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2017).

Because the mother was not incarcerated during the applicable time period, there was not clear and convincing evidence to support termination of her rights due to abandonment by an incarcerated parent. In re C.J.B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 436 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2017), appeal denied, In re Chaz B., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 624 (Tenn. Sept. 22, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was improper on the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and willful failure to visit, but proper on the ground of wanton disregard based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent because the mother testified to the abuse perpetrated by the father upon her while she was pregnant with the child; and the abuse described by the mother was of an especially cruel nature and directly imperiled the child as the father pushed her down some steps and she landed directly on her stomach, beat her with extension cords, and held her hostage at the home without allowing her to seek medical attention for her injuries and medical attention to assist with the birth of the child. In re Kenya H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017).

Termination of the father's parental rights was improper on the ground of abandonment based on willful failure to visit because, while the father's alleged excuses did indeed appear poor, there was insufficient evidence in the record upon which to make a clear and convincing determination as to the father's intent not to visit; and not all of the possible reasons for the father's failure to visit rose to the level of a willful failure to visit. In re Kenya H., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to support because it showed that the father made no monetary contributions to the children's support during the determinative period, Christmas gifts he provided in 2014 constituted no more than token support, he did not claim to have legitimate, extraordinary expenses that would have prevented him from sending payments, and he acknowledged that he was capable of earning income when not incarcerated but instead chose to spend his discretionary income on drugs. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment due to willful failure to visit because he did not dispute that he failed to visit the children or speak with them during the determinative period and admitted that his last visit with the children occurred in 2014. In re Braxton M., 531 S.W.3d 708, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 5, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 639 (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2017).

Termination of a mother's parental rights for abandonment by wanton disregard was improper where although she had many chances to become an appropriate parent, she repeatedly made poor decisions without regard for the child's safety. In re Zane W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 6, 2017), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 636 (Tenn. Sept. 25, 2017).

Termination of the father's rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113 was proper; while he exhibited the ability to provide support, his criminal behavior, probation violations, substance abuse, and incarcerations exhibited a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Termination of the mother's rights based on abandonment by wanton disregard under T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv), 36-1-113 was proper; the mother's chronic drug abuse and inability to maintain sobriety, plus her criminal behavior and unstable housing exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her children. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Father was allowed a total of 16 hours of visitation during the four-month period, but he used only two, plus his failure to participate in more than token visitation was willful; he said he had problems with transportation because he lost his license, and while he could ride with others, he had problems paying for gas, and thus the father abandoned the children by a willful failure to visit pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102(1)(A)(i), 36-1-113. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Because the mother and father were incarcerated during the four months prior to the department's filing of the petition for termination, the ground of abandonment by failure to visit, for purposes of T.C.A. §§ 36-1-102, 36-1-113, was not established. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home requires a final dependency and neglect order under T.C.A. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii); there was no final dependency and neglect order regarding the father because his adjudication as dependent and neglected was combined with the termination of parental rights trial, the department conceded this termination ground with respect to the mother's and father's rights to the child, and this was reversed, for purposes of T.C.A. § 36-1-113. In re Quintin S., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 480 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 2017).

Trial court erred in finding that a mother abandoned her child by willfully failing to support the child because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) offered no proof as to the mother's income or assets to establish an ability to pay; the proof suggested that the mother did not have the ability to pay because she was incarcerated at the time DCS filed the petition, and she testified to not having a job during the relevant four-month period and relying on friends for her need. In re Mya V., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 511 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 28, 2017).

Trial court did not err in terminating the father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit, as the father did not visit the child during the relevant four-month period, and, contrary to the father's contention, he did not appear to have made substantial efforts during the determinative period such that he was actively trying to maintain visitation with the child. In re Savanna C., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 592 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2017).

Father's parental rights were properly terminated on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to pay visit pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1), 36-1-102(1)(A), given that he willfully abandoned the children by failing to visit them, his engagement at the children's doctor's appointments was sporadic and amounted to no more than token visitation, and he failed to make any effort to spend time with the children until after the petition to terminate his rights was filed. In re Miracle M., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 593 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2017), appeal dismissed, — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. LEXIS 845 (Tenn. Nov. 30, 2017).

Trial court erred in finding clear and convincing evidence that a father's failure to visit was willful because weekly phone calls with the children did not constitute token visits; a Tennessee Department of Children's Services representative testified that during the relevant four-month time period, the father talked with the children about once a week, and the father visited them several times before he moved to another state. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Clear and convincing evidence to support the determination that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services proved abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home as to both a mother and a father because they exhibited such a lack of concern for the welfare of the children that it appeared unlikely they would be able to provide them with a suitable home at an early date; both parents had continuing problems with drug use and criminal activity failed to cooperate with the Department. In re Billy T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 641 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Finding of abandonment based on willful failure to support was not supported by the record, as the mother and step-father failed to present evidence to establish that the father willfully failed to support the child during the relevant period. In re Preston L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 649 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Finding of abandonment based on wanton disregard was not supported by the record, because, despite the father's incarceration, there was no evidence of a broader pattern of conduct that rendered the father unfit or posed a risk of substantial harm to the welfare of the child. In re Preston L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 649 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2017).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment because it showed that they had not remitted support in the two years prior to the filing of the termination petition despite periods of employment and food and gifts provided were token support. In re Brennen T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 681 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2017), review or rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 19 (Tenn. Jan. 9, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the parents'  rights based on abandonment because the record showed that the mother attended all but three or four visits during the entirety of the child's residency with his foster parents and the record was unclear as to the amount of visits the father missed. In re Brennen T., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 681 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 23, 2017), review or rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 19 (Tenn. Jan. 9, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights was proper on grounds of abandonment, given that she failed to provide a suitable home despite reasonable efforts by the Department of Children's Services. In re B.L., — S.W.3d —, 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 846 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2017).

Trial court erred by concluding that clear and convincing evidence existed to show that a mother willfully failed to support her children during the relevant four-month time period because the mother had just completed drug rehabilitation and was attempting to care for her newborn baby; the mother was unemployed for approximately two of the relevant four months, and she lived with several different members of her husband's family. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because evidence in the record did not provide clear and convincing proof that the mother's failure to visit the children was willful; an Alabama court order effectively prohibited the mother from visiting the children because she was not entitled to supervised visitation under that order, and she had an affirmative duty not to visit her children until she satisfied the conditions of the order. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment because the mother did not have the capacity to visit the children during the relevant time period; the mother testified, without contradiction, that she did not own a vehicle during the relevant four months, and the trial court did not make a specific finding rejecting that testimony. In re T.W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2017).

Termination of a father's parental rights was appropriate because the father abandoned the father's child as the father engaged in criminal behaviour and was incarcerated when the termination petition was filed, and exhibited behavior that displayed a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child prior to the father's incarceration. Neighbors testified that the child was not being fed regularly and that the father played dangerously with the child, while a case worker testified that the conditions in the home were unsafe for any child. In re Kandace D., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 4 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2018).

Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) failed to carry its burden of establishing abandonment by willful failure to support, as DCS presented no evidence of the mother's income or available resources during the relevant time period. In re Nashay B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 6 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 10, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (Tenn. Feb. 22, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment, by the father demonstrating a wanton disregard for the child's welfare, because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services failed to offer clear and convincing evidence that the father who was incarcerated knew of the child's existence when the father was engaging in the criminal behavior that demonstrated wanton disregard. In re Michael O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 42 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2018).

Chancery court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights because the evidence was less than clear and convincing that the mother willfully failed to support her children; the child's father and stepmother presented no evidence of the mother's income or available resources during the four months preceding the filing of the termination petition, and thus, there was no basis to find that the mother's failure to pay child support was willful. In re Alivia F., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 48 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment through willful failure to visit and support the child because he never appeared for any medical appointments despite the child's foster mother providing him with notice of all medical appointments, and he never provided financially for the child during the four months prior to his incarceration. In re Catherine J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment through wanton disregard because his testimony established that he was aware of the child's existence when the committed aggravated burglary, he never attempted to contact, visit, or develop a relationship with the child, and he never financially supported the child. In re Catherine J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 54 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence established that a mother abandoned a child by failing to provide a suitable home because the mother failed to maintain housing long enough for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services to confirm the mother's residency and its suitability and was without housing at the time of the hearing. The mother's failure to properly address the mother's living situation demonstrated a lack of concern for the child such that it appeared unlikely that the mother was able to provide a suitable home at an early date. In re Jabari B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 60 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 2, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the father's parental rights based on abandonment because he last saw his child in January 2017 in what the court considered to be a token visit and he did not visit the child during the four-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for termination. In re Taya K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 67 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 6, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the parents'  rights for abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home because it showed that the parents had continued to reside in an inappropriate home filled with lice, fleas, dog and cat feces, with insufficient food stores and they did not properly supervise the children. In re Mack E., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 71 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 9, 2018).

Termination of a father's parental rights to the father's child on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support was inappropriate because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services did not meet its burden to show that the father had the ability to pay support so as to establish that the father's failure to do so was willful. In re Victoria H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 108 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on willful failure to support because, given the frequency of the mother's incarcerations, her periods of non-incarceration were not as often as it would take to get a job. In re Homer, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 126 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights due to persistent conditions and abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home where the children had not been removed from her home as a result of a petition filed in the juvenile court, and there was no order removing the children from the home based on dependency, neglect, or abuse. In re Veronica T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 147 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failing to establish a suitable home because she moved in and out of friends'  homes for a couple of years, she moved in with a boyfriend who was a registered sex offender, and her mental illness rendered her unable to provide a stable, safe home for her children. In re Roderick R., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 192 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 461 (Tenn. July 12, 2018).

Mother's visits were more than perfunctory and were frequent enough to establish more than minimum contact with the child, and thus the mother's visitation did not meet the definition of token visitation, and the grandparents therefore failed to prove that the mother willfully failed to visit her child for abandonment purposes; the visitation was sufficient to continue the bond with the child, and the mother consistently maintained that she had problems obtaining reliable transportation. In re Addalyne S., 556 S.W.3d 774, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 225 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 26, 2018).

Ground for termination of the mother's parental rights of abandonment by failure to visit was not clearly and convincingly established because there was no evidence that the mother was unwilling to meet conditions in order to visit the child but that she was unable to do so. Upon leaving jail the mother's first call was to request permission to visit her child, petitioners, who had custody of the child, would not take the child to Georgia, the mother would not be permitted to take the child out of the home for overnight visitation, and petitioners advised the mother that she could not stay overnight with them. In re Emma S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 237 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 30, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by failure to establish a suitable home because it showed that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services provided her with a multitude of services in four months following the removal of the child, she made little to no effort to free herself from drugs, and she only sporadically attended counseling. The evidence showed that because the mother continued to associate with the father, despite the domestic violence he inflicted on her, it was unlikely that she would be able to provide a suitable home for the child at an early date. In re Isaiah B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 247 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 8, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights to her children because the record did not clearly and convincingly establish that her failure to pay support was willful; while there was some testimony with respect to the mother's income and expenses, the testimony did not establish what her income and expenses were during the period at issue, and as a consequence, there was not clear and convincing proof from which to conclude she had the capacity to pay support during that period. In re Emily J., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 254 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 9, 2018).

Trial court erred in terminating the mother's parental rights based on abandonment by willful failure to visit as the father and his current wife interfered with the mother's right to see her children or to communicate with them because the father did not have the right to unilaterally stop the mother's visitation, and he did not have the authority to convert the mother's unsupervised visitation to supervised visitation and then to use her failure to visit as a ground to terminate her parental rights; although the mother conceded that she abused alcohol during her marriage, she testified that she no longer drank and the children's testimony corroborated her statement; and the father blocked the mother from calling his cellular telephone. In re Justin P., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 273 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 17, 2018).

Evidence found by the trial court to be credible amounted to clear and convincing evidence that a mother's parental rights had to terminated because the mother had abandoned the child by failing to support the child; after the mother was released from prison, she sent no gifts, clothing, or food for the child, and she was able-bodied and working. In re D.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2018).

Evidence found by the trial court amounted to clear and convincing evidence to terminate a mother's parental rights for willful abandonment by failure to visit because the mother was permitted to contact the child by mail and had not done so; the mother continually failed to attempt to contact and/or visit her child, despite being aware of her duty to do so. In re D.T., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 24, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support because there was no proof introduced of the mother's income, employment (or willful unemployment), or expenses during the relevant time period from which the court could conclude that she had the capacity to pay support. In re Ethan B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 30, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to support the termination of mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to visit because the record did not contain clear and convincing proof that the mother's failure to visit was willful, as there was no proof as to the mother's capacity to visit or lack of an excuse for not visiting during the relevant period. In re Ethan B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 303 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 30, 2018).

Although the mother was unsuccessful in establishing a suitable home for the children, the department failed to show that it made reasonable efforts during the relevant four-month periods to assist her in obtaining suitable housing, which was required to prevail on the ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, and the judgment was reversed in this regard. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Evidence was clear and convincing that the mother's conduct exhibited a wanton disregard for the children's welfare and termination proper; two of the children tested positive for drugs, another child was born with drugs in her system, the mother relapsed twice after treatment, and she was incarcerated at different times during the pendency of this action. In re Mc, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 332 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment through wanton disregard of the child's welfare because the father had been involved in criminal activity and been convicted of some offenses after the child's birth; he had not consistently financially supported the child; and he had not paid child support since April 2015. In re Amynn K., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 20, 2018).

Evidence that parents domestic violence issues were ongoing and they had not been forthcoming with their drug use despite the reasonable efforts made by the Department of Children's Services, supported the termination of their parental rights based on abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home. In re Damon B., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 25, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 607 (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2018), cert. denied, Michael B. v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 205 L. Ed. 2d 32, 140 S. Ct. 107, — U.S. —, 2019 U.S. LEXIS 5246 (U.S. Oct. 7, 2019).

Because the Tennessee Department of Children's Services removed the children from the home of the mother's friends, not the mother's home, neither the statutory ground of abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home nor persistence conditions applied. In re Keilyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 362 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Evidence was less than clear and convincing that a mother abandoned her children by willful failure to visit during the four months preceding the filing of the petition because there was no indication that the Tennessee Department of Children's services specifically offered to help with transportation to visit the children; in lieu of visits, the mother talked with her children on a daily basis. In re Keilyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 362 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Clear and convincing evidence supported termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support because both the permanency plan and the adjudicatory hearing order addressed the mother's obligation to pay child support; the mother and her attorney were present at the adjudicatory hearing, and after the hearing, the family service worker explained both her obligation to support her children and the consequences of failure to do so. In re Keilyn O., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 362 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2018), overruled, In re Neveah M., — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. LEXIS 591 (Tenn. Dec. 10, 2020).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of willful failure to support was affirmed given the father's contradictory explanations, and the evidence that his reason for not sending money was an ever-present hostility toward the potential adoptive parents rather than a lack of means. In re Apex R., 577 S.W.3d 181, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 366 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Termination of a father's parental rights on the ground of willful failure to visit was affirmed given the unfavorable credibility determination of the father, and the communication problems with the potential adoptive parents were of the father's making. In re Apex R., 577 S.W.3d 181, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 366 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence showed a wanton disregard for the child's well-being given the mother's criminal convictions, probation violations, removal of other children due to domestic violence, and her remaining in a relationship with the abusive father In re Chase L., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 368 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Trial court's determination that a mother willfully failed to visit her child during the relevant period was affirmed given the implicit finding that testimony that the foster parent had not significantly interfered with the mother's efforts to develop a relationship was more credible. In re Chase L., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 368 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 29, 2018).

Father exhibited wanton disregard for the father's children because the father, before and after the birth of the children, repeatedly committed felonies and misdemeanors, and used alcohol and drugs without regard for the children's welfare, which resulted in the father's incarceration and inability to take care of the children when they were removed from their mother's custody and placed in foster care. The pattern of the father's conduct prior to incarceration exhibited disregard for the children and the father's relationship with them. In re Arianna Y., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 2, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 554 (Tenn. Aug. 31, 2018).

Trial court properly terminated a father's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to visit because the father spent less than six hours with the child over a period of thirty-two months; the record clearly and convincingly establishes that the father's visits were no more than token in that they were of such an infrequent nature or of such short duration as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the child. In re D.N., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 383 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 3, 2018).

Termination of the father's parental rights was proper based on abandonment by an incarcerated parent by wanton disregard, abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, and substantial noncompliance with the reasonable requirements of the permanency plan because the father raped the mother while the children were present in the home, he threatened the mother and the children with physical harm, and the children were aware of his behaviors; it did not appear that the father could provide the children with a safe home, free of domestic violence, and sexually deviant behavior; and the requirement that he address the psychological and emotional abuse issues was of paramount importance, but he did nothing toward that goal. In re R.S., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 427 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 24, 2018).

Evidence was insufficient to terminate the father's parental rights for abandonment based on nonsupport because while it showed that he was employment and paid $639 in child support in the relevant four month period, the father did not testify to his rent obligations or other living expenses. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for failure to provide a suitable home because his denial of ever using drugs, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, combined with his history of domestic violence and his failure to obtain stable housing, proved the ground by clear and convincing evidence. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Evidence was sufficient to support termination of the father's parental rights for willful failure to visit because he admitted at trial that he had not seen the child for two years, he did not allege that he was prevented from seeing the child, and he admitted that he had not asked for visitation since 2014. In re Leroy H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 446 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 3, 2018).

Abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home was proven with evidence of the mother's multiple, unfounded accusations of sexual abuse at school. In re McKenzi W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 9, 2018).

Termination of the mother's parental rights based on abandonment for failure to visit was not improper, as the mother was provided a clearly defined pathway to obtain visitation, but refuse to obtain a psychological evaluation from a licensed clinical psychologist so that she could visit the child. In re McKenzi W., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 454 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 9, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence showed that grounds existed to terminate a father's parental rights for abandonment by wanton disregard because the father–through repeated incarcerations, criminal behavior, a probation violation, and substance abuse issues as shown in the father's criminal convictions–showed a pattern of conduct that posed a risk of substantial harm to the welfare of the child. In re Ava H., — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 20, 2018), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2018 Tenn. LEXIS 683 (Tenn. Nov. 16, 2018).

Clear and convincing evidence supported the trial court's termination of a mother's parental rights on the ground of abandonment by willful failure to support because she made no financial contribution to the support o