Five considerations in determining parental unfitness in Massachusetts
A parent’s ability to manage financial affairs is an appropriate consideration in the determination of unfitness. Petitions of the Department of Social Services to Dispense with Consent to Adoption, 399 Mass. 279, 289 (1987)
It is in the best interest of a child to have a parent who will and can on a consistent, long term basis, assume all parental responsibility and provide the child with stable and continuous care. Adoption of Gwendolyn, 29 Mass. App. Ct. 130, 136 (1990).
The failure of a parent to maintain a stable home life is relevant in the determination of fitness. Petition of the Department of Social Services to Dispense with Consent to Adoption, 399 Mass. 279, 289 (1987).
A judge is free to rely on a parent’s patterns of neglect and misconduct in determining current unfitness. Adoption of Mario, 43 Mass. App. Ct. 767, 773 (1997).
A trial judge is not required to wait for a disaster to happen before finding unfitness. Adoption of Rhona, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 479, 485 (2003).
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