Five factors Massachusetts courts may consider when determining parental fitness
A parent’s character, temperament, conduct, and capacity to provide for a child's particular needs, affections, and age. Adoption of Mary, 414 Mass. 705, 711 (1993).
Evidence of alcohol or drug abuse is relevant to a parent's willingness, competence, and availability to provide care to a child. Care & Protection of Frank, 409 Mass. 492, 494 (1991).
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).
Although the fact of incarceration alone cannot constitute grounds for the termination of parental rights, a parent’s compelled absence due to incarceration may properly be taken into account when determining parental fitness. Adoption of Nicole, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 259, 260-261 (1996).
The realistic ability to provide shelter, food, love, guidance, discipline, stimulation, education, comfort and play. Adoption of Nicole, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 259, 261 (1996).
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