A. L. G. A. and W. F. A. M. v. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DISTRICT, AT AUSTIN NO. 03-19-00086-CV A. L. G. A. and W. F. A. M., Appellants v. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Appellee FROM THE 395TH DISTRICT COURT OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY NO. 17-0150-CPS395, THE HONORABLE RYAN D. LARSON, JUDGE PRESIDING MEMORANDUM OPINION A.L.G.A. (Mother) and W.F.A.M. (Father) appeal from the trial court’s order terminating their parental rights to their children Wayne, born in February 2008; Judy, born in February 2011; Kate, born in August 2015; and Matt, born in September 2016. 1 In a bench trial held in January 2019, the trial court found that termination was in the children’s best interest, see Tex. Fam. Code § 161.001(b)(2), and that Mother and Father had placed the children or allowed them to remain in surroundings that endangered them, see id. § 161.001(b)(1)(D); engaged in conduct or placed the children with someone whose conduct endangered the children, see id. § 161.001(b)(1)(E); and failed to comply with a court order that established actions necessary to regain custody of the children, see id. § 161.001(b)(1)(O). The court further determined that 1 We will refer to the children by pseudonyms. See Tex. R. App. P. 9.8. Father is the father of Wayne, Judy, and Matt. The rights of Kate’s father, whose identity is unknown, were also terminated, but he is not a part of this appeal. Mother had a mental illness or deficiency that made her unable to provide for the children, see id. § 161.003, and that Father had used a controlled substance in a manner that endangered the children and had either not completed a treatment program or, after completing such a program, had continued to abuse a controlled substance, see id. § 161.001(b)(1)(P). On appeal, both parents challenge the best-interest determination. Mother also challenges the statutory grounds, asserts that her due process rights were violated because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services did not provide adequate language translation throughout the underlying proceeding, and argues that the Department did not make reasonable efforts to provide services to Mother. We affirm the trial court’s order of termination. STANDARD OF REVIEW To terminate a parent’s rights to their child, the Department must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the parent engaged in conduct that amounts to a statutory ground for termination and that termination is in the child’s best interest. Id. § 161.001; In re S.M.R., 434 S.W.3d 576, 580 (Tex. 2014). Clear and convincing evidence is proof “that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.” Tex. Fam. Code § 101.007; In re K.M.L., 443 S.W.3d 101, 112 (Tex. 2014). In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we must “provide due deference to the decisions of the factfinder, who, having full opportunity to observe witness testimony first-hand, is the sole arbiter when assessing the credibility and demeanor of witnesses.” In re A.B., 437 S.W.3d 498, 503 (Tex. ...

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