Can you Seek TPR of Some Siblings but not Others under LRM? Yes.

In challenging the final judgment terminating her rights, appellant mother claims that the trial court’s finding that termination was the least restrictive means of protecting the child from harm, as required by Padgett v. Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services, 577 So. 2d 565 (Fla. 1991), was not supported by competent substantial evidence. In particular, she claims that because the trial court did not terminate her rights to this child’s half-siblings, termination was not necessary to protect S.A. We disagree, as the trial court appropriately treated each child based upon her individual circumstances.

S.L. v. DCF, — So.3d —- (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).

Splitting sibling groups on a TPR petition (i.e., seeking termination for some siblings and not others) causes prosecutors no little anxiety. It’s good to receive some guidance that (1) it’s not an automatic non-starter under LRM, and (2) it should be done with great thought to each child’s individual circumstances.


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