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In re James G.
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1997 ME 196
Docket:	Ken-96-807
Argued:	September 5, 1997
Decided:	September 23, 1997


IN RE JAMES G., III, et al.

	[¶1]  The mother of James and Barbara G. appeals from the judgment
entered in the District Court (Waterville, Cote, J.) terminating her parental
rights pursuant to 22 M.R.S.A. § 4055 (1992 & Supp. 1996).  The mother
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the findings necessary
for termination pursuant to the statute.  She also challenges precatory
language in the court's decision regarding the continuing responsibility of
the Department of Human Services (DHS) to care for the children.  We
affirm the judgment.  
	[¶2]  The court found by clear and convincing evidence that the mother
is either unwilling or unable to protect the children from jeopardy and to
take responsibility for the children, and that these circumstances are
unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet their needs. 
22 M.R.S.A. § 4055(1)(B)(2)(b)(i) & (ii).  Contrary to the mother's
contentions, the record supports these findings.  The existence of contrary
evidence by itself does not render the court's finding any less probable.  See
Great Northern Paper Co. v. Eldredge, 686 A.2d 1075, 1077 (Me. 1996).    
	[¶3]  Although the court found that termination of the mother's
parental rights is in the best interests of the children, it also stated, "[I]t
may still be in the best interests of [James] and/or Barbara for them to have
contact with their mother [and others]."  The court stated that DHS should
"have the children's treatment providers assess ... whether continued
contact ... is therapeutically indicated."  If so, the court ordered DHS "to
provide such contact as is therapeutically reasonable, at least until the
children are finally adopted."  
	[¶4]  The mother contends that the court had no statutory authority to
dictate DHS conduct following the termination of her parental rights.  The
court's attempt to do so, she argues, indicates that the court really did not
believe that termination was in the best interests of the children.  We
disagree with the latter point.  The court's detailed, 28-page decision
reveals a careful evaluation of the evidence and of the children's prospects,
as well as an explicit finding by clear and convincing evidence that
termination is in the best interest of each child.  22 M.R.S.A.
§ 4055(1)(B)(2)(a).  The record also supports these determinations by the
	[¶5]  We are not required in this case to determine whether the court
exceeded its authority.  See generally Department of Corrections v. Superior
Court, 622 A.2d 1131, 1135 (Me. 1993) ("power of courts must be invoked
by appropriate process").  That part of the decision dealing with continued
contact is directed at DHS, and the department has not challenged the
	The entry is:
				Judgment affirmed.
Attorney for appellant: Andrea Ubl, Esq., (orally) Sherman & Sandy P O Box 499 Waterville, ME 04903-499 Guardian ad litem: Nancy D. Metz, Esq., (orally) 20 Western Avenue Fairfield, ME 04937 Attorneys for appellee: Andrew Ketterer, Attorney General Janice S. Stuver, Asst. Atty. Gen., (orally) Mark Randlett, Asst. Atty. Gen. 6 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0006