APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee, v.
Evelyn Faye Miller, Respondent-Appellant)
523 N.E.2d 1146, 169 Ill. App. 3d 357, 120 Ill. Dec. 235 1988.IL.681
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. John R. DeLaMar, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH and KNECHT, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND
The circuit court of Champaign County entered an order on June 6, 1986, terminating the parental rights of respondent Evelyn Miller to her two children, K.L.M. and T.M.M., pursuant to section 1of the Adoption Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 1501). The order also terminated the parental rights of T.M.M.'s father. Respondent appeals. We affirm.
Respondent's two children are the result of her union with two men. In October 1982, a petition was filed alleging that both minors were neglected. At that time, K.L.M. was 3 years old, and T.M.M. was 15 months old. Neither of the fathers lived with respondent, and she had no knowledge of their whereabouts. The petition alleged respondent was not providing the necessary medical care for the minors. A shelter-care hearing was held, and the court ordered the children removed from respondent's custody. Both children were malnourished. They were in the lower fifth percentile for weight and height growth. Both children had chronic problems with ear infections. In T.M.M.'s case, surgery was recommended. Respondent was not keeping medical appointments for the children, and she was not giving the children the medicine they required on an ongoing basis. Respondent also failed to keep her appointments with social workers who were counseling her. In addition, the children were found to have significant developmental delays. The elder child, K.L.M., was extremely fearful and found to have a vocabulary of about 10 to 12 words.
Respondent stipulated to the allegations in the petition at the adjudicatory hearing. The Dispositional order was entered on January 11, 1983. It ordered that the guardianship administrator of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services be made permanent guardian of the minors and that the administrator be given authority to place the minors. The order also required respondent to cooperate with DCFS in several areas: (1) visitation with her children; (2) medical care and any counseling or therapy required by the children; and (3) appointments for respondent with social workers, homemakers, and financial counselors. In addition, respondent was to attend certain classes, including parenting, finance, and budgeting classes. Finally, respondent was ordered to make reasonable efforts to obtain her GED, or obtain full-time employment, or receive vocational training in order to obtain employment.
Six review hearings were held between March 30, 1983, and April 23, 1985. Neither father participated to any great extent in the affairs of the minors. The parental rights of K.L.M.'s father were terminated in July 1983. In June 1986, the parental rights of T.M.M.'s father were terminated at the same time as respondent's. However, only respondent appeals the order of termination.
The supplemental petition requesting termination of respondent's parental rights was filed on January 7, 1986. Following two days of hearing, the court entered an order in which it found respondent to be an unfit mother on two grounds. Respondent had failed to make reasonable efforts to correct the conditions which were the basis for the removal of the children from her custody within 12 months after the adjudication of neglect. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 1501(m).) She had also failed to make reasonable progress toward the return of her children to her care within 12 months following the adjudication of neglect. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 1501(m).) The Dispositional order terminating respondent's parental rights was entered on June 6, 1986.
This is the second time we have been called on to decide this appeal. Respondent initially advanced two arguments (1) the trial court's orders were voidable as to her because the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over the minors; and (2) the trial court's findings of unfitness were against the manifest weight of the evidence. We initially held that respondent was correct on her first argument based on our ruling in In re Pronger (1986), 148 Ill. App. 3d 311, 499 N.E.2d 155, and reversed the trial court. (In re Miller (1987), 154 Ill. App. 3d 1163 (order under Supreme Court Rule 23).) Subsequently, Pronger was reversed by the supreme court. (In re Pronger (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 512, 517 N.E.2d 1076.) Relying on its decision in Pronger, the supreme court vacated our order in this cause and remanded the matter for further consideration. (In re Miller (1988), 118 Ill. 2d 544, (supervisory order).) On remand to our court, therefore, we need consider respondent's remaining allegation of error.
Respondent argues the trial court's findings of unfitness were against the manifest weight of the evidence. Respondent points to the original petition's allegations that the minors were not receiving proper medical care. Following the removal of the children from respondent's care, the children did receive proper medical attention, and their problems were corrected. Yet, in order for respondent to regain custody of the children, respondent argues the court imposed conditions generally unrelated to medical care. Respondent contends the conditions imposed upon her were not rationally related to the original medical problems, and, therefore, were not related to her fitness as a parent. ...