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Holding that the respondent-mother failed to establish that she was entitled to appellate relief, the court affirmed termination of her parental rights to the children.

Respondent contended that the trial court erred by receiving the expert testimony of Dr. C, because the DHHS failed to specifically designate her as an expert on its witness list. She also asserted that C's testimony did not satisfy the requirements of MRE 702, and that C was improperly allowed to offer an opinion on an ultimate issue here. Respondent did not satisfy the plain error standard because she has "not shown that any of the alleged errors affected the outcome of the proceedings." Contrary to her contention, the record offered no indication that the trial court relied heavily on the testimony provided by C. Most of C's "testimony pertained to the medical condition of one of respondent's children shortly after removal, and thus bore little relation to the grounds for termination under" §§ (c)(i) or (g). Although C's opinion that the "children would be at risk if returned to respondent directly implicated" § (j), the record did "not suggest that the court relied more than incidentally on" C's opinion when reaching its conclusion on that factor. The only time the trial court specifically mentioned C's testimony was when summarizing all the testimony presented in the case. It never cited C's testimony "when articulating its findings under any of the statutory termination factors." In fact, C "never testified in connection with the most important reasons behind the decision to terminate parental rights, which included housing, income, domestic violence, and lack of benefit from services." Further, the only time the trial court referred to C's "testimony while discoursing upon the children's best interests was a brief reference to their health abnormalities when removed from respondent's care." In sum, the record indicated that the trial court did not rely more than marginally on C's testimony in deciding the case. Thus, respondent "failed to show that she suffered sufficient prejudice to justify reversal in connection with any of her claims of error relating" to C's participation in the proceedings. 

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