The Fourth Department determined defendant’s waiver of appeal was invalid but rejected her argument that she was exempt for SORA registration because she is the parent of the kidnapping victim, who had been adopted by a family:
The victim of the kidnapping was defendant’s biological child, who had been removed from defendant’s care more than eight years earlier following allegations of abuse concerning the victim’s sibling. Defendant surrendered her parental rights to both the victim and the victim’s sibling, and the children were adopted by a family.
“SORA defines sex offender’ to include any person who is convicted of’ any of a number of crimes listed in the statute . . . SORA requires all people included in this definition to register as sex offenders” … . The list of offenses provided in the statute includes “section 135.05, 135.10, 135.20 or 135.25 of [the Penal Law] relating to kidnapping offenses, provided the victim of such kidnapping . . . is less than seventeen years old and the offender is not the parent of the victim” … . Although we have not yet had the occasion to address whether a biological parent who has surrendered his or her parental rights and whose child has been adopted is entitled to the benefit of the parent exemption set forth in the SORA statute, in People v Brown (264 AD2d 12 [4th Dept 2000]), this Court determined that, in a prosecution for kidnapping, such a person could not assert as an affirmative defense that he or she was a relative of the victim … inasmuch as a biological parent’s status as a “parent” with respect to an adopted child was terminated ” in all respects’ ” by an order of adoption … . Applying that same reasoning here, we conclude that defendant, the biological mother of an adopted child who she kidnapped, is not a parent of the victim for the purposes of SORA, and thus defendant is not exempt from SORA registration. People v Weir, 2019 NY Slip Op 05896, Fourth Dept 7-31-19