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Name: Adoption of Myah M.
Case #: A130811
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/19/2011
Subsequent History: Opn. modified on 1/6/12
Summary

Where parents consented to guardianship of the minor, the juvenile court did not err by failing to refer the matter to the child welfare agency, and subsequent termination of parental rights was proper. Parents of the minor, Myah, agreed when she was two years old that the paternal grandparents should be Myah’s guardians, and guardianship letters were issued. Four years later, the grandparents requested to adopt Myah and terminate the parental rights of parents pursuant to Probate Code section 1516.5. The trial court terminated parental rights and ordered that adoption was in Myah’s best interests. Both parents appealed the orders, arguing that the court knew of the allegations of parents’ unfitness when they issued the guardianship, and should have referred the case to the county welfare agency at that time. They also contended that their due process rights were violated because the court did not make a finding of unfitness. The appellate court rejected the arguments, finding that the court was not obligated to refer the matter to the child welfare agency because the parents stipulated to the guardianship. The facts of the case also did not require the court to make a finding of unfitness, and substantial evidence supoported the lower court’s finding that adoption was in Myah’s best interests.