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Name: In re A.B.
Case #: D069257
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/24/2016

Father’s parental rights were properly terminated where he made only token efforts to see the minor for a three-year period. Father appealed from an order terminating his parental rights to the minor under Family Code section 7822. He contended that the one-year period of abandonment referenced in section 7822, subdivision (a)(3) refers solely to the year immediately preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights. The appellate court rejected that argument. Father also contended that even if the one-year period can occur at any time prior to the filing of the petition, he rebutted any presumption that he intended to abandon the minor. The appellate court rejected that issue as well, finding that father did not make anything other than perfunctory efforts to see the minor from 2010 to 2014. Father also argued that the court should reverse the termination order because the minor’s adoption was not in her best interests. In his view, mother’s marriage to stepfather provided less stability to the minor who was cut off from her father and her father’s family. The court rejected this argument, holding that the trial court’s finding that adoption by stepfather was in the minor’s best interests was supported by the record. Stepfather provided the minor with stability and continuity of care during the previous two years, something father failed to do.