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Name: In re Amy A.
Case #: D046032
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/24/2005

The biological father of the minor appealed a termination of his parental rights under Family Code section 7822, arguing that he did not “leave” the minor in the care and custody of another person, and did not intend to abandon her. The court of appeal rejected his arguments and affirmed. Substantial evidence showed that although mother took the minor to another state, father voluntarily surrendered his parental role, and the minor was not taken away against his wishes. He made no attempt to stay involved with the minor, provided no funds for her care, and did not request to visit her. Mother not only did not attempt to prevent father from being involved with the minor, but sought him out. The court’s order granting mother full legal custody did not preclude a finding that father “left” the minor within the meaning of section 7822. Father did not appeal during the proceedings and made no attempt to modify the custody order. The order provided visitation rights which he did not exercise. Father had no parental relationship with the minor, who did not know that he was her father. Further, father failed to rebut the presumption of his intent to abandon. Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s decision that father left the minor in mother’s care with the intent to abandon her for the statutory period set forth in section 7822.