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Name: In re Andrew M.
Case #: G063462
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/11/2024

The juvenile court abused its discretion by finding the parental benefit exception applied where Minor was removed at birth and the relationship with parents was limited to monitored visitation. Minor was removed at birth due to Mother’s substance abuse and placed with a foster family. Mother and Father visited with Minor during the two-year period that preceded the permanency hearing. Minor enjoyed visits but exhibited little distress when visits concluded. The juvenile court found the parental benefit exception to the termination of parental rights applied and ordered a permanent plan of guardianship. Minor appealed and the reviewing court reversed. Preserving a child’s relationship with relatives other than a parent or sibling is not a proper consideration when determining whether the parental benefit exception applies. Here, there was insufficient evidence that terminating parental rights would be detrimental to Minor where Minor had never lived with his parents, spent only minimal time with them during monitored visits, and showed no distress at the end of visits or when the parents missed visits. Thus, the juvenile court abused its discretion and the order of guardianship must be reversed.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: