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Name: In re Anthony B.
Case #: D067577
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/12/2015

Juvenile court properly found that beneficial relationship exception did not apply where father had sporadic visits and did not have any prospects of providing a home for the minor within a reasonable time. Following termination of his parental rights pursuant to section 366.26, father appealed, contending that the court erred in finding that the parent-child beneficial relationship exception was inapplicable. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The court applied the substantial evidence standard of review to the factual issue of the existence of a beneficial parental relationship, and the abuse of discretion standard to the determination of whether there is a compelling reason for finding that termination would be detrimental to the child. While father’s visitation with the minor was consistent and positive during a period of time, it was sporadic during the five months preceding the 366.26 hearing. This does not amount to regular contact and visitation intended by the Legislature. Father was also intoxicated while visiting the minor once on an overnight visit and twice during supervised visits. These visitations were not of the type which would have developed a significant attachment between father and the minor. Further, father had not demonstrated any likelihood that he would be able to take custody of the minor within a reasonable time. The minor was benefitting from his placement with prospective adoptive parents who were providing him with a stable, suitable, and loving home. Therefore, substantial evidence supported the court’s finding that father did not satisfy the second prong of the beneficial relationship exception.