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Name: In re B.C.
Case #: B219979
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/27/2011

The juvenile court erred when it lifted a “do not remove” order without a hearing to consider the best interests of the minor. Just prior to a hearing to terminate parental rights pursuant to section 366.26, mother filed a relinquishment with the court designating the child’s maternal aunt as the person she intended to place the child with for adoption. The child was not bonded to the aunt and was very bonded to the foster parents who sought designation as the prospective adoptive parents. The juvenile court believed it had no alternative because of mother’s relinquishment and lifted its previous order which had prevented the Department from removing the child from the foster parents without court approval. The appellate court held that the juvenile court erred in lifting the “do not remove” order without a hearing to determine whether it was in the minor’s best interests. The juvenile court also erred when it continued the 366.26 hearing so that mother could complete her relinquishment of parental rights. However the court did not err when it denied the aunt’s 388 petition requesting placement of the minor with her, because the court intended to consider the placement after receipt of the bonding study. The court also did not err when it denied mother’s 388 motion challenging the failure to appoint a GAL for her.