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Name: In re B.S.
Case #: C091678
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/18/2021
Summary

De facto parent did not have standing to appeal a placement order with maternal relatives. The minor B.S. was abandoned by mother at the hospital upon birth and the parents’ whereabouts remained unknown throughout the case. B.S. was placed in a foster home while maternal relatives were assessed for placement. Initially, placement with the maternal relatives was denied because an individual with a nonwaivable conviction resided in the home. This individual moved out of the home three days after the denial and maternal relatives filed a grievance request seeking review of the denial. Meanwhile, the foster parents requested de facto parent status. The maternal grandparents were then approved for placement of B.S. The court held a combined relative placement hearing and section 366.26 hearing where it found that it was in the minor’s best interests to be placed in the home of the maternal relatives. The court then terminated parental rights and freed B.S. for adoption. The de facto parents appealed, but the court affirmed the orders. The court chose to follow In re P.L. (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 1357, 1361 which held that a de facto parent does not have standing to appeal a placement decision because they have no right to custody or continued placement. The court chose not to follow the holding in In re Vincent M. (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 943, which had found that de facto parents had standing to appeal the court’s decision to grant a father reunification services, agreeing with the dissent in that opinion, which found that de facto parents had no legal right to adopt and therefore could not show how their legal interests were aggrieved.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C091678.PDF