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Name: In re Brandon T.
Case #: C057638
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/20/2008

Parental rights termination was proper where the minor was specifically adoptable by relatives. In an appeal from an order terminating her parental rights, appellant mother contended that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that the minor was adoptable. The minor had mental and physical delays, he was the child of parents with mental health problems, and ICWA placement preferences were applicable. The appellate court agreed that the minor was not generally adoptable. However, the minor had been in his placement for nearly a year and developed a bond with his relative caretakers, who were committed to adopting him. There was no evidence of any obstacles to the adoption of the minor by the relatives, and therefore the minor was specifically adoptable. The appellate court also rejected appellant’s contention that more than one ICWA expert is required before parental rights may be terminated, and an argument that the termination was invalid because no evidence was presented regarding the prevailing social and cultural standards of the minor tribe. Evidence concerning the social and cultural standards of the tribe could not possibly have impacted the juvenile court’s determination, and therefore any error was harmless.