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Name: In re Breanna S.
Case #: B275340
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 02/14/2017
Summary

Juvenile court properly rejected parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights where mother only sporadically visited children and there was no evidence of a positive, significant, parental relationship. Mother appealed the order terminating her parental rights to the two minor children, contending that the juvenile court erred when it held that mother failed to establish the parent-child relationship exception. The appellate court disagreed. There was ample evidence mother visited the minors only sporadically during the first 18 months of the proceedings. Although her visits became more regular during the final six months before the 366.26 hearing, they did not progress beyond two hours, once a week. Mother’s testimony did not compel a finding that she had maintained regular visitation and contact with the minors. A relationship that is sufficient to derail the statutory preference for adoption is one where regular visits and contact have developed a significant, positive, emotional attachment, which arises from day to day interaction and shared experiences. Here, there was no evidence of such an attachment, and mother failed to establish she occupied a “parental role” in her children’s life. However, because the Agency omitted significant information from the ICWA notices, remand was required for proper notice under ICWA.