If the persons the minor is placed with have resource family approval, they are eligible to adopt the child in their care without an additional adoption home study. The minor was removed from his mother and placed with the maternal grandparents (MGPs). During the resource family approval process, a background check revealed that grandfather had a 1991 misdemeanor conviction for a disqualifying offense which had previously been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. The Agency denied the MGPs application because of grandfather’s conviction. MGPs successfully appealed the juvenile court’s order denying their request that the Agency reassess their application. Following reassessment, the MGPs were approved as a child-specific resource family and the minor was placed with them. At the section 366.26 hearing, the juvenile court ordered a permanent plan of legal guardianship based on the Agency’s claim that MGPs would not pass an adoption home study due to grandfather’s prior conviction. MGPs appealed and the Court of Appeal reversed. MGPs have standing to appeal. The juvenile court erred by selecting legal guardianship as the minor’s permanent plan because no exception to adoption applied. Despite the Agency’s claim that the MGPs would not pass an adoption home study, the MGPs were granted a child-specific resource family approval and thus, no additional adoption home study approval was required. Exemptions may be granted for child-specific approvals of usually non-exemptible offenses if the applicant is related to the child, is of present good character, and does not have a felony conviction in the prior five years. Because the Agency had not taken the necessary steps to rescind the resource family approval, the MGPs were eligible to adopt the minor.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E078696.PDF