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Name: In re C.Y.
Case #: C070098
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/31/2012

Agency had no duty to conduct inquiry into mother’s adoption records where mother could not provide a basis for Indian heritage claim. In an appeal from a parental rights termination order, mother contended that DHHS did not adequately investigate her Indian ancestry because the social worker failed to pursue several avenues of inquiry which might have revealed additional information about mother’s heritage. Mother had been adopted as a baby, and had been told that her adoption records stated something about Indian heritage. She was unable to identify a tribe. The appellate court rejected mother’s argument. Neither the court nor DHHS is required to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the minor’s Indian status. DHHS did not have the duty to investigate beyond mother’s parents. If there was additional information about mother’s affiliation in her adoption records, it was mother’s responsibility to provide such information to DHHS.