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Name: In re Christopher R.
Case #: B250806
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 04/14/2014

Removal of four minors was proper where youngest minor tested positive for cocaine at birth. When the infant minor Brianna tested positive for cocaine at birth, the Department removed Brianna and her three siblings, ages three to seven. Mother denied using drugs during the pregnancy. A section 300(b) petition was filed alleging mother’s inability to care for the minors due to substance abuse. Mother conceded dependency jurisdiction over Brianna, but contended that her sporadic drug use did not justify jurisdiction over the other children, because she was not a current substance abuser. The appellate court rejected mother’s argument, finding that the juvenile court properly rejected mother’s claim of sporadic drug use. Mother had a long history of substance abuse, and lied about her use during the pregnancy. Further, mother had an “unstable lifestyle” and her casual attitude about childcare (she left the children with a cousin while she went out for entire nights without telling the cousin where she was), supported the juvenile court’s finding that mother’s substance abuse endangered all four children’s health and safety.