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Name: In re Christopher W.
Case #: E035622
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/05/2004
Subsequent History: 12/15/04: depublished & revw. den.
Summary

The trial court had no reason to know that the minor was or might be an Indian child within the meaning of ICWA where mother stated that she thought “there was some lineage in her family” but did not respond to repeated requests for more information. Further, mother stated in a previous dependency proceeding that she had no Indian heritage, and the court had no way of knowing which statement was true. A minimum level of informative content beyond bare suggestion is required to trigger ICWA notice requirements. Further, the trial court did not err by declining to find that the parental relationship exception applied. There was no evidence that mother played a parental role in the minor’s life, and no evidence that severing their relationship would harm the minor at all. The evidence showed that mother had supervised visitation twice a week, and did not do more than a conscientious babysitter would do. Further, there was no evidence that the prospective adoptive father’s single status impaired his ability to be a parent to the minor.