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Name: In re Daisy D.
Case #: C052499
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/27/2006

Mother appealed from the order terminating her parental rights, contending that the juvenile court erred by failing to find an exception to adoption based on interference with the minor’s sibling relationships. Mother had not raised the exception at the 366.26 hearing, but argued on appeal that the juvenile court had a sua sponte duty to determine whether the sibling relationship exception applied. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the juvenile court has no such sua sponte duty, and appellant’s failure to raise the exception forfeits the issue for appeal. The court also rejected appellant’s argument that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance for failing to raise the issue below. The record shows that it was anticipated that the minor would be adopted by her grandparents, who intended to maintain contact between the minor and her siblings. The suggestion that there would be a cessation of sibling visits after adoption is speculative and unsupported by the record. Further, the minor was under two when she was placed separately from her siblings. Although the evidence showed that the minor liked to visit her siblings, there was no evidence that she would suffer detriment if the visits were to cease.