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Name: In re Emma B.
Case #: D067634
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/29/2015
Summary

Where father was found to be a presumed parent based on marriage and receiving child into his home, juvenile court did not err when it declined to order genetic testing. Michael was married to mother and lived with her until his military deployment. When Michael returned home, he found mother was seven months pregnant by another man. Michael lived with mother during the rest of the pregnancy and was present for the minor’s birth, signing the birth certificate. He lived with mother and the minor and supported the minor after her birth. The Department filed a petition because mother tested positive for opiates at the minor’s birth. Mother named Steven as the biological father. Michael stated that he did not want to participate in parenting the minor because she was not his biological child. He planned to divorce mother and move to another state because of a military transfer. Michael requested paternity testing to rebut the marital presumption of paternity. He filed a motion requesting the court set aside the presumed paternity finding and strike his name from the dependency petition. The court denied Michael’s motion, finding that he was the presumed father based on the marriage, as well as his behavior in receiving the minor into his home upon birth. The court sustained a dependency petition, removed the minor and ordered reunification services for mother and Michael. Michael appealed the denial of his motion for paternity testing. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed the orders. The court did not err by denying Michael’s motion for a genetic test because he was not an alleged father, and biological paternity was not a relevant fact at this stage of the dependency proceeding.