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Name: In re Erik P.
Case #: H024037
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/16/2002
Subsequent History: rehrg. den. 1/15/03; rev. den. 3/5/03

The minor, Erik, was detained shortly after birth. He had an older sibling who had been adopted. On appeal, the father raised the sibling exception found in section 366.26, subdivision (c)(1)(E). The appellate court held that father had standing to raise the issue. However, he was obligated to raise the exception at the hearing, and by failing to do so he waived the issue on appeal. Even if it were not waived, it was not applicable in this case. Since father had earlier lost his parental rights to the sibling, he lost control of the sibling relationship. There was nothing father could do to maintain the relationship since the older minor was already adopted. Further, the minors had never lived together, and thus had no relationship significant enough to outweigh the benefit to Erik of being adopted. Finally, the trial court complied with the statutory mandate to consider the sibling bonds, because it had before it evidence that visitation between the minors had been arranged and would be continuing.