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Name: In re G.C., Jr.
Case #: C070086
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/07/2013

Father waived issue of consideration of tribal customary adoption where he did not raise it at trial. Father appealed the termination of his parental rights, contending that the trial court did not comply with Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.24 and ensure the minor’s Indian tribe considered the appropriateness of tribal customary adoption. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the failure to object to deficiencies in the selection and implementation report or errors at the 366.26 hearing relating to tribal customary adoption procedures forfeits those issues on appeal. Further, even if the issue were not forfeited, failure to address tribal customary adoption here was harmless. Tribal customary adoption is only an option where the child’s tribe identifies it as an option, which here the tribe did not do. The tribe was involved in the selection of a permanent plan, and approved of the adoption by the minor’s foster family. There is no reason to believe that the tribe was unaware of tribal customary adoption as an alternative. On this record, father has not shown a reasonable probability that compliance with the procedural requirements of tribal customary adoption would have resulted in an outcome more favorable to him.