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Name: In re H.R.
Case #: B263868
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/25/2016

The trial court properly found appellant to be only an alleged father where he vacillated as to his fatherhood status, there was no DNA evidence, and there was conflicting testimony regarding other fathers. The minor was removed from mother based on allegations of domestic violence. Mother named E.C. as the father and said that he had not had contact with the minor. E.C.’s mother was contacted, who said that E.C. was being deported to El Salvador, and that neither she nor E.C. believed him to be the father of the minor, as mother had several partners at the time of conception. Later, E.C. admitted he had a brief relationship with mother. E.C. was named an alleged father of the minor. E.C.’s appointed counsel requested that E.C. be named as the biological father before he was deported. No DNA sample had been provided, but mother testified that no one else could be the biological father. The court maintained its finding that E.C. was an alleged father and denied him reunification services. On appeal, E.C. contended that the court erred in denying him biological father status and reunification services. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The paternal grandmother said she and father did not believe the minor was E.C.’s child. Although E.C. eventually did claim biological paternity, he had previously vacillated, denying it at the time mother told him about the pregnancy, and also when the minor was born. Although it was possible that E.C. was the biological father, there was also substantial evidence to support the determination that he was only an alleged father. In light of the conflicting statements presented, it was not error to await the results of genetic testing to prove biological paternity. Further, under the facts of the case, it was not error for the court to sustain the allegations of the petition that E.C. had failed to provide support for the minor.