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Name: In re Hector A.
Case #: A105633
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/07/2005
Summary

A 366.26 hearing was set for appellant’s four youngest children, who were found to be adoptable. The two older children opposed the adoption, and the oldest of the four youngest children (Hector) supported it. (The three youngest were too young to express an opinion.) The two older children filed a section 388(b) petition, asking to participate in the 366.26 hearing as the siblings of the younger children who were the subject of that hearing. They contended that adoption of the younger siblings would interfere with their sibling relationship. The petition was denied, and the two older siblings appealed. Parental rights were terminated to the younger children, and the older siblings appealed that order as well. The two appeals were consolidated. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s orders. The request to be heard under section 388, subdivision (b) should be granted if a sibling complies with section 388, subdivision (b)(1)-(4)and demonstrates a close relationship with the minor being considered for adoption. The minors should have been allowed to participate in the hearing. But here, the court’s failure to grant the request gave rise to no prejudice. Counsel for the older children was present at the .26 hearing, and the children’s statements were considered. Further, the court was not required to address postadoption visitation when terminating parental rights under section 366.26.