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Name: In re Helen W.
Case #: G037374
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/23/2007
Summary

Substantial evidence supported the finding of adoptability where there was no legal impediment to foster mother’s adoption of the minors, and their relationship with mother did not outweigh the need for an adoptive home. Mother appealed from an order terminating her parental rights, contending that there was insufficient evidence to support the finding that the minors were adoptable. Both minors had a variety of physical and developmental conditions including neurofibromatosis, autism, and bipolar disorder. Despite the children’s obstacles, their foster mother was committed to adopting them, and the social worker found her exceptionally capable of raising them. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that substantial evidence supported the finding of adoptability. The adoption assessment report included ample evidence that there were no legal impediments to the foster mother’s adoption, and that she had excelled for over two years at meeting their needs. Further, the record included additional evidence to support the adoptability finding, including details of the children’s appealing characteristics such as their young ages and attractive physical appearances. Mother also argued that the court erred in finding adoption as the permanent plan because the children would benefit more from maintaining their relationship with her than they would from being adopted. The appellate court rejected this argument as well, finding that although regular visitation was maintained, the children had been in foster care for two years and nothing in the record showed that the minors had needs which could only be met by mother. The court further held that the appeal was properly authorized by counsel, and that the court’s previous practice of questioning whether an appeal is authorized when the notice is signed by trial counsel is discontinued.