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Name: In re I.E.
Case #: E080223
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/17/2023

Termination of parental rights was proper, despite a loving and meaningful relationship between parent and child, where the minor expressed her desire to be adopted. The four-year-old minor was removed from her mother due to domestic violence and substance abuse. After 12 months of services, Mother continued to have positive drug tests and arrived to visitations with visible injuries. The minor said that she wanted to remain connected to Mother, but did not want to return to her custody because Mother was still in a domestic violence relationship. At the section 366.26 hearing, the juvenile court found the minor adoptable, found that the relationship was substantial and positive, but concluded that it was in the minor’s best interest to terminate parental rights because the detriment of losing that relationship was far outweighed by the benefits of permanency. Mother appealed and the reviewing court affirmed. A child’s wishes may be highly relevant evidence when determining whether termination of parental rights will be detrimental to the child. While there was no dispute that Mother and the minor had a meaningful and affectionate relationship, the minor’s statements that she wanted to be adopted by her foster mother and live in her “forever home” showed that the detriment of losing the relationship with Mother was outweighed by the benefits of permanency.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: