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Name: In re K.H.
Case #: F062295
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2011

The juvenile court properly applied an exception to adoption for relatives unwilling to adopt where relatives preferred guardianship and wished to remain the minors’ grandparents. Minors appealed the court’s order designating legal guardianship with their grandparents as their permanent placement. The juvenile court found an exception to adoption under section 366.26 (c)(1)(A) which governs a child living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child. Minors contended on appeal that the juvenile court erred in applying the exception because it was required to find the relative caregiver’s inability or unwillingness to adopt was due to “appropriate circumstances.” Minors argued that the Legislature did not intend the relative caregiver exception to be based on a relative’s mere preference for guardianship over adoption. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The exception requires nothing more than the relative’s unwillingness or inability to adopt because of circumstances that do not include their unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the children.