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Name: In re M.C.
Case #: B222241
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/06/2011

Where conflicting claims of parentage result in three presumed parents, the juvenile court must weigh the conflicting presumptions to determine which two are the parents. The juvenile court found that the minor had three presumed parents: her biological mother, her biological mother’s wife who married her prior to the minor’s birth, and the biological father, who promptly came forward and demonstrated his commitment to the minor. The mothers appealed, arguing that the juvenile court erred when it found the biological father to be a presumed parent. The father appeals, arguing that the court erred when it refused to place the minor with him pursuant to section 361.2, because he was the nonoffending noncustodial parent. The appellate court found that substantial evidence supported the parentage findings, but that the juvenile court erred by not weighing the conflicting presumptions to determine which of them are founded on weightier considerations of policy and logic. The matter had to be remanded for the juvenile court to complete its job and resolve the conflicting presumptions between the three parents. The Supreme Court has continually rejected the notion of dual paternity or maternity where its recognition would result in three parents. In light of the juvenile court’s failure to first resolve conflicting parentage presumptions, the issue of placement with the father pursuant to section 361.2 was not ripe, and can only be resolved on remand.