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Name: In re S.B.
Case #: D052202
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/26/2008

The trial court erred when it found that the continuing beneficial relationship exception did not apply and terminated parental rights. Father argued at the 366.26 hearing that he had a beneficial relationship with the minor which outweighed the benefits of adoption. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The minor here had a strong attachment to her father which continued despite the lack of day-to-day contact with her after she was removed from his care. Further, the social worker impermissibly considered the suitability of the grandparents’ home in recommending termination of parental rights. The appellate court rejected the department’s position that the continuing-beneficial-relationship exception does not apply unless the child has a “primary attachment” to the parent. It is not reasonable to require the parent of a child removed from his custody to prove the child has a primary attachment to the parent or to show the parent and the child have maintained day-to-day contact.