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Name: M.M. v. D.V.
Case #: D077468
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/19/2021
Summary

Family Code section 7612, subdivision (c), applies where there is an existing parent-child relationship between the child and the person seeking to be considered a third parent. M.M. and Mother were in a relationship which overlapped with Mother’s relationship with T.M. When Minor was born, T.M. believed he was the father. When Minor was two years old, M.M. discovered he was the biological father of Minor. Mother did not allow M.M. to develop a relationship with Minor. M.M filed a petition to establish a parental relationship with Minor, requesting to be recognized as a third parent. The court concluded that because M.M. did not have an existing relationship with Minor there was no detriment to Minor by having only two parents. The appellate court affirmed the orders. Under Family Code section 7612, subdivision (c), a court may find that more than two persons with a claim to parentage are parents if the court finds that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to the child. The Legislature intended section 7612, subdivision (c) to be narrow in scope and to apply only in rare cases in which a child has more than two parents with true parental relationships. Section 7612, subdivision (c) applies where there is an existing parent-child relationship between the child and the putative third parent. The ultimate focus in this proceeding must be on whether it would be detrimental to the child to have only two parents, not on whether it is in the putative parent’s interest to obtain third parent status. Here, Minor did not have an established relationship with M.M. and thus it would not be detrimental to Minor to have only two parents.