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Name: Victoria S. v. Superior Court
Case #: G033652
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/12/2004

Reunification services were terminated in this case involving a sixteen year old minor, and a 366.26 hearing was set. The minor, who had a baby of her own, was living with a paternal aunt who did not wish to adopt her. But she did not wish to be adopted unless it was by the paternal aunt. On appeal, mother argued that setting a .26 hearing was not in the minor’s best interests because she was not adoptable and there was no person willing to assume legal guardianship. The appellate court here rejected the argument. First, counsel stipulated to the setting of the .26 hearing, so the issue is waived. In any event, there was no error as it was not entirely clear that there was no one willing to assume legal guardianship. An implication in the social worker’s report was that the aunt was willing to consider it. Given that guardianship is preferable to long term foster care as a permanent plan, it was necessary for the court to schedule a .26 hearing. Long term foster care may still be the ultimate disposition if guardianship or adoption are rejected. Mother was not aggrieved by the court’s decision to hold a hearing where all the possibilities could be considered.