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Name: In re Andrew M.
Case #: G063462
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/11/2024

The juvenile court abused its discretion by finding the parental benefit exception applied where Minor was removed at birth and the relationship with parents was limited to monitored visitation. Minor was removed at birth due to Mother’s substance abuse and placed with a foster family. Mother and Father visited with Minor during the two-year period that preceded the permanency hearing. Minor enjoyed visits but exhibited little distress when visits concluded. The juvenile court found the parental benefit exception to the termination of parental rights applied and ordered a permanent plan of guardianship. Minor appealed and the reviewing court reversed. Preserving…

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Name: In re I.E.
Case #: E080223
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/17/2023

Termination of parental rights was proper, despite a loving and meaningful relationship between parent and child, where the minor expressed her desire to be adopted. The four-year-old minor was removed from her mother due to domestic violence and substance abuse. After 12 months of services, Mother continued to have positive drug tests and arrived to visitations with visible injuries. The minor said that she wanted to remain connected to Mother, but did not want to return to her custody because Mother was still in a domestic violence relationship. At the section 366.26 hearing, the juvenile court found the minor adoptable,…

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Name: In re B.D.
Case #: D078014
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/27/2021

The juvenile court considered improper factors when addressing whether the parents had met their burden regarding the parental benefit exception to adoption. The minors were removed due to their parents' domestic violence and substance abuse issues. Reunification services to the parents were terminated due to their failure to make significant progress. At a contested 366.26 hearing, the juvenile court found that the parents had consistently visited the minors but they did not fulfill a parental role, and terminated parental rights. The appellate court reversed the orders. For the beneficial parent-child relationship exception to apply, a parent must show (1) regular…

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Name: In re Caden C.
Case #: S255839
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/27/2021

It was error to treat a parent's lack of progress in addressing substance abuse and mental health issues as a categorical bar to establishing the parental benefit exception. Caden C. was removed from mother at four years old, due to mother's drug use and mental health concerns. At the Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing, mother argued that the parental benefit exception applied and the trial court agreed, ordering that Caden remain in foster care. County counsel appealed and the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that because the parent continued to struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues…

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Name: In re A.G.
Case #: H047951
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/18/2020

The juvenile court shall conduct a further hearing to consider the legal sufficiency of mother's offer of proof regarding the parental relationship exception to adoption. A.G., a four-year-old, was declared a dependent and placed in out-of-home care after his mother drove with him in the car while under the influence twice on successive days. Mother visited regularly with the minor but struggled to maintain sobriety and family reunification services were terminated at the 12-month review hearing. Mother requested a contested section 366.26 hearing, arguing that the beneficial parental relationship exception to adoption applied. Upon the court's request, mother submitted a…

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Name: In re N.S.
Case #: D077177
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/17/2020
Subsequent History: Ordered published 10/9/2020

The juvenile court did not err when it terminated mother's parental rights, despite the Tribe's recommendation that guardianship should be the permanent plan. Mother appealed from an order terminating her parental rights to the minor and selecting adoption as the permanent plan. The minor's father was a member of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians (the Tribe), which had been involved in the dependency proceedings since the finding that ICWA applied. Mother contended that the Tribe's "decree" selecting guardianship as the permanent plan preempts the statutory preference for adoption under section 366.26. The appellate court rejected the argument. What…

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Name: In re Caden C.
Case #: A153925
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/09/2019

Juvenile court's reliance on the beneficial relationship exception was an abuse of discretion. Mother's services had been terminated by the time of the permanency planning hearing in this dependency action. The 10-year-old minor was doing well in his placement and had a relationship with his caretaker. He was not displaying any mental health or behavioral issues, and the caretaker expressed a desire to adopt. The social worker opined that the minor was doing better than he had ever been. Mother's visits had been reduced to once a month, and were generally appropriate. Mother, however, continued…

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Name: In re E.T.
Case #: A153896
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/12/2018

Termination of parental rights reversed where minors had a substantial attachment to mother which outweighed the benefits of a plan of adoption. Mother had a substantial bond with the minors and visited them as often as she was permitted during the dependency proceedings. She spoke with them on the phone when she could not visit them. The minors had spent two years in mother's custody, followed by two years with their godparents. Although mother was denied services, she continued to participate in programs to help maintain her sobriety and make her a better parent. She…

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Name: In re Breanna S.
Case #: B275340
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 02/14/2017

Juvenile court properly rejected parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights where mother only sporadically visited children and there was no evidence of a positive, significant, parental relationship. Mother appealed the order terminating her parental rights to the two minor children, contending that the juvenile court erred when it held that mother failed to establish the parent-child relationship exception. The appellate court disagreed. There was ample evidence mother visited the minors only sporadically during the first 18 months of the proceedings. Although her visits became more regular during the final six months before the 366.26…

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Name: In re Grace P. et al.
Case #: B275689
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/10/2017

Juvenile court erred by denying father a contested hearing on beneficial parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights. Throughout the dependency case, father visited the minors regularly and had positive visits. The minors said they missed father, and the foster parent, who monitored the visits, reported to the Agency that the children were bonded to father. At a 366.26 hearing, father requested a contested hearing to determine the applicability of the beneficial parent-child relationship exception to the termination of parental rights. He made an offer of proof regarding the regular visits and his bond with…

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