APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Carol Isackson, Judge. (Super. Ct. No. SJ12014)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: O'rourke, J.
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A.S. and Pedro V., Jr., appeal the judgment terminating their parental rights to their three-year-old son, Pedro V. III (Pedro). A.S. contends the court erred by declining to apply the beneficial relationship exception to termination of parental rights (Welf. & Inst. Code,*fn1 § 366.26, subd. (c)(1)(B)(i)). Pedro V., Jr., joins in this contention. We affirm.
In May 2008 A.S. left three-year-old Pedro with a caregiver who A.S. said was using controlled substances. A.S. did not make any provisions for Pedro's support or give the caregiver her contact information. Just before Pedro was detained by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (the Agency), he tested presumptively positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines. In June 2008 the Agency filed a dependency petition based on the above facts. At the time the petition was filed Pedro V., Jr., was in prison.
In June 2008 Pedro was detained in Polinsky Children's Center for five days. He was then moved to a foster home where he remained for approximately three months. In August the court made a true finding on the petition and ordered Pedro placed in foster care. In September Pedro was moved to the home of his maternal grandmother. In March 2009 he was placed in a foster home. In September the court terminated A.S.'s reunification services and set a section 366.26 hearing. On March 13, 2010, Pedro was moved to a prospective adoptive home. The section 366.26 hearing took place in July.
If a dependent child is adoptable,*fn2 the juvenile court must terminate parental rights at the section 366.26 hearing unless the parent proves the existence of a statutory exception. (§ 366.26, subd. (c)(1); In re Helen W. (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 71, 80.) One such exception exists if "[t]he parent[ has] maintained regular visitation and contact with the child and the child would benefit from continuing the relationship." (§ 366.26, subd. (c)(1)(B)(i).) A beneficial relationship is one that "promotes the well-being of the child to such a degree as to outweigh the well-being the child would gain in a permanent home with new, adoptive parents." (In re Autumn H. (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 567, 575.) The existence of this relationship is determined by considering "[t]he age of the child, the portion of the child's life spent in the parent's custody, the 'positive' or 'negative' effect of interaction between parent and child, and the child's particular needs . . . ." (Id. at p. 576.) Examining the evidence in the light most favorable to the judgment, we conclude there is substantial evidence to support the court's finding that A.S. did not maintain regular visitation and there was no beneficial relationship. (Id. at pp. 576-577; In re Cristella C. (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 1363, 1373.)
Before the inception of this case, A.S. demonstrated a lack of concern for Pedro. She hit him. She left him with others for long periods.*fn3 She did not meet his needs for nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and medical care. She used illicit drugs. During this case, A.S. was offered substance abuse treatment, but was terminated from at least two programs and continued using drugs intermittently. A.S. had a criminal record. She was on probation and incarcerated for a probation violation during this case.
A.S. never progressed beyond supervised visitation. Except at the beginning of this case, she did not visit or contact Pedro regularly. During visits, A.S. sometimes demonstrated inappropriate parenting. She was impatient and often left visits early. Pedro looked forward to visits and expressed affection for A.S. During visits, however, A.S. "often appear[ed] to be out of touch" and this was evident to Pedro. As a result, A.S. and Pedro did not ...