(Super. Ct. No. SC SC JV SQ 07-50510-01)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz ,j.
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
Appellant M.P., father of the minor, appeals from the juvenile court's order terminating parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395.)*fn1 He contends the juvenile court erred by failing to find an exception to adoption based on his beneficial parental relationship with the minor. (§ 366.26, subd. (c)(1)(B)(i).) Disagreeing with this contention, we shall affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
In July 2007, a dependency petition was filed by the Siskiyou County Human Services Department (the Department) concerning the two-month-old minor, who was born with severe medical problems, including gastroschisis (an abnormality of the placement of the intestines, which was corrected shortly after the minor's birth) and craniosynostosis (in which the skull bones are inflexible and fused, prohibiting normal brain growth). Staff at the hospital, as well as the minor's doctor, expressed concern that the mother did not appear able to care for the minor without assistance and did not obtain necessary support services. In addition, the petition alleged that appellant, who lived with the mother, initially was unaware of her neglect of the minor. Furthermore, appellant and the mother were late in scheduling a follow-up medical appointment for the minor.
The allegations in the petition were sustained and reunification services were ordered. Objectives for appellant included that he demonstrate an ability to provide adequate care for the minor's special needs, and services were geared toward teaching him to care for a medically fragile infant.
At the six-month review hearing, the mother's reunification services were terminated, but services for appellant, who was no longer living with the mother, were continued.
By the 12-month review, the minor had received surgery to repair her skull, and it had been determined that she needed additional surgery. Additionally, she had suffered multiple respiratory infections requiring emergency care and daily breathing treatments, and she had chronic ear infections. The minor was receiving physical therapy through the Far Northern Regional Center and was being seen at UC Davis Medical Center for follow-up care. Appellant was having regular, unsupervised visitation with the minor, including weekly three-hour visits in his home, and he continued to cooperate with all services.
At the 12-month review hearing, the juvenile court ordered six more months of services for appellant.
Appellant continued to cooperate with services, and the minor spent weekends with him, as well as two extended holiday periods. Appellant planned to move closer to his family if the minor was returned so they could help him with her care.
At the first 18-month review hearing, in January 2009, the social worker supported return of the minor to appellant. She acknowledged various concerns--including the fact that appellant did not have a valid driver's license, lacked personal cleanliness, smoked outside the home, and had difficulty getting fruits and vegetables into the minor's diet--but she did not feel these were obstacles to reunification.
The minor's pediatrician testified that he had various concerns regarding appellant's ability to care for the minor, but he acknowledged that these concerns had decreased and he could not say "to a reasonable medical certainty" that ...