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In Re Kaelyn B., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. J.B. et al

March 20, 2012

IN RE KAELYN B., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. BUTTE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
J.B. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



(Super. Ct. No. J34267)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hoch , J.

In re Kaelyn B. Ca3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

J.B. and Kirk B., parents of the minor, appeal from orders of the juvenile court terminating their parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366, 395.)*fn1 Parents contend the court erred in failing to apply the sibling exception to defeat termination of parental rights and should have ordered a post-termination sibling contact agreement. Parents have forfeited both contentions on appeal by failing to raise the issues in the juvenile court. With regard to the post-termination sibling contact agreement, the issue is premature because such a contact order, if any, shall be made at the time of adoption, not termination of parental rights. For these reasons, we affirm.

FACTS

The three-year-old minor and her seven-year-old brother were removed from parental custody in September 2009 due to mother's substance abuse and domestic violence and father's homelessness and mental health issues. The juvenile court ordered family reunification services for the parents.

The minor and her sibling were initially placed together but, nine months after removal, the sibling's behavioral issues made it necessary to move him to a new placement where he was more stable. By the 12-month review report, the social worker recommended termination of reunification services and setting a section 366.26 hearing. The juvenile court adopted the recommendation, terminating services in November 2010.

The assessment for the section 366.26 hearing concluded the minor and her sibling were adoptable but difficult to place and requested a continuance for homefinding. An addendum to the assessment stated the minor's caretaker was now interested in adoption and recommended termination of parental rights to permit her adoption in a stable placement. The addendum stated the minor's sibling was moving to a new placement but the minor's prospective adoptive parent remained open to continuing contact between the siblings.

The section 366.26 hearing was set for a contested hearing on March 10, 2011. At that hearing, there was discussion of a designated relinquishment of parental rights and the hearing was continued. The matter was again heard on March 29, 2011. Neither parent appeared. Counsel for each parent entered a general objection to termination of parental rights. The juvenile court terminated parental rights, freeing the minor for adoption.

DISCUSSION

I

Sibling Exception

Parents contend the juvenile court erred in failing to apply the sibling exception to defeat the preference for ...


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