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In Re C. S., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. T. S

March 20, 2012

IN RE C. S., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
T. S., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. JD231027)

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

In re C.S. 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

T.S., mother of minor C.S., appeals from the juvenile court's orders terminating her parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 366.26, 395; undesignated statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.) She contends the juvenile court erred in concluding the beneficial relationship exception to termination of her parental rights did not apply. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On September 10, 2010, the minor's parents, both intoxicated and neither with a valid driver's license, drove the minor to a park and then engaged in domestic violence, resulting in injuries to mother, with the 20-month old minor in the car. The maternal grandfather came to the park and retrieved the minor. Mother was subsequently arrested on an outstanding warrant.

On October 1, 2010, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) filed a section 300 petition on behalf of the minor, alleging the parents have a history of engaging in domestic violence in the presence of the minor and that mother has failed to protect the minor from father's known violent behavior. The petition further alleged that mother failed to reunify with the minor's two half siblings and her parental rights to both children had been terminated (one in May 2004 and the other in October 2008). Mother had engaged in domestic violence with, and failed to protect the half siblings from, her then boyfriend (who was the father of one of the half siblings).

On October 7, 2010, the minor was ordered detained and he remained placed with his grandfather, with whom he already had a bond. The combined jurisdiction and disposition hearing did not take place until March 2011. The juvenile court sustained the petition, as amended to allege mother's substance abuse and failure to complete court ordered drug diversion, and declared the minor a dependent child of the court. The juvenile court bypassed services for mother pursuant to section 361.5, subdivisions (b)(10), (b)(11), and (b)(13), and for father pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(13).

The selection and implementation report, filed June 20, 2011, recommended terminating parental rights and proceeding to adoption. The minor's parents were visiting two times a month and had been appropriate during visits. The family service worker who supervised the visits reported that the minor did not appear to have any difficulty separating from the parents. The minor continued to thrive in the care of his grandfather. He was in good health and developmentally on track. He had developed a strong bond and attachment to his grandfather, whom he calls "Papa," and was responding positively to his grandfather's guidance, directions, love, and nurturance. He had also been visiting his half siblings and extended family members. The grandfather was preparing to adopt the minor.*fn1 He had been approved by the Kinship Department and an adoption home study was under way. The minor was also generally adoptable, in light of his good health and age-appropriate development.

Mother opposed termination of parental rights and presented a letter to the juvenile court. In the letter, she wrote: "The way I bond with my son is by reading/writing with him, playing with him, saying his alphabets and 123's. Sitting and listen [sic] while he talks to me. I make sure I make it to every visit. I let him know that I love him. After each visit he cries to be with me. That makes me relize [sic] that I need to do every thing [sic] better that is required of me to get him back and show him that I love him, and am going to do everything that I can for him. He knows that I'm mommy." She also wrote that she made a lot of mistakes in the past and intended to change for the future.

The juvenile court found the minor was generally adoptable and that no exceptions to adoption applied. Specifically, the juvenile court found that "[e]ven though the mother has a good relationship with her child, it's not a sufficient relationship that would outweigh the permanency received from adoption by his grandfather." The juvenile court then ordered parental rights terminated and ordered a permanent plan of adoption.

DISCUSSION

Appellant contends the juvenile court erred by finding that the beneficial parent-child relationship exception to adoption (ยง 366.26, subd. ...


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