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In Re S. P. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. Silvia P

July 11, 2012


(Super. Ct. Nos. JD227022, JD227023, JD227024 & JD227025)

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

In re S.P. CA3


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Mother (Silvia P.) appeals from the juvenile court's orders terminating her parental rights and creating a permanent plan of adoption as to minors A.P., M.P., An.P., and S.P. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.26.)*fn1 Mother contends the court erred by finding that the beneficial parental relationship exception to adoption did not apply. We shall affirm.


In February 2008, Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) filed non-detaining section 300 petitions as to A.P (then nine years old), M.P (then three years old), An.P. (then one year old), and S.P. (then six months old), alleging that father had physically abused A.P., who was developmentally delayed, and mother had failed to protect the minors. The petitions were dismissed without prejudice in May 2008.

In February 2009, the Department filed new section 300 petitions, alleging that father continued to abuse A.P. physically, yet mother maintained a relationship with him and allowed him continued contact with the minors. According to the protective custody warrants issued for the minors, father refused to sign the Department's informal supervision plan. Mother, feeling overwhelmed, voluntarily placed the minors in a crisis nursery in October 2008, from which they were moved to foster care.

The detention report stated that father had relocated to Texas. Despite being told not to contact the family again until he had participated in services, he had returned and visited the minors along with mother. Mother had not yet engaged in or benefited from services and still failed to grasp the risk to the minors from contact with father.

The jurisdiction/disposition report recommended continued services for mother.*fn2 Mother said she had broken off her relationship with father, but still defended him and denied any history of domestic violence. She was unemployed and had no source of income. She suffered from diagnosed depression, for which she was seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist. She was undergoing a high-risk pregnancy; the fetus had major medical conditions and would need prolonged hospitalization after birth.*fn3

A.P., An.P., and S.P. were placed together and doing well; M.P., who had behavior problems, was placed separately. The minors' health had improved dramatically since their placement in foster care. A.P. said she did not feel safe with father, who yelled at her and mother and sometimes hit mother with a stick.

At the jurisdiction/disposition hearing in June 2009, the juvenile court exercised jurisdiction over the minors, ordered them to remain in foster care, and granted services to the parents.

The permanency report, filed in November 2009, recommended six more months of services to the family. Father remained in Texas, where he had begun services. Mother had completed individual counseling and parenting and continued to see a psychiatrist for depression, but had not completed domestic violence counseling. Mother's visitation with the minors had gone well, but she had not progressed to unsupervised overnight visitation because she lacked suitable housing. The minors continued to do well in their placements. A.P., who was in sixth grade but functioned cognitively on the kindergarten/first grade level, had an Individual Education Plan and had recently begun therapy at River Oaks Center, as well as seeing a psychiatrist for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression; M.P. had also recently begun therapy at River Oaks Center. The foster parents of A.P., An P., and S.P. would be willing to adopt them; M.P.'s foster parents would consider legal guardianship.

At the permanency hearing in December 2009, the juvenile court ordered further services for the parents and unsupervised visitation for mother.

The permanency review report, filed in March 2010, recommended six more months of services for the parents. Mother had completed court-ordered counseling and domestic violence programs and continued to see a psychiatrist for depression, but needed ongoing counseling for anxiety and stress. Mother's unsupervised visits with the minors went well. Once she obtained suitable housing, the minors could be returned to her custody. All of the minors wanted to live with mother; the three younger minors also wanted to live with father, but A.P. did not because she still feared that he might hurt her.

In April 2010, after mother was approved for temporary housing, the juvenile court placed the minors with her ...

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