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In Re R.D. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. A.W

September 18, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. J04783)

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

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A.W. (mother), mother of minors Rudolph D., Kayla D., and L.D. (minors), appeals from orders of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. Code,*fn1 §§ 366.26, 395.) Mother contends the court erred in terminating her parental rights, thus freeing Kayla D. and L.D.*fn2 for adoption, because there was insufficient evidence that they were likely to be adopted in a reasonable time. Disagreeing, we shall affirm.


The San Joaquin County Human Services Agency (Agency) filed a petition in December 2007 to detain Rudolph D., then age eight; Kayla D., then age two; and newborn L.D., who tested positive for methamphetamine at birth. Both parents had a history of substance abuse and were ordered into drug court and treatment plans on December 27, 2007. The juvenile court ordered additional reunification services for the parents on April 1, 2008. The court terminated their services on August 24, 2009.

The report prepared by the Agency for the section 366.26 hearing revealed minors were in a nonadoptive foster home and detailed each minor's current functioning and needs. The report concluded minors were able to form attachments, were healthy and had attractive qualities. The Agency requested a continuance to find an adoptive placement since the foster family was unwilling to adopt and no relatives had come forward to complete an assessment.

The Agency's report from May 2010 informed that Rudolph D. was doing well in placement; Kayla D., though her behavior had improved, continued to lie and have tantrums; and L.D. was very delayed and receiving extensive services. L.D. also required a supplemented diet to increase his weight. Rudolph D.'s parental visits were decreased at his request. The Agency had no success in finding an adoptive placement, and opined that the high number of family visits and L.D.'s delays and unknown prognosis were reasons for prospective adoptive families not pursuing placement.

The supplemental section 366.26 report filed in August 2010 again requested a continuance for home-finding. Minors remained healthy and both Rudolph D. and Kayla D. were developing appropriately. L.D. was making some progress in language and interaction due to intensive services and was to be assessed to rule out autism. Rudolph D. was having some behavioral issues at school and was in therapy to address his anger against his parents. Minors were all considered to have special needs either because of behavior or delays. The Agency continued to assess relatives for potential placement of minors, but had not yet found an adoptive home for minors. However, the Agency was optimistic and continued to present minors at adoption exchange meetings and fairs.

The review report for November 2010 revealed that a paternal cousin (cousin) was being assessed for placement.

The section 366.26 report prepared in May 2011 informed the court that cousin had been approved for placement and minors, who had never met cousin, were going to begin visits with her. The Agency was uncertain as to whether adoption would be the recommended permanent plan; Rudolph D. had stated he did not want to be adopted. A neurologist examined L.D. and diagnosed him with global delays and cerebral palsy. The neurologist opined that, with continued services, L.D. would continue to progress and "'likely' catch up with his peers in some areas within the next years." Testing showed L.D.'s hearing and sight were normal. He was receiving services from the school district.

A review report in June 2011 noted minors had been assessed as adoptable in 2009.

The November 2011 report for the section 366.26 hearing revealed that minors had been placed in the home of cousin since August 2011. Cousin had "demonstrated thus far that she is very capable of meeting [minors'] needs on a daily basis." Cousin reported being in good health ...

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