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In Re Isaiah M., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court v. Megan M

November 20, 2012

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



(Super. Ct. No. JD230574)

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

In re Isaiah M.

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Megan M., mother of the minor, appeals from orders of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights and denying her petition for modification. (Welf. & Inst. Code,*fn1 §§ 366.26, 388, 395.) Appellant contends the court erred in terminating parental rights because the evidence showed a substantial parent-child bond, the court did not inquire about guardianship with the paternal grandmother as an alternative to adoption, the evidence did not support the finding the minor was likely to be adopted in a reasonable time, and the juvenile court erred in denying appellant's petition for modification. We affirm.

FACTS

The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (department) filed a petition in March 2010 to remove three-year-old Isaiah M. from parental custody, alleging the minor had serious injuries that he said were inflicted by appellant's boyfriend. Although initially denying the minor was injured, when confronted by photographs, appellant agreed that the minor was bruised. Appellant stated there was no domestic violence in the home, but she would choose the minor over her boyfriend. The minor was placed with relatives. The juvenile court sustained the petition in May 2010.

Appellant participated in services pending the disposition hearing and insisted she was not in contact with the boyfriend. The department made efforts to transition the minor from foster care to his father's care, but the minor was not ready for that change. Due to the abuse he suffered, the minor had trust issues and needed predictability in his life. At disposition, the juvenile court ordered services for both parents.

Appellant continued in services and told the social worker she had severed her relationship with the boyfriend. Visits were going well and the plan was to begin unsupervised visits. An investigation two months later disclosed that appellant, in spite of her assurances, was in a continuing relationship with the boyfriend, who had again physically abused the minor during an unsupervised visit.

In October 2010, the relative caretakers asked for the minor's removal because the chaos of the dependency was affecting their family. The minor was placed in a nonadoptive foster home.

The six-month review report said appellant was continuing to attend some services but had not begun others. Visits were now supervised. The report concluded the parents had not yet benefitted from services and recommended continued foster placement and services. The juvenile court adopted the recommendations.

The review report in June 2011 recommended further services for appellant and continued foster placement for the minor. The minor had some physical and emotional issues and was in therapy. Placement with the paternal grandmother was being considered. Visits between the minor and appellant were going well. Appellant had again transitioned to unsupervised visits with the understanding that there was to be no contact with the boyfriend. The minor said he wanted to live with appellant. Appellant maintained that she was no longer in a relationship with the boyfriend. The court adopted the social worker's recommendations and set an 18-month review hearing.

Appellant had begun unsupervised visits on June 2, 2011; by the end of the month, the minor's toilet training had regressed and he was having daily accidents. Visits were increased in July 2011 and appellant continued to represent she had no contact with the boyfriend. However, in late July, the minor told his foster mother that the boyfriend would be in the home when he began overnight visits and that appellant and the boyfriend were getting married. The minor continued to report contact with the boyfriend at visits. The minor began refusing to talk with his therapist after having told her that appellant was pregnant.

The report for the 18-month review hearing recommended terminating services and setting a selection and implementation hearing. Appellant had given birth in August 2011 to the minor's half sibling and, while she denied the boyfriend was the father of the child, he insisted that he was. The minor continued to have toileting issues and his therapist was working with him on expressing his feelings. In a joint therapy session with the minor, appellant had to be encouraged to interact with him. Unsupervised visits continued until the social worker verified appellant and the boyfriend were still in ...


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