California Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26(c)(1)(E)

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 366.26, subdivision (c)(1)(E) provides for an exception to a court's decision to terminate parental rights: The exception is relevant when "there would be substantial interference with a child's sibling relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared significant common experiences or has existing close and strong bonds with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child's best interest, including the child's long-term emotional interest, as compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption." In In re Daniel H. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 804, the Court stated that standing to assert ineffective assistance in that context was probably conferred by the enactment of Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26(c)(1)(E) which allows trial courts to consider sibling relationships as a reason to decline to terminate parental rights. Given this new ground for refusing to terminate parental rights, the Court reasoned that a parent's interests are affected by ineffective litigation of the sibling visitation issue and thus, he or she should have standing to raise the point. (In re Daniel H., supra, 99 Cal.App.4th at pp. 811-812.)