Dependent Adopted Child Hearing In California
"At a hearing under section 366.26, the court is required to select and implement a permanent plan for a dependent child. Where there is no probability of reunification with a parent, adoption is the preferred permanent plan. (In re Edward R. (1993) 12 Cal. App. 4th 116, 122 [15 Cal. Rptr. 2d 308]; In re Heather B. (1992) 9 Cal. App. 4th 535, 546 [11 Cal. Rptr. 2d 891].)
In order for the court to select and implement adoption as the permanent plan, it must find, by clear and convincing evidence, the minor will likely be adopted if parental rights are terminated. ( 366.26, subd. (c)(1).)
The parent then has the burden to show termination would be detrimental to the minor under one of four specified exceptions. ( 366.26, subd. (c)(1)(A)[-](D).)
In the absence of evidence termination would be detrimental to the minor under one of these exceptions, the court 'shall terminate parental rights . . . .' ( 366.26, subd. (c)(1), italics added; see also In re Matthew C. (1993) 6 Cal. 4th 386, 392 [24 Cal. Rptr. 2d 765, 862 P.2d 765] [where minor adoptable and none of the four statutory exceptions would result in detriment to minor, decision to terminate parental rights will be relatively automatic].)" (In re Tabatha G. (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1159, 1164 [53 Cal. Rptr. 2d 93].)
"The issue of adoptability posed in a section 366.26 hearing focuses on the minor, e.g., whether the minor's age, physical condition, and emotional state make it difficult to find a person willing to adopt the minor.
Hence, it is not necessary that the minor already be in a potential adoptive home or that there be a proposed adoptive parent 'waiting in the wings." (In re Sarah M. (1994) 22 Cal. App. 4th 1642, 1649 [28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 82].)
"Usually, the fact that a prospective adoptive parent has expressed interest in adopting the minor is evidence that the minor's age, physical condition, mental state, and other matters relating to the child are not likely to dissuade individuals from adopting the minor.
In other words, a prospective adoptive parent's willingness to adopt generally indicates the minor is likely to be adopted within a reasonable time either by the prospective adoptive parent or by some other family." (Id. at pp. 1649-1650, 28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 82.)