California : Family Code: 7820-7829
(provided by Divorce Source, Inc.)
Published 5.20.98

7820. A proceeding may be brought under this part for the purpose of having a child under the age of 18 years declared free from the custody and control of either or both parents if the child comes within any of the descriptions set out in this chapter.

7821. A finding pursuant to this chapter shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence.

7822. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where the child has been left without provision for the child's identification by the child's parent or parents or by others or has been left by both parents or the sole parent in the care and custody of another for a period of six months or by one parent in the care and custody of the other parent for a period of one year without any provision for the child's support, or without communication from the parent or parents, with the intent on the part of the parent or parents to abandon the child.

(b) The failure to provide identification, failure to provide support, or failure to communicate is presumptive evidence of the intent to abandon. If the parent or parents have made only token efforts to support or communicate with the child, the court may declare the child abandoned by the parent or parents.

(c) If the child has been left without provision for the child's identification and the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, a petition may be filed after the 120th day following the discovery of the child and citation by publication may be commenced. The petition may not be heard until after the 180th day following the discovery of the child.

(d) If the parent has placed the child for adoption and has not refused to give the required consent to adoption, evidence of the adoptive placement shall not in itself preclude the court from finding an intent on the part of that parent to abandon the child. If the parent has placed the child for adoption and has refused to give the required consent to adoption but has not taken reasonable action to obtain custody of the child, evidence of the adoptive placement shall not in itself preclude the court from finding an intent on the part of that parent to abandon the child.

7823. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(b) Physical custody by the parent or parents for insubstantial periods of time does not interrupt the running of the one-year period.

7824. (a) "Disability" as used in this section means any physical or mental incapacity which renders the parent or parents unable to care for and control the child adequately.

(b) A proceeding under this part may be brought where all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(c) Physical custody by the parent or parents for insubstantial periods of time does not interrupt the running of the one-year period.

7825. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of the following requirements are satisfied:

(b) The mother of a child may bring a proceeding under this part against the father of the child, where the child was conceived as a result of an act in violation of Section 261 of the Penal Code, and where the father was convicted of that violation. For purposes of this subdivision, there is a conclusive presumption that the father is unfit to have custody or control of the child.

7826. A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of the following requirements are satisfied:

7827. (a) "Mentally disabled" as used in this section means that a parent or parents suffer a mental incapacity or disorder that renders the parent or parents unable to care for and control the child adequately.

(b) A proceeding under this part may be brought where the child is one whose parent or parents are mentally disabled and are likely to remain so in the foreseeable future.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the evidence of any two experts, each of whom shall be a physician and surgeon, certified either by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or under Section 6750 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a licensed psychologist who has a doctoral degree in psychology and at least five years of postgraduate experience in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental disorders, is required to support a finding under this section. In addition to this requirement, the court shall have the discretion to call a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor, or a licensed clinical social worker, either of whom shall have at least five years of relevant postlicensure experience, in circumstances where the court determines that this testimony is in the best interest of the child and is warranted by the circumstances of the particular family or parenting issues involved. However, the court may not call a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor or licensed clinical social worker pursuant to this section who is the adoption service provider, as defined in Section 8502, of the child who is the subject of the petition to terminate parental rights.

(d) If the parent or parents reside in another state or in a foreign country, the evidence required by this section may be supplied by the affidavits of two experts, each of whom shall be either of the following:

(e) If the rights of a parent are sought to be terminated pursuant to this section, and the parent has no attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney for the parent pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 7860) of Chapter 3, whether or not a request for the appointment is made by the parent.

7828. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(b) If the child has been adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court and placed in out-of-home placement pursuant to Section 361 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the one-year period is calculated from the date of the dispositional hearing at which the child was placed in out-of-home placement pursuant to that section.

(c) If the child is in placement under the supervision of a county welfare department or other public or private licensed child-placing agency, pursuant to a voluntary placement, as described in Section 16507.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the one-year period is calculated from the date the child entered out-of-home placement.

(d) Trial placement of the child in the physical custody of the parent or visitation of the child with the parent during the one-year period, when the trial placement or visitation does not result in permanent placement of the child with the parent, does not interrupt the running of the one-year period.

(e) The court shall make a determination that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parents which were designed to aid the parents to overcome the problems which led to the deprivation or continued loss of custody and that despite the availability of these services, return of the child to the parents would be detrimental to the child. The probation officer or social worker currently assigned to the case of the child shall appear at the termination proceedings. If the child has been adjudged to be a dependent child of the court pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the court shall review and consider the contents of the juvenile court file in determining if the services offered were reasonable under the circumstances.

7829. A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of the following requirements are satisfied:


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