In re B.D.Annotate this Case
After a Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing, the parental rights for eight-year-old B.D. were terminated. The court approved a permanent plan of adoption and determined that the parents failed to meet their burden of establishing the applicability of the beneficial parental relationship exception. The parties stipulated to reversal, jointly recognizing that, following the termination of parental rights, “subsequent events [have] undermined the juvenile court’s finding that [Minor] was likely to be adopted.” Those events concerned injuries B.D. suffered in foster care and the criminal history of her foster father. The court of appeal reversed, holding that this is a “rare and compelling case … where post-judgment evidence stands to completely undermine the legal underpinnings of the juvenile court’s judgment under review, and all parties recognize as much. Rather than relying on the stipulation, the court decided the case on the merits, finding that the Contra Costa Children and Family Services Bureau violated section 366.22(c)(1)(D), by withholding from the court information material to the “preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, particularly the caretaker[.]” For B.D., who has joined her parents in requesting reversal, this breach rises to the level of a due process violation.