In re H.B.Annotate this Case
S.B. (father) appealed from the juvenile court’s order terminating his parental rights over his daughter H.B. pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code1 section 366.26. Father contends only that the juvenile court erred in finding the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) inapplicable based on the record of inquiry made by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (Department) with H.B.’s extended family members.
The Second Appellate District affirmed. The court explained that the Department inquired about Indian ancestry with representatives from both sides of two generational levels of H.B.’s family. It contacted every person its interviewees identified as a likely source of information about ancestry. The juvenile court had an adequate basis on which to conclude the Department fulfilled its inquiry obligations under section 224.2, subdivision (b), and that neither the Department nor the court had reason to know or believe that H.B. is an Indian child. Under the court’s deferential standard of review, the juvenile court did not need the Department to contact every unnamed extended family member that had attended a court hearing, regardless of difficulty in doing so, to reach its conclusion.