Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 12. PARENT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP [7500 - 7962]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 3. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT [7600 - 7730]

  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 5. Termination of Parental Rights in Adoption Proceedings [7660 - 7671]
  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

7660.
  

If a mother relinquishes for or consents to, or proposes to relinquish for or consent to, the adoption of a child who has a presumed parent under Section 7611, the presumed parent shall be given notice of the adoption proceeding and have the rights provided under Part 2 (commencing with Section 8600) of Division 13, unless that parent’s relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined by a court not to exist or the presumed parent has voluntarily relinquished for or consented to the adoption of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 15. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7660.5.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a presumed father may waive the right to notice of any adoption proceeding by executing a form developed by the department before an authorized representative of the department, an authorized representative of a licensed public or private adoption agency, or a notary public or other person authorized to perform notarial acts. The waiver of notice form may be validly executed before or after the birth of the child, and once signed no notice, relinquishment for, or consent to adoption of the child shall be required from the father for the adoption to proceed. This shall be a voluntary and informed waiver without undue influence. If the child is an Indian child as defined under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), any waiver of consent by an Indian presumed father shall be executed in accordance with the requirements for voluntary adoptions set forth in Section 1913 of Title 25 of the United States Code. The waiver shall not affect the rights of any known federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes from which the child or the presumed father may be descended to notification of, or participation in, adoption proceedings as provided by the ICWA. Notice that the waiver has been executed shall be given to any known federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes from which the child or the presumed father may be descended, as required by the ICWA.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 534, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2009.)

7661.
  

If the other parent relinquishes for or consents to, or proposes to relinquish for or consent to, the adoption of a child, the mother shall be given notice of the adoption proceeding and have the rights provided under Part 2 (commencing with Section 8600) of Division 13, unless the mother’s relationship to the child has been previously terminated by a court or the mother has voluntarily relinquished for or consented to the adoption of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 16. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7662.
  

(a) If a mother relinquishes for or consents to, or proposes to relinquish for or consent to, the adoption of a child, or if a child otherwise becomes the subject of an adoption proceeding, the agency or person to whom the child has been or is to be relinquished, or the mother or the person having physical or legal custody of the child, or the prospective adoptive parent, shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the alleged father, unless one of the following occurs:

(1) The alleged father’s relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined not to exist by a court.

(2) The alleged father has been served as prescribed in Section 7666 with a written notice alleging that the alleged father is or could be the biological father of the child to be adopted or placed for adoption and has failed to bring an action for the purpose of declaring the existence of the father and child relationship pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7630 within 30 days of service of the notice or the birth of the child, whichever is later.

(3) The alleged father has executed a written form developed by the department to waive notice, to deny parentage, relinquish the child for adoption, or consent to the adoption of the child.

(b) The alleged father may validly execute a waiver or denial of parentage before or after the birth of the child, and, once signed, no notice of, relinquishment for, or consent to adoption of the child shall be required from the alleged father for the adoption to proceed.

(c) Except as provided in this subdivision and subdivision (d), all proceedings affecting a child, including proceedings under Divisions 8 (commencing with Section 3000) to 11 (commencing with Section 6500), inclusive, Part 1 (commencing with Section 7500) to Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600), inclusive, of this division, and Part 1 (commencing with Section 1400), Part 2 (commencing with Section 1500), and Part 4 (commencing with Section 2100) of Division 4 of the Probate Code, and any motion or petition for custody or visitation filed in a proceeding under this part, shall be stayed. The petition to terminate parental rights under this section is the only matter that may be heard during the stay until the court issues a final ruling on the petition.

(d) This section does not limit the jurisdiction of the court pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 10 with respect to domestic violence orders, or pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code with respect to dependency proceedings.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 95. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

7663.
  

(a) In an effort to identify all alleged fathers and presumed parents, the court shall cause inquiry to be made of the mother and any other appropriate person by one of the following:

(1) The State Department of Social Services.

(2) A licensed county adoption agency.

(3) The licensed adoption agency to which the child is to be relinquished.

(4) In the case of a stepparent adoption, the licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional clinical counselor who is performing the investigation pursuant to Section 9001, if applicable. In the case of a stepparent adoption in which a licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional clinical counselor is not performing the investigation pursuant to Section 9001, the board of supervisors may assign those inquiries to a licensed county adoption agency, the county department designated by the board of supervisors to administer the public social services program, or the county probation department.

(b) The inquiry shall include all of the following:

(1) Whether the mother was married at the time of conception of the child or at any time thereafter.

(2) Whether the mother was cohabiting with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child.

(3) Whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with the pregnancy.

(4) Whether any person has formally or informally acknowledged or declared possible parentage of the child.

(5) The names and whereabouts, if known, of every person presumed or alleged to be the parent of the child, and the efforts made to give notice of the proposed adoption to each person identified.

(c) The agency that completes the inquiry shall file a written report of the findings with the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 96. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

7664.
  

(a) If, after the inquiry, the biological father is identified to the satisfaction of the court, or if more than one man is identified as a possible biological father, notice of the proceeding shall be given in accordance with Section 7666. If an alleged biological father fails to appear or, if appearing, fails to claim parental rights, those parental rights with reference to the child shall be terminated.

(b) If the biological father or a man claiming to be the biological father claims parental rights, the court shall determine biological parentage. The court shall then determine if it is in the best interest of the child that the biological father retain parental rights, or that an adoption of the child be allowed to proceed. The court, in making that determination, may consider all relevant evidence, including the efforts made by the biological father to obtain custody, the age and prior placement of the child, and the effects of a change of placement on the child.

(c) If the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child that the biological father should be allowed to retain parental rights, the court shall order that the biological father’s consent is necessary for an adoption. If the court finds that the man claiming parental rights is not the biological father, or that if the man is the biological father it is in the child’s best interest that an adoption be allowed to proceed, the court shall order that the consent of that man is not required for an adoption. This finding terminates all parental rights and responsibilities with respect to the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 97. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

7665.
  

If, after the inquiry, the court is unable to identify the biological father or any possible biological father and no person has appeared claiming to be the biological father and claiming custodial rights, the court shall enter an order terminating the unknown biological father’s parental rights with reference to the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 20. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7666.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), notice of the proceeding shall be given to every person identified as the biological father or a possible biological father in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure for the service of process in a civil action in this state at least 10 days before the date of the proceeding, except that publication or posting of the notice of the proceeding is not required, and service on the parent or guardian of a biological father or possible biological father who is a minor is not required unless the minor has previously provided written authorization to serve the minor’s parent or guardian. Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the court before the petition is heard.

(b) Notice to a man identified as or alleged to be the biological father is not required, and the court shall issue an order dispensing with that notice under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined not to exist by a court.

(2) The alleged father has executed a written form to waive notice, deny parentage, relinquish the child for adoption, or consent to the adoption of the child.

(3) The whereabouts or identity of the alleged father are unknown or cannot be ascertained.

(4) The alleged father has been served with written notice of alleged parentage and the proposed adoption, and has failed to bring an action pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7630 within 30 days of service of the notice or the birth of the child, whichever is later.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 98. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

7667.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an action to terminate the parental rights of an alleged father of a child as specified in this part shall be set for hearing not more than 45 days after filing of the petition, except as provided in subdivision (c).

(b) The matter so set shall have precedence over all other civil matters on the date set for trial, except an action to terminate parental rights pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800).

(c) The court may dispense with a hearing and issue an ex parte order terminating parental rights if any of the following applies:

(1) The identity or whereabouts of the alleged father are unknown.

(2) The alleged father has validly executed a waiver of the right to notice or a denial of parentage.

(3) The alleged father has been served with written notice of alleged parentage and the proposed adoption, and has failed to bring an action pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7630 within 30 days of service of the notice or the birth of the child, whichever is later.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 99. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

7668.
  

(a) The court may continue the proceedings for not more than 30 days as necessary to appoint counsel and to enable counsel to prepare for the case adequately or for other good cause.

(b) In order to obtain an order for a continuance of the hearing, written notice shall be filed within two court days of the date set for the hearing, together with affidavits or declarations detailing specific facts showing that a continuance is necessary, unless the court for good cause entertains an oral motion for continuance.

(c) Continuances shall be granted only upon a showing of good cause. Neither a stipulation between counsel nor the convenience of the parties is in and of itself a good cause.

(d) A continuance shall be granted only for that period of time shown to be necessary by the evidence considered at the hearing on the motion. If a continuance is granted, the facts proven which require the continuance shall be entered upon the minutes of the court.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

7669.
  

(a) An order requiring or dispensing with an alleged father’s consent for the adoption of a child may be appealed from in the same manner as an order of the juvenile court declaring a person to be a ward of the juvenile court and is conclusive and binding upon the alleged father.

(b) After making the order, the court has no power to set aside, change, or modify that order.

(c) Nothing in this section limits the right to appeal from the order and judgment.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 23. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7670.
  

There shall be no filing fee charged for a petition filed pursuant to Section 7662.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

7671.
  

A single petition may be filed pursuant to Section 7662 to terminate the parental rights of the alleged father or fathers of two or more biological siblings or to terminate the parental rights of two or more alleged fathers of the same child. A petition filed in accordance with this section may be granted in whole or in part in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter. The court shall retain discretion to bifurcate any case in which the petition was filed in accordance with this section, and shall do so whenever it is necessary to protect the interests of a party or a child who is the subject of the proceeding.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 763, Sec. 4. (AB 1701) Effective January 1, 2015.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM