California Court of Appeal

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In re Brianna M., B245203

The juvenile court's order declaring the child's stepfather the "presumed father" and denying the biological father's request to be named the "presumed father" is affirmed but remanded for proper notice, where: 1) in a dependency action, a "presumed father" is not a man who is "presumed to be the natural father of a child" but rather is a man who has "demonstrated a full commitment to his paternal responsibilities, emotional, financial, and otherwise" and thus is entitled to seek reunification services and custody; 2) therefore, for dependency purposes, a voluntary declaration of paternity executed by one man does not, as a matter of law, extinguish another man's presumed father status; 3) the juvenile court thus did not err in designating the stepfather as the child's presumed father; however, 4) because proper notice was not provided under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the matter is remanded to ensure that ICWA notice is properly given.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 10/24/2013
  • Published 10/24/2013

Judges

  • SUZUKAWA

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel