facto parenthood by a preponderance of the evidence.60 When a
person’s conduct has contributed to the grounds for dependency
jurisdiction, as is the case in this hypothetical, that person is
generally prohibited from attaining de facto parent status,61 meaning
that the burden on the grandmother would be significant.62
Moreover, even as a de facto parent at the disposition and subsequent
proceedings, the child’s grandmother would only have the right to
appear with counsel and present evidence, but no right to
reunification services, custody, or visitation with the child.63
In California, neither a non-party nor a non-relative would
have standing to challenge the detention or removal order, but a
relative would at least be able to request that the child be placed in
her home64 and be allowed to appeal the denial of a placement.65
This right to seek and appeal placement decisions is limited,
however, to certain relatives as defined by California law and does
not include extended relatives, non-relatives, and other potential
psychological parents.66 Moreover, the child may only be placed
with a relative who is a licensed or certified foster parent with no
criminal record67 or, alternatively, with a relative for whom a
child; adult’s regular attendance of court proceedings; and permanent foreclosure
of contact between the adult and child as a result of future proceedings).
60 See In re Joshuia S., 252 Cal. Rptr. 106, 109 (Ct. App. 1988).
61 See In re Kieshia E., 859 P.2d 1290, 1296-97 (Cal. 1993) (holding that an
individual who abused the child was not entitled to de facto parent status); In re
Leticia S., 111 Cal. Rptr. 2d at 813.
62 See, e.g., In re Kieshia E., 859 P.2d at 1300-11.
63 Cf. In re P.L., 37 Cal. Rptr. 3d 6, 8-9 (Ct. App. 2005) (explaining that while de
facto parents are given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings, that status
does not give them the same rights accorded to a parent or legal guardian).
64 CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 361.3 (West 2013).
65 See Cesar V. v. Superior Court, 111 Cal. Rptr. 2d 243, 251-52 (Ct. App. 2001).
66 CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 361.3(c)(2) (West 2013) (“[O]nly the following
relatives shall be given preferential consideration for the placement of the child: an
adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling.”).
67 See 42 U.S.C.A. § 671(a)(20)(A) (West 2013) (prohibiting states from giving
final approval to a potential foster parent who has certain crimes in his or her
background); see, e.g., CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 1522 (West 2013); D.C.
MUN. REGS. tit. 29, § 6007 (2013) (listing multiple requirements kin must meet