FAMILY CODE SECTION 7840-7842
7840. (a) A petition may be filed under this part for an order or
judgment declaring a child free from the custody and control of
either or both parents by any of the following:
(1) The State Department of Social Services, a county welfare
department, a licensed private or public adoption agency, a county
adoption department, or a county probation department which is
planning adoptive placement of the child with a licensed adoption
(2) The State Department of Social Services acting as an adoption
agency in counties which are not served by a county adoption agency.
(b) The fact that a child is in a foster care home subject to the
requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division
2 of the Health and Safety Code does not prevent the filing of a
petition under subdivision (a).
(c) The county counsel or, if there is no county counsel, the
district attorney of the county specified in Section 7845 shall, in a
proper case, institute the proceeding upon the request of any of the
state or county agencies mentioned in subdivision (a). The
proceeding shall be instituted pursuant to this part within 30 days
of the request.
(d) If, at the time of the filing of a petition by a department or
agency specified in subdivision (a), the child is in the custody of
the petitioner, the petitioner may continue to have custody of the
child pending the hearing on the petition unless the court, in its
discretion, makes such other order regarding custody pending the
hearing as it finds will best serve and protect the interest and
welfare of the child.
7841. (a) An interested person may file a petition under this part
for an order or judgment declaring a child free from the custody and
control of either or both parents.
(b) For purposes of this section, an “interested person” is one
who has a direct interest in the action, and includes, but is not
limited to, a person who has filed, or who intends to file within a
period of 6 months, an adoption petition under Section 8714, 8802, or
9000, or a licensed adoption agency to whom the child has been
relinquished by the other parent.
7842. A single petition may be filed under this part to free a
child, or more than one child if the children are biological
siblings, from the custody and control of both parents. 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.