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FAMILY CODE SECTION 7820-7827

7820. A proceeding may be brought under this part for the purpose
of having a child under the age of 18 years declared free from the
custody and control of either or both parents if the child comes
within any of the descriptions set out in this chapter.

7821. A finding pursuant to this chapter shall be supported by
clear and convincing evidence, except as otherwise provided.

7822. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought if any of the
following occur:
(1) The child has been left without provision for the child’s
identification by the child’s parent or parents.
(2) The child has been left by both parents or the sole parent in
the care and custody of another person for a period of six months
without any provision for the child’s support, or without
communication from the parent or parents, with the intent on the part
of the parent or parents to abandon the child.
(3) One parent has left the child in the care and custody of the
other parent for a period of one year without any provision for the
child’s support, or without communication from the parent, with the
intent on the part of the parent to abandon the child.
(b) The failure to provide identification, failure to provide
support, or failure to communicate is presumptive evidence of the
intent to abandon. If the parent or parents have made only token
efforts to support or communicate with the child, the court may
declare the child abandoned by the parent or parents. In the event
that a guardian has been appointed for the child, the court may still
declare the child abandoned if the parent or parents have failed to
communicate with or support the child within the meaning of this
section.
(c) If the child has been left without provision for the child’s
identification and the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, a
petition may be filed after the 120th day following the discovery of
the child and citation by publication may be commenced. The petition
may not be heard until after the 180th day following the discovery of
the child.
(d) If the parent has agreed for the child to be in the physical
custody of another person or persons for adoption and has not signed
an adoption placement agreement pursuant to Section 8801.3, a consent
to adoption pursuant to Section 8814, or a relinquishment to a
licensed adoption agency pursuant to Section 8700, evidence of the
adoptive placement shall not in itself preclude the court from
finding an intent on the part of that parent to abandon the child. If
the parent has placed the child for adoption pursuant to Section
8801.3, consented to adoption pursuant to Section 8814, or
relinquished the child to a licensed adoption agency pursuant to
Section 8700, and has then either revoked the consent or rescinded
the relinquishment, but has not taken reasonable action to obtain
custody of the child, evidence of the adoptive placement shall not in
itself preclude the court from finding an intent on the part of that
parent to abandon the child.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d), if the
parent of an Indian child has transferred physical care, custody and
control of the child to an Indian custodian, that action shall not be
deemed to constitute an abandonment of the child, unless the parent
manifests the intent to abandon the child by either of the following:
(1) Failing to resume physical care, custody, and control of the
child upon the request of the Indian custodian provided that if the
Indian custodian is unable to make a request because the parent has
failed to keep the Indian custodian apprised of his or her
whereabouts and the Indian custodian has made reasonable efforts to
determine the whereabouts of the parent without success, there may be
evidence of intent to abandon.
(2) Failing to substantially comply with any obligations assumed
by the parent in his or her agreement with the Indian custodian
despite the Indian custodian’s objection to the noncompliance.

7823. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where all of
the following requirements are satisfied:
(1) The child has been neglected or cruelly treated by either or
both parents.
(2) The child has been a dependent child of the juvenile court
under any subdivision of Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code and the parent or parents have been deprived of the child’s
custody for one year before the filing of a petition pursuant to this
part.
(b) Physical custody by the parent or parents for insubstantial
periods of time does not interrupt the running of the one-year
period.

7824. (a) “Disability” as used in this section means any physical
or mental incapacity which renders the parent or parents unable to
care for and control the child adequately.
(b) A proceeding under this part may be brought where all of the
following requirements are satisfied:
(1) The child is one whose parent or parents (A) suffer a
disability because of the habitual use of alcohol, or any of the
controlled substances specified in Schedules I to V, inclusive, of
Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety
Code, except when these controlled substances are used as part of a
medically prescribed plan, or (B) are morally depraved.
(2) The child has been a dependent child of the juvenile court,
and the parent or parents have been deprived of the child’s custody
continuously for one year immediately before the filing of a petition
pursuant to this part.
(c) Physical custody by the parent or parents for insubstantial
periods of time does not interrupt the running of the one-year
period.

7825. (a) A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of
the following requirements are satisfied:
(1) The child is one whose parent or parents are convicted of a
felony.
(2) The facts of the crime of which the parent or parents were
convicted are of such a nature so as to prove the unfitness of the
parent or parents to have the future custody and control of the
child. In making a determination pursuant to this section, the court
may consider the parent’s criminal record prior to the felony
conviction to the extent that the criminal record demonstrates a
pattern of behavior substantially related to the welfare of the child
or the parent’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding
his or her child.
(b) The mother of a child may bring a proceeding under this part
against the father of the child, where the child was conceived as a
result of an act in violation of Section 261 of the Penal Code, and
where the father was convicted of that violation. For purposes of
this subdivision, there is a conclusive presumption that the father
is unfit to have custody or control of the child.

7826. A proceeding under this part may be brought where both of the
following requirements are satisfied:
(a) The child is one whose parent or parents have been declared by
a court of competent jurisdiction, wherever situated, to be
developmentally disabled or mentally ill.
(b) In the state or country in which the parent or parents reside
or are hospitalized, the Director of State Hospitals or the Director
of Developmental Services, or their equivalent, if any, and the
executive director of the hospital, if any, of which the parent or
parents are inmates or patients, certify that the parent or parents
so declared to be developmentally disabled or mentally ill will not
be capable of supporting or controlling the child in a proper manner.

7827. (a) “Mentally disabled” as used in this section means that a
parent or parents suffer a mental incapacity or disorder that renders
the parent or parents unable to care for and control the child
adequately.
(b) A proceeding under this part may be brought where the child is
one whose parent or parents are mentally disabled and are likely to
remain so in the foreseeable future.
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the evidence of any two
experts, each of whom shall be a physician and surgeon, certified
either by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or under
Section 6750 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a licensed
psychologist who has a doctoral degree in psychology and at least
five years of postgraduate experience in the diagnosis and treatment
of emotional and mental disorders, is required to support a finding
under this section. In addition to this requirement, the court shall
have the discretion to call a licensed marriage and family therapist,
or a licensed clinical social worker, either of whom shall have at
least five years of relevant postlicensure experience, in
circumstances where the court determines that this testimony is in
the best interest of the child and is warranted by the circumstances
of the particular family or parenting issues involved. However, the
court may not call a licensed marriage and family therapist or
licensed clinical social worker pursuant to this section who is the
adoption service provider, as defined in Section 8502, of the child
who is the subject of the petition to terminate parental rights.
(d) If the parent or parents reside in another state or in a
foreign country, the evidence required by this section may be
supplied by the affidavits of two experts, each of whom shall be
either of the following:
(1) A physician and surgeon who is a resident of that state or
foreign country, and who has been certified by a medical organization
or society of that state or foreign country to practice psychiatric
or neurological medicine.
(2) A licensed psychologist who has a doctoral degree in
psychology and at least five years of postgraduate experience in the
diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental disorders and who is
licensed in that state or authorized to practice in that country.
(e) If the rights of a parent are sought to be terminated pursuant
to this section, and the parent has no attorney, the court shall
appoint an attorney for the parent pursuant to Article 4 (commencing
with Section 7860) of Chapter 3, whether or not a request for the
appointment is made by the parent.