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366.26 HEARING (WIC 366.26)

February 10, 2022

366.26 HEARING (WIC 366.26)

A 336.26 Hearing is a hearing that is held within 120 days of the court terminating services for both parents. Unfortunately, at this hearing, the return of the child is not an issue or an option.

What Happens at a 336.26 Hearing?

During the 336.26 Hearing, the court will select a permanent plan of Adoption, Legal Guardianship, or continued foster care. If a child is found to be adoptable, the court will terminate parental rights UNLESS:

  1. The child is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt, is willing and able to become a legal guardian, and removal from this home would be detrimental; OR
  2. The court otherwise finds a compelling reason for determining that termination would be detrimental to the child due to one of the listed exceptions.      

 What are the Exceptions?

The exceptions include: 

–   Parent-Child Benefit Exception – The parent has maintained regular and consistent contact with the child, and the child would benefit from continuing the relationship;

–   Child Objection – A child 12 years or older objects to the termination of parental rights;

–   Adoption is Undesirable – The child is placed in a residential treatment facility where adoption is unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental rights will not prevent finding a permanent family if the parents cannot resume care after release from the facility;

–   Inability of Foster Parent to Adopt – The child’s foster parent is unable or unwilling to adopt due to exceptional circumstances but can provide a stable and permanent environment, and removal would be detrimental to the child;

–   Sibling Exception – There would be substantial interference with a child’s sibling relationship. The Court must consider whether the children were raised in the same home, shared significant common experiences, or have existing close bonds and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best interests.

If you are dealing with a Juvenile Dependency or CPS case, you need the juvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side. Call now for your free consultation. Call us at (866) 811-4255.


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