Chapter 1. General Provisions of California Family Law Code >> Division 12. >> Part 4. >> Chapter 1.
The purpose of this part is to serve the welfare and best
interest of a child by providing the stability and security of an
adoptive home when those conditions are otherwise missing from the
This part shall be liberally construed to serve and protect
the interests and welfare of the child.
A proceeding may be brought under this part for the purpose
of having a minor child declared free from the custody and control of
either or both parents.
A declaration of freedom from parental custody and control
pursuant to this part terminates all parental rights and
responsibilities with regard to the child.
In a proceeding under this part, the court may appoint a
suitable party to act in behalf of the child and may order such
further notice of the proceedings to be given as the court deems
(a) A petition filed in a proceeding under this part, or a
report of the probation officer or county department designated by
the board of supervisors to administer the public social services
program filed in a proceeding under this part, may be inspected only
by the following persons:
(1) Court personnel.
(2) The child who is the subject of the proceeding.
(3) The parents or guardian of the child.
(4) The attorneys for the parties.
(5) Any other person designated by the judge.
(b) In a proceeding before the court of appeal or Supreme Court to
review a judgment or order entered in a proceeding under this part,
the court record and briefs filed by the parties may be inspected
only by the following persons:
(1) Court personnel.
(2) A party to the proceeding.
(3) The attorneys for the parties.
(4) Any other person designated by the presiding judge of the
court before which the matter is pending.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if it is believed
that the welfare of the child will be promoted thereby, the court and
the probation officer may furnish information, pertaining to a
petition under this part, to any of the following:
(1) The State Department of Social Services.
(2) A county welfare department.
(3) A public welfare agency.
(4) A private welfare agency licensed by the State Department of
There shall be no filing fee charged for a proceeding brought
under this part.
(a) Sections 3020, 3022, 3040 to 3043, inclusive, and 3409 do
not apply in a proceeding under this part.
(b) Except as provided in this subdivision and subdivision (c),
all proceedings affecting a child, including proceedings under
Divisions 8 (commencing with Section 3000) to 11 (commencing with
Section 6500), inclusive, Part 1 (commencing with Section 7500) to
Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600), inclusive, of this division,
and Part 1 (commencing with Section 1400), Part 2 (commencing with
Section 1500), and Part 4 (commencing with Section 2100) of Division
4 of the Probate Code, and any motion or petition for custody or
visitation filed in a proceeding under this part, shall be stayed.
The petition to free the minor from parental custody and control
under this section is the only matter that may be heard during the
stay until the court issues a final ruling on the petition.
(c) This section does not limit the jurisdiction of the court
pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) and Part 4
(commencing with Section 6300) of Division 10 with respect to
domestic violence orders, or pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with
Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code with respect to dependency proceedings.
This part does not apply to a minor adjudged a dependent
child of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section
360 of the Welfare and Institutions Code on and after January 1,
1989, during the period in which the minor is a dependent child of
the court. For those minors, the exclusive means for the termination
of parental rights are provided in the following statutes:
(a) Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) Sections 8604 to 8606, inclusive, and 8700 of this code.
(c) Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of this
division of this code.