“De Facto” Parents in Dependency Cases


A de facto parent is “a person who has been found by the court to have assumed, on a day to day basis, the role of parent, fulfilling both the child’s physical and psychological needs for care and affection, and who has assumed that role for a substantial period.”  Cal Rules of Ct 5.502(10>  A person becomes a de facto parent and is allowed to participate in a dependency proceeding when he or she has provided the day to day care and rearing of the child over an extended period of time.  In re T.R. (2005) 132 CA4th 1202, 1210.  The de facto parent doctrine was developed, in part, in recognition of the fact that persons meeting the above definition possess information about the child unique from the other participants in the dependency action. In re Merrick v. (2004) 122 CA4th 235, 256.

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