Initial termination hearing
What happens at the initial termination hearing?
Either the bparents can consent (or indicate their intention not to oppose) and in that case the judge could grant TPR on the spot or, more likely, the judge will make a determination that it is appropriate to move forward with TPR proceedings and set a trial date. If the bparents are not present it is possible he will set a hearing for objections and then at that hearing set a trial date.
DSS attorney presents the reasons as to why TPR should occur. Parent's attorneys present reasons why they shouldn't.

Some states have parents testify and they can call on witnesses (foster parents are sent out side if there is testifying).

Judge decides.

In CA, there was no testifying. Really DSS presented case, Bmom attorney just sort of said they didn't have much to say and it was done.

In VA, everyone was kicked out of the room, sides presented, mother ran from court crying, she came back, TPR was done. I don't really know what was said because only Bmom and the attorney's were in the court room.
fostandadoptmom,

Is it common in CA for there to be no testifying at the TPR? The cw at my FFA also mentioned that there isn't really a trial for TPR because she said the focus is really on the child and their best interests, not on the bp's and their efforts to RU. Just wondering what to expect.
To be honest the Bmom showed up late for the TPR hearing, and she was sitting outside the courtroom when we all came out (she showed up late and then didn't even come in - even though you could see in the windows.)

I believe (I make no promises) that the cases are presented and that's it. No testifying. BUT I was told that if it goes to trial that could last 2-3 days (and would take forever to get scheduled) and then people would have to testify. So I THINK that's how CA does it - the TPR doesn't really have testimony, but if they appeal then it's a trial.
fostandadoptmom,

I think I remember now that you mention it that bp's can request a trial and, if so, then there is testimony. Appeals don't introduce new evidence so those are only made based on legal, not factual grounds so no testimony there. Thanks.
In CA, the hearing is just to see who agrees and doesn't. If everyone consents, TPR is granted. If either one of the BP (or their attorneys if they aren't around) contest, then it is set for trial. Ours was only 1 week later because we are trying to move soon. Our trial was only 5 minutes or so...not days. In our 2nd TPR, no one contested and it was done in a few minutes at the hearing. Easy as pieSmile
Mom to 5
3 adopted
2 bio
We just went to our very 1st TPR hearing. We are in CA. It went like this:

Judge: "well i have compelling evidence to terminate rights of mom and dad"

Mom's Lawyer: "We ask that if rights are terminated we have a post adoption agreement for visitation"

Dad's Lawyer: "We ask the same thing"

Baby's Lawyer: "That can be discussed later"

Judge: "I hearby terminate rights of mom and dad and post adoption agreement can be discussed later"

END!

It was under 5 minutes long and we were in shock it was THAT easy!!!!
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