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Dept. of Human Services v. W.H.F.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-19-2012
Case #: A150794
Schuman, P.J., for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A150794.pdf

Indian Law: Under ORS 419B.476(2)(a), DHS is not required to show an active effort to provide remedial services to prevent the break up of an Indian family if the permanency plan at the time of the hearing is adoption.

Father appealed the lower court's allowance of a permanency plan for adoption. Child, S, and Mother are members of an Alaskan native tribe. Father began sexual relations with Mother when she was only fourteen and S was the result of these relations. DHS took custody of S from Mother, and Father was arrested for sexual assault of a minor due to his relations with Mother. Father's primary argument is that the court erred in not requiring DHS to show active efforts to provide remedial services to avoid the break up of an Indian family under ORS 419B.476(2)(a) and that he was not notified of S's move to his current adoptive placement. The Court of Appeals ultimately rejected these contentions and held that the remedial services were only necessary if the permanency plan was for reunification purposes, not adoption, and Father did, in fact, receive notice of the new placement. Affirmed.