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Family Law Keyed to Wadlington
Guardianship of Phillip B.
Citation:139 Cal.App.3d 407
Phillip was born with Down’s Syndrome. His parents placed him in a care facility for disabled minors, which offered no educational or developmental programs and required that all children sleep in cribs. Phillip’s parents quickly became infrequent. When he was three years old, a pediatrician informed appellants that Phillip had a heart defect and recommended open heart surgery, but appellants took no action. A few years later, the conditions at the facility had deteriorated and Phillip was transferred to another facility, where a program director, with the help of respondent, helped place Phillip in pre-school. Respondents established an increasingly close relationship with Phillip while appellants visited him only a few nights a year. He began to refer to them as “mom” and “dad” and had a bedroom in their house. Upon hearing that their son had been regularly spending weekends at respondents’ home, appellants forbade Phillip from leaving the facility and requested the respondents be denied personal visits with Phillip. This caused recessive changes in Phillip’s behavior and he frequently requested to see them.
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