In re A.A.S., ___ N.C. App. ___, 812 S.E.2d 875 (2018)

Held: 
Affirmed
  • G.S. 7B-1001(a) sets forth which final orders may be appealed in an abuse, neglect, or dependency action. A G.S. 7B-906.2 permanency planning order that includes adoption and reunification as the concurrent permanent plans is not an appealable order under G.S. 7B-1001(a)(5), even when a TPR has been commenced by DSS, as reunification has not been eliminated as a permanent plan.
  • “G.S. 7B-906.2(b) clearly contemplates the use of multiple, concurrent plans including reunification and adoption. During concurrent planning, DSS is required to continue making reasonable reunification efforts until reunification is eliminated as a permanent plan” as the trial court is required to order DSS to make efforts toward finalizing the primary and secondary plans. The permanency planning order that identified adoption and reunification as the concurrent plans and required DSS to file a TPR petition did not implicitly or explicitly cease reunification. This opinion distinguishes appellate opinions decided before G.S. 7B-906.2 (e.g, In re A.E.C., 239 N.C. App. 36 (2015)), which held a trial court’s order that DSS file a TPR petition implicitly ceased reunification efforts.
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Cease Reunification
Topic:
De Facto Order
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