In re. A.H.G., 284 N.C. App. 297 (2022)

  • Facts: In 2020, the juveniles were adjudicated neglected and dependent. In 2021, DSS filed a TPR petition, which was granted. Mother appeals, arguing she made reasonable progress, the findings were unsupported, and the court abused its discretion when determining TPR was in the children’s best interests.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(2) authorizes a TPR when a parent willfully fails to make reasonable progress under the circumstances. “Perfection is not required.” 284 N.C. App. at 302. “Willfulness is established when the respondent had the ability to show reasonable progress, but was unwilling to make the effort.” Id. Poverty cannot be the sole basis for termination of parental rights under this ground.
  • The challenged findings are supported by clear and convincing evidence. “The ‘trial court need not make a finding as to every fact which arises from the evidence; rather the [trial] court need only find those facts which are material to the resolution of the dispute.’ ” 284 N.C. App. at 308 (citation omitted). The trial court made material findings.
  • Mother argues her lack of progress on parenting education resulted from a lack of services available in her native language, but mother’s therapist attempted to work on parenting in mother’s individual sessions. Although mother maintained a 2-bedroom home that was clean and tidy, the court found the size was inadequate because 2 of the 3 children had been sexually abused and inappropriately touched each other. Although recognizing mother had financial difficulties, poverty was not the sole reason for the TPR. Mother failed to make progress on appropriate discipline for the children, an inability to manage their sexualized behaviors, and her inconsistently attending her own therapy. TPR affirmed even though mother made some effort to improve her situation and made some progress on her case plan.
Termination of Parental Rights
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