In re A.L.A., 379 N.C. 383 (2021)

  • Facts: The juvenile was adjudicated neglected and dependent due to circumstances involving conflict between mother and grandmother, who were living together, substance use, and lack of appropriate care and supervision. After the court determined mother made minimal progress on her case plan, adoption was identified as the primary permanent plan. DSS filed a TPR petition, which was granted. Mother appeals the grounds.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1) authorizes a TPR on the ground of neglect, and a juvenile is neglected when they do not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from a parent or live in an injurious environment. When a parent has been separated from their child for a long period of time, there must be evidence of past neglect and a likelihood of a future neglect based on evidence of changed circumstances between the past neglect and time of the TPR hearing.
  • The challenged findings are supported by the evidence – the DSS social worker’s testimony. The findings support the determination there is a likelihood of future neglect as mother continued to reside with grandmother, did not submit to 18 drug screens, tested positive on two, and only attended 28 of 77 visits. Regarding her being overwhelmed in managing multiple children, she signed relinquishments for 2 of her other children the day before the TPR hearing, but she could still revoke those relinquishments at the time of the TPR hearing.
Termination of Parental Rights
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