In re A.W., 237 N.C. App. 209 (2014)

  • It is not a prerequisite for a termination of parental rights that the parent whose rights are at issue caused the conditions that resulted in a child’s placement in a county department of social services. A parent’s rights may be terminated for willfully leaving a child in a county department of social services custody for more than 12 months and not making progress to correct the conditions that led to his child being placed in DSS custody regardless of who was at fault for the child coming into care.
  • Facts:  After a child was adjudicated dependent in February 2011, paternity of the child was established in December 2011. Despite being notified of steps he needed to take in January 2012, respondent father took no action until December 2012, and did not appear in court until January 2013 at a permanency planning hearing. His participation in court was sporadic. The father visited with his child 7 times from July 2013- December 2013. Although he was employed, he did not provide financial support for his child. In August 2013, the department filed a petition to terminate respondent father’s parental rights. The Court terminated his rights on all five grounds alleged. Respondent father appealed.


Termination of Parental Rights
Willfully Leaving Child in Foster Care or Other Placement
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