In re B.S.O., 234 N.C. App. 706 (2014)

  • Although best practice is to state the ground for termination of parental rights specifically, the court may conclude a ground not specifically alleged so long as the facts in the petition are sufficient to put a party on notice of that ground. The facts and the use of the word “abandon” in the petition were sufficient to put the father on notice of the ground of willful abandonment.
  • Facts:  Years after the children were adjudicated neglected and dependent, DSS petitioned to terminate both parents’ parental rights on the grounds of neglect.  Respondent father’s rights were terminated on the ground of willful abandonment as the court found the father was deported to Mexico after his incarceration, his whereabouts were unknown, he willfully failed to pay for the reasonable portion of the cost of the children’s care despite having the ability to do so, he did not propose relative placements, and he did not make efforts to be informed about or remain in contact with the children while they were in care.


Termination of Parental Rights
Notice of Grounds
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