In re C.S., 380 N.C. 709 (2022)

  • Facts: A neglect and dependency petition was filed by DSS based on circumstances created by the mother. Mother identified father, and paternity was determined. The juvenile was adjudicated neglected and dependent based on a consent order, which father agreed to. After the primary permanent plan was identified as adoption, DSS filed a TPR motion. The TPR was granted and father appeals, challenging the ground of neglect and the best interests determination.
  • Neglect involves a juvenile whose parent does not provide proper care and supervision or who creates an injurious living environment. When there is a long period of separation between a child and parent, there must be a showing a past neglect and a likelihood of future neglect. An indication of a likelihood of future neglect is a parent’s failure to make progress on a case plan.
  • Although there was no evidence father had custody of his child in the past or had caused the child to be neglected, “[i]t is …not necessary that the parent whose rights are subject to termination be responsible for the prior adjudication of neglect.” 380 N.C. at 713 (citation omitted). An adjudication of neglect is admissible, and here, father did not object to the original adjudication nor its admission into evidence at the TPR.
Termination of Parental Rights
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