In re D.I.L., 380 N.C. 723 (2022)

  • Facts: In 2016, the juvenile was adjudicated neglected based on circumstances created by parent’s illegal drug activity. Also in 2016, petitioners obtained a Chapter 50 custody order awarding the primary legal and physical custody of the juvenile. Father had monthly supervised visits. Father’s last visit was in 2017 and he has not contacted petitioners since 2017 or sent card or letters to the juvenile since 2015. In 2018, father filed a motion to modify the custody order, and petitioners filed a TPR. The TPR was granted and father appeals, arguing the court cannot find a likelihood of future neglect because of the Chapter 50 custody order and a need for him to show a substantial change in circumstances to regain custody.
  • Father’s argument is without merit. A parent’s fitness to regain custody of the child at the time of the TPR hearing is not required under G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1). Instead, the determinative factors are the best interests of the child and fitness of the parent to care for their child at the time of the TPR hearing.
Termination of Parental Rights
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