In re D.T.N.A., ___ N.C. App. ___, 801 S.E.2d 642 (2016)

Held: 
Reversed

 

  • To terminate parental rights, the focus of the adjudicatory phase is on “whether the parent’s individual conduct satisfied one or more of the statutory grounds which permit termination.” (citing In re T.D.P. 164, N.C. App. 287, 288, aff’d per curiam, 359 N.C. 405 (2005)).
  • The ground of abandonment (GS 7B-1111(a)(7)) requires a showing that the parent engaged in conduct that manifests a willful determination to forego all parental duties and relinquish all claims to the child. The finding that the respondent father failed to provide for a plan for the child or comply with his own case plan is unsupported by evidence.  Evidence showed that he did not engage in conduct to willfully forego his parental duties as he entered into and substantially complied with a case plan that included being current in child support, regularly visiting with the child, attending parenting classes, and participating in the child’s medical appointments. 

 

Category:
Termination of Parental Rights
Stage:
Adjudication
Topic:
Abandonment
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