In re G.D.C.C., 380 N.C. 37 (2022)

  • Facts: In 2016, the juvenile was adjudicated neglected and dependent. In 2019, DSS filed a TPR petition, which was granted by the district court. Mother appeals, challenging the grounds.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1) authorizes a termination of parental rights on the grounds of neglect, which involves a parent not providing proper care, supervision, or discipline to their child or creating a injurious living environment for the child’s welfare. When there is a long period of separation between the child and parent, the court must look to past neglect (which may be an adjudication of neglect) and the likelihood of future neglect, which is based on evidence of changed conditions regarding the parent’s fitness to care for the child and the child’s best interests at the time of the TPR hearing.
  • The unchallenged findings support the court’s conclusion of a likelihood of future neglect. Mother refused to believe a sibling’s claims of sexual abuse by the father and caused emotional harm to that child as a result. Mother stopped attending therapy, did not know whether this juvenile should be around her father, did not acknowledge the children’s special needs, and lacked insight into the issues the resulted in DSS’s involvement and her responsibility in contributing to that involvement.
  • Respondent’s completion of her case plan does not preclude a determination that neglect is likely to recur.” 380 N.C. at 42. The issues causing the child’s removal remained as mother had not gained  knowledge from her case plan to resolve the issues and still could not protect her children and provide a safe environment for them.
Termination of Parental Rights
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