In re J.C.J., 381 N.C. 783 (2022)

  • Facts: In 2018, the juveniles were adjudicated neglected. In 2020, DSS filed a TPR motion that was granted. Parents appeal, challenging the grounds and best interests determination. In this case, the foster parents and parents engaged in shared parenting. Respondents argue the court should consider the continuation of contact with the children and birth family, including the parents, as a factor.
  • Although citing other states’ dispositional standards that include continued contact between parents and the children, those statutes do not apply to TPR proceedings but instead apply to dispositions in abuse, neglect, dependency, children in need of services, and placements in residential treatment programs. One of the purposes of TPRs in NC is to place the child’s needs and best interests above the parents so the juvenile can have a permanent plan of care as early as possible. G.S. 7B-1100(3). “[T]here is no basis for the use of a ‘least restrictive disposition’ test in this Court’s termination of parental rights jurisprudence.” 381 N.C. at 798. The court considered the proper dispositional factors and did not abuse its discretion.
Termination of Parental Rights
Best Interests Findings
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