In re J.E., 377 N.C. 285 (2021)

  • Facts: There is an underlying neglect case to this TPR. The TPR was granted on the ground of neglect, and respondent father appeals arguing the findings do not address his circumstances at the time of the TPR and do not support the likelihood of repetition of neglect if the children were returned to his care.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(1) authorizes a TPR on the ground of neglect. When a parent has been separated from the child for a long period of time, there must be a showing a past neglect and likelihood of future neglect by considering evidence of changed circumstances between the time of the past neglect and the TPR hearing.
  • The findings include the juveniles’ past adjudication of neglect; the history of DSS involvement due to substance use, mental health issues, parenting deficits, and incarceration; the requirements of father’s case plan and his failure to comply with that case plan; his instability with housing and visitation with the children; and his failure to maintain contact with DSS. The findings are clear that incarceration alone was not the sole evidence but was considered along with the other evidence. The lack of changed circumstances support the court’s determination of a high probably of repetition of neglect.
Termination of Parental Rights
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