In re M.R.F., 378 N.C. 638 (2021)

  • Facts: Grandmother initiated a TPR on October 30, 2019. The TPR was granted on multiple grounds, and father appeals. One of father’s arguments is that the juvenile’s time period outside of the home under the ground of G.S. 7B-1111(a)(2) was not proved.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(2) authorizes a TPR on the ground that a parent willfully left the child in foster care or other placement outside the home for 12 months immediately preceding the petition and failed to make reasonable progress under the circumstances. A child’s placement outside of the home must be pursuant to a court order.
  • There was no evidence or findings that the juvenile was placed outside the home pursuant to a court order for the 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the TPR petition. The evidence was that the child was 6 years old, had been living with petitioner since the child was 13 days old, and that the child was the subject of DSS proceedings that resulted in grandmother having legal guardianship. The evidence did not show when the guardianship order was entered or whether the child lived with petitioner pursuant to a court order before the guardianship order was entered.
Termination of Parental Rights
Willfully Leaving Child in Foster Care or Other Placement
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