In re N.G., 374 N.C. 891 (2020)

  • Facts: In 2017, the juvenile was adjudicated dependent. Ultimately DSS filed a petition to TPR, which was granted on multiple grounds. Respondent father appeals the grounds (mother appealed the best interests determination, which is discussed below).
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(9) authorizes the ground for TPR when a parent’s rights with regards to another child of the parent have been involuntarily terminated by a court and the parent lacks the ability or willingness to establish a safe home for the child who is the subject of the current TPR action.
  • The challenged findings of fact are supported by clear and convincing evidence, which includes father’s stipulations at the underlying adjudicatory hearing in the dependency action about the prior TPR and that his mental health did not allow him to provide a safe home, social worker testimony, father’s testimony, and evaluations of experts and their testimony about father’s mental health. The findings show that father has (1) a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, which is characterized by extensive lying and a disregard for social or moral standards and is difficult to treat, (2) acted in a consistent way with that diagnosis by lying to DSS about his identity and failing to disclose a complete and accurate copy of an evaluation to a second evaluator, and (3) no interest in treatment or in changing. The findings support the court’s conclusion that there was a prior TPR and father lacked the ability to provide a safe home.
Termination of Parental Rights
Prior TPR/No Safe Home
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