In re S.D.C., 381 N.C. 152 (2022)

  • Facts: The juvenile was adjudicated neglected in 2019 due to circumstances related to mother’s substance use. After mother missed several visits and was arrested for alcohol-related charges, the primary permanent plan was changed to adoption. DSS filed a TPR motion, which was granted. Mother appeals, challenging the findings of fact and the court abused its discretion in determining TPR was in the child’s best interests.
  • Under Rule 58 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, an order is entered when it is reduced to writing, signed by the judge, and filed by the clerk. A court may change the finding in its written order from what was orally rendered. There is no error when there is a difference between the findings rendered and those entered in the written order.
  • The finding is supported by the DSS social workers’ testimony and the DSS court report. The one challenged finding of fact that is not supported by evidence is disregarded.
  • The trial court properly considered the G.S. 7B-1110(a) factors and did not abuse its discretion. Although mother argues the court should have considered guardianship as an alternative since it orally praised mother for her case plan efforts, the court considers the child’s best interests as paramount over the interests of the parent. The court’s statement acknowledging mother’s efforts does not preclude the court from determining TPR is in the child’s best interests.


Termination of Parental Rights
Best Interests Findings
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.