In re S.M.M., 374 N.C. 911 (2020)

  • Facts: In its disposition the court findings included that the juvenile needs more stability given her history of trauma before she can be adopted. Mother argues the likelihood of adoption is unknown unless the court addressed what constitutes stability and whether the juvenile could obtain it before she turned 18.
  • The trial court is required to make findings addressing the likelihood of the child’s adoption and is not required to find that the juvenile will achieve the necessary stability for adoption or establish benchmarks a child who has experienced trauma must meet. The findings show the juvenile has a likelihood of adoption if she obtains stability, which requires in part the termination of her mother’s parental rights. Although the trial court recognized the necessary stability may not be achieved, “it is well established that a likelihood of adoption is not necessary for a court to conclude termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests.” Sl.Op at 16. The court made the appropriate findings and did not abuse its discretion.
Termination of Parental Rights
Best Interests Findings
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