In re T.M.B., 2021-NCSC-114

  • Facts: In 2018, the juvenile was adjudicated neglected (for the 2nd time). Also, in 2018, mother’s parental rights to 2 other children were terminated. In 2020, the court in a PPO found that mother had made minimal progress on her case plan. The juvenile was placed in prospective adoptive placement. DSS filed a TPR motion, which was granted. Mother appeals, challenging the grounds.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(9) authorizes a TPR when a parent has had their rights to another child in terminated involuntarily and lacks an ability or willingness to establish a safe home. Safe home is defined as a home where “the juvenile is not at substantial risk of physical or emotional abuse or neglect.” G.S. 7B-101(19). Sl.Op. ¶13.
  • The prior TPR is not challenged. Mother challenges the findings regarding her not having the ability to provide a safe home. The appellate court only reviews the challenged findings of fact that are necessary to support the adjudication of a ground. Mother’s challenge to a finding about another child is relevant since the finding involves the previous TPR for mother regarding her child. Evidence supported the findings that mother did not have insight into how to protect her children from sexual abuse or how to care for their trauma, which was demonstrated by their significant mental health diagnoses and treatment needs. The evidence shows mother’s lack of participation in mental health treatment was not a result of COVID restrictions as she had a history of missing several appointments. Although mother started to look for housing, at the time of the TPR hearing, she was living in motel, and prior to that she was living in unsuitable housing. The findings support the court’s conclusion.
Termination of Parental Rights
Prior TPR/No Safe Home
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