In re Z.G.J., 378 N.C. 500 (2021)

Affirmed in Part
Reversed in Part
There is a dissent
Barringer, J. joined by Newby J. and Berger, J.
  • Facts: The juvenile was adjudicated abused and neglected. DSS filed a TPR petition, alleging 4 grounds. The TPR hearing was held 13 months after the TPR petition was filed. The only evidence at adjudication was the social worker’s testimony that reaffirmed the allegations in the TPR petition. The TPR was granted on all 4 grounds. Mother appeals, raising standing, an improper adjudicatory hearing, and the 4 grounds. This summary focuses on the grounds, where mother argues the evidence did not support the findings, and the findings did not support the conclusions.
  • G.S. 7B-1111(a)(2) authorizes a TPR on the ground that a parent willfully left the child in foster care for 12 months immediately preceding the petition and failed to make reasonable progress under the circumstances. A parent’s progress is examined up to the time of the TPR hearing. Because there was no evidence about mother’s circumstances at the time of the TPR hearing, the court cannot determine whether mother made reasonable progress.
Termination of Parental Rights
Willfully Leaving Child in Foster Care or Other Placement
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