Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights in North Carolina STAFF PICK

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to North Carolina, 6 helpful votes

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(1) Abuse or Neglect

The parent has abused or neglected the child. The child shall be deemed to be abused or neglected if the court finds the child to be an abused child within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 7B-101(1) or a neglected child within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 7B-101(15).

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(2) Leaving Child in Foster Care

The parent has willfully left the child in foster care or placement outside the home for more than 12 months without showing to the satisfaction of the court that reasonable progress under the circumstances has been made in correcting those conditions which led to the removal of the child. Provided, however, that no parental rights shall be terminated for the sole reason that the parents are unable to care for the child on account of their poverty;[FN2]

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(3) Wilful Failure to Support Child in Foster Care

The child has been placed in the custody of a county department of social services, a licensed child-placing agency, a child-caring institution, or a foster home, and the parent, for a continuous period of six months next preceding the filing of the petition or motion, has willfully failed for such period to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of care for the child although physically and financially able to do so.

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(4) Wilful Failure to Support Child for One Year

One parent has been awarded custody of the child by judicial decree or has custody by agreement of the parents, and the other parent whose parental rights are sought to be terminated has for a period of one year or more next preceding the filing of the petition or motion willfully failed without justification to pay for the care, support, and education of the child, as required by said decree or custody agreement.

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(5) Conduct of Father

The father of a child born out of wedlock has not, prior to the filing of a petition or motion to terminate parental rights: a. Established paternity judicially or by affidavit which has been filed in a central registry maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services; provided, the court shall inquire of the Department of Health and Human Services as to whether such an affidavit has been so filed and shall incorporate into the case record the Department's certified reply; or, b. Legitimated the child pursuant to provisions of N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 49-10 or filed a petition for this specific purpose; or, c. Legitimated the child by marriage to the mother of the child; or, d. Provided substantial financial support or consistent care with respect to the child and mother

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(6) Inability of Parent to Support Child

That the parent is incapable of providing for the proper care and supervision of the child, such that the child is a dependent child within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 7B-101(9), and that there is a reasonable probability that such incapability will continue for the foreseeable future. Incapability under this subdivision may be the result of substance abuse, mental retardation, mental illness, organic brain syndrome, or any other cause or condition that renders the parent unable or unavailable to parent the child and the parent lacks an appropriate alternative child care arrangement.

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(7) Wilful Abandonment by Parent

The parent has willfully abandoned the child for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of the petition or motion, or the parent has voluntarily abandoned an infant pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 7B-500 for at least 60 consecutive days immediately preceding the filing of the petition or motion

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(8) Criminal Conduct of Parent

The parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent or other child residing in the home; has aided, abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter of the child, another child of the parent, or other child residing in the home; has committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child, another child of the parent, or other child residing in the home; or has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of the other parent of the child.

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(9) Termination of Parental Rights of Another Child

The parental rights of the parent with respect to another child of the parent have been terminated involuntarily by a court of competent jurisdiction and the parent lacks the ability or willingness to establish a safe home.

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(10) Relinquishment for Adoption

Where the child has been relinquished to a county department of social services or a licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of adoption or placed with a prospective adoptive parent for adoption; the consent or relinquishment to adoption by the parent has become irrevocable except upon a showing of fraud, duress, or other circumstance as set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 48-3- 609 or N.C. Gen. Stat. A? 48-3-707; termination of parental rights is a condition precedent to adoption in the jurisdiction where the adoption proceeding is to be filed; and the parent does not contest the termination of parental rights.

Additional Resources

Lloyd T. Kelso, Attorney at Law

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