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Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights North Carolina

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Statute: 7B-1111

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination


Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest

Abuse/Neglect

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Failure to Provide Support

Failure to Establish Paternity

Child Judged in Need of Services/Dependent

Child's Best Interest

Child in care 15 of 22 months (or less)

Felony assault of child or sibling

Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child

Circumstances That Are Not Grounds for Termination

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Sexual Abuse

Failure to Maintain Contact

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. 7B-1111 (Lexis, WESTLAW through N.C. 2003 Legis. Serv., S.L. 2003-140)

The court may terminate parental rights upon a finding of one or more of the following:

The parent has abused or neglected the juvenile.

The parent has willfully left the juvenile 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 juvenile. Provided, however, that no parental rights shall be terminated for the sole reason that the parents are unable to care for the juvenile on account of their poverty.

The juvenile 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 6 months next preceding the
filing of the petition has willfully failed for
such period to pay a reasonable portion of the
cost of the care for the juvenile although
physically and financially able to do so.

One parent has been awarded custody of the
juvenile 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 1 year or more next preceding
the filing of the petition willfully failed
without justification to pay for the care,
support, and education of the juvenile, as
required by said decree or custody agreement.

The father of a juvenile born out of wedlock has
not, prior to the filing of a petition to
terminate his parental rights established
paternity judicially or by affidavit which has
been filed in a central registry maintained by
the Department of Health and Human Service;
provided, the court shall inquire of the
Department of Health and Human Services as to
whether such affidavit has been filed and shall
incorporate into the case record the department's
certified reply; or legitimated the juvenile or
filed a petition for this specific purpose; or
legitimated the juvenile by marriage to the
mother of the child; or provided substantial
financial support or consistent care with respect
to the juvenile and mother.

That the parent is incapable of providing the
proper care and supervision of the juvenile, such
that the juvenile is a dependent juvenile, and
that there is a reasonable probability that such
incapacity will continue for the foreseeable
future. Incapability 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 juvenile and the
parent lacks an appropriate alternative child
care arrangement.

The parent has willfully abandoned the juvenile
for at least 6 consecutive months immediately
preceding the filing of the petition or motion,
or the parent has voluntarily abandoned an infant
pursuant to 7B-500 for at least 60 consecutive
days immediately preceding the filing of the
petition or motion.

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; or has committed
felony assault that results in serious bodily
injury to the child, another child of the parent,
or another child residing in the home.

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.

The burden in such proceedings shall be upon the
petitioner or movant to prove the facts
justifying such termination by clear and
convincing evidence.
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