State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-1111

§ 7B‑1111.  Grounds forterminating parental rights.

(a)        The court mayterminate the parental rights upon a finding of one or more of the following:

(1)        The parent hasabused or neglected the juvenile. The juvenile shall be deemed to be abused orneglected if the court finds the juvenile to be an abused juvenile within themeaning of G.S. 7B‑101 or a neglected juvenile within the meaning of G.S.7B‑101.

(2)        The parent haswillfully left the juvenile in foster care or placement outside the home formore than 12 months without showing to the satisfaction of the court thatreasonable progress under the circumstances has been made in correcting thoseconditions which led to the removal of the juvenile. Provided, however, that noparental rights shall be terminated for the sole reason that the parents areunable to care for the juvenile on account of their poverty.

(3)        The juvenile hasbeen placed in the custody of a county department of social services, alicensed child‑placing agency, a child‑caring institution, or afoster home, and the parent, for a continuous period of six months nextpreceding the filing of the petition or motion, has willfully failed for suchperiod to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of care for the juvenilealthough physically and financially able to do so.

(4)        One parent has beenawarded custody of the juvenile by judicial decree or has custody by agreementof the parents, and the other parent whose parental rights are sought to beterminated has for a period of one year or more next preceding the filing ofthe petition or motion willfully failed without justification to pay for thecare, support, and education of the juvenile, as required by said decree orcustody agreement.

(5)        The father of ajuvenile born out of wedlock has not, prior to the filing of a petition ormotion to terminate parental rights:

a.         Establishedpaternity judicially or by affidavit which has been filed in a central registrymaintained by the Department of Health and Human Services; provided, the courtshall inquire of the Department of Health and Human Services as to whether suchan affidavit has been so filed and shall incorporate into the case record theDepartment's certified reply; or

b.         Legitimated thejuvenile pursuant to provisions of G.S. 49‑10 or filed a petition forthis specific purpose; or

c.         Legitimated thejuvenile by marriage to the mother of the juvenile; or

d.         Provided substantialfinancial support or consistent care with respect to the juvenile and mother.

(6)        That the parent isincapable of providing for the proper care and supervision of the juvenile,such that the juvenile is a dependent juvenile within the meaning of G.S. 7B‑101,and that there is a reasonable probability that such incapability will continuefor the foreseeable future. Incapability under this subdivision may be theresult of substance abuse, mental retardation, mental illness, organic brainsyndrome, or any other cause or condition that renders the parent unable orunavailable to parent the juvenile and the parent lacks an appropriatealternative child care arrangement.

(7)        The parent haswillfully abandoned the juvenile for at least six consecutive monthsimmediately preceding the filing of the petition or motion, or the parent hasvoluntarily abandoned an infant pursuant to G.S. 7B‑500 for at least 60consecutive days immediately preceding the filing of the petition or motion.

(8)        The parent hascommitted murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent orother child residing in the home; has aided, abetted, attempted, conspired, orsolicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter of the child, anotherchild of the parent, or other child residing in the home; has committed afelony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child, anotherchild of the parent, or other child residing in the home; or has committedmurder or voluntary manslaughter of the other parent of the child. Thepetitioner has the burden of proving any of these offenses in the terminationof parental rights hearing by (i) proving the elements of the offense or (ii)offering proof that a court of competent jurisdiction has convicted the parentof the offense, whether or not the conviction was by way of a jury verdict orany kind of plea. If the parent has committed the murder or voluntarymanslaughter of the other parent of the child, the court shall consider whetherthe murder or voluntary manslaughter was committed in self‑defense or inthe defense of others, or whether there was substantial evidence of otherjustification.

(9)        The parental rightsof the parent with respect to another child of the parent have been terminatedinvoluntarily by a court of competent jurisdiction and the parent lacks theability or willingness to establish a safe home.

(10)      Where the juvenilehas been relinquished to a county department of social services or a licensedchild‑placing agency for the purpose of adoption or placed with aprospective adoptive parent for adoption; the consent or relinquishment toadoption by the parent has become irrevocable except upon a showing of fraud,duress, or other circumstance as set forth in G.S. 48‑3‑609 or G.S.48‑3‑707; termination of parental rights is a condition precedentto adoption in the jurisdiction where the adoption proceeding is to be filed;and the parent does not contest the termination of parental rights.

(b)        The burden in suchproceedings shall be upon the petitioner or movant to prove the factsjustifying such termination by clear and convincing evidence. (1977, c. 879, s. 8; 1979, c.669, s. 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1088, s. 2; c. 1206, s. 2; 1983, c. 89, s. 2; c.512; 1985, c. 758, ss. 2, 3; c. 784; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 941, s. 1;1997‑390, ss. 1, 2; 1997‑443, s. 11A.118(a); 1998‑202, s. 6;1998‑229, ss. 11, 28; 1999‑456, s. 60; 2000‑183, s. 11; 2001‑208,s. 6; 2001‑291, s. 3; 2001‑487, s. 101; 2003‑140, s. 3; 2005‑146,s. 1; 2007‑151, s. 1; 2007‑484, s. 26(a).)