State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-908

§ 7B‑908.  Posttermination of parental rights' placement court review.

(a)        The purpose of eachplacement review is to ensure that every reasonable effort is being made toprovide for a permanent placement plan for the juvenile who has been placed inthe custody of a county director or licensed child‑placing agency, whichis consistent with the juvenile's best interests. At each review hearing thecourt may consider information from the department of social services, thelicensed child‑placing agency, the guardian ad litem, the child, thefoster parent, relative, or preadoptive parent providing care for the child,and any other person or agency the court determines is likely to aid in thereview. The court may consider any evidence, including hearsay evidence asdefined in G.S. 8C‑1, Rule 801, that the court finds to be relevant,reliable, and necessary to determine the needs of the juvenile and the mostappropriate disposition.

(b)        The court shallconduct a placement review not later than six months from the date of thetermination hearing when parental rights have been terminated by a petitionbrought by any person or agency designated in G.S. 7B‑1103(2) through (5)and a county director or licensed child‑placing agency has custody of thejuvenile. The court shall conduct reviews every six months thereafter until thejuvenile is the subject of a decree of adoption:

(1)        No more than 30 daysand no less than 15 days prior to each review, the clerk shall give notice ofthe review to the juvenile if the juvenile is at least 12 years of age, thelegal custodian of the juvenile, the foster parent, relative, or preadoptiveparent providing care for the juvenile, the guardian ad litem, if any, and anyother person or agency the court may specify. The department of social servicesshall either provide to the clerk the name and address of the foster parent,relative, or preadoptive parent providing care for the child for notice underthis subsection or file written documentation with the clerk that the child'scurrent care provider was sent notice of hearing. Only the juvenile, if thejuvenile is at least 12 years of age, the legal custodian of the juvenile, thefoster parent, relative, or preadoptive parent providing care for the juvenile,and the guardian ad litem shall attend the review hearings, except as otherwisedirected by the court. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to makethe foster parent, relative, or preadoptive parent a party to the proceedingsolely based on receiving notice and the right to be heard. Any individualwhose parental rights have been terminated shall not be considered a party tothe proceeding unless an appeal of the order terminating parental rights ispending, and a court has stayed the order pending the appeal.

(2)        If a guardian adlitem for the juvenile has not been appointed previously by the court in thetermination proceeding, the court, at the initial six‑month reviewhearing, may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the juvenile. The courtmay continue the case for such time as is necessary for the guardian ad litemto become familiar with the facts of the case.

(c)        The court shallconsider at least the following in its review:

(1)        The adequacy of theplan developed by the county department of social services or a licensed child‑placingagency for a permanent placement relative to the juvenile's best interests andthe efforts of the department or agency to implement such plan;

(2)        Whether the juvenilehas been listed for adoptive placement with the North Carolina AdoptionResource Exchange, the North Carolina Photo Adoption Listing Service (PALS), orany other specialized adoption agency; and

(3)        The effortspreviously made by the department or agency to find a permanent home for thejuvenile.

(d)        The court, aftermaking findings of fact, shall affirm the county department's or child‑placingagency's plans or require specific additional steps which are necessary toaccomplish a permanent placement which is in the best interests of thejuvenile.

(e)        If the juvenile isthe subject of a decree of adoption prior to the date scheduled for the review,within 10 days of receiving notice that the adoption decree has been entered,the department of social services shall file with the court and serve on anyguardian ad litem for the juvenile written notice of the entry. The adoptiondecree shall not be filed in the court file. The review hearing shall becancelled with notice of said cancellation given by the clerk to all personspreviously notified.

(f)         The process ofselection of specific adoptive parents shall be the responsibility of andwithin the discretion of the county department of social services or licensedchild‑placing agency. The guardian ad litem may request information fromand consult with the county department or child‑placing agency concerningthe selection process. If the guardian ad litem requests information about theselection process, the county shall provide the information within five days.Within 10 days of receiving a copy of the adoption petition, the county departmentof social services shall file with the court and serve on any guardian ad litemfor the juvenile written notice that the adoption petition has been filed. Theadoption petition shall not be filed in the court file. The guardian ad litemhas 10 days from service of the written notice that the adoption petition hasbeen filed to file a motion alleging any abuse of discretion by the countydepartment of social services or child placing agency in the adoption selectionprocess. The motion shall be filed in the adoption proceeding and result in thetransfer of the adoption proceeding to the district court pursuant to G.S. 48‑2‑601(a1).The guardian ad litem shall file with the court and serve the department ofsocial services written notice that the motion was filed. The motion shall notbe filed in the court file.  (1983, c. 607, s. 1; 1993, c. 537, s. 2; 1998‑202,s. 6; 1998‑229, ss. 9, 26; 1999‑456, s. 60; 2003‑62, s. 4;2005‑398, s. 8; 2007‑276, s. 5; 2009‑311, s. 8.)