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2001 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 6, No. 1
February 2001

Grounds For TPR In North Carolina

  1. Previous abuse/neglect with little improvement in the parent's ability to care for the child and the probability of a repetition of abuse/neglect if the child is returned home.

  2. Willfully leaving a child in foster care for more than 12 months without the parents making "reasonable progress under the circumstances" to correct conditions that led to the removal of the child.

  3. Failure of a parent for a continuous period of six months immediately prior to filing of TPR petition to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of foster care although physically and financially able to do so.

  4. Failure of a father of a child born out of wedlock prior to filing of TPR petition to (1) establish paternity, (2) legitimate the child, (3) marry the mother of the child or (4) provide substantial financial support or consistent care for mother and child.

  5. Inability of a parent as a result of mental retardation, mental illness, organic brain syndrome, or substance abuse to provide proper care and supervision for a child and a reasonable probability that this inability will continue for the foreseeable future.

  6. Willful abandonment of a child by a parent for at least 6 consecutive months.

  7. The parent has murdered, attempted or conspired to murder, or committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury on another child of the parent or other child residing in the home.

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

Best Interest Issues

  1. Once grounds for termination exist, court must still find that termination is in the child's best interest.

  2. Parental love alone does not preclude a finding of best interest. Child's best interest prevails over parent's desire to retain relationship.

  3. Does either parent have a substantial relationship with the child? Could the family make enough progress in the near future so that the child could be returned home?

  4. Is placement with relatives an appropriate alternative permanent plan for the child?

  5. What is the adoption plan?

Source: Malpass, J. & Thompson, J. (2000). Case building toward permanence: A curriculum for child welfare social workers. Raleigh, NC: NC Division of Social Services.

N.C.G.S. 7B-1111

2001 Jordan Institute for Families