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Termination Of Parental Rights Wilmington NC

Termination Of Parental Rights

A parent’s rights may be terminated for abuse, neglect, abandonment, failure to pay child support, and other reasons

Grounds for termination of parental rights

A North Carolina court can terminate the rights of a parent for:

  • Abuse or neglect of the child;
  • Wilful abandonment of the child to foster care for more than twelve months;
  • Failure to pay child support pursuant to a court order or agreement for more than one year;
  • Father of child born out of wedlock’s failure to legitimate the child, establish paternity, or financially provide for the child;
  • Abandonment;
  • Parent is incapable of providing for proper care and supervision; or
  • For other reasons as set out in NC Law.

Who may terminate a parent’s rights

Either parent may seek to terminate the other parent’s rights. A guardian judicially appointed for the child, a person who has filed a petition to adopt the minor child, and anyone with whom the child has continuously lived for two or more years may also petition for the termination of parental rights.


If the person who petitions for termination of a parent’s rights, proves there are grounds for the termination, the court must consider whether such termination is in the best interests of the minor child. In making this determination, the court must consider:

  • The age of the juvenile;
  • The likelihood of adoption of the juvenile;
  • Whether the termination of parental rights will aid in the accomplishment of the permanent plan for the juvenile;
  • The bond between the juvenile and the parent;
  • The quality of the relationship between the juvenile and the proposed adoptive parent, guardian, custodian, or other permanent placement; and
  • Any relevant consideration.

A parent who is a respondent in these proceedings has a right to court appointed counsel.

Effect of termination of parental rights

An order terminating the parental rights completely and permanently terminates all rights and obligations of the parent to the juvenile and of the juvenile to the parent arising from the parental relationship, except that the juvenile’s right of inheritance from the juvenile’s parent shall not terminate until a final order of adoption is issued.