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An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.
NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
Filed: 15 May 2007
S.S., Cumberland County
T.R., Nos. 04 J 184-187
Appeal by Respondents from order entered 30 August 2006 by
Judge Edward A. Pone in Cumberland County District Court. Heard in
the Court of Appeals 30 April 2007.
Elizabeth Kennedy-Gurnee for Petitioner-Appellee Cumberland
County Department of Social Services.
Beth A. Hall for Guardian ad Litem-Appellee.
Janet K. Ledbetter for Respondent-Appellant Mother, P.R.
Richard E. Jester for Respondent-Appellant Father, W.R.
Peter Wood for Respondent-Appellant Father, R.A.
P.R. appeals an order terminating her
parental rights with respect to her minor children S.S., T.R.,
D.R., and M.R.
Respondent-Father W.R., P.R.'s husband, appeals the
order with respect to the termination of his parental rights to
three of the children,
T.R., D.R., and M.R.
appeals the termination of his parental rights to S.S. On 19 March 2004, Petitioner Cumberland County Department of
Social Services (DSS) was granted nonsecure custody of the four
minor children. At the time that the children were removed from
the home, the children were ages fifteen months, two, three, and
seven years old, and P.R. was eight months pregnant with a fifth
child. On 22 March 2004, DSS filed a juvenile petition alleging
that the minor children were dependent. The juvenile petition did
not name R.A. because at that time DSS was not aware that R.A. was
the putative father of S.S. The petition alleged that the family's
home had been without lights and heat for the past twelve months
and that the family was facing imminent eviction. The petition
further alleged that P.R. and W.R. had a history of unemployment,
unstable housing, and an inability to meet their family
In addition to the recent DSS referrals which led to the
filing of the juvenile petition, DSS alleged that P.R. and W.R. had
a history of neglect referrals dating back to 7 November 1997. The
referral on 7 November 1997, which was substantiated by DSS,
involved a report that P.R. and W.R. had no lights, heat, water, or
furniture, and that P.R. and W.R. were both unemployed.
Following review hearings on 24 and 29 March and 26 April
2004, the trial court continued nonsecure custody with DSS. In
each of the corresponding orders for these hearings, the trial
court gave DSS the authority to place the children with relatives
to include the respondent parents at such time as they have
appropriate housing. Following a hearing on 24 May 2004, the trial court
adjudicated the children dependent based on the stipulation of P.R.
and W.R. that they lacked adequate housing. The trial court
ordered P.R. and W.R. to cooperate with DSS, open their home to
DSS, provide verification of W.R.'s employment, and provide an
In the interim period between the entry of the adjudication
order and the disposition hearing, P.R. and W.R. participated in
supervised visits with the children. However, on 7 June 2004, DSS
filed a motion for review requesting that visitation be suspended
due to the parents' disruptive behavior. Specifically, DSS
alleged, inter alia, that P.R. and W.R. were loud and
confrontational with the social workers, used profanity in the
presence of the children, that W.R. stated in the presence of the
children he would have slapped the social work supervisor[,]
spoke negatively of the foster parents to the children, and
exercised minimal control of the children.
Following a hearing on DSS's motion on 10 June 2004, the trial
court found that P.R. and W.R. had engaged in loud, profane and
disruptive activities in the presence of the minor children and
that this behavior had caused members of DSS staff to fear for
their own safety as well as the minor children's safety.
Nevertheless, the trial court permitted the parents' weekly
visitation to continue on the condition that they refrain from the
objectionable behavior and make no attempt in the presence of thechildren to discuss the case, the foster parents, or if/when the
minor children will be returning home.
On 2 August 2004, the trial court conducted the disposition
hearing. While P.R. and W.R. provided the trial court with an
itemized budget, they failed to provide sufficient documentation
from which the trial court could verify employment or housing. In
addition, a DSS social worker testified that P.R. and W.R. had
refused to sign the family services case plan, had refused to
accept any assistance from DSS, and had completed no other
activities in the case plan except supervised visitation with the
children. Consequently, the trial court found that they were not
in compliance with the trial court's orders and ordered them to
provide DSS access to their housing, if any, so that DSS could
complete a home study, to sign releases to permit DSS to verify
employment and housing, and to comply with the family services case
plan and cooperate with DSS.
On 25 August 2004, a Permanency Plan Action Team meeting was
held to discuss the permanency plan for the children, but P.R. and
W.R. did not attend. While P.R. and W.R. had signed a release for
DSS to speak to the alleged employer of W.R., the phone number
provided to DSS had been disconnected and no other number was
listed for W.R.'s alleged employer.
Following a review hearing conducted on 28 September 2004, the
trial court found that W.R. had still not provided the trial court
with verification of employment, that P.R. and W.R. had not secured
suitable and stable housing, and that this failure to alleviate theconditions which led to the removal of the children was
inexcusable and unexplainable. The trial court further found
that DSS had made reasonable efforts toward reunification by
notifying the respondent parents of various job fairs, meetings,
employment opportunities and attempts to develop a Case Plan[.]
As a result, the trial court relieved DSS of its obligation to make
efforts toward reunification and visitation.
Afer conducting another review hearing on 28 October 2004, the
trial court found that W.R. had again failed to provide
verification of his employment. The trial court further found that
DSS had made numerous attempts to assist the respondent parents
with correcting instability issues of the family including
offering assistance from the Family Resource Aide with
transportation to locate housing, employment and doctor
appointments[,] and with budgeting. However, [t]he respondent
parents informed the social worker and family resource aide they
did not need help. While the trial court found that adoption
should be pursued, it again ordered P.R. and W.R. to continue with
their efforts to obtain safe and suitable housing for the minors
and that they would be allowed visitation with the children during
In addition, the trial court found that DSS had received a
phone call from Respondent-Father R.A. asserting that he was the
father of S.S. and that DSS was attempting to arrange paternity
testing. According to R.A.'s later testimony at the termination
hearing, S.S. was born while P.R. was in jail. Following thebirth, R.A. picked up S.S. from the hospital and had custody for
seven months until R.A. was convicted of armed bank robbery and
incarcerated. R.A. had S.S. with him during the bank robbery.
Following R.A.'s incarceration, S.S. lived with R.A.'s mother until
P.R. was released from her own incarceration and reclaimed custody
of S.S. Paternity test results finalized during the termination
hearings indicated a 99.99% probability that R.A. is the father of
S.S. R.A.'s estimated prison release date is in 2022.
On 23 November 2004, P.R. was ordered to pay $57.00 per month
in child support. W.R. was ordered to pay $558.00 per month. As
of the date that the termination petition was filed, P.R. had paid
only $52.64 in child support. W.R. had paid nothing.
DSS filed the termination petition on 15 July 2005, seeking to
terminate the parental rights of P.R., W.R., and R.A. The trial
court conducted a series of hearings over several sessions between
1 March 2006 and 30 August 2006. On 26 April 2006, the trial court
entered an order continuing the hearings because paternity testing
for the putative father R.A. was not complete. In July 2006, the
trial court entered an order continuing the hearings due to DSS
counsel's family emergency. On 30 August 2006, the trial court
entered an order terminating the parental rights of P.R., W.R., and
R.A. which they each now appeal. We address each Respondent
parent's assignments of error in turn.
I. RESPONDENT-MOTHER P.R.
By her first assignment of error, P.R. asserts that the
termination order must be reversed because the trial court did nothold a termination hearing within ninety days of the filing of the
termination petition as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1109(a).
Although the series of termination hearings began on 1 March 2006,
more than seven months after the filing of the termination
petition, this Court has held that time limitations in the
Juvenile Code are not jurisdictional . . . and do not require
reversal of orders in the absence of a showing by the appellant of
prejudice resulting from the time delay. In re C.L.C., 171 N.C.
App. 438, 443, 615 S.E.2d 704, 707 (2005) (citations omitted),
aff'd per curiam, 360 N.C. 475, 628 S.E.2d 760 (2006).
In her brief, P.R. has made only vague assertions of
unmistakabl[e] prejudice that left her and the children in
legal limbo. Such imprecise assertions are insufficient. See In
re H.T., __ N.C. App. __, __, 637 S.E.2d 923, 928 (2006)
(respondent's general statements of prejudice per se with respect
to the timing delays were insufficient to warrant reversal of a
termination order). Nevertheless, we do not find that the delay
could have resulted in significant prejudice given that, at the
time the petition was filed, the children already had been in
foster care placement for approximately fourteen months. The
length of this placement was due, in significant part, to P.R.'s
continual refusal to comply with both the case plan and the trial
court's requirements for reunification. Because we conclude that
P.R. has failed to demonstrate that the delay in the termination
hearing resulted in prejudice, this assignment of error is
overruled. P.R. next challenges the statutory grounds upon which the
trial court relied in terminating her parental rights.
turning to P.R.'s substantive challenges to the grounds relied upon
by the trial court, however, we must address P.R.'s contention that
two of the three grounds were not grounds initially alleged by DSS
in the termination petition. In particular, she asserts that, as
to her, the petition alleged only the ground of willful abandonment
as specified by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(7). As such, she
contends that the trial court was not permitted to rely upon the
alternative grounds of failure to pay a reasonable portion of the
cost of care for the children, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(3), and
willfully leaving the children in foster care for more than twelve
months, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(2).
As a threshold matter, we conclude that P.R. has failed to
properly preserve this claim for appellate review. First, DSS
specifically made a motion at the termination hearing to conform
the petition to the evidence. This motion was allowed by the trial
court without objection by P.R.'s counsel. A party must make a
timely request, objection, or motion to a trial court's ruling in
order to preserve the issue for appellate review. N.C. R. App. P.
Furthermore, P.R. did not include this claim in her
assignments of error as required by our Rules of Appellate
Procedure. N.C. R. App. P. 10(c)(1). While P.R. does assign as
error [a]ny assignments of error made by Co-Respondent-Appellant
Fathers[,] and while W.R. did assign error to this specific issue,such a vague, blanket attempt to incorporate the claims of Co-
Appellants is inadequate to preserve error for review. See N.C. R.
App. P. 10(c)(1) (requiring that a proper assignment of error
directs the attention of the appellate court to the particular
error about which the question is made[.]); see also May v. Down
East Homes of Beulaville, Inc., 175 N.C. App. 416, 623 S.E.2d 345,
(holding that broad, vague, and unspecific assignments of error do
not satisfy the requirements of the North Carolina Rules of
Appellate Procedure), cert. denied, 360 N.C. 482, 632 S.E.2d 176
(2006). Consequently, we hold that P.R. has waived appellate
review of this issue.
We next turn to P.R.'s contention that the trial court's
termination of her parental rights on the basis of N.C. Gen. Stat.
§ 7B-1111(a)(2) was erroneous. Our standard of review is whether
the trial court's findings of fact are supported by clear, cogent,
and convincing evidence and whether the findings of fact support
the trial court's conclusions of law. In re Huff, 140 N.C. App.
288, 536 S.E.2d 838 (2000), disc. review denied, 353 N.C. 374, 547
S.E.2d 9 (2001); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1109(e)-(f) (2005).
Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(2), a trial court may
terminate parental rights if the court finds:
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 theparents are unable to care for the juvenile on
account of their poverty.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(2) (2005). A willful respondent is
one who had the ability to show reasonable progress, but was
unwilling to make the effort. In re Fletcher, 148 N.C. App. 228,
235, 558 S.E.2d 498, 502 (2002) (citation omitted). A finding of
willfulness does not require a showing of fault by the parent.
Fletcher, 148 N.C. App. at 235, 558 S.E.2d at 502 (citation
The trial court made the following findings of fact:
3. That the juveniles have been in the
continual care of the Cumberland County
[D]epartment of Social Services since on or
before March 19, 2004 as a result of a non
secure custody order and a petition alleging
. . . .
9. That the juveniles have been in the
continual care of the Cumberland County
Department of Social Services for more than 15
months next preceding the filing of this
petition. The cost of care for the juveniles
is in excess of $35,000.00.
10. That [P.R. and W.R.] stipulated that the
juveniles were dependent on or about May 24,
2004 in part due to their lack of stable and
suitable housing, lack of lights and heat and
lack of an appropriate alternative child care
11. That efforts were made to reunite [P.R.
and W.R.] with the minor children; however,
these efforts were unsuccessful. The
[parents] have a history of moving from place
to place and being forced to move out due to
failure to pay their rent and having their
utilities turned off. This life style
persisted up and until the filing of the
petition to terminate parental rights and
continues to this date.
12. The court ceased reunification efforts
after a series of problems during visitations
wherein the respondents were using loud and
profane language, talking to juveniles about
the case in violation of the court's order and
refusing to follow the family services case
plan as well as the orders of the court to
alleviate the conditions which led to the
removal of the juveniles. Additionally, they
continued to move from place to place and
lived a very unstable life style.
13. That the respondents . . . did not pay
anything towards the care of the children
during the year 2004. That both [P.R. and
W.R.] were gainfully employed and had the
ability to contribute to the care of the
14. That on 11/23/04 [P.R.] was court ordered
to pay $57.00 per month for the children
beginning 12/1/04. On that same date,
11/23/04, [W.R.] was ordered to pay $558.00
per month for his three children effective
12/1/04. That as of July 15, 2005, the date
of the filing of [the termination] petition,
[P.R.] had paid [two payments of $26.32 in
March and April 2004]. That [W.R.] refused to
pay child support although he held various
jobs since the entry of the order and has the
ability to pay. He is currently in arrears in
excess of $7800.00.
15. [W.R.] has been very uncooperative with
the department throughout the entire
involvement with his children. He has refused
to accept the services offered in an effort to
reunite the family, has failed to comply with
the courts [sic] orders and this has resulted
in this matter being here today.
16. [P.R.] has largely followed the direction
of her husband. She even entertained the idea
of relinquishing her parental rights after the
child support order was entered. She has also
been less than honest with the court, [W.R.,
and R.A.] when it came to the identity of the
father of [S.S.].
17. That even after relieving [DSS] of
reunification efforts, the court continued to
allow renewed visitation efforts, commencingduring the holidays, Thanksgiving and
Christmas, and [P.R. and W.R.] did not attend
the visitation. Moreover, they did not so
much as purchase the children Christmas
P.R. does not dispute the fact that the children were in
foster care for more than twelve months prior to the filing of the
termination petition. Nor does she challenge the trial court's
finding that the children were initially removed from the home due
to lack of stable and suitable housing, lack of lights and heat
and lack of an appropriate alternative child care plan. Rather,
P.R. asserts that the trial court failed to make findings that she
was willful in her actions. We disagree.
The evidence shows, and the trial court specifically found,
that P.R., along with W.R., had refus[ed] to follow the family
services case plan as well as the orders of the court to alleviate
the conditions which led to the removal of the juveniles. The
trial court further found that P.R. largely followed the direction
of [W.R.] in refus[ing] to accept the services offered in an
effort to reunite the family[.]
After reviewing the record, we conclude that the trial court's
findings are supported by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence.
DSS made several attempts to assist P.R. and W.R. in locating
suitable housing and employment. In addition to sending P.R. and
W.R. information about specific job openings on several occasions,
a DSS social worker visited the home on two occasions to offer them
transportation to find suitable housing and employment. During one
visit, the social worker explained that she had been in touch withthe City of Fayetteville Community Development regarding finding
housing for a family of seven. Despite the availability of these
services, the trial court found that P.R. and W.R. continued to
move from place to place and lived a very unstable life style
which continues to [the date of the termination order].
We have held that a respondent's prolonged inability to
improve her situation, despite some efforts in that direction, will
support a finding of willfulness regardless of her good
intentions[.] In re B.S.D.S., 163 N.C. App. 540, 546, 594 S.E.2d
89, 93 (2004) (internal quotations and citations omitted). In this
case, we conclude not only that P.R. and W.R. lacked good
intentions, but moreover that they directly refused to take even
minimal steps to create a suitable and stable environment for their
children. Such refusal, combined with P.R.'s and W.R.'s failure to
make any progress over a fifteen-month period, is sufficient to
support the trial court's conclusion that P.R.'s and W.R.'s actions
were willful. P.R.'s argument is overruled.
Because we affirm the trial court's termination on the
statutory ground of willful failure to progress, we need not
address P.R.'s remaining challenges to the other statutory grounds
relied upon by the trial court in terminating P.R.'s parental
rights. See B.S.D.S., 163 N.C. App. at 546, 594 S.E.2d at 93
(Having concluded that at least one ground for termination of
parental rights existed, we need not address the additional
ground[s] . . . found by the trial court.) (citation omitted).
II. RESPONDENT-FATHER W.R.
We next turn to Respondent-Father W.R.'s assignments of error.
W.R. challenges each of the three statutory grounds relied upon by
the trial court to terminate the parental rights of both P.R. and
W.R. As discussed above, the trial court's findings of fact and
conclusions of law with respect to P.R. also pertain to W.R.
Consequently, our conclusion above that the termination on the
ground of willful failure to progress was properly supported with
respect to P.R. also applies to the termination of W.R.'s parental
rights, and W.R.'s argument on this issue is overruled.
Nevertheless, we briefly address W.R.'s additional contention
that the trial court's termination of his parental rights on this
ground was erroneous because there was insufficient evidence that
the government provided meaningful assistance to the family and
because he was given insufficient guidance as to the requirements
for reunification with his children. We find W.R.'s contentions to
be wholly without merit.
First, W.R.'s contention that he was not informed as to the
requirements for reunification is belied by the record. The
primary reason for the removal of the children in this case was due
to a failure of W.R. and P.R. to provide suitable housing for the
children. Both the unambiguous allegations in the juvenile
petition that the family had been without electricity and heat for
a full year as well as W.R.'s own stipulation at the adjudication
phase as to lack of adequate housing make it clear that W.R. was
aware of the basis for the children's removal and the requirements
for their return. Further, in each of the three review hearing orders, the trial
court specifically granted DSS the authority to place the children
back with W.R. and P.R. at such time as they have appropriate
housing. In light of such plain language, W.R. cannot now
reasonably assert that he was uninformed about the conditions for
the return of his children.
As for W.R.'s assertion that DSS failed to provide him with
assistance, we have discussed in detail above the assistance
offered to and refused by W.R. Accordingly, we affirm the trial
court's conclusion that W.R. willfully failed to make any progress
over a fifteen-month period to correct those conditions that led to
the removal of his children. Again, as only one statutory ground
is required to support the termination of parental rights, we need
not address W.R.'s assignments of error relating to the other
statutory grounds relied upon by the trial court. See B.S.D.S.,
III. RESPONDENT-FATHER R.A.
Finally, we address Respondent-Father R.A.'s assignments of
error as to the termination of his parental rights to S.S. In his
first assignment of error, R.A. asserts that he was denied his
right to counsel because of his counsel's absence during a portion
of the closing arguments at the termination hearing. Specifically,
R.A. cites the North Carolina Supreme Court's holding in State v.
, 311 N.C. 283, 316 S.E.2d 79 (1984), and argues that he was
denied counsel at a critical stage of the hearing in violation of
his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. However, this right does notapply to a termination action. State v. Adams
, 345 N.C. 745, 748,
483 S.E.2d 156, 157 (1997) (The filing of a [juvenile petition]
commences a civil proceeding. By its terms, the Sixth Amendment
applies only to criminal cases.)
Nevertheless, parents do have a right to counsel in all
proceedings dedicated to the termination of parental rights[,] and
this includes a right to effective assistance of counsel. In re
, __ N.C. App. __, __, 638 S.E.2d 638, 641 (2007) (quoting In
123 N.C. App. 434, 436, 473 S.E.2d 393, 396
(1996)); see also
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-602(a) (2005) (In cases
where the juvenile petition alleges that a juvenile is abused,
neglected, or dependent, the parent has the right to counsel . . .
unless that person waives the right.). To support a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, R.A. must not only show that his
counsel's performance was deficient, but also that the deficiency
was so serious as to deprive the represented party of a fair
, 123 N.C. App. at 436, 473 S.E.2d at 396
A review of the termination hearing transcript reveals that
R.A.'s attorney was present for the presentation of all direct
testimony and evidence, but left at some point after delivering his
closing argument in order to attend a proceeding in another
The only portion of the remaining proceedings missed by
counsel that pertained to R.A. was DSS's closing argument.
Although R.A. now has a complete transcript of the hearing
available for his review, he has failed to identify any way inwhich his counsel's absence prejudiced him. In fact, as noted by
the trial court, R.A.'s counsel would not have been entitled to a
rebuttal argument following DSS's closing argument. Because R.A.
has not demonstrated that he suffered any prejudice, he has failed
to establish his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Accordingly, this assignment of error is overruled.
R.A. next challenges the several statutory grounds upon which
the trial court relied in support of the termination of his
parental rights. We turn first to R.A.'s challenge to the trial
court's termination on the ground that he failed to legitimate S.S.
as specified by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(5). This provision
permits a trial court to terminate the parental rights of a
putative father where he has failed to legitimate the child by one
of the following methods:
a. Established paternity judicially or by
affidavit which has been filed in a central
registry maintained by the Department of
Health and Human Services; provided, the court
shall inquire of the Department of Health and
Human Services as to whether such an affidavit
has been so filed and shall incorporate into
the case record the Department's certified
b. Legitimated the juvenile pursuant to
provisions of G.S. 49-10 or filed a petition
for this specific purpose; or
c. Legitimated the juvenile by marriage to the
mother of the juvenile; or
d. Provided substantial financial support or
consistent care with respect to the juvenile
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(5) (2005). While R.A. contends that the evidence and the trial court's
findings do not support the conclusion that R.A. failed to
legitimate S.S. as specified by the statute, R.A. has failed to
direct this Court to the evidence which supports this assertion.
R.A. neither contends, nor do we find evidence in the record to
support any such contention, that he ever married P.R., filed a
petition to legitimate S.S. pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 49-10, or
provided substantial financial support or consistent care to either
S.S. or P.R. Rather, R.A.'s sole argument is that he filed an
affidavit alleging paternity as required by § 7B-1111(a)(5)(a).
By the express language of the statute, R.A. was required to
have filed an affidavit of paternity prior to the filing of a
petition or motion to terminate parental rights[.] Id. Here,
R.A. directs this Court to a purported affidavit in the record with
a date of 23 January 2006, approximately six months after the
petition to terminate was filed on 15 July 2005. This purported
affidavit is neither notarized, nor was it filed in a central
registry maintained by the Department of Health and Human
Services[.] In fact, the trial court made a specific finding that
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had no
affidavit of paternity on file and [HHS's] certified response is
hereby incorporated into the case record. Consequently, we
conclude that the evidence and the findings of fact are sufficient
to support the trial court's conclusion that R.A. failed to
legitimate S.S. as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(5), and
this assignment of error is overruled. Having so concluded, we donot address R.A.'s remaining challenges to the other statutory
grounds relied upon by the trial court in terminating his parental
rights. See B.S.D.S., supra.
In his final assignment of error, R.A. asserts that the trial
court abused its discretion in concluding that it was in the best
interests of S.S. to terminate his parental rights. Once statutory
grounds for termination have been established, the trial court is
required to further determine that the best interests of the
juvenile require that the parental rights of the parent not be
terminated. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1110(a) (2005), amended by S.L.
2005-398, § 17, eff. Oct. 1, 2005. The standard for appellate
review of a trial court's decision to terminate parental rights is
abuse of discretion. In re Brim, 139 N.C. App. 733, 535 S.E.2d 367
Here, the trial court found that R.A. had not seen S.S. since
2001 when the child was seven months old because R.A. was serving
a federal prison term with a projected release date of 2022, at
which time S.S. will be approximately twenty-two years old. In
further support of the trial court's decision to terminate R.A.'s
parental rights, the trial court found:
1. The children are currently doing very
well in their placements[.]
. . . .
3. The minor child [S.S.] has no knowledge
of who [R.A.] is[.]
Based on our review of the record and the trial court's order
in this case, we discern no abuse of discretion in the trialcourt's decision to terminate R.A.'s parental rights to S.S., and
this assignment of error is overruled.
Judges JACKSON and STROUD concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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