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An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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.

NO. COA07-535


NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 16 October 2007

IN RE:
                            Cabarrus County
C.C.,                        Nos. 05 JA 12
B.C.                                05 JA 13

    Appeal by respondent mother and respondent father from orders entered 26 September 2006, 5 February 2007, and 15 February 2007 by Judge Donna H. Johnson in Cabarrus County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 4 September 2007.

    Juanita B. Allen for petitioner-appellee.

    Mercedes O. Chut for respondent-appellant mother.


    Carol Ann Bauer for respondent-appellant father.

    Victoria Bost for guardian ad litem.

    GEER, Judge.

    Respondent mother and respondent father appeal from the trial court's 5 February 2007 order concluding that grounds existed for terminating their parental rights with respect to the minor children, C.C. ("Christopher") and B.C. ("Bobby"), and its 15 February 2007 order concluding that termination of parental rights was in the best interests of the children.   (See footnote 1)  In addition, respondent mother appeals from a 26 September 2006 permanencyplanning order authorizing the Cabarrus County Department of Social Services ("DSS") to cease reunification efforts.
    Both parents devote much of their appeal to arguing that the trial court should have dismissed the motion to terminate parental rights for inadequate pleading. Neither parent, however, moved to dismiss the motion before the trial court and, therefore, that issue has not been properly preserved for appellate review. With respect to respondent mother's separate arguments, we hold that the trial court's permanency planning order was supported by the evidence and the court's findings of fact; the trial court did not err in failing to appoint a guardian ad litem for the mother; and the trial court's conclusion that grounds existed under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(2) (2005) to terminate respondent mother's parental rights is supported by its findings of fact, which in turn are supported by the evidence. Finally, as to respondent father's remaining assignment of error, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that termination of respondent father's parental rights was in the best interests of the children.

Facts

    Respondents are the mother and father of Christopher, age seven, and Bobby, age three. On 11 January 2005, DSS filed a petition alleging that the two children were neglected in that they did not receive proper care and supervision from their parents and lived in an environment injurious to their welfare while in their parents' care. The petition was based on domestic violence by the father against the mother and Christopher, the father's mentalillness and substance abuse, and DSS' conclusion that the children's safety was not the mother's paramount concern. On the same date, the court ordered DSS to assume non-secure custody of both children.
    Respondents each stipulated to an adjudication of neglect, and the trial court entered a consent order on 25 January 2005 as to the mother and on 31 March 2005 as to the father, specifying that the children were neglected as alleged in the petition. The trial court provided that the permanent plan for the children was reunification with respondents.
    In the two consent orders, both parents were ordered to submit to a psychological evaluation and comply with any recommendations; to submit to a substance abuse assessment and follow through with any treatment recommendations; to submit to random drug screens; to attend Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous as recommended by a treatment provider; to attend parenting courses and demonstrate the skills learned; to obtain stable employment and pay child support unless they provided the court with documentation of disability; and to obtain and maintain stable housing. The father was ordered to attend counseling to address anger management issues until released by the service provider. The mother was ordered to attend individual counseling and domestic violence counseling.
    Further, the mother was ordered to have no contact with the father "until such time as both parties have successfully completed domestic violence & anger management classes/counseling." The father was ordered to have no contact with the mother so long as heremained under a domestic violence protective order. If released from the order, the father was directed to have no contact with the mother until such time as both parents completed domestic violence and anger management classes and/or therapy.
    Following a review hearing on 5 May 2005, the trial court entered an order finding that "[t]he mother has made no progress." In the order following a review hearing on 30 September 2005, the court found that the mother had made "minimal progress." Although she had completed her psychological evaluation and parenting classes, the mother had continued to have contact with the father in violation of the court's order, including living with him recently. The order found that the father had made "no progress." He had not completed a psychological evaluation, anger management assessment, a domestic violence assessment, or parenting classes. He tested positive twice for cocaine and marijuana, was recommended for treatment but did not complete treatment, and violated the court's order by living with the mother briefly. In addition, he did not visit with the children consistently.
    Following a permanency planning hearing on 8 December 2005, the trial court entered an order on 13 December 2005, ceasing reunification efforts with respondent father after finding that he had again made "no progress." The court found, as to respondent mother, that she had made "minimal progress," but still had not provided employment and housing information to DSS. The court directed that the permanent plan should still be reunification with respect to the mother.    A subsequent permanency planning hearing took place on 21 September 2006. In the resulting 26 September 2006 order, the court again found that the mother had made "minimal progress in addressing the issues which led to placement." Specifically, the court found:
        The mother completed all of her appointments for her psychological evaluation. The recommendation included a referral for depression, anger management intervention and academic training. She is receiving anger management therapy and medication management. She completed a substance abuse assessment with no recommendations. She tested negative on September 7, 2006. She reported that she had finished treatment for domestic violence but provided no verification. She completed a parenting class and demonstrated some ability to set limits but has not maintained stable housing. She has not maintained steady employment. [Respondent mother] reported that she was forced to leave her residence when it was broken into. She relocated to South Carolina by reporting that she was trying to get away from [respondent father]. A home study was requested through the Interstate Compact with South Carolina. When her home was evaluated, she refused to reveal who was living in the residence with her. She is in arrears in the amount of $146.48 on her child support obligation. She calls the Department appropriately. She has attended all of her visits. She had contact with [respondent father] as recently as September 9, 2006, despite her reports of being afraid of him. The mother's inability to maintain a stable home and her continued contact with [respondent father] makes return of the children to her improbable within a reasonable period of time.

(Emphasis added.) Based on that finding, the trial court ordered that reunification efforts cease as to the mother as well as the father.    On 22 November 2006, DSS filed a motion in the cause seeking to terminate the parental rights of respondents to both children on the grounds that both respondents had neglected the children; both respondents had willfully left the children in foster care for more than 12 months without making reasonable progress under the circumstances to correct the conditions that led to the removal of the children; and the mother had failed, for the six months prior to the filing of the motion, to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of the care of the children although physically and financially able to do so. Following a hearing on 26 January 2007 to determine whether there were grounds for termination of parental rights, the trial court entered an order on 5 February 2007, concluding that each of the grounds alleged in the motion existed.
    The court conducted a second hearing on 2 February 2007 to address whether it was in the best interests of the children to terminate respondents' parental rights. In an order entered 15 February 2007, the court made findings regarding the children's ages and time in foster care; their behavioral problems and need for therapy; the parents' failure to complete domestic violence treatment _ the main issue in the children's removal _ and continued prohibited contact; the mother's failure to maintain stable employment necessary to support the children; the father's failure to have a stable home; and Bobby's experience with his foster parents, including their willingness to consider adopting Christopher. Based on those findings, the court concluded that it was in the best interests of the children to terminate respondents'parental rights. Both respondents timely appealed from this order and the 5 February 2007 order, with respondent mother also appealing from the 26 September 2006 permanency planning order.
I

    Respondents both contend that the trial court erred in failing to dismiss the motion to terminate parental rights because it failed to allege legally sufficient facts as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1104(6) (2005). That statute requires that a motion for termination of parental rights allege "[f]acts that are sufficient to warrant a determination that one or more of the grounds for terminating parental rights exist." Id. This Court has held that "[w]hile there is no requirement that the factual allegations be exhaustive or extensive, they must put a party on notice as to what acts, omissions or conditions are at issue." In re Hardesty, 150 N.C. App. 380, 384, 563 S.E.2d 79, 82 (2002). This requirement is not met by a "bare recitation" of the grounds set forth in the statute for termination. In re Quevedo, 106 N.C. App. 574, 579, 419 S.E.2d 158, 160, appeal dismissed, 332 N.C. 483, 424 S.E.2d 397 (1992). Respondents contend that reversal of the trial court's termination of parental rights orders is warranted under Hardesty and Quevedo.
    In both Hardesty and Quevedo, however, the parent had filed a pretrial motion to dismiss, arguing that the allegations of the petition were insufficient. Respondents, in this case, did not make any such motion. Instead, respondents waited until trial when they moved to dismiss at the close of petitioner's evidence and atthe close of all the evidence. This Court has recently confirmed that, like all other civil cases, in a termination of parental rights proceeding, "a Rule 12(b)(6) motion may not be made for the first time on appeal." In re H.L.A.D., ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 646 S.E.2d 425, 434 (2007).
    Because respondents did not make a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss prior to the hearing, they cannot challenge the sufficiency of the motion's allegations for the first time on appeal. Their motions in the course of the hearing _ addressing the sufficiency of the evidence and not the pleadings _ were not adequate to preserve the issue for review. See id. (holding that respondent failed to properly preserve for appeal the issue of sufficiency of allegations of motion to terminate parental rights when respondent made motion to dismiss after presentation of petitioner's evidence and at close of all the evidence, but failed to make Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss). Consequently, this assignment of error is overruled.
II

    Respondent mother next contends that the trial court erred in ceasing reunification efforts as to her in its 26 September 2006 permanency planning order because, according to respondent mother, the evidence and the findings of fact were insufficient to establish that reunification efforts were futile. As the basis for appellate review, she cites N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1001(a)(5)(a) (2005), which provides that this Court will allow a parent to bring an appeal from an order to cease reunification together with anappeal from an order terminating parental rights under specified circumstances. This provision was the result of amendments to the statute in 2005, applying to petitions or actions filed on or after 1 October 2005. 2005 N.C. Sess. Laws ch. 398 § 10. Even assuming, without deciding, that this provision applies to this action, we find respondent mother's contention unpersuasive.
    N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-507(b) (2005) permits a trial court to direct that reunification efforts cease "if the court makes written findings of fact" that "[s]uch efforts clearly would be futile or would be inconsistent with the juvenile's health, safety, and need for a safe, permanent home within a reasonable period of time[.]" Respondent mother argues that the trial court's findings of fact in this case are insufficient because no finding specifically recites the standard in § 7B-507(b).
    Respondent mother points to In re Weiler, 158 N.C. App. 473, 581 S.E.2d 134 (2003). In Weiler, this Court reversed a permanency planning order when the court's finding of fact that termination of the mother's parental rights was the best plan to achieve a safe, permanent home for the children was actually a conclusion of law. Id. at 478, 581 S.E.2d at 137. The only other finding of fact that arguably related to the requirements for cessation of reunification efforts addressed only behaviors of the mother without any finding that the behaviors were inconsistent with the juveniles' health, safety, and need for a permanent home. Id. at 479, 581 S.E.2d at 137.     In this case, however, the trial court's findings of fact more directly related to the requirements of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B- 507(b). The trial court based its conclusion that reasonable efforts to reunify should cease on its finding that respondent mother had made "minimal progress in addressing the issues which led to placement." Specifically, although the court noted that respondent mother had complied with some of the court's requirements, it found she had not maintained stable housing or steady employment, had not verified that she had completed domestic violence training, and had continued having contact with respondent father. The court further found that "DSS has made reasonable efforts to implement the permanent plan for the juveniles," which had been reunification with respondent mother, but nonetheless "[t]he mother's inability to maintain a stable home and her continued contact with [respondent father] makes return of the children to her improbable within a reasonable period of time." Finally, in a conclusion of law more properly viewed as both a conclusion of law and a finding of fact, the trial court found that "[r]eturn of the juveniles . . . to the home would be contrary to their best interest, health, safety and welfare." See Gainey v. N.C. Dep't of Justice, 121 N.C. App. 253, 257 n.1, 465 S.E.2d 36, 40 n.1 (1996) ("Although denominated as a conclusion of law, we treat this conclusion as a finding of fact because its determination does not involve the application of legal principles.").    The trial court thus specifically found that (1) return of the children to their mother would be contrary to their health, safety, and welfare, and (2) despite DSS' prior reunification efforts, return of the children to the mother was improbable within a reasonable time. While findings of fact more specifically paralleling § 7B-507(b) would be preferable, we hold that the trial court's findings of fact are sufficient to constitute a finding that reunification efforts "would be inconsistent with the juvenile's health, safety, and need for a safe, permanent home within a reasonable period of time." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B- 507(b)(1). Nothing in Weiler requires that a trial court parrot the language of § 7B-507(b).
    The mother also argues that the order was in error because respondent mother had made some progress and complied with some of the requirements, citing In re Eckard, 148 N.C. App. 541, 559 S.E.2d 233, disc. review denied, 356 N.C. 163, 568 S.E.2d 192 (2002). In Eckard, the trial court had ordered that reunification efforts cease after only eight months. This Court then reversed the trial court based on the following undisputed evidence:
        (1) the injuries to Patricia occurred while she was in the custody and care of another; (2) respondent mother terminated her relationship with the other person and has established and maintained her own dwelling; (3) despite respondent mother's low I.Q., she has no severe mental health issues that would interfere with her ability to parent; (4) respondent mother understands that her poor choices led to the abuse of the child and that the solution is to proceed more slowly before advancing to a live-in relationship; (5) respondent mother has grown and matured to a level as to not be a danger to Patricia; (6)respondent mother continues to remain employed, pay child support, and visit her child regularly; (7) respondent mother has done everything requested by DSS, is following her case plan, and is exceeding minimal standards of care; (8) respondent mother accepts responsibility on her own part for not protecting Patricia; and (9) DSS recommends that the permanent plan for Patricia be reunification with respondent mother.

Id. at 545, 559 S.E.2d at 235. Thus, in Eckard, the respondent mother had, in eight months, made significant progress on the issues leading to a loss of custody, such that DSS was still recommending reunification.
    In contrast, the evidence in this case demonstrates, as the trial court found, that after 18 months, respondent mother had made little progress with respect to the critical issues that had resulted in her loss of custody of the children _ including domestic violence, housing, and employment. Respondent mother does not dispute those findings. The fact that she made some progress in other less important areas does not negate her lack of progress in the key areas. Indeed, respondent mother's failure in these areas led both DSS and the guardian ad litem to urge that reunification efforts cease, another factor distinguishing this case from Eckard. We, therefore, affirm the trial court's permanency planning order.
III

    Respondent mother next argues that the trial court erred in failing to appoint her a guardian ad litem under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1101.1 (2005). That statute provides: "On motion of any party or on the court's own motion, the court may appoint a guardian adlitem for a parent if the court determines that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the parent is incompetent or has diminished capacity and cannot adequately act in his or her own interest." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1101.1(c).
    Although referring to this statute, respondent mother then cites cases construing the predecessor statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1101 (2003), the guardian ad litem portion of which was repealed in 2005 N.C. Sess. Laws ch. 398 § 14. Neither respondent mother nor DSS address which statute should apply to this case. Under either standard, however, we hold the trial court did not err in failing to appoint a guardian ad litem.
    Respondent mother points (1) to the fact that a psychological report indicated she has a full-scale I.Q. of 75 and (2) argues further, without citing any authority, that "[t]he existence of the psychological report should have triggered at the least a hearing to determine whether [respondent mother] could proceed without a guardian ad litem." She acknowledges that she did not ask the trial court for appointment of a guardian ad litem and that the motion to terminate her parental rights did not contain any allegations that she was incapable of parenting her children due to a mental or other condition.
    As this Court has stressed, the trial court is not required to appoint a guardian ad litem in every case in which cognitive limitations or substance abuse is alleged to exist. In re J.A.A., 175 N.C. App. 66, 71, 623 S.E.2d 45, 49 (2005). Under the former law, when no allegation of dependency appeared in the petition ormotion to terminate parental rights and the parent did not move for appointment of a guardian ad litem, the question became whether appointment was required under N.C.R. Civ. P. 17. See J.A.A., 175 N.C. App. at 72, 623 S.E.2d at 49 ("A trial judge has a duty to properly inquire into the competency of a litigant in a civil trial or proceeding when circumstances are brought to the judge's attention, which raise a substantial question as to whether the litigant is non compos mentis.").
    Since psychological reports are routinely sought in termination of parental rights and abuse, neglect, and dependency cases, the fact that a report exists _ without anything more _ cannot mandate a hearing to decide whether a guardian ad litem should be appointed for a parent. If we were to adopt respondent mother's argument, a hearing would have to be held even if the psychological report reflected no issues of civil incompetency, any inability to make decisions in the pending litigation, or incapacity to parent.
    Further, respondent mother offers no explanation as to why her I.Q., standing alone, required appointment of a guardian ad litem. Indeed, review of respondent mother's psychological report, which specifically discussed respondent mother's I.Q., states that she is in fact capable of parenting and contains no indication that a guardian ad litem needed to be appointed. Further, the proceedings prior to the filing of the motion for termination of parental rights focused on domestic violence issues and the mother's continued contact with her abusive husband rather than on anyintellectual limitations on her ability to parent. See In re J.M.W., ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 635 S.E.2d 916, 917 (2006) (holding that when mental illness of parent is not substantially relied upon by trial court in its decision to terminate parental rights, trial court is not required to appoint a guardian ad litem for the parent). Accordingly, we hold that respondent mother has failed to demonstrate that the trial court was obligated to appoint a guardian ad litem for her.
IV

    Respondent mother next contends that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the motion to terminate parental rights did not attach an order granting DSS custody of Christopher and Bobby. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1104(5) requires that a motion to terminate include "[t]he name and address of any person or agency to whom custody of the juvenile has been given by a court of this or any other state; and a copy of the custody order shall be attached to the petition or motion."
    This Court has held, however, that failure to attach a custody order to a motion or petition for termination of parental rights does not deprive the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction if the record before the trial court "'includes a copy of an order, in effect when the petition is filed, that awards DSS custody of the child.'" In re D.J.G., ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 643 S.E.2d 672, 673 (2007) (quoting In re T.B., 177 N.C. App. 790, 793, 629 S.E.2d 895, 897 (2006)). Here, the trial court took judicial notice of all the orders contained in Christopher's and Bobby's files. Those filescontained orders still in effect granting DSS custody of the children.
    Further, the motion to terminate parental rights attached affidavits for each child stating that DSS had custody of that child, and the parties never disputed that DSS had custody. Respondent mother has, therefore, failed to establish that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. See also In re W.L.M., ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 640 S.E.2d 439, 444 (2007) (holding that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction, despite failure to attach custody order, when motion referred to juvenile file and custody order in effect when motion was filed, there was no dispute over who had custody, and trial court took judicial notice of underlying case files that included custody order). Accordingly, this assignment of error is overruled.
V

    Respondent mother further contends that the trial court erred by making certain findings of fact and concluding that grounds to terminate her parental rights existed. A court may terminate parental rights upon a showing that one of the specified grounds for termination exists as set out in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111.
    The trial court in this case reached the following conclusions regarding whether grounds for termination of parental rights existed:
            3. That the Department has shown by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that that [sic] the Respondents have neglected the children within the meaning of N.C.G.S. §7B- 101(15) and there is a probability of the repetition of neglect in the future and thatthe Respondents have willfully left the children in foster care for more than twelve months without showing to the Court that reasonable progress has been made in correcting the issues which led to placement.

            4. That the Department has shown by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that [respondent mother] has for a continuous period of six months next preceding the filing of the motion willfully failed to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of care for the juvenile although physically and financially able to do so.

"On appeal, the standard of review from a trial court's decision in a parental termination case is whether there existed clear, cogent, and convincing evidence of the existence of grounds to terminate respondent's parental rights." In re Oghenekevebe, 123 N.C. App. 434, 439, 473 S.E.2d 393, 398 (1996). The trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law are binding on appeal if there is competent evidence to support them. Id.
    Although respondent mother assigned error to both conclusions of law 3 and 4, she argues in her brief only that the trial court erred in concluding that the grounds of neglect and failure to pay child support existed. She did not specifically address the trial court's conclusion that she had failed to make reasonable progress in correcting the conditions that led to removal of the children from her custody, the ground set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B- 1111(a)(2). This omission is fatal. As this Court explained in J.A.A.:
            The trial court can terminate a respondent's parental rights upon the finding of one of the grounds enumerated in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a). . . . In the instant case, the trial court cited three grounds forterminating respondent's parental rights. Respondent only assigned as error one of those grounds. "The appellant must assign error to each conclusion it believes is not supported by the evidence. N.C.R. App. P. 10. Failure to do so constitutes an acceptance of the conclusion and a waiver of the right to challenge said conclusion as unsupported by the facts." Fran's Pecans, Inc. v. Greene, 134 N.C. App. 110, 112, 516 S.E.2d 647, 649 (1999). Since respondent does not contest the other two grounds, they are binding on appeal. As only one ground is necessary to support the termination, we need not address whether evidence existed to support termination based on N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(3).

175 N.C. App. at 74, 623 S.E.2d at 50. Because respondent mother has not challenged one of the three grounds for termination, we are required to affirm the trial court's order.
    Even if the third ground _ willful failure to make reasonable progress _ were properly before us, we would still affirm on the basis of that ground. The trial court identified domestic violence as the main reason that the children were placed in the custody of DSS. While respondent mother contends that the evidence at the hearing did not support that finding, it is supported by the initial consent adjudication, which incorporated by reference the domestic violence allegations of the juvenile petition. That same consent order also set forth specific requirements that the mother needed to meet in order to address the domestic violence concerns reflected in the initial adjudication.
    With respect to the requirements relating to domestic violence, the trial court found that respondent mother had not completed domestic violence counseling and was still maintainingregular contact with her husband in violation of the consent order. As for the continued contact, the court specifically found:
        [Respondent parents] admitted at this hearing that they see each other several times a week and frequently go places together. On December 6, 2006, [respondent mother] called [respondent father] from the visitation room while she was visiting with the children and she allowed [Bobby] to speak to him. When confronted, she told the social worker that she did not see [respondent father] except on court dates and at the Department. As an explanation as to why his car is always at [respondent mother's] residence, [respondent father] maintains that the car is in his name but belongs to [respondent mother's] roommate. [Respondent mother] testified that she does not see how remaining away from [respondent father] has anything to do with her ability to get her children back.

    The only aspect of these findings of fact that respondent mother specifically challenges is the finding that she failed to complete her domestic violence counseling. That finding stated:
        [Respondent mother] has not completed her domestic violence counseling. Yet, she had only six sessions to complete. She did not attend her first session in February 2006. She cancelled her session on March 22, 2006 and failed to show for her March 29, 2006 session. She did not show for her appointment on June 7, 2006. At the time this motion in the cause was filed, she had two more sessions. But she did not show for her appointment on December 27, 2006.

Respondent mother does not dispute that she did not attend the February 2006, 22 March 2006, 29 March 2006, and 7 June 2006 sessions. Her own testimony established that she was supposed to attend six sessions, that at the time of her testimony she had attended only five sessions, and that she cancelled the 27 December 2006 session.     In determining whether respondent mother willfully failed to make reasonable progress, the trial court was entitled to consider that over a two-year period, respondent mother waited a year to start the counseling, that she only had a small number of sessions to attend, and that she still did not complete them prior to the hearing even though the final required session had been scheduled prior to the hearing date. Given that respondent mother does not specifically challenge any aspect of the finding regarding her regular continued contact with respondent father, the trial court could reasonably conclude that respondent mother willfully left the children in foster care for more than 12 months without showing that reasonable progress under the circumstances had been made in addressing the domestic violence issues. The lack of progress is demonstrated particularly, as the trial court found, by respondent mother's testimony, after two years of work with DSS and multiple sessions of domestic violence counseling, "that she does not see how remaining away from [respondent father] has anything to do with her ability to get her children back."
    In sum, even if respondent mother had properly contended that grounds did not exist under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1111(a)(2), we would still hold that the trial court's findings of fact relating to that ground are supported by the evidence and that those findings support the conclusion that grounds existed under § 7B- 1111(a)(2) to terminate respondent mother's parental rights. We, therefore, need not address respondent mother's remaining argumentsregarding the findings of fact and conclusions of law unrelated to § 7B-1111(a)(2).
VI

    Respondent father's only other assignment of error is that the trial court erred in concluding that it was in the best interests of the children to terminate his parental rights. He does not challenge the grounds for termination of parental rights found to exist by the trial court, including neglect and a failure to make reasonable progress to correct the conditions that led to removal of the children from his custody. Once statutory grounds for termination have been established, the trial court must "determine whether terminating the parent's rights is in the juvenile's best interest." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-1110(a) (2005). This Court will not reverse a trial court's decision to terminate parental rights unless we find it to be an abuse of discretion. In re Brim, 139 N.C. App. 733, 745, 535 S.E.2d 367, 374 (2000).
    In making this argument, respondent father does not specifically challenge any of the trial court's findings of fact in its dispositional order. Instead, he argues that "[t]he evidence presented in the above Statement of Facts showed that [respondent father] was bonded with his children and fought in the best way that he knew how to remain a part of their lives." Respondent father's failure, however, to assign error to the findings of fact renders them binding on appeal, and the sole question before us is whether those findings of fact support the trial court's decisionthat termination was in the children's best interests. Koufman v. Koufman, 330 N.C. 93, 97, 408 S.E.2d 729, 731 (1991).
    The court found that both children had behavioral issues requiring therapy, and Christopher was in a therapeutic foster home. According to the trial court, while the children were bonded with their parents and their parents love them, the children separated easily from their parents at the end of visitation. The court stressed that, after two years, the children needed permanence, yet the parents had not completed domestic violence treatment, they had violated a court order prohibiting the parents to have contact, and respondent father did not yet have a stable home. The court further found that "[e]ven if the parties addressed their domestic violence issues in the near future it would take additional time to determine whether treatment was successful for each of them."
    Respondent father argues, however, that termination was not warranted because the children had not yet been placed in permanent homes because of their special needs. According to respondent father, "[b]y terminating the parental rights of the parents without first being able to establish a future home with a family for the children[, the court] left them in the untenable position of legal orphans." Respondent father cites no authority, however, requiring that an adoptive home be identified before rights are terminated. Further, the court found, contrary to respondent father's suggestion regarding the children's special needs, that "[b]oth children could be placed in an adoptive home despite theirspecial needs" and that "[t]ermination of their parents' rights would allow the children to move forward to a more predictable permanent placement."   (See footnote 2) 
    When we consider the trial court's findings regarding respondent father's lack of progress in addressing domestic violence issues and the need for stable housing over a two-year period in conjunction with its findings regarding the children's special needs, the trial court's decision to terminate respondent father's parental rights does not appear to be an abuse of discretion. While respondent father has presented an argument that could justify not terminating his parental rights, he has presented no persuasive argument that the trial court's decision otherwise was manifestly unreasonable.

    Affirmed.
    Judges CALABRIA and STEPHENS concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).


Footnote: 1
    The pseudonyms Christopher and Bobby will be used throughout the opinion to protect the children's privacy and for ease of reading.
Footnote: 2
    The court also found that Bobby's "current foster parents are very affectionate to [Bobby] and he responds well to them. They wish to have [Bobby] in their home longer before they commit to adoption. They are also open to the prospect of adopting [Christopher]."

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