In the matter of D.H.H., the Father of D.H.H. had his parental rights terminated by the trial Court. The trial Court found three grounds on which it based its termination of Father’s parental rights. Father appealed and challenged only the first and second grounds on which his parental rights were terminated. Father did not challenge the third ground on which his parental rights were terminated.
The NC Court of Appeals affirmed the trial Court’s termination of Father’s parental rights noting that the third, unchallenged, ground was in itself adequate for the termination of Father’s parental rights standing alone. The Court of Appeals also found that the trial Court’s findings of fact were sufficient to form a fourth basis for terminating Father’s parental rights: that he willfully left the child in foster care for more than 12 months without showing reasonable progress toward changing the conditions which led to the removal of the child.
Father argued that he was precluded from regaining custody by the provisions of the statute under which the guardian was appointed. However, the Court of Appeals held that the appointment of the guardian played no role in Father’s ability to correct the problems which led to removal and found this argument unpersuasive. The termination of Father’s parental rights was affirmed.
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