Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.Unfortunately, under North Carolina law, a parent cannot file a petition to have his or her own parental rights terminated voluntarily. The various grounds for termination of parental rights are listed in North Carolina General Statute Section 7B-1111(a) and are summarized as follows:The parent has abused or neglected the child.The parent has willfully (i.e. voluntarily) left the juvenile in foster care
or placement outside the home for more than twelve months. However, parental rights shall not be terminated if the only reason that the parent is unable to care for the child is due to poverty.The child has been placed in the custody of a county department of social services
or a foster home for a continuous period of six months, and the parent has willfully failed during this time to pay the reasonable cost of care for the child despite being physically and financially able to do so.One parent has been awarded custody of the child by the court or has custody by agreement between the parents, and the other parent whose parental rights are sought to be terminated has for a period of at least one year willfully failed to pay child support as required by a court order or custody agreement.If the child was born out of wedlock, the father whose parental rights are sought to be terminated has not done any of the following:Filed an affidavit of paternity
in a registry maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.Legitimated the child or established paternity
as provided by North Carolina statutes.Legitimated the child by marriage
to the child’s mother
.Provided substantial financial support or consistent care for the child and the child’s mother.The parent is incapable of providing for the proper care and supervision of the child, and the parent will be incapable of doing so for the foreseeable future (for example, such incapability may be due to substance abuse or mental disability).The parent has willfully abandoned the child for at least six months.The parent has voluntarily abandoned an infant (defined as being less than seven days old) pursuant to North Carolina General Statute Section 7B-500 for at least sixty consecutive daysThe parent has committed murder, voluntary manslaughter, or felony assault that results in serious bodily injury of the child, another child of the parent, or another child residing in the parent’s home.The parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of the child’s other parent.The parent’s rights have been terminated with respect to another child, and the parent lacks the ability or willingness to establish a safe home.The child has been relinquished to a county department of social services, a licensed child-placing adoption agency, or a prospective adoptive parent for adoption. Additionally, the consent or relinquishment to adoption by the parent has become irrevocable except upon a showing of fraud, duress, or other circumstances. Also, the relevant jurisdiction requires termination of parental rights before granting an adoption. Finally, the parent does not contest the termination of parental rights.The parent has been convicted of a sexually related criminal offense that resulted in the conception of the child.Once the court determines that one or more of these grounds exists, the court must then decide whether terminating the parent’s rights is in the child’s best interest. The court shall consider the following factors, as stated in North Carolina General Statute Section 7B-1110(a), in making its determination:The child’s age.The likelihood that the child will be adopted.Whether terminating the parent’s rights will aid the permanent plan for the child.The bond between the child and the parent.The quality of the relationship between the child and any proposed adoptive parent, guardian, custodian, or other permanent placement.Any other relevant considerations.Thus, the court will first consider whether grounds exist to terminate the parent’s rights. Once the court determines that these grounds exist, the court will decide whether terminating the parent’s rights serves the child’s best interest. If the court decides that grounds to terminate parental rights exist and that such a termination is in the child’s best interest, the court will issue an order terminating all parental and custodial rights of that parent as to the child.So, if you never legitimate the child/acknowledge paternity of the child and fail to support the child, the mother could petition the court to have your rights terminated. Alternatively, if the mother wishes to have someone else adopt the child (a stepparent adoption
) she can file a petition to terminate your parental rights and you can sign a consent to terminate such rights. However, you yourself cannot on your own file to terminate your rights, because the law wants to ensure that whenever possible, a child has the support of two parents. If you need clarification or additional information, please reply and I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave a positive rating by clicking on the stars/happy faces before signing out, so I am credited for my time and assistance today. Thank you!