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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Neglect Adjudication – Older Child’s Removal – Newborn

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Neglect Adjudication – Older Child’s Removal – Newborn

When deciding whether newborn “Oscar” was neglected, the trial court could take into account the respondent-parents’ actions that resulted in the neglect adjudication of Oscar’s older sibling. In any event, the record shows respondents’ inability to properly care for Oscar based on their behavior while Oscar was in the NICU: despite repeated instruction by hospital staff, respondents failed to feed Oscar on schedule; had difficulty preparing his formula or determining how much he had consumed; left inappropriate items in his bassinet; failed to swaddle him properly; were unable to properly diaper him, and, on more than one occasion, left him soiled and hungry.

We affirm the adjudication of neglect.

We have previously affirmed a neglect adjudication of a newborn child who was in the hospital when the petition was filed. Accordingly, here, we reject any contention from respondents that the trial court must wait for Oscar to be discharged from the hospital and returned home before it may adjudicate Oscar neglected.

In re M.C. (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-204-22, 27 pp.) (Hunter Murphy, J.) Appealed from Onslow County District Court (Sarah Seaton, J.) Lauren Vaughan for petitioner; Peter Wood and Thomas Diepenbrock for respondents; Matthew Wunsche, for guardian ad litem. 2022-NCCOA-786

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