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2008-UP-340 - South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Renorta J., Kelly K.

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

South Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent,

v.

Renorta J., Kelly K., and David S., Defendants,

Of Whom Renorta J. and Kelly K. are the Appellants.

In the interests of D.J., L.J., and K.K., minor children under the age of 18.


Appeal From Barnwell County
Peter R. Nuessle, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2008-UP-340
Submitted July 1, 2008 – Filed July 9, 2008


AFFIRMED


Leon E. Green, of Aiken, for Appellant Kelly K.

Pete Kulmala, of Barnwell, for Appellant Renorta J.

Dennis M. Gmerek, of Aiken, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Renorta J. (Mother) and Kelly K. (Father) appeal from the family court’s order terminating their parental rights (TPR).  Mother and Father argue the family court erred in finding TPR was in Children’s best interests.  We disagree.

1. We affirm the family court’s finding Children resided in foster care, under the responsibility of the state, for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1572 (Supp. 2007) (stating the family court may order TPR upon finding one or more of eleven statutory grounds is satisfied and also finding TPR is in the best interest of the child); S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1572(8) (Supp. 2007) (explaining one statutory ground for TPR is met when “[t]he child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months”); Charleston Co. Dep’t of Soc. Servs. v. Jackson, 368 S.C. 87, 101-02, 627 S.E.2d 765, 773 (Ct. App. 2006) (noting the purpose of this statutory ground “is to ensure that children do not languish in foster care when termination of parental rights would be in their best interests”). 

2. Furthermore, despite parents’ arguments to the contrary, our review of the record indicates termination of both parents’ rights is in Children’s best interests: Children have resided in foster care for the majority of their lives; Children are thriving with their foster family; and the foster parents plan to adopt Children.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-121 to -122 (Supp. 2007) (listing the responsibilities of guardians ad litem in abuse and neglect proceedings); S.C. Dep’t of Soc. Servs. v. Smith, 343 S.C. 129, 133, 538 S.E.2d 285, 287 (Ct. App. 2000) (declaring the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration in a TPR case); S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-1578 (Supp. 2007) (explaining if the parent’s and child’s interests conflict, the child’s interests prevail). 

Accordingly, the family court order terminating the parental rights of Mother and Father is  

AFFIRMED.[1]

HEARN, C.J., CURETON, A.J., and GOOLSBY, A.J., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.