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JOHNSON ADOPTION CASE. (06/03/60)

June 3, 1960

JOHNSON ADOPTION CASE.


Appeal, No. 78, Jan. T., 1960, from decree of Orphans' Court of Carbon County, File No. 16009, in re adoption of Mark Randolph Johnson. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

John Deutsch, with him Deutsch & Wyatt, for appellant.

Roger N. Nanovic, for appellees.

Before Jones, C. J., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 399 Pa. Page 625]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.

From the time that Mark Randolph Johnson was three years of age he has been neglected by his father Stanley R. Johnson, and now that Mark is nine years of age, his father objects to his adoption by respectable, conscientious, and children-loving persons who will give Mark the home, care, maintenance, devotion and education which his own parents have so far denied him.

Mark Randolph Johnson was born January 11, 1950 of Stanley Johnson and Glendora Johnson. On November 9, 1953, Glendora Johnson charged her husband with neglect and refusal to support their children, including Mark, and the Court of Quarter Sessions of Carbon County ordered Stanley Johnson to pay a certain amount weekly for their support. On January 4, 1955, a citizen of Carbon County, Edward Beers, informed the juvenile court of that county that Stanley Johnson had abandoned his wife and children. L. R. Campbell, probation officer of Carbon County, made an investigation into conditions at the Johnson home. He testified: "I made a visit out there and found that there was real neglect of the children there. It was only Mrs. Johnson and her children living there. It was hardly a fit place for anyone to live in. There was hardly any food in the house; there was no furniture in the house; the windows were out of the place; and it was bitter cold, because it was in the Wintertime."

The juvenile court entered an order placing the children (there were nine of them) in the custody of their grandmother, Mrs. Adam Johnson, with whom Stanley Johnson was now making his home. The job of taking care of nine children of tender age, feeding, clothing and instructing them, keeping them out of mischief and out of each other's hair is one that would appall a woman of superior robustiousness and of a

[ 399 Pa. Page 626]

    younger age than Mrs. Johnson, who was then seventy. Stanley Johnson became aware of the yoke of care fastened around the neck of his aged mother and decided to alleviate her burden by departing. His magnanimity in this respect was established by his own testimony: "Q. Now, will you state, under what circumstances you left your mother's home? A. She began to complain, and she said: 'She had too much work'. Q. What did you do when she began to complain? A. There wasn't anything too much I could do. Q. You just packed up and left your mother's home? A. That's right. Q. And you left the children with your mother? A. Yes. Q. You just left your mother's home? A. I moved out because there was too much work for my mother to do with everybody being there. I thought 'it was better for me to get out of the house and let the kids stay with my mother.' Q. You thought that if you left that that would relieve your mother of work? A. Yes, to a certain amount."

It never occurred to Stanley Johnson that he could have considerably reduced the burdens and worries of his mother by remaining with her, helping her to wash, feed, and clothe his multitudinous brood.

By June, 1956, Grandmother Johnson realized that the task of managing, guilding, and maintaining nine children was too much for her advanced age and she made arrangements to place her son's numerous offspring in the homes of various families. It was the lot of Mark Johnson to come to rest in the home of Purie F. Green, Jr., and his wife Arlene A. Green, both of whom instantly demonstrated a ...


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