No. 69 March Term 1979, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Orphans' Court Division, at No. 693 of 1978
Pamela Pershing Lezo, Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid Society, Uniontown, for appellant.
Mary Warman Terry, for Catholic Charities, Inc., Uniontown, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ.
This is an appeal from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County, Orphans' Court Division, granting a petition to involuntarily terminate the appellant-mother's parental rights in Infant Female F.*fn1
The child was born out of wedlock on July 2, 1978 and was placed by the appellant with the Catholic Charities of Uniontown, Pennsylvania (Agency), on July 3 for lodging and care. The child has continued in the care of the Agency since. In August, 1978, the appellant signed a petition for voluntary relinquishment of her parental rights but later changed her mind, and, upon being so informed, the court denied the petition. On February 28, 1979, a petition for involuntary termination was filed by the Agency. The petition was granted by the court on April 20 after evidentiary hearings.
The court's decree of termination was bottomed upon its conclusion that the mother had evidenced a settled purpose for a period of at least six months of relinquishing her parental claim and had continuously neglected to provide the child with essential care and subsistence since birth. Cf. Section 311, Adoption Act of July 24, 1970, P.L. 620, No. 208, 1 P.S. § 311 (Supp.1978-79) and Appeal of Dianne B., 456 Pa. 429, 321 A.2d 618 (1974).
The above conclusions were based on the following findings by the court.
The mother visited the agency in July and August of 1978 and discussed reimbursing the institution for the cost of the care provided and her own plans to care for the child, in the future. On August 16, she made an appointment with the Agency for August 21 to continue these discussions but failed to appear for the appointment. Thereafter, a series
of letters forwarded by the Agency and admittedly received by her, requesting her ...