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ADOPTION INFANT FEMALE F. APPEAL D. F. *FN* (04/25/80)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: April 25, 1980.

IN RE ADOPTION OF INFANT FEMALE F. APPEAL OF D. F. *FN*

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

COUNSEL

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.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 488 Pa. Page 190]

OPINION

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. ยง 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

[ 488 Pa. Page 191]

    of letters forwarded by the Agency and admittedly received by her, requesting her cooperation, were ignored.

Finally, on January 10, 1979, appellant telephoned the Agency and made an appointment for January 18, but again she did not appear. Admittedly, this phone call was the only contact by the appellant with the Agency from August 16, 1978 until February 28, 1979.*fn2

In view of the foregoing findings which may not be disturbed on appeal since all are supported by competent evidence (Adoption of David C., 479 Pa. 1, 387 A.2d 804 (1978)), we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion or committed an error of law.


*fn* Editor's Note: The opinion of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth v. Blady, published in the advance sheets at this citation (411 A.2d 1202), was withdrawn from the bound volume because reargument is pending.


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