No. 80-3-492, Appeal from the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Orphans' Court Division, Adoption A 86 Year 1979, dated February 14, 1980.
Frank J. Bolock, Jr., Scranton, for appellant.
George Houck, Scranton, for appellee.
O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Flaherty, J., filed a concurring opinion. O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, J., concurred in the result.
This is an appeal from a final order of the Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County terminating the parental rights of appellants, J. M. and C. B., with respect to their daughter, M. M. The instant case raises the question of whether the inability to provide proper support for an infant due to poverty falls within the language of Section 311(1) or (2) of the Adoption Act, Act of July 24, 1970, P.L. 620, Section 311(1), (2), 1 P.S. Section 311(1), (2) (Supp.1980-81).
Appellants, J. M. and C. B. are the natural parents of M. M., born September 4, 1977. The child was taken by the Lackawanna County Bureau of Childrens Services on or about September 13, 1977 and has since resided in foster care.
The Lackawanna County Bureau of Childrens Services (hereinafter B.C.S.) became involved with M. M. on September 12, 1977 when she was eight days old. Nancy Johnson, a caseworker for the B.C.S., testified that she received a complaint from the Childline in Harrisburg indicating that a child had gone home to live with the mother and the mother was not capable of providing care, that she had no proper
supplies or provisions and was living in unfit conditions. In response to this complaint, Ms. Johnson appeared at appellants' home during the night of September 12, 1977. The mother, who appeared very frightened refused to admit the caseworker.
Ms. Johnson returned to appellants' home later that night with a Scranton police officer. Ms. Johnson made an inspection of the premises and decided to request temporary custody of the baby because she was of the opinion that the child's parents did not have the proper supports needed. The caseworker seized the child from the home and placed her with the B.C.S.
Our scope of review is limited to determining whether the court's decree is supported by competent evidence. In Re Adoption of Baby Boy P., 479 Pa. 138, 387 A.2d 873 (1978); In Re William L., 477 Pa. 322, 383 A.2d 1228 (1978). The adjudication of the Orphans' Court will not be disturbed if "the record is free from legal error and . . . if the chancellor's findings are supported by competent and adequate evidence, and are not predicated upon capricious disbelief of competent and credible ...