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D. L. R. APPEAL F. O. R. (07/16/81)

decided: July 16, 1981.

IN RE D. L. R. APPEAL OF F. O. R.


No. 80-1-167, Appeal From the Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Orphans' Court Division at No. 131 Adoption 1979 dated August 11, 1980

COUNSEL

John E. Cooper, Erie, for appellant.

James E. Beveridge, Erie, for Children's Services.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, Kauffman and Wilkinson, JJ. Nix, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Larsen

[ 495 Pa. Page 56]

OPINION OF THE COURT

The Orphans' Court entered a decree terminating appellant's parental rights in her child. Appellant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support the decree. After carefully reviewing the record, we find appellant's contention to be without merit. Appellant's continued incapacity has caused her child to be without essential parental care and such incapacity cannot or will not be remedied. See In re William L., 477 Pa. 322, 383 A.2d 1228 (1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 880, 99 S.Ct. 217, 58 L.Ed.2d 192 (1978); 1 P.S. ยง 311(2). The determination of the Orphans' Court is supported by competent evidence and will not be reversed. See In re J. L. Z., 7 Pa. 492, 421 A.2d 1064 (1980).

Decree affirmed. Each party to pay own costs.

NIX, Justice, dissenting.

Today, the majority of this Court has forged beyond the fundamental tenets of American jurisprudence by approving the order of the Orphans' Court of Erie County which involuntarily terminated the parental rights of the mother, F. O. R., because of her mental retardation. Neither law,

[ 495 Pa. Page 57]

    reason, societal interests nor compassion can justify such a heartless and hubristic decision.

Appellant, F. O. R. is the mother of D. L. R., age six. The fact of F. O. R.'s mental incapacity of retardation is not disputed. The fact that her retardation is an act of God rather than the fault of F. O. R. is unquestioned. The fact that F. O. R. sincerely loved her child, visited the child on a consistent monthly basis, and gave D. L. R. the best care she could under the circumstances during home visits is undisputed. The issue of custody is not involved ...


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