No. 00072 Philadelphia, 1984, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, Orphans Division, at No. 51960.
Albert Momjian, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Susan D. Scott, Doylestown, for appellee.
Spaeth, President Judge, and Brosky and Cirillo, JJ.
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 604]
This appeal follows the denial of a Petition for Adoption filed by appellant and her former husband. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Appellant, Harriet I. Owens and her then husband, John F. Owens, received the child Jonathan, whose adoption is at issue, on February 12, 1980. The couple had been interested in adopting a child for several years and obtained Jonathan a few days after his birth with the help of an intermediary.
A Notice of Intention to Adopt was filed by Mr. and Mrs. Owens on April 24, 1980 and the intermediary filed a report on October 20, 1980.
Testimony at the several hearings held in this case indicates that Mr. and Mrs. Owens were not prompt about
[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 605]
returning the forms necessary to finalize the adoption. It seems that Mrs. Owens in particular had difficulty completing the paper work and necessary physical examination. The home visit which is conducted by an Orphans Court investigator as part of the adoption process was also delayed and the evidence indicates that again this was due to the Owenses.
A home visit was made, however, and following it, on March 23, 1982, the Orphans' Court investigator filed a report recommending that the adoption be finalized. Apparently, though, she did express concern about the length of time that had elapsed without the adoption being finalized. On August 27, 1982 the investigator filed another report recommending that the adoption hearing scheduled for September 2, 1982 be continued or that the adoption not be finalized.
The investigator's change of position in August followed an unfortunate incident that occurred at the Owens home on August 20, 1982. On that night Mrs. Owens found her dog dead in the basement lying in a pool of blood. She became very upset and although it was after 11:00 p.m. she left her house, leaving Jonathan alone and asleep. The child was 2 1/2 years old. Before leaving him Mrs. Owens had had a conversation with a veterinarian, whom she had telephoned about her dog. The veterinarian found the conversation disturbing since he understood Mrs. Owens to say that she had taken a drug overdose. Consequently, he called the police who arrived at the home and found Jonathan unattended. The Bucks County Children and Youth Services Agency was called and a social worker went to the house. Mr. and Mrs. Owens had been separated since early in August and Mr. Owens was also called to the house. Mrs. Owens returned around 3:30 a.m. and found the ...