Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Civil Division No. 385-S-1984
Lacy Hayes, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellant.
Marvin Beshore, Harrisburg, for appellees.
Tamilia, Montgomery and Roberts, JJ.
[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 417]
This is an appeal from the Order of July 12, 1984 awarding custody of the minor child to Dale E. Jones and Darlee A. Jones, the foster parents/appellees, and partial custody to Katherine L. Stone, the natural mother/appellant.*fn1 We affirm.
On October 7, 1980, at the tender age of eleven weeks, James Edward Stone, Jr. (hereinafter "Jamie"), who is now
[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 418]
four years old, was placed with the appellees by the York County Child Welfare Agency. The agency discovered that Jamie had been apparently abused by his father and therefore placed him with the appellees, who had more than sixteen years experience as foster parents.*fn2
On February 13, 1981, the child was returned to his mother, who subsequently asked the appellees to care for him on weekends, which they agreed to do. However, the weekends turned into three or four day periods and the mother eventually asked the appellees to give her child a home for the time being because of problems she was having with her parents and her employment schedule. At no time did the mother provide support for the child until an order for support of $10 per week was entered by the court. The appellees have provided for all of Jamie's needs since he has been with them except they are receiving some public assistance aid to help defray the medical costs and speech therapy that the child needs. In order to enable the appellees to obtain public assistance, the mother signed the applicable forms which acknowledged the control vested in the appellees and the care they were giving her child.
While the lower court could not causally link the child's emotional and physical development to the head injuries inflicted on him as an infant, it did note that he has severe behavioral and speech problems. The Opinion of the lower court, in discussing Jamie's condition, sets forth that:
It was the Jones' [sic] who recognized these problems and undertook to do something about them. (N.T. 1-111, 112; 118-120); 2-25, 26, 27). Since September of 1983 he has been in a program for speech therapy at the Polyclinic Hospital Speech and Hearing Center (N.T. 1-59) and it has been the Jones' [sic] who have seen that the program is pursued. (N.T. ...