APPEAL FROM THE ORDER ENTERED NOVEMBER 8, 1984 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF YORK COUNTY, ORPHANS NO. 5376
Gary D. Martz, York, for appellant.
Joseph R. Adamczyk, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellee.
Wickersham, Cirillo, and Johnson, JJ.
[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 171]
Appellant challenges the order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Pennsylvania, which involuntarily terminated her parental rights for her son, Codyus. Our scope of review is limited to determining whether the decree of termination is supported by competent evidence. In Re Baby Boy P., 333 Pa. Super. 462, 482 A.2d 660 (1984). Appellant, Joebina Ellingsen, contends there was insufficient competent evidence to support the trial court's finding that appellee sustained its evidentiary burden of clear and
[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 172]
convincing in its order that Ellingsen's parental rights be terminated. We agree and therefore reverse.
Appellant raises two issues on appeal: 1) whether there was sufficient, competent evidence to support the trial court's finding that York County Children and Youth Services (hereinafter YCCS) had met its burden of proving appellee was guilty of repeated and continued incapacity or neglect towards her child; and 2) whether there was sufficient, competent evidence to support the trial court's finding that YCCS sustained its burden of proving that the conditions which led to the removal of Codyus continued to exist and appellant could not or would not remedy those conditions within a reasonable period of time. The trial court answered both of these questions in the affirmative.
Codyus was born on September 17, 1982, four months prematurely. As a result, the child suffers from retarded physical development and is a respiratory cripple requiring constant medical care. Codyus was a patient in the hospital from birth until December, 1983. In June, 1983, appellant executed a written agreement stating because of her emotional problems and the intensive medical care required by the child, appellant was unable to care for Codyus and custody should be awarded to the agency for foster care. On December 15, 1983, Codyus was released from the hospital and placed in the care of foster parents. Appellant is not permitted to visit the child. The child continues to need close and intensive care, careful monitoring of breathing and equipment for that purpose. Codyus' hospital physician testified the condition will last several years.
Appellant testified she was working full-time in York while Codyus was hospitalized in Harrisburg. Ellingsen conceded her visits were infrequent but she went to the hospital to see Codyus as she was able. On those occasions when she was unable to visit the hospital, appellant telephoned to check on Codyus' condition. She stated her visits ceased from July to November, 1983 because of her bad nerves, use of prescribed medication, trouble in her living situation and harassment by others. Ellingsen relinquished
[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 173]
custody of Codyus to YCCS but she correctly argued that a parent may fulfill her parental duties toward her child by making suitable arrangements for the child's temporary care during the parent's period of crisis. In Re D.K.W., 490 Pa. 134, 415 A.2d 69 (1980); Petition of Lutheran Children and Family Services of Eastern Pennsylvania, 456 Pa. 429, 321 A.2d 618 (1974); In Re Adoption of Sabrina, 325 Pa. Super. 17, 472 A.2d 624 (1984). Ellingsen now contends her living and ...