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MATTER K.L.P. (06/23/86)

filed: June 23, 1986.

IN THE MATTER OF K.L.P., A MINOR UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS. APPEAL OF V.R.P. (S.)


Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Orphans Division, No. 204, Year of 1984

COUNSEL

Kevin D. Derr, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Hester, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 243]

This case involves the involuntary termination of parental rights of appellant/mother, V.R.P., in the child, K.L.P.

The facts indicate the child was born on August 15, 1979. He was placed in foster care under the supervision of Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth (hereinafter, the agency) on May 17, 1983, following a referral that the child had been abandoned. A detention hearing was held on May 20, 1983 and neither parent attended. Subsequently, appellant/mother contacted the agency discussing a plan for visitation and eventual return of the child. An adjudicatory hearing was held on June 17, 1983, again neither parent attended and the court granted custody to the Dauphin County Social Services. The child was then placed in foster care where he has remained.

On March 13, 1984, after efforts by the agency to meet with appellant to discuss visitation and a plan for return of the child proved unsuccessful, the agency filed a petition for involuntary termination of parental rights.

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 244]

A hearing was held on January 28, 1985. On September 24, 1985, a Decree Nisi granting the petition was filed. Post-trial motions were denied and this appeal followed.*fn1

Appellant contends the court's decision was not supported by competent evidence and was predicated upon capricious disbelief of competent and credible evidence. She also asserts the court based the decision upon legal error.

The gist of appellant's argument is that her personal problems were impediments of such proportion that they resulted in her inability to perform parental duties.

Citing to In Interest of C.M.E., 301 Pa. Super. 579, 448 A.2d 59 (1982), appellant asserts that her actions should not be considered as a refusal or failure to perform parental duties. Rather, when viewed in light of what would be expected of an individual in like circumstances, the conduct is justifiable.

Appellant also maintains she failed to continue visits with her son because they were too difficult emotionally. She claims allowing the placement and control of her son to remain in the hands of the ...


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