Appeal from the Order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Family Division, No. 065-088 066-88.
Robert A. DeLuca, Media, for appellant.
James E. Delbello, Media, for appellee.
Tamilia, Kelly and Cercone, JJ.
[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 304]
This is an appeal from an Order denying appellant's exceptions to the involuntary termination of her parental rights.*fn1 The appellant originally lost custody of her five minor children when the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County adjudicated them dependent on March 25, 1986, and placed them in foster care, following the court's determination the children were without proper care and control. At that time, appellee Children and Youth Services of Delaware County (hereinafter "CYS") was awarded legal custody of the children. On February 17, 1987, appellant was arrested for the fourth time on charges of retail theft, and delivered to Delaware County Prison, where she remained until September 28, 1987, when she was transferred to Keenan House, an Allentown, Pennsylvania, drug rehabilitation facility. CYS filed a petition for involuntary termination
[ 389 Pa. Super. Page 305]
of appellant's parental rights on May 24, 1988, and a hearing in the matter was held before the Honorable Francis J. Catania on September 1, 1988. Between the time of her transfer from Delaware County Prison and the date of the termination hearing, appellant resided continuously at Keenan House. On September 6, 1988, the court entered an Order and Decree terminating appellant's parental rights. Appellant's exceptions to the Order, filed September 22, 1988, were denied by the court on December 2, 1988, and this appeal followed.
On appeal, appellant contends the court erred in terminating her parental rights because the evidence presented did not support a finding appellant evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing her parental claim to her children, nor did the evidence show that she refused or failed to perform her parental duties.
As this Court has stated in prior cases involving an involuntary termination of parental rights, our scope of review is limited to determining whether the hearing court's Decree is supported by clear and convincing, competent evidence. Absent an abuse of discretion or error of law, the termination Order will stand. Matter of K.L.P., 354 Pa. Super. 241, 511 A.2d 852 (1986).
Applying this narrow standard of review to the instant case, and after a thorough examination of the record, we find the hearing court committed no abuse of discretion or error of law in terminating appellant's parental rights. The Adoption Act, 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511, states in pertinent part:
(a) General rule. -- The rights of a parent in regard to a child may be terminated after a petition filed on any of the following grounds:
(1) The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at least six months either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has ...