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In Re: Adoption of Z.S.H.G.

December 30, 2011

IN RE: ADOPTION OF Z.S.H.G., APPEAL OF: T.B.G., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of February 16, 2011, in the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, Orphans' Court, at No: No. 28 Adoption 2006.

Per curiam.

J-A30007-11

BEFORE: BOWES, DONOHUE, and FREEDBERG, JJ.

OPINION

T.B.G. appeals the orphans' court order dismissing her second collateral petition to set aside the April 20, 2007 adoption decree and the concomitant order entered on February 27, 2007, wherein the orphans' court terminated her parental rights to her son, Z.S.H.G. Appellees, R.S.G. and his wife S.K.G., are Z.S.H.G.'s first cousins once removed. See In re Adoption of Z.S.H.G., 990 A.2d 60 (Pa.Super. 2009) (unpublished memorandum at 1), appeal denied, 992 A.2d 890 (Pa. 2010). Z.S.H.G. has resided with Appellees on a part-time basis since December 2005, when he was less than two years old, and on a full-time basis since May 8, 2006. Id. at 2. After careful review, we affirm.

The orphans' court summarized the procedural history of this case as follows:

On November 7, 2006, the [Appellees] filed a petition to involuntarily terminate the parental rights of the father and mother of Z.S.H.G. A termination hearing was conducted on February 9, 2007. [Appellant] failed to appear for the hearing in spite of having proper notice thereof. We proceeded with the hearing in [Appellant's] absence, issuing a decree terminating her parental rights on February 9, 2007.

Although she had timely notice of the court's termination decree, [Appellant] did not take an appeal. Instead, some fourteen months later, on April 29, 2008, she collaterally attacked the termination and adoption decrees by filing a Petition to Set Aside Adoption and Order Decreeing Termination of Parental Rights. In her petition, she asserted that she was not properly served with notice of the termination proceedings. Finding that [Appellant] had waived her right to review of the termination decree and that she had been given proper notice of the termination proceedings, we denied her petition by order dated March 29, 2009.

[Appellant] filed a notice of appeal in the Superior Court on April 24, 2009. On appeal, she raised three issues: (1)

Whether we had erred in concluding that she had been properly served with notice of the termination proceeding; (2) Whether we had erred in concluding that [Appellant] had waived any defect in notice when she failed to appeal the termination decree; and (3) Whether her due process rights had been violated by the court's failure to take steps to secure her presence at the termination hearing. Upon considering

[Appellant's] appeal, the Superior Court affirmed our order by Non-Precedential Memorandum dated December 7, 2009. [In re Adoption of Z.S.H.G., 990 A.2d 60 (Pa.Super. 2009) (unpublished memorandum at 1), appeal denied, 992 A.2d 890 (Pa. 2010).]

[Appellant] next filed a petition for allowance of appeal with our Supreme Court. It was in this petition that she asserted for the first time that this court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the termination action because [Appellees] had not established standing under 23 Pa.C.S.A § 2512. The Supreme Court denied the petition for allowance of appeal without comment.

On May 14, 2010, [Appellant] filed the instant petition, her second Petition to Set Aside Adoption and Order Decreeing Termination of Parental Rights. Citing In re Adoption of W.C.K., 748 A.2d 223 (Pa.Super. 2000), she argues that the [Appellees] had not satisfied the prerequisites for standing prescribed in the Adoption Act at 23 Pa.C.S.A ยง2512(a), and because the [Appellees] had not ...


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