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In re K.K.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

November 7, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF K.K. APPEAL OF: C.C., NATURAL MOTHER IN THE INTEREST OF R.K. APPEAL OF: C.C., NATURAL MOTHER

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Decree entered May 9, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Indiana County, Orphans' Court Division, at Nos. 32-12-00395, 32-12-00396

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., WECHT, and STRASSBURGER [*] , JJ.

MEMORANDUM

STRASSBURGER, J.

In these consolidated appeals, C.C. (Mother) appeals from the decrees entered on May 9, 2013 terminating her parental rights to K.K. and R.K. (Children) involuntarily pursuant to the Adoption Act, 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511(a)(1), (2), (5) and (b). Counsel for Mother has also filed a motion to withdraw. We affirm the decrees and grant counsel's petition for permission to withdraw.

R.K. was born in October of 2008 and is the biological son of Mother and S.K. (Father). K.K. was born in January of 2011 and is the biological daughter of Mother and Father.

On August 30, 2011, Vicki Weaver, a caseworker with the Indiana County Children & Youth Services (CYS), received a police report that Mother and Father were found asleep in their car at a gas station with Children in the back seat. R.K., who was almost three at the time, was trying to get out of the car. Weaver went to the home of Mother and Father, and found out it was in Westmoreland County, and made a referral to the Westmoreland County office on this basis.

She also learned that Westmoreland County had been involved with the family on two prior occasions. The first involvement was in May 2010, when R.K. was taken to the hospital by an aunt and uncle with high lead levels. The case was closed in June 2010 because the family moved to Florida. Then, in January 2011, Westmoreland Hospital made a referral to the agency at the time K.K. was born because Mother tested positive for Benzoyls and had not had regular prenatal treatment. K.K. was born with low birth weight. Mother passed all random drug tests and the agency closed the case in February 2011.

In September 2011, CYS received the referral back from Westmoreland County because the family moved to Indiana County to live with maternal grandmother. CYS was not able to see Children until it obtained an emergency court order on October 14, 2011. On that date, Children were placed in care and on October 17, 2011, Children were adjudicated dependent. Mother and Father admitted to using 10 bags of heroin per day. On October 17, Mother and Father were administered drug tests and both tested positive for several drugs. Mother and Father had a supervised visit with Children on October 19, 2011 where both admitted to having used two bags of heroin prior to the visit.

There were no more visits until November 16, 2011, because Mother and Father were attending rehab. The following visit was on December 14, 2011, and neither parent attended. Father was incarcerated on January 2, 2012, after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver controlled substances and possession of controlled substances. He was also awaiting trial on additional drug-related charges.

After Children were adjudicated dependent, Mother had a drug and alcohol assessment and went into a residential treatment program. She was discharged successfully on November 9, 2011, with instructions to continue with intensive outpatient therapy. She began outpatient therapy on January 26, 2012; however, she did not follow through with that therapy. On March 1, 2012, Mother was discharged for non-compliance with her treatment. Also, Mother did not complete recommended mental health treatment. Mother scheduled another drug and alcohol assessment for September 6, 2012, and attended that appointment.

Weaver testified that Mother tested positive for drugs on January 9, 2012, January 25, 2012, February 3, 2012, February 24, 2012, May 16, 2012, August 22, 2012, and September 5, 2012. Additionally, Mother refused to be tested on June 29, 2012. Mother was typically tested either right before or right after her visits with Children.

On August 23, 2012, CYS filed petitions to terminate the parental rights of Mother and Father. A hearing was held on September 12, 2012, where Weaver testified to the aforementioned facts.

Mother also testified at the hearing. She testified that on September 11, 2012 (the day before the hearing) she signed documents to be admitted into a drug treatment program. Mother testified that she is doing her best, but she "could have been doing better" and believes that she is "doing better now." N.T., 9/12/2012, at 188. She requested that the trial court give her "more time" so ...


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