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[U] In re Adoption of A.Y.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 27, 2014

IN RE: ADOPTION OF: A.Y., a Minor, APPEAL OF: T.Y., Father Appellant IN RE: ADOPTION OF: N.Y., a Minor, APPEAL OF: T.Y., Father Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Decree entered May 22, 2013, in the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, Orphans' Court, at No(s): 2 Year of 2012

BEFORE: SHOGAN, ALLEN and MUSMANNO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM

MUSMANNO, J.

T.Y. ("Father") appeals from the Decrees entered on May 22, 2013, which granted the Petitions, filed by the Northumberland County Children and Youth Services ("CYS" or the "Agency"), to involuntarily terminate his parental rights to his daughter, A.Y. (born in May 2003), and his son, N.Y. (born in May 2008) (collectively, the "Children"). Father's parental rights were terminated pursuant to subsections 2511(a)(1), (2), (5), (8), and (b) of the Adoption Act, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 2511(a)(1), (2), (5), (8), and (b). We affirm.

The Children were placed in foster care with their maternal uncle, T.W. ("Uncle"), and his wife, V.W. ("Aunt"), on January 13, 2011. N.T., 9/5/12, at 23, 120-21; N.T., 10/17/12, at 4-5. In January 2012, CYS filed Petitions for the involuntary termination of the parental rights of Father and D.D. (a/k/a D.Y.) ("Mother")[1] with regard to the Children. The trial court conducted evidentiary hearings on the Petitions.

At a hearing on September 5, 2012, CYS presented the testimony of Jennifer Donmoyer, a CYS caseworker in the general protective services section, who worked with the family between July 24, 2009 and February of 2011. N.T., 9/5/12, at 5-6. CYS also presented the testimony of Kimberly Heitzman, a CYS general protective services caseworker who worked with the family between August or September of 2008 and March of 2009. Id. at 12-13. Further, CYS presented the testimony of Laurilee Kerstetter, a CYS caseworker who began working with the family in February of 2011. Id. at 22. Additionally, CYS presented the testimony of Lisa Shaffer, the CYS Director of Social Services. Id. at 81. Finally, CYS presented the testimony of Uncle and Aunt. Id. at 120-21. Mother presented the testimony of S.Z., Father's former "Big Brother" through the Big Brother program. Id. at 92.

At a hearing on October 17, 2012, CYS presented the testimony of Aunt. N.T., 10/17/12, at 5. At a hearing on January 9, 2013, CYS presented the testimony of the female child, A.Y., in chambers, in the presence of all counsel. N.T., 1/9/13, at 7.

Father testified on his own behalf. Id. at 88. According to Father, at the time of the removal of the Children from Mother's custody and care, he had been incarcerated for four or five months in the Northumberland County prison. Id. at 89. Father stated that he was presently released from his sentence on parole. Id. at 95.

Based on the testimonial and other evidence, the trial court set forth the factual and procedural history, and summarized the relevant testimony presented at the hearing, which we adopt as though fully restated herein. Statement in Lieu of Opinion, 7/25/13, at 1-6.

On May 22, 2013, the trial court entered the Decrees terminating Father's parental rights to the Children under sections 2511(a)(1), (2), (5), (8), and (b). On June 21, 2013, Father filed his Notices of Appeal, along with Concise Statements of errors complained of on appeal, pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a)(2)(i) and (b).[2] This Court, acting sua sponte, consolidated the appeals on July 22, 2013.

On appeal, Father raises two issues for our review:

I. Whether the trial court erred in determining that [CYS] presented clear and convincing evidence that grounds for involuntary termination exist?
II. Whether the trial court erred in determining that the best interests of the [Children] would be served by ...

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