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In re Adoption of C.D.R.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 17, 2015

IN RE: ADOPTION OF: C.D.R. APPEAL OF: R.R., NATURAL MOTHER

Submitted January 5, 2015.

Page 1213

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Division, No: 2014-0111 IVT.

Gregory J. Neugebauer, Ebensburg, for appellant.

Christopher G. Gvozdich, Ebensburg, for appellee.

Timothy M. Ayres, Johnstown, for Cambria County Children and Youth, participating party.

BEFORE: DONOHUE, SHOGAN, and STABILE, JJ. OPINION BY STABILE, J.

OPINION

Page 1214

STABILE, J.:

R.R. (Mother) appeals from the order entered September 19, 2014, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, involuntarily terminating her parental rights to her minor son, C.D.R. (Child), born in July of 2009. We affirm.[1]

On April 18, 2012, Mother was incarcerated as a result of a probation violation. Cambria County Children and Youth Service (CYS) filed a dependency petition on June 1, 2012, and Child was adjudicated dependent by order dated June 6, 2012. Physical custody of Child was granted to Child's maternal aunt during Mother's incarceration. Mother was released on July 26, 2012, and Child was returned to her care. However, Mother was again incarcerated for a probation violation on or about October 10, 2012, and Child was placed in foster care. Child has not resided with Mother since that time.

Mother was released on October 18, 2012, but was re-incarcerated from November 28, 2012, until March 30, 2013, because of a drug paraphernalia charge. Mother was once again incarcerated for failing to appear at a probation hearing on October 7, 2013, and remained incarcerated until December 12, 2013. Mother gave birth to a daughter, Child's younger sister, shortly after her release. Finally, Mother was incarcerated for two days starting on December 21, 2013, as a result of a retail theft charge. By order dated January 10, 2014, Child's permanency goal was changed from reunification to adoption, and CYS ended reunification services.[2]

On February 3, 2014, CYS filed a petition to involuntarily terminate Mother's parental rights to Child. A hearing was held on August 13, 2014, during which the orphans' court heard the testimony of CYS caseworker, Barbara Brzana; CYS social worker, Gina Saly; and Mother. On September 19, 2014, the court entered its order terminating Mother's parental rights. Mother timely filed a notice of appeal on October 8, 2014, along with a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a)(2)(i) and (b).

Mother now raises the following issue for our review: " Whether the [orphans' c]ourt either abused its discretion or committed an error of law when it granted the Petition for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights, thereby terminating the parental rights of [Mother] relative to [Child?]" Mother's Brief at 2.

Page 1215

We consider Mother's claim mindful of our well-settled standard of review.

The standard of review in termination of parental rights cases requires appellate courts to accept the findings of fact and credibility determinations of the trial court if they are supported by the record. If the factual findings are supported, appellate courts review to determine if the trial court made an error of law or abused its discretion. A decision may be reversed for an abuse of discretion only upon demonstration of manifest unreasonableness, partiality, prejudice, bias, or ill-will. The trial court's decision, however, should not be reversed merely because the record would support a ...

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