Posts Tagged ‘Best Interest’

No Mother’s Child

Jason Vaughn | Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Comments Off

NO MOTHER’S CHILD
By Phyllis Vaughn
The child clung to her neck tightly pressing his sandy brown head under her chin. He couldn’t get close enough to avoid the hands pulling him from her arms. He screamed,” No, No”….to no avail. It was done. He was no longer this woman’s child…and no longer any woman’s child.
None of us would believe this day would ever come…losing Grayson. We had been convinced that no court would remove a child from the only family he has ever known. How many times we had heard those words? The laws, as written, were on our side. We were to learn a very hard lesson….it doesn’t matter how the laws are written. Judges can construe the laws to support any agenda they wish to support.
Ed and I accompanied Jason and Christy to deliver their child, our grandson, to his biological father in Ohio. Not only were they ordered to surrender him, it was prearranged that they must return this precious gift, given freely by his birthmother who chose life for her child, and place him in the hands of a stranger.
A stranger who had chosen not to be a part of this infant’s life before birth and after…a man who had chosen not to give away nights of sleep in order to comfort a frightened or distressed baby…a man who chose not to offer a strong shoulder as a refuge for a sleeping child…a man who chose, much like the irresponsible bird in Dr Seuss’s book Horton Hatches an Egg, to vacation while someone else nurtured his progeny. The egg cared for and protected by a loving Horton, with no genetic link, sacrificing self, enduring days of hardship for something else, something more important than self. This man who had sacrificed nothing of himself except the minimum for creation, and yet he would be given this child…because it was his?
Leaving his brother and sister at home, engaging in their last hug, Grayson nor the other children could comprehend what was happening. Looks of bewilderment dominated Grayson’s sweet face. There were tears from 7 year old Jackson as he clung to his Aunt Christi who comforted him and his twin-like sister, two year old Addison. They looked into Grayson’s eyes for the last time as he peered from the van’s window. A brother no more…
What did Jackson understand? Could he grasp the idea of a biological father and the right to his son?
“Daddy is Grayson’s father. He and Grayson are brothers. God gave him to him. He asked for a brother. Why did the judge take Grayson away? He asked to talk to the judge….. Why did God take Grayson away? He prayed He wouldn’t…but He did.”
The residence, in a small rural Ohio town, lacked warmth with no signs of life, except for the arrival of two local police officers. Beyond the front door balloons covered the floor of a clean room with no feelings of kindness.
The balloons? A diversion from what was about to happen…the transformation of a child… a child of a mother to a motherless child… a child with a brother and a sister to an only child.
A ‘Happy Birthday’ banner hung inappropriately on the wall.
Terror resounds from the child…the transformation must be painful. Where are the soothing arms of a loving parent for this motherless child?
The balloons moving wistfully over the floor afford no relief. The new grandfather sits stoic on a couch, one of two pieces of furniture in the room, hands covering his face, and a grandmother, hands on her hips communicating frustration about the late arrival. Neither move to comfort the child, perhaps not knowing what to do.
A house decorated for a celebration?
Balloons…
Everywhere there are balloons.
Was this a day to celebrate?

One family’s devastation…
One family’s celebration…
One child’s transformation.

Balloons on the floor…
Colors barely suspended.
A child wails for his mother…

He turned three yesterday.
There were balloons in the air.
He was a mother’s child.

Today he is no mother’s child.
Faceless Balloons on the floor
Seeking stillness.

Jason and Christy travelled again to Ohio, each time before, denied any voice to save their child. Today, they will leave Ohio with a gaping hole in each of their hearts. Today, they will leave a part of them in the mind and soul of a little boy they named Grayson…his life tainted by judges to be no mother’s child.

The Ohio Supreme Court ignored the statute that reads “(H) Putative father means …who may be the child’s father and to whom all of the following apply: (1) He is not married to the mother at the time of conception or birth; (2) He has not adopted the child; (3) He has not been determined, prior to the date a petition to adopt the child is filed, to have a parent and child relationship by a court proceeding….;(4) He has not acknowledged paternity of the child…“ The majority stated that logic has to supersede the written law and that the intent of the legislature was obvious. That even though the statute stated paternity had to be established prior to the filing of the adoption petition, a paternity action was sufficient. Paternity was not established until March 2009 and the adoption petition was filed January 2008. The biological father filed a paternity action December 2007. He knew he was the father since Grayson’s conception almost 11 months prior to this filing but took no action to support, communicate or establish paternity.
Three years after the birth of his biological child he has full custody and did not have to demonstrate any responsibility for the child or his birthmother.
Logic, it seems, also deemed the now established ‘legal’ father free of any responsibility to support or communicate with the birthmother during pregnancy or the child. An unmarried legal father, unlike a married legal father, now has all of the parental rights without any parental responsibilities.
Sources:
Ohio Revised Statutes
In re Adoption G.V. (Supreme Court No. 09-2355)

Today is the Day

Jason Vaughn | Friday, March 4th, 2011 | Comments Off

Friday March 4, 2011

The United States Supreme Court will meet today to discuss our case. This court accepts about 1% of cases presented to them. In other words, 99% of the cases are denied. Please pray today. Pray Hard.

My understanding is that their decision will be posted on the web on March 7.

Nehemiah 1:11
O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the King favorable to me.

Nehemiah prayed when he needed a big decision from his King. That’s what I ask today. I ask that the Lord grant us success today with the toughest court in the land. The odds are not with us. A victory today would be a true blessing.

You know, as I head into today I am fighting strong emotions. I know that the Bible tells me not to worry. Paul talks about not worring in Philippians when he says “Do not be anxious about anything.” Jesus even said “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will owrry about its own things.”

I got to tell you. I’m worried. The last 3.5 years of my life will be decided today. Grayson, my baby boy, his fate will be decided today. You see, I’ve really always believed we did nothing wrong. As a man, I guess I will find out today if I have put my family through this pain for a reason or if I was wrong. I will know if I made the right decisions or if I was misguided. I will know if I should have thrown in the towel 2.5 years ago and given my baby back to a birthmom that didn’t want him and a man who hadn’t called but had asked for a paternity test. Maybe I should have. It just didn’t feel right. Babies deserve better. Obviously, that’s not my decision. That decision will be made today.

Folks, this is a big day.

Thanks in advance for your prayers. Prayers for Grayson, Prayers for Justice, Prayers for comfort for Christy, Jackson and Addison are appreciated.

Jason

The Time is Upon Us

Jason Vaughn | Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 | Comments Off

February 22, 2011

I have been told that the time is now upon us. According to my attorney the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will make their decision to grant or deny our petition on March 7, 2011. As a reminder, we have asked SCOTUS to hear our case. They are not required to accept our case. They will decide whether or not to accept our case on March 7th.

I am told that the SCOTUS Justices, and their staff, have our petitions and Wyrembek’s response as we speak. I’m told that they will meet on March 4th to discuss the merits of our case in a conference. Then on March 7th, they will enter their order accepting or denying our petition.

In our petition, we have asked the Court to consider 3 things.

First, we have asked the court to consider prospective adoptive parents rights. We believe that our rights were violated. We believe that the mother and the legal father signed permanent surrenders at birth. At that time, no other man had registered or filed any motion relating to Grayson. We believe this affords us due process rights to have the merits of our adoption petition heard. We are asking the court to uphold our due process rights and to send this case back to the probate court in Ohio to decide whether or not Grayson was supported. As a reminder, our case was dismissed without consideration of the merits or our allegations. That is a due process violation.

Second, we believe Grayson has rights. We believe Grayson is not property. We believe that he has rights. We believe he is entitled to a best interest hearing. He never had a best interest hearing. The judge never considered the recommendations from the GAL or Grayson’s Psychologist. We believe Grayson has the right to have his best interest considered. He never had that chance. We are asking the court to consider a child’s rights.

Finally, we are asking the court to review the Ohio Supreme Court’s (OSC) ruling. The OSC blatantly ignored SCOTUS precedent when they failed to acknowledge Lehr vs. Robertson. We have asked the court to decide if the Ohio Supreme Court can give veto rights to a putative father based solely on DNA without consideration of his involvement with the mother or the child. We believe father’s rights are earned based upon his involvement with the mother and the child. We do not believe Father’s rights can trump all other parties rights based solely on DNA. We believe SCOTUS has set that precedent and we believe Ohio ignored SCOTUS and their own legislature when they ruled on our case. We are asking the court to review their ruling and clarify their precedent.

If you would like to pray there are some specific needs I will offer:

1. March 4th, we ask the SCOTUS Justices to give full consideration to our brief. Ask for the rights of Children, Women and Families to be considered.
2. Ask for Grayson to be protected.
3. Ask for Grayson to be healed.
4. Ask for patience to be given to Ben.
5. Ask for healing for Jackson and Addison
6. Ask for the court to accept our case.
7. Ask for Justice for adoptees. I have heard of two other children taken from their adoptive families without consideration for their best interest.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers. More updates to come.

Psalm 17 1-2

O Lord, hear my plea for Justice
Listen to my cry for help
Pay attention to my prayer,
It does not rise from deceitful lips

A Child’s Love by Phyllis

Jason Vaughn | Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 | Comments Off

There is something special about Grayson. He is captivating. He melts into one’s soul. He draws people in with eyes that seem to look into one’s very being. His ability to love, to accept and engage with people was unusual for a child of his age. Some people say the Vaughn’s are selfish because they want another man’s child. The problem is he was never another man’s child…another man’s property… he was a child in our family. Never was there an indication from him, because of his DNA, that he was not a part of us.

The Vaughn’s have been severely criticized for ‘keeping another man’s child”. That story has been told over and over, and the sides will never agree because everyone’s prospective is his/her reality. But the truth is that some of the most enduring relationships each of us has experienced throughout life are with people who are not biologically connected, and for some, the most painful relationships are those with a biological connection. So then, what truly makes an intimate relationship?

That being said, believe it or not, I want Grayson to love Ben. I want Ben to love Grayson. I want Grayson to feel as much love from his biological family as he felt from his adoptive family. Grayson can teach us all about loving, about connecting to each other. Grayson taught me a lot about myself.

Some indications are that Ben has had difficulty in relationships. I do not know that for sure. What I do know with all of my heart is Grayson will be easy for him to love, not because of a biological connection but because Grayson is special and possesses a personality that draws a person in and holds him/her close to his heart.

Jason and Christy Vaughn gave Grayson three years of unconditional love. He was loved and adored by his brother and sister. His laughter and smile warmed a room. Was this the plan… to be given a solid foundation of love, nurturing and guidance in order to teach another how to love?

He can teach one to be responsible for someone else. He can change one’s perception of life. He can change one’s priorities. He is special….. A unique gift from God to teach us all?

It has been said, “It takes a village to raise a child”….does it take a child to change a country?

New Year Update

Jason Vaughn | Friday, January 7th, 2011 | Comments Off

January 5, 2011

A very important person to Keeping Grayson Home is in the hospital suffering from a potential stroke. Not a family member, but a person that has been very supportive, passionate, and instrumental in our advocacy for children’s rights. Please pray for her healing and recovery.

It’s a new year. We filed our United States Supreme Court petition this week. This is the petition asking the court to hear our case. SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) only accepts about 1% of the cases. They should respond around June. If they accept our case, the trial will be sometime next year. We are a long way off.

From a Juvenile Court perspective we filed our emergency motion with the GAL report and the child psychologist report around November 4th. Judge Denise Cubbon stalled and delayed until she set a status conference for December 18th. On that date she announced that she had decided to transfer the case. It is now January 5th and she hasn’t transferred the case. So, we are in limbo. We can’t file anything in the new court, because he doesn’t have the case. We can’t file anything in Cubbon’s court because she has announced that she is transferring the case.

I believe Judge Denise Cubbon is intentionally stalling to continue her advocacy for the biological father. I believe this is further evidence that she is bias and unethical. Again, her own court appointed guardian has filed several motions. We have filed emergency motions. It has now been over 60 days and a trial date hasn’t been set. The mother is waiting to file. How hard can it be?

Meanwhile, Grayson has been completely cut off from the only family he has ever known. He is living with an alleged drug user with a criminal record and a history of violent behavior.

Certainly due process and equal rights are being violated. The twilight zone continues to amaze me.

Status Conference

Jason Vaughn | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 | 31 Comments »

In an ironic turn of events, the judge transferred the case to Fulton County.  She has decided this week, that the location of the child determines what court has jurisdiction to hear matters regarding custody and visitation.  Funny, Grayson never lived in Lucas County.  So how did she have jurisdiction to begin with?  That is a good question.

So our case in transferred because she doesn’t believe she has jurisdiction.

There is no trial date set for the “emergency” motions filed by the GAL or our attorney.  So, for the time being we won’t see Grayson.  Grayson won’t get the help recommended by the GAL and the Doctor.  We will wait another 30 days to find out what happens next.  Judge Cubbon has stated that we will complete the paperwork sometime after the new year.  So much for “emergency”.    I have never dealt with the leagal system prior to this case.  I am so shocked and surprised that such indifference is paid to this situation.  If our claims are baseless, why wouldn’t she dismiss them?  I feel like she must be delaying the process intentionally.  It took her nearly 60 days to schedule a conference and now another 14 days to perform the transfer.  I just don’t understand.

Over the court room in Lucas County reads what I assume is a Mission Statement, “IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD”……..I’m not sure the the mission is being accomplished in Grayson’s case.

GRAYSON’S ABUSE

Jason Vaughn | Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 | 175 Comments »

Jackson’s birthday was over the weekend.  It was the first family event since Grayson has been gone.  The party was really fun, 9 2nd graders running around the house playing Star Wars.  Light Saber battles, dart guns, Yoda cake and blue ice cream (it was terrible).  However, something was missing.  You see Grayson loves Star Wars.  He loves to play with Jackson’s Light Saber.  He looks like Yoda because he’s so little and feisty.  He would have been right at home running with the older boys, battling it out; good versus evil to save the Galaxy.  I miss that little dude.  I know he would have had fun.

A letter from my Mom, a retired school teacher with a Master’s Degree and a Rank 1 in child education:

I couldn’t have said it better myself:

GRAYSON’S ABUSE

Preschoolers tend to have a limited and mistaken perception of abandonment.  They are highly self-centered with a strict sense of right and wrong.  So when bad things happen to them, they usually blame themselves by assuming they did something wrong.  Children this age often interpret the departure of a parent as a personal rejection.  Youngsters are likely to deny the reality of the abandonment and wish intently for the parent to return.

I understand that Grayson not sleeping in his bed. Why this is not abnormal behavior in many children it is unusual for Grayson. Yes, many would dismiss this as normal under the circumstances because he is in a new environment. Grayson’s normal before displacement from his home would be he and his sister would go to bed together most of the time. After a short playful or fretting period they would go to sleep. Sometime during the early morning he would appear at his parents’ bed and he would snuggle under Jason’s armpit and sleep the rest of the night.

Now, it appears he will not go to sleep in the bed provided for him at his biological father’s house but falls asleep on the couch in the front room near the front door watching the TV alone. The TV is turned off after he goes to sleep …it is reported. Nowhere is it mentioned in the report that he slept with his biological father, Ben Wyrembek, or that Mr. Wyrembek stayed with him on the couch.

Grayson is a child who loves human touch and sleeps next to someone, I assume, feeling safe and secure.  I find it interesting that Grayson does not choose to sleep next to his bio father.  Grayson has never slept through the night on a sofa by himself. So where is the abuse of Grayson?

One could speculate that he connects this room to his mother.  The place where he was ripped from her arms screaming and crying.  Is this the place where she will return to get him? Is this the safe place for him? 

Where has Grayson been abused?

Certainly his whole world has been torn upside down. Anyone who believes a child is not suffering emotionally  does not want to accept that possibility. They must have another agenda other than the welfare of this child.

Reports have shown that losing a parent, much less two parents, at an early age is one of the most stressful life events a person can face. “It completely rips apart the fabric of a child’s life’, said one person who had experienced such a loss. A child who loses a mother never receives adequate substitute mothering; the loss can do long-term damage to his self-esteem, his ability to relate to other people, his overall feelings of security and the ability to trust others.  Still.. many people may ask, “How is Grayson being abuse?”

So, could Grayson be suffering in silence waiting for that person who left him there to return to get him?  Those people always returned to get him.  Where is the abuse of Grayson?

Ben would not allow Jason to be at his house. He had to leave Grayson in a Walmart parking lot.  Grayson was just awakening from a nap and probably doesn’t even recall Jason’s goodbye to him.  Could Grayson be wondering where daddy, (the psychological father) is? Why he hasn’t come to get him? No one has allowed Grayson to deal with his feelings of insecurity…of abandonment. The reports after a scheduled visit are that he is ‘fine’.

One cannot assume a man who has never parented a child, who has no education in regard to child developmental needs, who has no information regarding childhood trauma and who has an alleged history of violence could possible give this child the security to overcome this traumatic event.  That is the norm for many people.  No fault of their own, perhaps, but still a sad reality.

So where is the child abuse?

As the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) states “Children who have experienced traumatic events may have behavioral problems, or their suffering may not be apparent at all.” Situations that can be traumatic for children:

  • ABANDONMENT
  • LOSS OF A PARENT
  • LOSS OF A SIBLING
  • LIFE THREATENING HEALTH  SITUATIONS
  • WITNESSING POLICE ACTIVITY
  • LIVING IN CHAOTIC ENVIRONMENTS
  • FINANCIAL RESOURCES ARER NOT CONSISTENTLY AVAILABLE
  • WITNESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
  • EXPERIENCING PHYSICAL VIOLENCE

Many behaviors seen in children who have experienced trauma are nearly identical to those of children with developmental delays, ADHD and other mental health conditions. Without recognition of the possibility that a child is experiencing childhood traumatic stress, people charged with the protection and care may not recognize and address the specific needs of that child with regard to trauma.

As stated by NCTSN, children do not always have the words to tell you what has happened to them or how they feel. Behavior is a better gauge and sudden changes in behavior can be a sign of trauma exposure.  Would his new ‘family’ know what is a ‘changed’ behavior? Would they assume because he is not crying excessively that he is ‘fine’?

So where is the abuse?

Would a scheduled home visit reveal behaviors that may indicate childhood trauma?  (Separation anxiety, regression, difficulty at bedtime, loss of appetite, angry outbursts, withdrawal, anxiety, fear and worry, fear of the dark, etc.) Interviews with persons designated as caregivers of Grayson may have biased observations and could be painting a picture that Grayson is not suffering any symptoms of childhood trauma.  Without psychological evaluation and expert opinions this child will suffer in silence.

Where is the abuse inflicted upon Grayson?

The situation described above that could cause trauma in children may be the norm for many families.  Behaviors exhibited by children would not be characterized as problematic for the child. People who live under these conditions would report that everything is “fine” and Grayson is doing well.  We might wonder… compared to what?  So people ask, “How is Grayson being abused?”

Most people only believe that abuse is either physical or sexual.  They do not understand the impact of situations on the mental and emotional health of a child. People say that children are resilient and will adjust. These same people hold no degrees in childhood psychological.  Their opinions are based solely on their perspectives from their own experiences and environment.  I believe they confuse ‘doing fine’ (surviving) with happiness and security (thriving).

  So how is Grayson being abused?

Faith and Scripture: Where is this Path Taking Us?

Jason Vaughn | Thursday, December 9th, 2010 | 19 Comments »

December 9, 2010

 Some news on the legal front, Judge Cubbon has set a “status conference” for all juvenile court motions for December 21st.  Two of these motions are on Emergency Motions from over 40 days ago, so in my opinion she should have set a hearing date.  However, beggers can’t be choosers, I will take any movement I can out of the Lucas County.

An excerpt from my Journal July 11, 2010,

I truly believe God wants Grayson to be in our family.  I have never gotten a sign or a feeling that Grayson wasn’t meant to be my son.  I love that boy!

Faith and Scripture: Where is this Path Taking Us?

As Christy and I have traveled this journey together, our faith has been tested at several different points.  There are some really difficult questions facing us at this time?  When we prayed about adopting a child, we felt like God put it on our hearts to move forward and proceed with an adoption.  We felt like it was God’s plan for us to adopt a baby.  At that point we had already endured many setbacks and had painful events shape our lives.  It seemed like we were being guided down an adoption path.

But what now?  We have lost adoption battles in several courts in two states over a two year period.  How do we process those events?  How do we know what to do next?  The feeling I get is that we are supposed to follow the plan.  Keep moving forward.  Bring Grayson home.  However, there is certainly enough evidence to say maybe it’s time to move on.  So, how do we decide what to do?

I don’t know what God’s plan is.  I guess his plan could be for us to take care of Grayson while Wyrembek got his life in order.  His plan could be for the adoption to get finalized in January.  His plan could be that our case is meant to help shape adoption laws for the future.  It could be that his plan was never for us to adopt and we misread the whole thing.  I don’t know what the plan is. 

That doesn’t change our situation.  Here we sit, Grayson gone, unsure of his safety or well being, lawsuit pending, adoption pending, Christmas time, Jax and Addy talking about him everyday.  What do we do?  I have dove into the Bible to help me guide this family through these waters.  Here’s what I’ve got:  I share these with you not because I’m an expert at the Bible or because I’m getting clear signals from the man upstairs.  I share these with you because I bet some people have gone through tough times.  Maybe this list can help guide you in some way.  It as taken me a long time to find and record these verses, maybe this will simply save you some time.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your understanding.

This verse is probably the one I lean on the most.  Because, I don’t understand what has happened or why this is happening to us.  Also, I have to remind myself to trust the lord.  I find myself doubting everything.  This verse helps ground me.

Romans 8:28 Paul wrote:

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

This verse helps me try to focus on the good that can come of this situation.  There has got to be a way to create good out of all this pain.  I don’t know what it is, but there has to be a way.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NLT)

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.  We get knocked down but not destroyed.

This is the verse that gives me my fight.  We have not been destroyed.  We have not been crushed.  We will not give up. 

Habakkuk 2:3 (LB)

These things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient!  They will not be overdue a single day.

The timing of these events are not in my control.  This verse reminds me that God’s plan is bigger than mine and may not be consistent with mine.  However, his plan will be good and in his time.

Proverbs 3-6

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

and

Proverbs 16-3

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

This has been our intent.  We have tried will all of our hearts to seek his will, look for his path and commit our actions to the Lord.  We have struggled with this.  I can’t always tell the difference between a plan I create and a plan he has drafted.  I’m sure I have misread many of his intentions.  I worry that we have followed the wrong path.  The only thing I can recommend is to keep praying.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

And

Matthew 6:34

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.

This is the verse I read to Christy most often.  The worry is overwhelming.  The sorrow and anxiety can absolutely shut a person down.   We focus on Grayson, Addison and Jackson.  Our concern is making sure they are not scarred by this situation.  We cannot focus on our own worry, anxiety or sorrow.  There will be time for such things in the future.  We cannot worry about tomorrow.  We must be focused on our children today.

This one isn’t a bible verse it’s a song by Matt Redman.  Might be inspired by Pslam 23:4

And I will fear no evil, for my God is with me

And if my God is with me, Whom then shall I fear?

This is the verse that helps me understand that I can not be afraid to get this story out.  I cannot be afraid of the intimidation that Wyrembek has tried on Christy and I.  I cannot be afraid of judicial corruption and unethical lawyer.  I will not be afraid of frivolous lawsuits or any other person trying to harm Grayson.  He is the focus.  We will not be afraid.

Philippians 3

I’m not saying that I have this all together…..Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself and expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward………

This is the perfect verse to close on.  I don’t know what to do.  I do know that the Bible has answers.  I’m hopeful that Christy and I can find the right ones in time to satisfy God’s plan.  

I’m sure there will be people who misinterpret what I’m saying.  Some might say we are religious nut jobs.  We are trying to do the right thing.  We are looking for answers.  When you boil this whole thing down, it’s about Grayson.  It’s about the other children who are stuck in our broken system.  It’s about doing the right thing.  I believe this with all of my heart.

So, where is this path taking us?  We don’t know.  We will pray, follow our hearts, focus on Grady and protect our family.  Faith and Scripture will help guide us in our decisions.

What is the plan now that the laws have been re-written?

Jason Vaughn | Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 | 59 Comments »

It was a tough day yesterday.  We received some news about Grayson.  Some of it makes me feel ok.  Some of the news causes me concern.  Christy was telling Jax that we got some news.  She was telling him that Grayson gets to spend some time with Daddy Ben and his family.  Jackson said “Our family just isn’t complete without that little guy.”

I came home this morning from Basketball to find Christy crying on the couch.  She is upset about what Grayson must be feeling right now.  Wondering where we went and why we haven’t gotten to see each other.  I encouraged Christy to write down her thoughts.  Here they are:

—————————-

Grayson,

I want you to know that I think of you every minute of everyday. I think of how your face my have changed since the last moment I saw it. I think about how you may have grown all the new things you may be doing. I miss you in a way I can’t explain, my heart hurts in a way it hasn’t ever before.  I was changed when you came into my life and I have changed quite a bit when you where taken from me. Jackson and Addison pray every night to be able to see you again. I have faith that God is listening to them, and my family will be together again. I know you have to me wondering why we abandoned you. I pray that God is helping ease those feelings. I pray that you don’t have a minute of sadness and you are given plenty of love. You deserve so much more than your getting.

We are going to continue to fight for you.  Mommy, daddy, Jaxcy And sissy will continue to love you with all we have. You are and forever will be a part of us.

I love my sweet boy,

Mommy

_______________________ 

What is the plan now that the laws have been re-written?

 Let’s ignore our case for just a minute….

I’m trying to figure out what the adoption process should be in the eyes of the Father’s rights activists and their leaders in the Ohio court system.

It is real easy to sit back and say Dad’s have rights.  It is a whole other story actually trying to administer the process fairly, promptly and with balance.

What does it look like now for a Mom who is abused or abandoned?  I mean really abused or abandoned.  Not a Mom who is unethical, unlawful or deceitful.  I mean a real victim.  What should she do?

What should she do if she can’t care for her baby and the father is abusive or is not around?

She can’t give her child up for adoption any longer?  Because if she does, and he comes back within 90 days (that’s the average time it takes to prepare the paperwork in a newborn adoption) and files a paternity action.  The adoption is stopped without a trial. 

Is she to go on welfare and try to raise the baby?

Is she to call the man who abused and abandoned her and give the baby to him, even if she knows the baby won’t be safe?

Is she to give the baby up to foster care without knowing who will take care of the baby?

Should she try to take care of the baby, while she tries to get his parental rights terminated?  We all know that terminating a parent’s rights takes at least a year after attempts for reunification are attempted.  This means, that the courts would order visitation between the abuser and the baby to see if the baby gets hurt.  Sounds like a canary in a coal mine.  Miners would send birds down mine shafts to see if they died to check for poison gas.  I guess babies are now canaries.

I just can’t get my mind wrapped around this.  A Mom who has been abandoned is now forced to parent a baby for at least 30 days to see if he registers on the PFR.  However, now the PFR is meaningless.  Because if a paternity action is filed before an adoption petition is filed, the Ohio Supreme Court has said that there isn’t even a trial on the abandonment of the child or the baby for at least a year, regardless if a man registered or not.

If she surrenders her child for adoption and he files for a DNA test after her surrender.  That now means the baby automatically goes to the father.  What Mom would risk an automatic transfer of the baby back to the abusive father?

Folks, I’m not being dramatic.  I really believe that is what has happened.  A single Mom cannot make a decision now.  There isn’t even a trial for these women.

Back to our case, let me try to spell out the fastest this could have played out.  Assuming we didn’t fight the DNA test after the probate stays the adoption.

Day 1 Baby Born

Day 16 Dad registered

Day 50ish Dad files for DNA test

Day 70ish Birth Certificate ready Adoption filed by adoptive parents

Day 210ish  May 19th, Probate stays adoption to wait for DNA test.  

Day 240ish  Let’s pretend we didn’t fight DNA test.  Add 30 more days for DNA finding.

Day 270ish  Adoption dismissed without a trail.  Add 30 more days for new probate trial and 2 minute dismissal.

So the new process takes, at a minimum 270 days or 9 months to work it’s self out.  Just to dismiss the original adoption. 

So for those 9 months, who takes care of the baby?  Mom, Adoptive Parents, the State?  It can’t be Dad.  Dad didn’t file an acknowledgment.  He filed a DNA test.  See he only wants the baby to be OK if the baby is his.  I understand that perspective.  I’m just focused on the baby for this argument.

Now, let’s say Mom really advocates for her baby.  She goes to juvenile court to fight to get her baby back.  Only after a year of “case planning” could she find the father unfit.  So baby is now put up for adoption after nearly 2 years bouncing between mom, adoptive parents, dad and back to mom.  This can’t be the plan for these poor babies.

Is this really better than a plan that has a trial at month 5 to decide best interest and parties to the case?

O.K.  Devil’s advocate.  I will play a Father’s rights extremist for a second.

Dad’s have the right to parent their kids.  Absolutely, it’s my seed, it’s my blood

Do all Dad’s have the right?  Does Jack the Ripper?  O.K. probably not.

So where is the line drawn?  Is it on convictions?  Too vague.

Is it on the Mom’s word that he is a bad guy?  No way, Mom’s lie.

Is it on abuse of other children?  Maybe, people change.

Is it on abuse of the mother?  Maybe

Is it on abandonment?  Maybe, but for a really long time and not if Mom is hiding.

I think we get back to a trial.  Shouldn’t there be a trial to determine if a Dad has taken his parental responsibilities seriously.  Doesn’t a baby deserve at least a chance at early permanence and stability?  Don’t Mom’s who are abused or abandoned have the right to give their child a chance?

The statues, the way they are written seem fair and balanced to me.  Mom can give her baby up for adoption.  Dad’s can register anytime from conception to 30 days after birth.  This guarantees them notice of a potential adoption.  Adoptive parents have to “sweat it out” for about 60 days to find out if there is a potential father.  Babies get stable early care and love. 

If Dad’s want their babies they can call, write, text, send money, give presents or even just send some baby clothes or diapers as a good faith gesture as to their positive intents.  If they do any of these things, their rights would be fully protected and they would have the same chance to parent their child as any other unmarried father.

I don’t know why this is a bad plan.  Everybody seems to have their rights protected.  I don’t know why the Ohio Supreme Court has completely obviated the adoption statutes as they were written.  I don’t understand the course they are “Charting”.

Meanwhile, families on all sides are frustrated for 3 years and babies are damaged.

The Codes don’t lie

Jason Vaughn | Sunday, December 5th, 2010 | 44 Comments »

Addison was leaving her pre-pre-school on Thursday.  As she was leaving the teacher offered her some candy for having such a good day.  Addy took her piece of Candy and then looked a Christy and asked for one more piece.  Christy said “No, you can only have one piece”.  Addy looked back up at her and said “No, ‘dis’ one is for Grady”.  The teacher said “You want the whole bag?”. 

We miss you buddy….Even that little sister of yours that is always bugging you.

The Codes don’t lie.

Even after all the explanation I’ve given there appears to be some people that insist I am not telling the truth.  This will be the last time I address this issue.

1.  Legal parents can surrender a child for purposes of adoption. 

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5103.15 — Check out (B)(2).  I’ve included the links in case you believe I’m actually making these laws up.

The parents of a child less than six months of age may enter into an agreement with a private child placing agency surrendering the child into the permanent custody of the agency without juvenile court approval if the agreement is executed solely for the purpose of obtaining the adoption of the child. The agency shall, not later than two business days after entering into the agreement, notify the juvenile court. The agency also shall notify the court not later than two business days after the agency places the child for adoption. The court shall journalize the notices it receives under division (B)(2) of this section.

2.  Legal Parents are the Mother and the husband of the mother.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3111.03

Presumption of Paternity is the husband of the mother

(A) A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child under any of the following circumstances:

(1) The man and the child’s mother are or have been married to each other, and the child is born during the marriage or is born within three hundred days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, divorce, or dissolution or after the man and the child’s mother separate pursuant to a separation agreement.

3.  By law Wyrembek was a putative father for purposes of the adoption.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3107.01 — Check out (H)(3)

(H) “Putative father” means a man, including one under age eighteen, who may be a child’s father and to whom all of the following apply:

(1) He is not married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth;

(2) He has not adopted the child;

(3) He has not been determined, prior to the date a petition to adopt the child is filed, to have a parent and child relationship with the child by a court proceeding pursuant to sections 3111.01 to 3111.18 of the Revised Code, a court proceeding in another state, an administrative agency proceeding pursuant to sections 3111.38 to 3111.54 of the Revised Code, or an administrative agency proceeding in another state;

(4) He has not acknowledged paternity of the child pursuant to sections 3111.21 to 3111.35 of the Revised Code.

4.  Consent to an adoption is not required from a putative father who doesn’t support mom or baby.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3107.07 — Check out (B)(2)(b) and (c)

Consent to an adoption is not required by:

(B) The putative father of a minor if either of the following applies:

(b) The putative father has willfully abandoned or failed to care for and support the minor;

(c) The putative father has willfully abandoned the mother of the minor during her pregnancy and up to the time of her surrender of the minor, or the minor’s placement in the home of the petitioner, whichever occurs first.

5.  Legal fathers must support their babies or their consent is not required to an adoption.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3107.07 — Check out (A)

(A) A parent of a minor, when it is alleged in the adoption petition and the court , after proper service of notice and hearing, finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has failed without justifiable cause to provide more than de minimis contact with the minor or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately preceding either the filing of the adoption petition or the placement of the minor in the home of the petitioner

So, there you go.  Legal fathers and putative fathers must support their kids.  That’s our allegation.  There has never been a trial where our allegations have been heard. 

Our adoption petition is set to be heard on Jan 12th.  I’m sure the Juvenile Court judge is still dening it’s existence.