Timeline in the Vaughn – Wyrembek Adoption and Custody Case

This case has dragged on for nearly 3 years and it’s still not over. It’s taken so long because of the number of courts involved, hearings held, appeals filed, rulings that had to be made, and the slowness of the courts. A quick and very interesting timeline:

**This is NOT an official or complete timeline. It’s just what I’ve been able to put together by reading the court documents, articles, and interviews – basically the same public information everyone has access to. I tried to lay it out as accurately as I could, but I could be wrong. It’s my understanding of the public information, which by definition is imperfect. Some of it is obviously commentary and my opinion. If anyone is interested, they can do their own reading of the articles and court documents online and check the information. If there’s something I’ve missed or mistaken in the timeline, please post a comment.**


October 2007 – the mother gives birth in OHIO.

November 2007 - the legal father, her ex-husband signs a permanent surrender document saying he is “NOT the biological father.”

- the baby is surrendered to the adoption agency who place the child with the Vaughns, who take the child to Indiana

– the biological father, registers with the Ohio Putative Father Registry to protect his possible parental rights

December 2007 – the father files a parentage complaint to determine if he is the father

January 2008 – the Vaughns file a petition for adoption

– they file a motion requesting the father’s parentage complaint be dismissed (ok, this really bothers me, because the legal father says he’s not the biological father, WHY would you try to have the other man’s request to determine if he’s the father dismissed? It had been 2 months and he could have been the child’s father wanting his son!)

March 2008 – court orders the father be served with notice of the adoption petition

April 2008 – the father files his objection to the adoption petition

May 2008 - the court stays the adoption, pending the decision of another court determining if he was the biological father

August 2008 – August 19, 2008 – the father files a “Motion for Companionship and/or Visitation and, in the alternative, a Motion for Parenting Time” The motion is not ruled on until March 2009 and the father won’t get his first visit until one year later on August 8, 2009.

September 2008 – they file claiming the court has no jurisdiction over the parentage complaint, and file for an emergency stay

- a claim is made that the father tried to arrange for genetic testing to happen on September 16, 2008, without a ruling on jurisdiction

- the court grants an emergency stay

February 2009 – the Vaughns conditionally agree to genetic testing (he filed a parentage action in December 2007 – an agreement for a DNA test is not reached until February 2009 – around 14 months later! It took over a year to get to an agreement for a DNA test?)

March 2009 – the court declares he is the father (it took about a month for the results to come back)

April 2009 – the father amends his objection to the adoption

June 2009 – a hearing is held and the Adoption Petition is DISMISSED (that’s only 3 months after the dna results came back and the court confirmed he was the father! But it took 14 months from the time he registered/filed for there to be a conditional agreement for dna testing – makes you think)

July 2009 – court issues interim order giving father temporary visitation rights

– the couple files a motion to have the order set aside and the case dismissed or stayed

August 2009 – the court denied the motion to dismiss or stay the case, but granted the motion to set aside the visitation order because the couple had not been properly notified

– the court hears the father’s SECOND request for visitation

– August 6, 2009 – the Ohio court GRANTS the FATHER’S MOTION. The court ORDERS that the Vaughns bring the child to Ohio “for a FOUR HOUR VISIT EVERY SATURDAY IN THE HOME” OF THE FATHER. (There will be only ONE visit before an Indiana court grants an emergency ex parte order – the father does not get to participate, giving the Vaughns temporary custody in Sept, 2009. Indiana court says the Ohio court is in violation of 2 laws and even the prospective adoptive couple’s constitutional rights by issuing visitation to the father. The ruling also cites Jason’s Vaughn’s testimony about a psychological report. The ruling says that a “psychologist…who performed a psychological evaluation of the Vaughn family unit, has determined that Grayson’s emotional and social development would be harmed by visitation with the putative father at this time.”

Major issues here  1) the court refused to allow the Vaughn’s psychologist’s 7-page report to be entered, but instead allowed Jason Vaughn to testify about the psychologist’s conclusions. (really!) Why not have the psychologist testify? This is not a court appointed psychologist, she’s working for one side. 2) THE VAUGHN’S PSYCHOLOGIST’S REPORT DOES NOT MENTION VISITATION. The report is about removing the child from his home, not about disallowing visitation with the father. There is a major difference between a permanent transfer of custody and 4 hour weekly visitation. Somehow that distinction was lost between the testimony and/or ruling. Reread the quote above. — The report does not say VISITATION would have been harmful to the child, visitation is not even discussed in the report. 3) The report was based on only a two and a half hour observation of with the Vaughns and interviews with them.  She did not interview the Ohio family, she did not watch them with the child,  she didn’t visit their home. There are two families in this case, but only one side had input in the report. 4) The court ruling inaccurately refers to the father as the putative father in August 2009, months after he was declared the legal father in March. (His son was a year and months old at the time, but somehow 4 hour visits once a week with his father would be damaging? Kids spend more time in daycare or pasted to the front of a tv screen during the week!)

– the couple appeals the ruling  granting weekly visitation

– August 8, 2009 – The father is granted his first weekly visit with his son. It lasts for 4 hours. His mother, the child’s Grandmother also attends the visit. (It will be the only visit for over a year until after both Indiana and Ohio courts order the child’s return to Ohio in September 2010.) At the visit the father refers to himself as “Dada” when speaking with his son.

– August 27, 2009 – The Vaughns file an Emergency Petition for Order of Temporary Custody in INDIANA

September 2009 – September 3, 2009 – A hearing is held in Indiana on the EX PARTE (meaning the other party does not get the opportunity to be present or participate) emergency petition. Indiana court enters an order granting emergency petition for temporary custody to the Vaughns.

- September 24, 2009 – Indiana judge speaks with the Ohio judge. The Indiana court will not vacate their emergency order at that time. But Indiana judge decides if the Ohio Court of Appeals rules against the Vaughns, then the Indiana court will vacate their temporary custody order.

November 2009 - the OHIO Court of Appeals UPHOLDS the Dismissal of the Adoption

December 2009 – Separate Petition for Adoption Filed in Indiana. (This is the SECOND adoption petition. The first was dismissed by the Ohio courts.)

Here’s an interesting point to note. The Vaughns have stated in September 2010 interviews that the father has never supported his son, articles quote Jason Vaughn, “He has never sent a birthday card.” “Litigation isn’t the same as support.” BUT in their December 2009 Indiana Adoption Petition, they Admit that he contributed money “on or around Grayson’s first birthday” and that he made two other contributions between September 2009, when an emergency ex parte order was issued in Indiana, and when filing the Indiana adoption petition in December 2009. (He wasn’t ordered to pay support to them by a court – there is NO court order for him to pay child support, but he chose to send anyway. This isn’t ‘child support’, this is him voluntarily sending money to his son. The Ohio court said he put his son on his insurance from the time he was proven the father which was March 2009. So in 2009 he’d been financially supporting his son. I didn’t read anywhere what happened in 2010. But considering that lack of support is an essential claim in the Vaughn’s adoption legal proceedings, that’s what I would expect them to say in public interviews.)

- father files motion for custody in Ohio

– notice of appeal filed at the Ohio Supreme Court

January 2010 – The FATHER is GRANTED CUSTODY of his son. Ohio juvenile court declares the father “the residential parent and legal custodian” pending a home study by a guardian ad litem (to be completed no later than Feb 4, 2010). Further states if the home study is favorable, the adoption agency would place the child with his father by February 8, 2010.

**Contrary to allegations posted online,** Under “FINDINGS OF FACT” SIGNED BY THE MAGISTRATE IN OHIO JUVENILE COURT (that means the court found it to be proven and factual, not just a claim being made by either side) it says:

“Plaintiff has made efforts to obtain possession and custody of his child since December, 2007. He was granted visitation and there was an interim agreement for visitation resulting from a mediation held at this Court. The Vaughns were present, participated in the mediation and agreed to an interim order for visitation. A subsequent mediation was scheduled to which the Vaughns failed to appear.

“Plaintiff is employed and lives independently”

“Plaintiff has the ability to financially and emotionally care for the child.”

“Plaintiff has had the child covered on his insurance since he found out that he is the biological father.”

“Plaintiff is the legal, biological father of the child. His rights were never terminated.”

“There is NO Adoption.”

“It is in the best interests of this child that custody be awarded to the Plaintiff and that he be designated as the residential parent and legal custodian of this child. Any further delays in these proceedings do not serve the best interest of the child.”   This was in JANUARY!

– January 14, 2010 – The Vaughns file suit in UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT against the Ohio Probate Court Judge who dismissed the Ohio adoption petition and against the father. This means in addition to being heard in the Ohio state system and in the Indiana state system, they are also being heard in the Federal Court system. The biological mother is also a plaintiff in the case. Part of the claim is that the judge violated the biological mother’s ‘constitutional right’ to make an adoptive placement according to her wishes. (Who knew there was a constitutional right to put a child up for adoption? Who knew that if such a right actually exists, the biological father being allowed to object to an adoption would violate that right?) It also claims that they violated her ‘right of privacy as a marital unit’. (They were divorced when they signed the permanent surrender document.)

February 2010 – Guardian ad litem report filed and is favorable

– Magistrate orders the Adoption Agency be at court on February 8, 2010 to present the child to his father.

– Adoption agency FAILS TO COMPLY with the Magistrate’s decision.

- The Ohio Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal

March 2010 – the father files a motion “to show cause” and asks that the adoption agency be held in contempt.

- briefs filed in the Supreme Court appeals

- two motions to dismiss are filed in the Federal suit, one by the Ohio Probate Court judge, and one by the father.

April 2010 – a hearing is scheduled for April 14, 2010. The hearing is rescheduled at the request of the adoption agency to April 26, 2010

- the hearing is again rescheduled until June 16, 2010

May 2010 – Oral Arguments held in the Ohio Supreme Court appeal

June 2010 - the show cause hearing is held

July 2010 - At a hearing on July 2, 2010 the court announced its decision to hold Adoption by Gentle Care, through its Executive Director,  Mr. John Cameron, in CONTEMPT for failing to comply with the February 2010 order. The court wrote Defendant, John Cameron, is sentenced to thirty (30) days in CCNO, which sentence is suspended on the condition that Defendant complies with the purge provision herein. Defendant, John Cameron, may purge himself of contempt by delivering the minor child, Grayson Bocarov (Vaughn), to Plaintiff Benjamin Wyrembek, the child’s residential parent and legal custodian.” Mr. Cameron failed to appear for the scheduled hearing, the matter was rescheduled for July 6, 2010 to announce the decision with him present.

It gets better! There has been a lot of talk about the court ordering the child turned over in 24 hours, and how awful that would be for the child, but that wasn’t the court’s first choice!

The juvenile court decision says “Adoption by Gentle Care and John Cameron are hereby ordered to work with Heather Fournier, the Guardian ad litem in this case, and the Vaughn family to plan and facilitate the transfer of the minor child to Mr. Wyrembek in a manner that is in the child’s best interest. This Judgement Entry applies to the Vaughn family to the extent necessary to facilitate the return of the child, who is placed with the Vaughns, to the placement agency, Adoption by Gentle Care.”

- Motion to Execute Sentence Hearing Scheduled for September 2, 2010

– The Ohio Supreme Court UPHOLDS the lower court rulings dismissing the adoption.

- motion for reconsideration of their decision filed with the supreme court

- motions filed in Indiana court regarding the temporary custody order, hearing scheduled for August 2010.

August 2010 – the father files a brief with the Ohio Supreme Court asking that the motion for reconsideration be denied

- hearing held in Indiana regarding the temporary custody order.

September 2010 - September 2, 2010 – Indiana court rules Indiana does not have jurisdiction. Court Vacates the temporary custody order it had issued a year earlier in September 2009. The court orders the Vaughns to turn over the child to the adoption agency within 48 hours. It also says this “Dismissing the Pending Adoption Proceeding and Custody Proceeding” (the adoption proceeding they’d filed in Indiana in December 2009)

- Part of the ruling reads “The court strongly urges that the Vaughn’s comply with the suggestions of Heather J. Fournier in her letter of August 16, 2010 to Mr. Vorhees and others in facilitating such transfer of custody.” Heather Fournier was the Guardian ad litem appointed by the Ohio court to represent the child. The point of a GAL is to objectively look out for the interests of the child. What suggestions did she make that the court was urging the Vaughns to comply with for the transfer of custody? (I think it’s clear that the courts, while very slow and hampered with filings, did consider the best way to make a transfer easier for the child, and tried to have that done with mediation, having a GAL facilitate, and flat out stating further delays were not in the child’s best interests. But the Vaughns and the adoption agency would have had to comply with the court’s orders and suggestions.)

- Notice of the judge’s order is served by the sheriff

– September 3, 2010 – Ohio Supreme Court Denies an emergency petition for a stay

– September 3, 2010 – Indiana Supreme court issues an emergency stay on the lower court ruling

– September 13, 2010 -  The Vaughns file a NEW petition for adoption in Franklin County Probate Court. (This is the THIRD adoption petition, the first two were dismissed by Ohio and Indiana courts.)

– September 21, 2010 – Indiana Supreme court upholds the lower court decision and lifts the stay – all 5 judges agree

– September 21, 2010 – The Vaughns file a SECOND Emergency petition for a stay with the Ohio Supreme Court.

– September 21, 2010 -  Vaughns served with order to surrender the child to Lucas County Child Protective Services by noon Wednesday September 22, 2010.

– Vaughns do not comply with the noon deadline.

– Vaughns agree to several interviews

– The father refuses interviews

- The Vaughns file motions to stay the ruling and/or to force a ‘transition’ plan to be made. (but wasn’t that what the court was asking the adoption agency to arrange earlier?)

- September 28, 2010 – A hearing is held in a Floyd County, Indiana court. The Vaughns bring the child they’d been ordered to surrender to the hearing. The father attends the hearing.

– September 28, 2010 – Supreme Court of Ohio issues a stay while considering whether to grant or deny the motion to reconsider. The stay is issued during the hearing in Indiana, and effectively suspends all Ohio lower court decisions in the case.

– The Vaughns and the father agree to mediation (see above for how the first mediation went). The Vaughns agree to no media as a condition of mediation. The Vaughns leave the hearing with the child

– It’s posted on a facebook page of Vaughn family supporters, that the father would begin to visit with his son in Indiana that week

October 2010 - October 7, 2010  the Ohio Supreme Court denies the motion to reconsider and lifts the stay on the lower court rulings.

– October 8, 2010 an article says Ed Vaughn, the prospective adoptive grandfather, said during an interview that mediation had broken down because the courts wanted to condition mediation on the Vaughns dropping their appeals. They refused. Per Ed Vaughn in the article, the judge ‘threatened’ to change the custody arrangement that day if they didn’t agree to terms. The boy is currently on an extended visit with his father. He mentioned they would be leaving Ohio at the end of the weekend with the boy. (After not complying with court orders, and three years of motions and appeals, it’s surprising to them that a judge would say enough is enough? The father has legal custody of his son! They have no right to set terms.)

- October 8, 2010 a hearing is held, no information is released.

- October 27, 2010 – The US District Court grants both motions (the judge’s and the father’s) to DISMISS the case filed in federal court. The Judge rules that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. (The court did not decide on the other reasons for dismissal.)

- OCTOBER 30, 2010 – GRAYSON IS HOME!

GRAYSON IS PERMANENTLY REUNITED WITH HIS FATHER IN OHIO! Present at the happy reunion are Grayson’s grandparents.

Is this the end of the 3 year ordeal for a family that never consented to adoption and fought it within days of their child’s birth? Almost! The Vaughn’s have one more adoption petition pending in Ohio – that’s the third adoption petition they filed in September 2010 after Indiana dismissed their case. In that petition, they make several of the same claims that the courts (Indiana, Ohio, and Federal) have previously dismissed. This is where their “litigation is not the same as support” claim comes into play. See the post explaining that. As transparent and weak a claim it is to us in the public, it’s even weaker in a court of law. After their petition is dealt with at the probate court, there will probably be further appeals – as they did with the previous petitions. Those appeals could take them to the Ohio court of appeals and the Ohio supreme court. They may even try again at the federal level. It’s also possible that they will appeal the federal case that was dismissed in October 2010. But does any of that mean Grayson leaves his home with his Dada? NO. Grayson remains with his father while all their petitions, cases, appeals etc. are heard by however many courts they choose to go to this time around. If history is an example that would take years, the courts will side with Grayson’s Dada, and Grayson will remain with his father as the courts determine the law and his best interests require.

November 2010 – November 10, 2010 – A post from Phyllis Vaughn on the Vaughn’s facebook support page, says the juvenile court judge denied their request for an emergency hearing.

November 27, 2010 – Another post from Phyllis Vaughn on the Vaughn’s facebook page, says the hearing on their 3rd adoption petition has been postponed from December 1, 2010 to January 12, 2011.

December 2010 – December 1, 2010 – The previously scheduled hearing on the 3rd adoption petition is not held.

Interesting quotes from articles published September – October 2010:

Mr. Vaughn: “Everything going on with this battle is separate from protecting Grayson.”

“We haven’t had our day in court yet.”

“The adoption “felt uncertain just because we knew it was contested,” Mr. Vaughn said last month. “We always thought we would win. The system has just failed.””

**Information on finding the supporting court documents is posted in the 4th comment below.**

Thank you to the readers for the information on corrections and updates. Grayson IS Home, the petitions and court options have been nearly exhausted, and Grayson’s family is not providing interviews, so updates will be limited. 

Updated to add November and December 2010 information.

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29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca herman
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 04:01:34

    is the Indiana Adoption Petition available online? I easily found the Ohio documents with Google, but not that one.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Oct 11, 2010 @ 12:14:05

      The Indiana Adoption Petition is attached to a petition the Vaughns filed in the Ohio Supreme Court in August 2010, “Complaint for Writ of Prohibition”, against the Judge in Ohio Juvenile Court, in an attempt to prevent her from proceeding with the case and carrying out her rulings. I didn’t include that in the timeline because there’s already a lot of information there.

      You can look up that case on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Online Docket, under case 2010-1375. The Indiana Adoption Petition is Exhibit I (on about pg 44), in the first document on the case “Complaint in prohibition of Jason Edward Vaughn and Christy Lynn Vaughn”.

      There are several interesting documents listed as exhibits on that petition. But what’s even more interesting is the Ohio Judge’s response to the petition, and what she tells the Court about what’s taken place in the case. Read the other documents on case 2010-1375 if you want to know more about what the judge wrote to the Ohio Supreme Court.

      Reply

  2. Rebecca herman
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 02:15:35

    thanks! Interesting reading.

    Reply

  3. thinkingoutloudcafe
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 12:41:43

    I’m working on another post that will link to the court documents I referenced and used in creating the timeline. It’s slow going, since there’s a lot to link to. But no one has to wait for the next post. Most of the documents can be found on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Online Docket under cases 2009 – 2355 and 2010 – 1375. Some of the Indiana Court documents have been attached to the documents filed with the Ohio Supreme Court cases. Other information on the Indiana cases can be found under Indiana Supreme Court Orders: 2010 Other Orders, Cause No. 22S00-1009-OR-470, and by searching under “Civil, Family & Probate Case Records” at State of Indiana Public Records Inquiry for case no. 22C01-0908-DR-00688. Anyone can verify the timeline for themselves.

    I don’t have a link for access to the source documents for the recent Federal Court filings. But those can be found by searching for “Bocvarov et al v. Puffenberger et al” Case Number: 2:2010cv00039. The exhibits attached to that filing are the same as those attached to the state filings. For those with access to the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) subscription system, or those willing to subscribe, the information above is sufficient to locate the source documents on that case. Several of the documents, the plaintiff’s filing, the two motions to dismiss filed by the father and the Ohio judge, and the court’s ruling granted the motions to dismiss, have been posted online by others at other sites. I don’t run the other sites or know the people who do.

    Updated to reflect that the court decision in the district court case is available and is posted on other sites.

    Reply

  4. Charles Clark
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 08:07:50

    I found a downloadable copy of the Vaughn’s frivolous federal lawsuit available on http://www.DavidFHouston.com Just click the DOCUMENTS page, then the PUBLIC folder, then the Vaughn Junk Suit file to download the complaint with some interesting exhibits.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Oct 14, 2010 @ 11:35:27

      Thank you for the link to their filing. That document, and any others in the case, including the response from the judge/the father and the court rulings, will be made available on the US Court’s Public Access to Electronic Records system.

      Your comment was edited because the other documents were not filed in this case or related cases.

      Reply

  5. phyllis
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 12:01:06

    No one seems to care that this bio dad did not support the bio mother, did not support the child, was asked to to submit to drug testing and refused in the first mediation, asked to complete a psychological assessment for risk of violence, left the pregnant birthmother on the side of the road at night because he became angry with her because she would not comply with his request for sexual favors, has not sent a birthday card or gift to Grayson, has not called or asked one time for pictures. His contribution to this child, besides his pro-bona litigation was a sperm and $25. Hardly equal to a mother who born the child and adoptive parents who have supported him since birth. The Vaughn’s complied with drug testing, psychological exams, monthly visits from a social worker for three years yet this man has been granted custody with no drug testing (has arrest for drug par) no psychological risk assessment, no home visits from social worker, no schedulted visits from anyone to monitoring the well-being of this child. Who is going to look out of Grayson’s well-being once the transfer is made? Just because he denoted the sperm is Grayson going to be OK? Grayson has the right, in spite of the wants and wishes, rights and desires of the adults involved, to stay in his home, perhaps with regular visitation with bio dad. Grayson has rights. The Vaughn’s are not bad people, they just have been fighting for their son. This man’s paternity was not established until 17 months after birth. He could have established paternity much sooner but chose this route because he wouldn’t have to pay child support or help with pregnancy expenses perhaps. We don’t know. We we all know is that Grayson will be ‘irreparably harmed” when taken from his family. Let’s all step back and do what is in Grayson’s best interest.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Oct 14, 2010 @ 12:56:12

      Phyllis – Is it Phyllis Vaughn by chance?

      Let’s take your allegations, one by one.

      “No one seems to care that this bio dad did not support the bio mother, did not support the child,”
      I’m going to presume that you mean during the pregnancy. Two things here, 1) Of course the courts cared, it was the basis of the first adoption petition. They heard the case, and dismissed it. Then other courts upheld it. They cared enough to listen, they just disagreed. 2) Where does a judge say that he knew about the pregnancy and didn’t support her? Where does the father say that in the court records? The Vaughns have said it, but where does the court or the father say it?

      “was asked to to submit to drug testing and refused in the first mediation, asked to complete a psychological assessment for risk of violence,”
      This would be the first mediation, where the Judge says the Vaughns did not show up to the second scheduled mediation. (see quote in the timeline) So who requested the drug testing and psychological assessment that he refused? Somehow I doubt that it was the courts that found it necessary, because reading the ruling from the judge says he has the “ability to…emotionally care for the child.” Hardly something you would say of a parent with drug/violence problems. Then the Judge said it would be in the best interest of the child to be returned to his father, and gave him custody. This is the juvenile court judge, the court that hears hundred of cases where children are at risk, knows what a bad parent looks like, and can terminate any parent’s rights. But what they’re saying is this father should have his son.

      “left the pregnant birthmother on the side of the road at night because he became angry with her because she would not comply with his request for sexual favors,”
      I’ve read this posted in comment before, and I don’t what to say except, where is thing in the court records? Can you at least tell us where to look for it? One point though, he didn’t leave his child on the side of the road during that 4 hour visit did he?

      “has not sent a birthday card or gift to Grayson, has not called or asked one time for pictures.” I find this comment more than a little disingenuous. Because this man has been fighting for the right to be the one hosting his child’s birthday parties, spending holidays with his son, and taking all the family pictures, for 3 years. This child’s first birthday passed without a dna test having taken place, because the Vaughns went to court to get an emergency stay to block a dna test (see the timeline). Incredible, that as this child’s first birthday passed the father was still being prevented from even finding out if he was the father. But naturally those same people were eager to receive a greeting card and send pictures. Despite that he still sent money around his first birthday.

      “His contribution to this child, besides his pro-bona litigation was a sperm and $25.” Um, no. Per the Vaughns own documents filed with the court, he also sent two cash payments between September 2009 and December 2009 when the document stating that was filed. (see the timeline) Per the judge his child was on his insurance since he was declared the father in March 2009. I think you ‘pro-bono’ litigation, I don’t know if you’re right about that. But let’s hope the money he sent to his son didn’t go towards legal fees for the other side.

      “Hardly equal to a mother who born the child and adoptive parents who have supported him since birth.” First of all, let’s get this right. They are NOT the adoptive parents. “There is NO adoption.” The father is the Legal and Custodial parent. If you’re confused see the timeline, or better, read the documents.
      We can all agree that nothing compares to the gift of birth. But then the mother chose not to be a part of the child’s life, and he chose to be there for at least the next 18 years. The Vaughns have trying to deny him that right for nearly 3 years. As the judge said “Plaintiff has made efforts to obtain possession and custody of his child since December, 2007.” He didn’t ask them to support his child, he was asking the courts to allow him the rights and obligations of supporting his son.

      “The Vaughn’s complied with drug testing, psychological exams, monthly visits from a social worker for three years” That’s the requirement when you’re trying to adopt someone else’s child. But let’s spend a moment on the issue of compliance. The Indiana and Ohio courts were urging the Vaughns to work with Guardian ad litem in the interest of the child. Then there are the Ohio court orders that the Vaughns did not comply with.

      “yet this man has been granted custody with no drug testing (has arrest for drug par) no psychological risk assessment, no home visits from social worker, no schedulted visits from anyone to monitoring the well-being of this child.” Fathers and mothers get to leave the hospital with their newborns without an obstacle course of psychological tests or scheduled visits. I’m sure there are millions of parents in this country with custody of their children, who’ve never had a psychological risk assessment or social worker visit. It’s important to note, that the juvenile court judge didn’t order any of that. If a court, looking at all the evidence, didn’t think there was cause, then what do you have to show we should disagree? We’re back to the arrest record, which the Indiana court considered and then dismissed the adoption petition and urged compliance with the GAL suggestions. The Ohio court gave the father custody citing his emotional and financial ability to care for his son, and the effort that he had made to get custody of his son since December 2007. However they condition the custody upon a favorable report from the Guardian ad litem. The GAL report was favorable. (see the timeline)

      “Who is going to look out of Grayson’s well-being once the transfer is made?” His father.

      “Just because he denoted the sperm is Grayson going to be OK?” I don’t think you understand the definition of a sperm donor any more than you understand the definition of an adoptive parent. Grayson will be ok because he’ll be with his father and family. There have been other cases making headlines over the years, baby Richard, baby Jessica, where years later the grown children say they’re happy with their family they were returned to.

      “Grayson has the right, in spite of the wants and wishes, rights and desires of the adults involved, to stay in his home, perhaps with regular visitation with bio dad. Grayson has rights.” Grayson has the right to know and love his father. He’s had that right from the time he was born. Neither the Vaughns nor the mother have the right to take that from him. The courts didn’t just uphold the father’s rights, they upheld Grayson’s too. The father is the legal and custodial parent. He’s not the one to be asking for visitation. Let’s recall what happened when there were previous agreements for visitation. There was an interim agreement for visitation from the first mediation, and the Vaughs failed to appear for the second scheduled visitation. The father filed twice with the court for visitation with his son, the Vaughns appealed twice. When the visitation was upheld, and the father received weekly 4 hour visits, the Vaughns attended one visit, then went to another state to file an emergency ex parte petition, which blocked visitation for a year. Let’s remember than when the suggestion is made that he should settle for visitation with his son.

      “This man’s paternity was not established until 17 months after birth. He could have established paternity much sooner but chose this route because he wouldn’t have to pay child support or help with pregnancy expenses perhaps. We don’t know.” That has to be the most DISHONEST comment made. WE DO KNOW. The father filed for a perentage action, where paternity would be determined in December 2007. He asked for the DNA test 2 months after his son was born. In January 2008, the Vaughns asked the court to dismiss the parentage (paternity) action! In September 2008, they asked the court for an Emergency Stay, preventing the father from getting a dna test done. The claim was he had tried to get a dna test done in September, 9 months after he first asked, but before a decision had been made on the Vaughns petition to block the parentage action. The Vaughns Conditionally agreed to a DNA test, in February 2009. 14 months after he first asked! It took 1 month for the DNA test to come back, 15 months after he asked, 17 months after his son was born, BUT only 1 month after the Vaughns conditionally agreed to a DNA test. Phyllis you have the GALL to suggest that “could have established paternity much sooner but chose this route because he wouldn’t have to pay child support or help with pregnancy expenses perhaps. We don’t know.” I THINK THAT SAYS EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CREDIBILITY OF YOUR COMMENTS.

      “We we all know is that Grayson will be ‘irreparably harmed” when taken from his family.” NO, we don’t know that. We know what to think of your comments in general, but we don’t even know where you’re getting that ‘irreparably harmed’ quote from. What we do know is that the juvenile court charged with protecting the interests of the child has awarded the father custody, we know there was a favorable GAL report, we know the ruling has been upheld in the Ohio Supreme Court, and we know that both Indiana and Ohio courts have been urging the Vaughns to cooperate with the rulings and GAL for a transfer in the interest of the child.

      “Let’s all step back and do what is in Grayson’s best interest.” That’s what the court have been asking since January 2010. “It is in the best interests of this child that custody be awarded to the Plaintiff and that he be designated as the residential parent and legal custodian of this child. Any further delays in these proceedings do not serve the best interest of the child.” But it doesn’t seem like everyone was listening.

      Reply

  6. Carol
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 14:06:52

    Interesting timeline without all the facts in that a hearing for the best interest of Grayson has never been heard. much can be proven if that could ever happen but the courts don not want to get into want can be very harmful to Grayson. It would be nice to see proof of employment and insurance at this time of all parties for the last 3 years. The bio. father had ample opportunity to step up in the pre-natal period to file for partentage, again in the hospital, again to the adoption agency the first 6 months. He may have had to pay some of the bills if he had, but what lengths do you go to for your child? Grayson did not choose all this, but his life if the one that will suffer. A birth mother does have a right to make the best plans she can in the circunstances she happens to be in for the child she is responsible for. If you have concerns of harm for the child everyone should try to protect that child no matter what.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Oct 14, 2010 @ 23:37:17

      The timeline is of what did happen according to the court records. What do you mean by a ‘best interest hearing’? I’ll be happy add any filings or motions to the timeline if you can provide the supporting documents. Show when that request was made, by which party, and what the court decision says.

      However, the purpose of a custody hearing is to determine what is in the best interest of the child. That’s what a juvenile court does. That’s what the court stated in its decision, “It is in the best interests of this child that custody be awarded to the Plaintiff and that he be designated as the residential parent and legal custodian of this child. Any further delays in these proceedings do not serve the best interest of the child.” The court has already determined the best interest of the child, and both sides were heard.

      Disliking to outcome doesn’t mean you get to claim a hearing wasn’t held. Just as disliking the court rulings doesn’t mean you get to claim you never got your day in court.

      “It would be nice to see proof of employment and insurance at this time of all parties for the last 3 years.” Is this a requirement for taking your newborn home from the hospital? Is this a requirement for stay at home Moms/Dads to care for their children? What new obstacle does this father need to hurdle that we don’t ask of other fathers or mothers? Regardless, I’ll take the judge’s word for it when she says, it’s a fact that the father “has the ability to financially and emotionally care for his child” “is employed and lives independently” and “has had the child covered on his insurance since he found out that he is the biological father.”

      “The bio. father had ample opportunity to step up in the pre-natal period to file for partentage, again in the hospital, again to the adoption agency the first 6 months.” The adoption agency was notified within the FIRST month. In fact he stepped up to the adoption agency before the adoption papers were even filed. The same adoption agency that was found to be in contempt of court. The father filed with the Ohio Putative Father Registry in November 2007 – less than 1 month after his son was born. That would have triggered notification to the adoption agency. The father filed a parentage action in December 2007 – 2 months after his son was born. Adoption papers were filed in January 2008 – month 3. In March 2008, the court orders that he be given official notification of the adoption petition – that’s month 5. In month 6, April 2008, he files his official objection to the adoption.

      I have no idea what happened during the pre-natal period or in the delivery room. If it’s not part of the public record, it’s not in the timeline. Provide the documents to show he was aware of of the pregnancy and didn’t step up or that he was notified she was in the hospital.

      “He may have had to pay some of the bills if he had, but what lengths do you go to for your child?” Are you insinuating he didn’t want to pay the bills for his child? Because if he had let the adoption happen, he would never have to pay a bill again for his child. Instead according to the judge he’s “made efforts to obtain possession and custody of his child since December, 2007.” Fighting for custody means hiring lawyers. Having custody means paying bills, and children don’t get cheaper as they get older. He’s putting himself down as paying for everything from clothes to college as a single parent. Odd behavior from someone supposedly running from paying bills.

      As for the lengths he’d go to for his child, I guess he’d fight for at least 3 years, in at least 2 states, in at least 6 courts.

      “Grayson did not choose all this, but his life if the one that will suffer.” On this we can agree, and it seems even the court agrees with you here. The court said in January 2010, “Any further delays in these proceedings do not serve the best interest of the child.” It is now October 2010. Grayson was not the one filing appeals.

      “A birth mother does have a right to make the best plans she can in the circunstances she happens to be in for the child she is responsible for.” This is a fascinating argument, because throughout history having a child has required the input of two people. Even the birth mother need the signature of a father to surrender her child to the adoption agency. The adoption system acknowledged that there were two people with with rights and responsibilities to that child. It’s amazing that in 2010, some people are saying that when a child is born a father has no responsibilities to that child, and one parent is entitled to make all the decisions for that child. The decisions made by one parent must stand regardless of what the other parent wants, regardless of what the courts say is best for the child, and regardless of what the courts say is law – correct? A child has a mother and father, both are responsible, and both can choose whether they want to accept those responsibilities, but they can only choose for themselves, not for the other parent.

      “If you have concerns of harm for the child everyone should try to protect that child no matter what.” Absolutely. But at what point can we determine your concerns are baseless? Is when one court listens to you and says the best interests of the child are not what you claim? Is it when two courts say it? How about 6 courts? When do the excuses stop, and a father get to be a father to his son?

      Reply

    • Andrea
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 18:04:27

      Well said. Phyllis, you just got owned with real facts.

      Reply

  7. Tom Wilson
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 04:26:12

    My God. I just read the press release from a guy named David Houston titled WHY THE VAUGHNS CANNOT WIN and am floored. He even addressed a few points mentioned here (e.g., why the Vaughns tried to stop Ben Wyrembek from getting a paternity test). Astounding. I would recommend it to anybody that does not understand all the legalese as this is in plain English. I found it at http://www.DavidFHouston.com on the DOCUMENTS page clicking the PUBLIC folder and then downloading the file WhyTheVaughnsCannotWin. No wonder the Vaughns keep losing

    Reply

  8. Tom Wilson
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 12:29:16

    phyllis you are entitled to your opinions but I am also entitled to mine and I cannot disagree with you more. First, any thing the real father has done bad is petty and insignificant compared to the bad done by the Vaughns. When you combine this abusive litigation timeline with the explanation of why the Vaughns cannot win adoption at DavidFHouston.com it is so devastating as to make Ben look like a Saint. Second, why is it if even half of what you say is correct that the Vaughns have never been able to prove any unfitness in any Ohio court? That says a lot about the lack of credibility of the Vaughns. Third, if you read this timeline, which I am assured is quite accurate, the delay in establishing paternity is well explained. Fourth, I remind you the Vaughns and ONLY the Vaughns are SOLELY responsible for all the problems, nobody else.

    Reply

  9. thinkingoutloudcafe
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 23:38:45

    While the documents related to this case have still not been posted by those making allegations against the father, a reader has provided information that clarifies the allegations and ends the speculation.

    The ‘drug parah’ charge cited in the Vaughn’s Indiana emergency petition, is a charge that was DISMISSED by the courts over 6 years ago.

    I haven’t read anything where the Vaughns claim the father had any violent conduct. But I have read comments posted by people claiming the father had a history of arrest for assault/violence. To be clear, NO documents have surfaced to support that claim, and NO assault/violence is referenced in any of the court documents available that I’ve read.

    The charge that a court ruled on over 6 years ago was “disorderly conduct”.

    Think about it. It’s the same charge picked up by thousands of college kids every spring break. It’s not quite the impression some articles gave of an undisclosed ‘record’, but maybe it was more interesting to leave it up to people’s imaginations.

    The information cited is available to the public online.

    Reply

  10. Trackback: More on Grayson’s case | this woman's work
  11. Cindy
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 07:51:26

    Thank you for this, I am sharing it in many places.
    Hope that’s OK

    Reply

  12. shari
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 12:55:13

    Was this lady married when she had Grayson? Was she having an affair? If so this is what happens when adults are out playing!!!!
    You have a young couple that was willing to give an american child a home.
    They were trying to do the right thing!!! I’m sure its hard to let go of something you love… You bond when the child is a baby!!!!
    And this lady that said the Vaughn’s are not Christian people. Who is she to judge? Is she God!!! He is our Judge!!!! And only will we stand before him and answer to what we have done and who we are. Is she out there giving babies a home? I’m sure the Vaughn’s thought they were doing the right thing. They got very attached. They were there for this baby when noone else was. Let’s all just pray for these families!!!! And that this will not affect Grayson in his years down the road… That he can be a normal child…
    Everyone is a victim here. But Grayson will pay the price!!!!

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 14:36:02

      Yes, the biological mother was married to someone else. No, adoption petitions and long court battles are not the result of affairs. There are many cases pending around the country where fathers are fighting for their children, where an affair had nothing to do with it.

      I must disagree with you. The right thing is not to separate a child from a fit parent who never consented to adoption.

      This is an American child who has an American father who wanted to raise his own son. You’re wrong, the Vaughn’s weren’t there when no one else was. That’s one very misleading comment made in this case. There was a father there for his son 3 years ago. This child had a home and has a father who has wanted to be there for him. There are many American children waiting in foster homes, who have no one. They are waiting for someone to do the right thing for them. The right thing for Grayson was to be raised by his father who made it clear he wanted his son.

      Loving someone does not make everything you do right. Sometimes the right decision is difficult. But as this case shows, delaying for years, then having the courts force you to do the right thing, makes it harder for everyone.

      The comments about religion were not posted here. I agree that none of us are qualified to judge on that front. But we all have enough sense to know what is right and what is wrong. And I refuse to believe that we don’t all know that it is WRONG to keep a child from a fit parent who never gave them up. Adoption was never intended to separate children from parents who WANT and CAN take care of them. How did we get to a point where we fight for any little technicality to separate and child from a parent who is fit and willing? When did that become ok? When did that become the right thing to do?

      Reply

    • Tom Wilson
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 14:41:36

      shari let me respond to you. Yes, the birth mother (Drucilla) was having an affair outside her marriage. We do not know how many she had, but this was one. Yes, the Vaughns were trying to give the child a home. We all agree on that. The problem is the child did not need a home from the Vaughns because it would have had a home with the real father (Ben Wyrembek) had the Vaughns not made a deal with Drucilla prior to birth to adopt the child. What the Vaughns did was evil, malicious and sin, plain and simple. You do not make deals with 1 parent of a baby to take that baby behind the other parent’s back, and that is exactly what the Vaughns did. Yes, it is hard on the Vaughns to let go of Ben’s baby. No doubt. But the Vaughns brought the suffering on themselves and the boy as well by holding the boy in Indiana for 3 years while denying almost all visitation by the real family. It is in the timeline, which I have investigated and found to be accurate. And think of the past suffering and ongoing suffering of the Wyrembek family, denied access by the Vaughns to the boy for 3 years. To the extent the Vaughns are suffering, I cannot feel sorry for them as they brought it upon themselves. I cannot say the Vaughns are not Christians and I hope others will not. What I can say is that most all Christians would not have done what the Vaughns did. Yes, “everyone may be a victim,” but the Vaughns are the only ones that made themselves victims.

      Reply

  13. Evie
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 22:43:33

    I just found out about this case a few hours ago from my cousin’s Facebook Page supporting the Vaughn’s position. At first glance, and by reading some of the posts on the FB Page, my heart went out to the Vaughns. But….I never accept anything at first glance.

    I’ve spent the last few hours researching everything I could find on this story. I can NOT understand why the State of Indiana didn’t remove this baby immediately from the Vaughns when the biological father registered with the Ohio Putative Father Registry to protect his possible parental rights. The child should have been taken into Foster care and a DNA test done immediately. The child should NEVER have been allowed to live with the Vaughns while this process was being completed. This would have saved SO much heartache for everyone.

    Shame on the State of Indiana (and I grew up there) for allowing this mess. Well of course the child is bonded to the Vaughns. And he will miss them terribly for a short time. But they can only blame themselves for putting this boy thru this mess. They had no right to this child, but continued to unlawfully keep him. Yes…this was the same as kidnapping! If I were the bio Dad, I would sue them for all the court costs. I often shake my head at some bio parents walking around with kids. But until the laws are changed, they have the right to have them.

    And on a side note……my older sister was killed years ago by her former husband. She had a 2 yr. old son at the time. It broke my heart when a child therapist told us her son would not remember her unless someone constantly reminded him of her and showed him pictures, etc. Unfortunately, the therapist was right! Grayson will more than likely not remember the Vaughns. I mean really, how many here remembr 3 yrs. old?

    I’m sure the bio Dad and his family are thrilled to have their child own where he belongs.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 15:38:53

      I am sorry for your loss of your sister. Thank you for commenting on your experience with a child adapting to dramatic change. Often it seems those commenting have no experience with a child in transition or after a transition and are only guessing.

      There was a time when the Vaughn’s had no legal right to keep the child in their custody. The Ohio courts had already awarded custody to the father, and Indiana ordered the transfer by noon on September 22, 2010. The Vaughns did not meet that deadline and kept the child until a court granted a stay on September 28, 2010. During that time they were defying both Ohio and Indiana courts.

      I don’t know what to make of their actions for the rest of the time. They were not complying with the Ohio orders for visitation and custody. But at one point there was an Indiana order that conflicted with the Ohio orders. Does that make what they were doing unlawful/lawful? You can argue unethical etc. But the laws and the courts allowed this situation to continue. The laws allow a natural parent’s separation from their child to continue throughout the years of appeals. Despite the parent contesting the adoption within days of the birth, and the parent being fit to raise their child. There is a right way to take a child from a parent. You go to court and prove them unfit. You don’t take the child, file motions and cases for years, then claim it’s been too long for the child to be returned to a fit parent.

      The courts took too long to make their rulings and to enforce their rulings. The 14 month delay the courts allowed between the time the father requested a DNA test and the Vaughn’s agreeing to one was unconscionable. His son was only 2 months old when he filed for a dna test. His son was 1 year and 4 months old when the Vaughns finally agreed to the dna test. In another example, the Indiana court judge said he would dismiss his order after the appeal court ruling, but then waited an additional 10 months to dismiss it. 10 months in the life of a 3 year old child makes a big difference.

      The father is suing the adoption agency on behalf of his son. This is the agency Adoption by Gentle Care that was found in contempt of court for not complying with the court’s order to return Grayson to his custodial father. The documents are available through the court’s online docket and have been posted at other sites hosting documents related to the Vaughn – Wyrembek case.

      Reply

  14. Laura
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 20:25:19

    Tom, you are being very considerate in telling Phyliss she is entitled to her own opinions and/or feelings.
    I must disagree with you. Phyliss isn’t entitled to anything with regards to Grayson which neither her and her husband are refusing to accept. This has been made very clear to them by the courts, et al.
    They need to take care of their 2 children and leave Grayson and his family alone.

    Reply

  15. melissa
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 20:05:58

    This case is just heart breaking!! And my heart goes out to Grayson, I can’t imagine what that poor child is going through being removed from the only family he has ever known. As all of you point fingers at the Vaughns. The only people to blame here is our court systems! They are the ones who have failed Grayson & gave a family false hope of adopting him. With that being said they kept him from his bio dad for three years. My question is why has it taken so long to return hime to the bio dad? It is RIDICULOUS. If they had the right to return him on October 30, 2010 they had the right when the DNA proved that Wyrembek was the bio father!

    It’s quite obvious that Wyrembek as no other children, because if he did he would know this is not right way of getting his son back! He may be the dad, but in Grayson eyes he just a stanger. Does he think it’s the right way because the courts say so? Well we all know that don’t know have a clue they are the ones who started this mess. I have 3 chilbren of my own & I can’t imagine what this little boy is going through living with total strangers.

    Wyrembek should have tried working out some type of visitation with the Vaughns during the transition & to do what was best for Grayson. That’ not just a couple of visits for a few hours, give him a chance to get to know his new family so when the transistion was made it would not have been so hard for him. As a parent I don’t think that would be just removing a child from the only family he knows! I don’t know who in there right mind would.

    As for the comment of the Vaughns kidnapping.. I mean really get a clue… And as for suing the Vaughns that is crazy, sue the courts . Is this about money or an innocent 3 year old child that has ripped away from his family. Well just from what I have read for the Vaughns it’s LOVE as for the bio dad Wyrembek it’s obviosly money! I think everyone will see that as time passes by.

    As for the comment of Grayson not remembering his family,I don’t believe that either! This little boy has been raised by what he thought was his DAD, MOM, BROTHER, & SISTER and that has been ripped away from him not by his choice!

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 01:16:00

      First things first Melissa, the father did not choose for the Vaughn’s to be the only family his child knew. He asked for visitation in 2008, he was granted weekly visitation in 2009. He and the child’s grandmother were allowed only one visit before the Vaughn’s stopped complying with the order. So the Ohio courts were trying to do the right thing by the child, and allow him to know both families. The Vaughn’s were the ones who asked an Indiana court to prevent this child from knowing his Ohio family.

      The right way of getting his son back? I’m guessing you think the right way would be for the child to have a transition period where he got to know his family? How about mediation instead of litigation? How about visitation for more than a year before the transition? The courts both urged the Vaughn’s to comply with the GAL’s recommendations for a transition, one ordered the visitation for over a year before Grayson was reunited with his father. But for any of those to have worked, the Vaughn’s would have had to show up to the scheduled mediation, and comply with the court orders. What were the courts and the father supposed to do? Say, well if they don’t want to comply just let the father lose his son? Was the father supposed to stop trying to raise his son because they refused to allow him the court ordered visitation? He was asking for his child in the legal system 17 days from birth, well before they filed adoption papers. As far as I can tell, the choice in how Grayson was returned to his father, has always been up to the Vaughn’s.

      The courts never gave the Vaughn’s false hope. Impossible when they never won a single court case. Seven courts ruled against them, it’s hard to get false hope when you’ve lost all seven cases.

      The flaws of the system could have given them false hope. The system which says if you can keep a child from a biological parent for long enough, they might run out of money to fight you (if you make them fight you in two states and several courts) and you can argue the best interest of the child (if you don’t comply with visitation orders).

      The court system has flaws, one being that it is slow. But that flaw was exploited in this case. The Vaughn’s have stated in their interviews that they were hoping to stall for time. They asked for numerous injunctions to block and/or delay the lower court rulings. The system is slow, but much was done to drag this case out for 3 years.

      The ‘kidnappers’ comment have been posted online by others. I have not said so and the courts have not either. There was clearly a time when the court rulings were against them, the father had legal custody of his son, and they refused to hand over the child. That was after the court deadline to return his son and before a stay was issued. During those days, they were hoping for a stay, but did they have a right to keep the child from his father?

      As for the father being about money, I think some people would prefer if that were the case. But let’s think that claim through. He asked for his son when he was days old. He hasn’t accepted a dime from the Vaughn’s for anything, actually he’s sent them money for his son. He’s been found by the court to be financially able to raise his son. He has not held a single ‘fundraiser’ to pay for his case, unlike the Vaughn’s supporters. He hasn’t asked for a single donation, from anyone, to pay for his case, unlike the Vaughn’s supporters. He has not done a single interview, paid or otherwise. So, the father has not raised a penny out of the public for this case, the Vaughn’s supporters have, but he’s accused of being out for money? This is the type of warped logic that astonishes in this case.

      As for suing the courts, that’s what the Vaughn’s have done. They’ve sued two judges who ruled against them, and lost both times.

      The father is suing the Vaughn’s AND the adoption agency. Remember the adoption agency that was given a 30 day sentence (suspended) for contempt of court in this case? Do you think they didn’t deserve that either? It’s strange that point is never mentioned in the Vaughn’s interviews. The Vaughn’s knew the father objected from the time they filed their 1st adoption petition. He has lost 3 years of his son’s life, at least 1 year where he should have had regular visitation with his son, and months when his son should have been living with him. How much is time with your children worth? Can you put a dollar value on the suffering of not having that? Probably not, but you can put a dollar value on the cost of hiring attorneys in two states. How much do they charge by the hour? How much does that add up to over three years? The adoption agency was paid to be a party to this adoption, then they refused to comply with the court orders. The Vaughn’s took years with a child who had a fit parent that wanted them, and they refused to comply with the court orders. The father got 3 years of legal bills and no time with his son, I completely understand why he’d sue! I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but it couldn’t have been the court records, otherwise you’d know all who are being sued and why!

      I think we can both agree the situation is not Grayson’s fault, but we certainly disagree on who is to blame. Will Grayson remember the Vaughn’s? In the short term, of course. In the long term, I don’t know. Who remembers anything that happened before their third birthday? But Grayson has a father, and a grandmother, and a grandfather, and cousins whom he’s making memories with now. Hopefully, he’ll spend the next 15 years of his childhood making the kind of great memories with them that will last a lifetime.

      Reply

  16. Dawn
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 11:04:12

    “And on a side note……my older sister was killed years ago by her former husband. She had a 2 yr. old son at the time. It broke my heart when a child therapist told us her son would not remember her unless someone constantly reminded him of her and showed him pictures, etc. Unfortunately, the therapist was right!”

    Really?? The only way to have confirmed what the therapist predicted was to fail to allow your nephew to grieve his mother, or to have momentos of her and encourage him to recall his mother’s love for him. Why did you fail to keep his mother’s memory alive? Wasn’t that your job as his aunt? How cruel…

    FTR, I adopted a 3 year old child. He recalls very well his biological family, and traumatic events of his removal. Matter of fact, he now suffers PTSD and anxiety. There is a big developmental leap between 2 and 3 years old though…

    Grayson is three right?

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 02:07:35

      By your logic, the only way for a child to develop PTSD and anxiety after being in your care is for your care to be substandard for a child’s development, or you were actively keeping the memory of the trauma or biological family alive. Isn’t it your job to get your child over the trauma and the keep him from developing mental health problems? Why did you fail to protect your child’s mental health? Wasn’t that your job as his adoptive mother? How cruel.

      Kind of an absurd set of assumptions and judgments to make based on one paragraph, wouldn’t you agree?

      I think it’s clear the point the sister made was that her 2 year old nephew would not remember his mother as a daily figure in his life that he’d expect to see. Not that the family wouldn’t share their memories of his mother as he grows up.

      You didn’t say how old your child is now, how long he’s been in your care. But there’s a difference between short term and long term memories. The reminders would also make a difference. That’s possibly one reason families in similar custody situations, like Baby Richard/Jessica, decided on no ongoing contact.

      Grayson is three. But perhaps constantly reminding a child of a loss they’d naturally (or with help) rebound from, is not the best idea.

      Reply

  17. billyandme
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 02:30:59

    Thank you for this article. I will share it. I am so tired of people saying that mothers alone have rights to children. A man who wants to be a daddy has every right to his own biological children. Newborns need their mothers and fathers, not strangers. I am glad that Ben has his son now. And I hope that this case and others like it will help further the cause of father’s rights. Also, I hope this makes public just how corrupt the adoption industry is.

    Reply

    • thinkingoutloudcafe
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 03:58:32

      Thank you for taking the time to read and share the timeline. You might be interested in reading the court documents on the Vaughn-Wyrembek case, if you haven’t already. I don’t know if the whole industry is corrupt, but this case is a reminder that there are two sides to every story, and what you see in the media is not necessarily accurate.

      I read a document written by the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys on this case that was disturbing in how it alternately omitted or twisted the facts. What was deeply disingenuous about the document was that it never comes right out and makes false statements, but it slyly insinuates and tries to make the reader draw a conclusion that has no basis in fact. It reminded me of why the public distrusts lawyers. That organization also wrote an Amicus brief supporting the Vaughn’s in their Ohio Supreme Court appeal.

      The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, presumably representing attorneys who make a living off of adoptions, have written Amicus briefs in cases were the facts make you wonder when adoption became about taking children from fit and willing parents. In one recent case, a father in Kansas had the order terminating his parental rights overturned at the state Supreme Court and was given custody of his daughter. In that case, there was testimony that the father had been told that the mother had miscarried, and the mother gave the wrong surname and wrong state for the father on the paperwork. He wasn’t aware that his child had been born or placed for adoption for months. The ruling on that case is available online. The lawyer who wrote the Amicus brief in that case, is quoted in a 2006 NY Times article on contested adoptions entitled “Unwed Fathers Fight for Babies Placed for Adoption by Mothers”. He was the president of the American Academy for Adoption Attorneys at that time. It doesn’t appear that the industry or the system have changed for the better since that article was published.

      Reply

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