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Author Topic: 3-1/2-year-old boy handed over to his biological mother  (Read 1098 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: January 01, 2005, 10:47:13 AM »

This is SO WRONG. How traumatic for this poor kid. He will be scarred for life.

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Couple Forced to Give Up Adopted Son
Court Orders Them to Return 3-Year-Old to Biological Parent
Jan. 1, 2005 - Before Evan Scott was born, his biological mother decided to give him up for adoption.

For the first three-and-a-half years of his life, Evan has only known two parents: Dawn and Gene Scott, the couple who agreed to adopt him.

That is all about to change.

His biological mother, Amanda Hopkins, who trusted the Scotts to raise her son, wants him back -- and it looks like she is going to get her wish.

On Tuesday, a final schedule was made to ease Evan's transition from the Scotts' custody to that of his birth mother. Once he is taken away, the very people whom Evan has known as his Mommy and Daddy his entire life will most likely never see him again.


'The Only Family He Knows'
"It's a shame we have a situation where the child has been with non-biological parents for so long [and is] more than likely to be removed," said Garret Barket, an attorney for the boy's biological father, Steven White Jr.

The problem actually started before Evan was born. Hopkins chose the Scotts to adopt her son, but the deal was never finalized. The initial adoption petition said White's consent was not needed because he had not acknowledged being the child's father and had not provided any support to the mother or the child. But White challenged the adoption before Hopkins and the Scotts finalized the agreement and it has been in litigation ever since.

"The problem with Florida law has been to some extent rectified now wherein the father would have to make an attempt to do his part of a father more quickly," said Susan Pniewski, the Scotts' attorney. "But there still are some loopholes in Florida law.

"Right now, what's happening with this child is that he has been caught in one of those loopholes and it's been a custody battle between three parties up until recently, and now just the two biological parents," she says. "What Florida law looks for is that if either of the biological parents are fit and they want the child, then the non-biological parent must prove detriment and in this case, the court doesn't believe that has been proven."

The battle for little Evan is very similar to the 1995 case of "Baby Richard" in Illinois. In a court battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 4-year-old was taken from his adoptive parents and given to his birth father in a tearful transfer of custody.

The Scotts feel the decision isn't fair to little Evan. "I believe it's wrong, because this child is nearly 4 years old," Dawn Scott said. "He's bonded into our family and I don't believe the Florida courts have ever one time looked at his best interest. He's never had his day in court. He's been fought over and over for years, but he's never had his voice heard ever."

The Scotts have little doubt that they will never get to see Evan again once they are forced to give up custody, but they are still holding on, hoping that some sort of miracle will happen where they will once again be with the boy they have raised since birth. This report aired on "Good Morning America" on Dec. 29, 2004.

Copyright -¬ 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
« Last Edit: January 01, 2005, 03:49:41 PM by TomS » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2005, 01:13:39 PM »

Tom,

While it is a terrible situation, it also looks to be, in large measure, an indictment of the justice system. I notice that the biological father's motion was filed 3 1/2 years ago (Aug 2001), which means that this case - whether thru the fault of delays by the parties or court backlog - has been kicking around for almost the child's entire life.

Had it been resolved in a timely manner, the little boy would not not be in the position of being wrenched from the arms of the couple whom, until now, I'm guessing that he has known as his parents.

Many years,

Neil
« Last Edit: January 01, 2005, 01:14:05 PM by Irish Melkite » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2005, 12:30:09 PM »

Yes, the 'justice' system. The ones who do well out of all this human misery, as ever, are the lawyers.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2005, 01:40:23 AM »

My wife and I have adopted two children, and I can tell you that they bond quickly.  There should be only one person who counts in these things, and that is the child.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2005, 06:22:04 PM »

SO MUCH PAIN!

 :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame:

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Boy Returns to Birth Mother After Custody Battle

Saturday, January 15, 2005

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — The adoptive mother of a 31/2-year-old boy at the center of a custody dispute tearfully handed the boy to his biological mother on Saturday, then dropped to the ground and repeatedly screamed: "How can they do this to a little boy?"

Evan, bundled in a blue jacket and sucking on a pacifier, was carried outside by Dawn Scott (search), who along with her husband, Gene, cared for the child for most of his life. The couple had appealed a judge's ruling transferring custody to the biological mother, Amanda Hopkins (search).

News crews gathered around the Scotts' home Saturday morning in anticipation of the meeting, and the child's biological father and grandfather pushed a television cameraman out of the way during the transfer.

Evan, who could be heard wailing inside the home, appeared calm after he was placed in a car seat in a van driven by Hopkins' husband, Michael Hopkins.

Amanda Hopkins scolded photographers taking pictures of the child: "Leave him alone. He's just a little boy."

Hopkins, a member of the U.S. Navy, lives in Illinois with her husband and infant daughter, but their hometown has been kept in sealed court files.

Evan was quickly whisked away, and Dawn Scott then dropped to the ground in an emotional outburst.

Gene Scott called it a "very emotional, traumatic situation" and said the family would continue their legal fight.

"If they truly loved him, they wouldn't have done this," he said, tears welled in his eyes.

The Scotts had appealed Friday to the 1st District Court (search) of Appeal in Tallahassee, asking the court to let them keep the child. But their attorney, Susan Pniewski, said the court never acted in the case.

The case began about 31/2 years ago when the childless Scotts met Hopkins, who was pregnant. She agreed to a private adoption, according to court files.

The Scotts watched Evan's birth in May 2001, and he was placed with them two days later.

The adoption was supposed to be final in August 2001. But a month before that, the boy's biological father, Stephen White, filed a motion demanding custody. The Scotts claimed White should not be able to block the adoption, but a judge disagreed.

Hopkins supported the adoption until it appeared the court might grant White's request for custody. Late last month, she was awarded custody and White was given liberal visitation rights.

Calls to attorneys representing Hopkins and White were not immediately returned Saturday.

Carl Moodispaugh, 37, who lives in the Scotts' cul-de-sac, said his 8-year-old stepson, Christopher, often played "Hot Wheels" with Evan, and the youngster was like a little brother to his son.

"It is like one of our kids being ripped from us," Moodispaugh said.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2005, 06:26:55 PM by TomS » Logged
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