Michelle Malkin points to a story that has always been one of my darkest fears ever since we decided to start adopting kids. In this post, Michelle is discussing the plight of Evan Parker Scott, a 3 1/2 year old boy who was removed from the only home he has ever known to be handed off to a biological mother he has never known, to move halfway across the country to a home he’s never seen.
Why did this happen? Because the biological dad’s parental rights were never termnated.
I don’t know which firm screwed the pooch on handling this case; but my guess is they are in for a massive suing from the adoptive family for failing to carry out the simple task of discovering and terminating that dad’s rights. The scary thing is, it isn’t that hard to do. Just throw up the possibility that he will be required to pay child support from the child’s birth through when he’s 18. In almost all cases, this throws up a red flag for the dad who will then look for some amicable way of getting away as quickly as quietly as possible.
One trap that adoptive parents fall into as well, is complacency with the system. Too many times, I’ve seen terminations and adoptions drag on for years; only inviting the scenario described above. Adoptive parents need to not only ask questions, but also try to be a advocate for their child. There’s nothing wrong with calling weekly/daily to find out how their case is doing. There is also nothing wrong for calling out “Bullshit” (a’la Penn and Teller) to the system when the state or the attorneys say “You Don’t Need to Worry About That”.
As a parent, it’s your job to worry. We fought pretty hard to get Nathan’s adoption done and to make sure everything was completed (father’s rights signed off, mom’s rights terminated, all the pieces lined up as far as medical coverage is concerned) and were a complete thorn in their sides up to the moment right outside the courtroom doors.
As an adoptive parent, I will live with the uncertainty that some activist judge might skew the law and try to undo a perfectly legal case in order to reunite an abusive parent with one of my kids. But the likelyhood of that happening is pretty small, seeing as how we are the only family they rememeber, and the court system is now required to take in the child’s best interests as opposed to the current feelings of regret from the birth parents.