INDIANA: Couple who adopted infant born to divorced woman and her extra-marital lover ordered to turn child over to biological father

Jason and Christy Vaughn v. Benjamin Wyrembek

 “The right of a natural parent to the care and custody of his children is one of the most precious and fundamental in law.” Ohio Supreme Court, 2010

This custody case that blew up a few days back involves an adoptive family and an biological father. Apparently, the biological father and the child’s birth mother (Drucilla Bocvarov?) were having an affair while she was married to another man. She became pregnant with her lover’s son. She later divorced her husband and gave birth to the infant boy, Grayson, named by his adoptive parents who were present at the time of his birth.

Within 30 days of his child’s birth, the biological father, Mr. Wyrembek, petitioned for legitimazation of the child, and to acknowledge paternity of his son. The adoptive family was aware of his paternity petition.
Make a long story short, it took three years before the biological father was able to get his son back due to the lengthy legal process involved in these cases. In the end, the Ohio courts sided with the biological father. The Ohio Supreme Court, stated in part:  “The right of a natural parent to the care and custody of his children (as) is one of the most precious and fundamental in law.” The Ohio Court of Appeals upheld this ruling and the adoptive family was given 24 hours to return the boy to his biological father. The adoptive family is understandably sad and are appealing to everyone from the senator, governor and everyone in between to intervene so that they can keep the little boy.
Sad for the adoptive family. But this is the right decision for the child. He has a father. His father wants his son. He should have his son. It’s his son. This is the same reasoning I tried to use against the argument that Nadya Suleman’s children should be taken away at the will of the people and put up for adoption. To do that, without extreme justification, would be to do violence to well established principles of family law jurisprudence in this country. You cannot just take some-one’s child away and put them up for adoption, no matter how well meaning your intentions may be. This would violate both state and federal constitutional mandates.
The right of the natural parent to the care and custody of his or her child is a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT in this here UNITED STATES. This is true for Nadya Suleman. It is also true for Mr. Benjamin Wyrembek. Listen to what a judge said in a similar case according to

If … the best interests of the child is to be the determining factor in child custody cases … persons seeking babies to adopt might profitably frequent grocery stores and snatch babies from carts when the parent is looking the other way. Then, if custody proceedings can be delayed long enough, they can assert that they have a nicer home, a superior education, a better job or whatever, and that the best interests of the child are with the baby snatchers. Children of parents living in public housing or other conditions deemed less affluent and children of single parents might be considered particularly fair game.”

That is my point exactly with cases like this Indiana couple and even Nadya Suleman. We must guard against a bully culture that would take children away and pass them off to “wealthier” or “better” parents according to our personal judgment all in the name of their “best interest.” Just because a parent is poor doesn’t mean that he or she is not a perfectly “good parent” or that he or she should be arbitrarily stripped of custody of their kids whether through adoption, or through CPS coming in and deciding that they want to “remove” children because the parents don’t have enough money. A natural parent has the right to care for and raise his or her own children and we must guard against using sly bully tactics to strip parents of their parental rights.
But it is sad for the adoptive family. They have two other children and this was their third and they are understandably saddened. Oh well. They will have to find a way to come to terms with it because Mr. Wyrembek wants his little boy. As the biological father, he has a right to his little boy. That’s just how it goes.