Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Biological Father Wins in Court, Again; Will the Vaughns Comply?

The natural father of "Grayson Vaughn," not the boy's his legal name since he was never adopted, will be able to raise his child,  and the couple who have been holding him for the last three years must turn him over to the father, Benjamin Wyrembek, within twenty-hours, as ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court this afternoon. The court referred to the "right of a natural parent to the care and custody of his children (as) one of the most precious and fundamental in law."

Hooray!  Christy and Jason Vaughn, who have been making the rounds of the media hoping to drum up sympathy for their keeping the boy,
were present at his birth in October of 2007 and took him to their home in Indiana eight days later, according to news reports. However, nine days later Wyrembek, who had a brief affair with the baby's mother, registered with the Putative Father Registry in Ohio, affirming that he might be the boy's father. Wyrembek then filed a suit to establish parental rights in December 2007, just weeks before the Vaughns filed for adoption, according to court documents.

The mother of the boy was married to someone else when she became pregnant with Wyrembek's child, and they separated before the boy was born. She and her husband -- the legal father -- filed the necessary papers to surrender custody of the child within weeks of his birth. And so began this sad tale. Seventeen months later, after genetic testing confirmed Wyrembek as "Grayson's" biological father, and before the adoption could be finalized, an Ohio court ruled that the Vaughns had filed their adoption petition prematurely -- since paternity had not yet been determined -- and awarded custody to Wyrembek.

The Vaughns were crying on the tube again this morning, but Harry Smith's (of The Morning Show on CBS) first question was:
"When you barely have this child home, when the court is petitioned from the biological father to get little Grayson back, was there a part of you, at the time, that thought, 'Well, you know, maybe this is not to be, and we'll just let this child go?' Go back to his biological father?" 
Baby Richard: A Four-Year-Old Comes Home The Vaughns did not answer that question but instead were critical of Wyrembek for not being involved with them as he fought them in the courts. They tried to get the Indiana court to assume authority in the case, but Indiana refused, saying the matter rightly belonged in Ohio. As the wheels of justice turned slowly--as the Vaughns and their lawyer stalled so time would pass--three years went by. Then the Vaughns claimed the "best interests" of the child, or possession of a hundred percent of ownership, if a child is involved. Adoption attorneys have long understood that when they’re caught trying to force adoption on a child who doesn’t need to be adopted because he has a fit father who wants him, the best thing to do is to stall. Naturally, the Vaughns have filed further motions to delay the transfer of the boy.

Nothing has made me so angry about the legal system in a long time, perhaps not since the fanatical, grasping DeBoers pulled the same kind of legal shenanigans and litigated for sympathy in the media in 1991. Ultimately, they too lost and Anna/Jessica was turned over to her natural, rightful parents, Anna and Dan Schmidt. Another case that comes to mind is that of Baby Richard, the boy who was returned to his rightful father after four years.

Glenn Sacks, national executive director of Fathers and Families, a national family court reform organization, told AOL ParentDish says he sees this type of case all too often:
"'These cases are very difficult because what usually happens is that the adoptive parents will hold onto the child as long as they can, and then by the time it winds its way to a decision, they say, 'How can we rip the kid from the only family they've ever known and give him to his biological father?'

"'People say, Gee, could he really raise a kid on his own like that? But when motivated fathers have a chance to raise their kids, they're usually very effective, and the research bears that out.'"
There are currently two different adoption petitions pending in Ohio, and the Vaughns are now appealing the 24-hour order to turn Grayson over to Wyrembek, asking for a transition period, and have hired a child psychologist to argue their case with the court in Ohio.

I understand why they are asking for this, and after three years, I can understand that it sounds reasonable. But they have had three years. They should have been preparing for this day rather than living in denial. It is impossible to see that a "transition period" would be anything but more fodder for them to go to the media and claim that the boy was having a hard time and they should retain custody for the rest of his life. Of course the child does not know the man who is his real father. Yes, there will be an adjustment period. But one is forced to ask the unthinkable:

Do birth/first mothers and children go through a "transition" period when they relinquish their child to make it easier on them, and their children? I imagine there are a lot of screaming babies who wonder why this person holding them doesn't smell like their mothers, doesn't have the same familiar heartbeat of their mothers, the mother have they known as they grew in her body.

Christy and Jason Vaughn need to dry their tears and start talking to the boy they call Grayson immediately and tell him the truth as much as he can absorb. And they will need to use the word: real father. The one you will grow up to look like. The one who helped "make you." He has wanted you all along but we loved you so much that we kept you. But he loves you too. He has always loved  you. He is your real father. Hard words, I know, but that would be what he needs to hear in any "transition." Given what we know about these grasping, baby thieves it's doubtful they will have the courage to say anything like that.--lorraine
Jane here:Regarding a transition time -- sounds good but may not be workable. In the "Baby Richard" case, the birth parents agreed to a transition period. They and the adoptive parents each obtained a child psychologist and the two psychologist agreed on a third. The birth parents tried to set up meetings to develop a transition plan. The adoptive parents and their psychologist held a private meeting with the neutral psychologist, dragged their feet about meeting with the birth parents, didn't show up at a scheduled meeting, and so on. After a year of this nonsense, the judge said "transfer the kid now!"

The adoptive parents set a date for the transfer and called in the media to take pictures of four year old Richard crying as they handed him to his birth parents. Once in the car Richard stopped crying and in time bonded with her father and mother. He thrived with his parents.
See earlier related posts: Biological Dad Seeks Return of His Son; Adopters Resist, Claiming: Best Interests and  Justice for birthmothers is an oxymoron.


  1. THANK GOODNESS!!! Get that child back to his father! The Vaughns had no right to take that child. They didn't 'mean' to steal him?!? How many times were they ordered by the courts to return him to his real father?

    Their actions are despicable. Their selfishness and perceived entitlement to a child they knew was loved and wanted by his father is beyond comprehension. They had no right withholding that child from his family.

    Why haven't they been charged with kidnapping? In what world did they manage to convince themselves that taking another person's baby was ok? Are they that deluded?

    That boy is going to learn what happened to him as he grows older and he is not going to thank those individuals for their actions.

  2. Kathleen Moran Indianapolis-

    Thank goodness!

  3. I am so glad that you are taking up the cause of the natural father. I know there has been stuff circulating about him not being a great guy, but if that were the case for people to lose their children, half of the world's population would be adopted.

    Thank you for keeping on this case. I too saw the Vaughns on CBS this morning and wanted to gag. They make me ill.--Adopted in Minneapolis

  4. Where do you people get off? The boy has never known anyone but the family who raised him and they deserve to keep him. This will set back adoption for years.

  5. Thank God that these kidnappers are not rewarded for breaking the law. They, their attorneys, and anyone else responsible for this being drug out so long should all be charged with kidnapping.

    Anonymous ~ we could only hope that this would set adoption back! The family only raised him as long as they did because they essentially kidnapped him. They should have given this child to his father the minute they found out he wanted to raise his son.


  6. Anonymous,

    How does ignoring the law and keeping this child from developing a relationship with his father translate into them "deserving" to raise him? I don't understand your logic. Shouldn't we be concerned with what the *child* deserves--to know and be raised by his natural father, who wanted to raise him all along? How do you think children feel when they find out they were kept from their natural parents against the parents' will, as in this case?

    FYI, children who are returned to their biological families (even at age 6, 7, 8, etc.) often do *extremely* well--they maintain their bond with their original families even when they are kept apart for years as in this case.

    I, for one, applaud the courts for doing the right thing for this child and his father.

  7. To Anonymous: If this sets back adoption for years, great! Fantastic, AWESOME! While today's adoption practices are kinder and gentler than the dark ages of closed adoption, they're still far from perfect. Adoption has become just another money maker producing nice profits for adoption agencies,attorneys, and others making a living from women with crisis pregnancies. Please do you homework...read through the past two years of firstmother forum topics and posts from birthmothers and adult adoptees who, 30, 40 or more years later are STILL dealing with a myriad of adoption issues and haven't been able to "get over it."

    Simply stated, adoption sucks.

  8. @Anonymous - SERIOUSLY??? Set back adoption for years?? Well, if that is what it takes for biological fathers to finally have the same rights as biological mothers, than so be it! Nobody would even have to play the "this is the only family he has ever known" card if the Vaughn's would've promptly done the right thing the first time, and given the child to his father.

    - adoptive mother

  9. I hope this action does set adoption back for years.Adoption is an ugle institution. People don't "deserve" other people's children just because they want them and think they are "entitled" to them...When will adopters stop coveting other people's children ?

  10. And Anonymous asks... Where do you people get off? Let me tell you where we "GET OFF". We get off when these kind of people start abiding by the law and stop trying to legally thief children that don't belong to them. We "GET OFF" when mothers and fathers are not forced to surrender their babies to strangers. We will "GET OFF" when there are no more stolen children in this country and "REAL" family is respected. I guess the BSE was OK with you too?????

  11. As an adoptee (and 40 years old!) I am really so sick and tired and sad from being treated, from the day I was born, like a piece of antique furniture that looks so beautiful in the shop but when it gets home one discovers the cracks and tarnishing and that work needs to be done on it (instead of just sitting it in a corner to look at). One that deserves to get bought and sold and passed around as the "owners" get tired of it or it no longer looks good in the kitchen (maybe the living room would suit?) or decide they no longer really wanted it after all (or just didn't want anyone else to have it!) Or, the answer that my adoptive parent gave me - "Everyone else had one, so I wanted one, too." Adoption should be illegal, plain and simple. Children are not objects, solutions, problems, answers or eternal babies (spoiler alert: we grow up and we resent the heck out of you, "mom" and "dad", for taking us away from our parents and not loving us the way we deserved to be loved). If you want an infant, go rock a baby addicted to crack at your local hospital or give birth to your own. I AM NOT YOUR BABY!

  12. 'Where do you people get off? The boy has never known anyone but the family who raised him and they deserve to keep him. This will set back adoption for years.'

    Where do WE get off?? Are you well?

    That child has never known anyone but the individuals (not family) who took him... WHOSE fault is it that? Those people deliberately kept that child and his FATHER apart. They defied court orders to return that child to his FAMILY. They were holding that child illegally. They felt they were above the law. Their actions are morally repugnant.

    They are still trying to pass themselves off as superior to that child's family! Are they so completely blinded they haven't stopped to look at their actions?

    In what dark place in your mind do you consider kidnappers 'family'?

    'Deserving'?! They deserve to be charged with kidnapping AND have the other children in their residence removed from their presence. Their behaviour is criminal and beyond selfish.

    They went crying to the media to gain sympathy for their cause and were shocked when confronted with contempt and disbelief for their actions. What about that boy's father who had to fight to get his child back from strangers who took his child? What about his desperation and right to have his son?

    Adoption rips families apart to create a lie. Those contemptible individuals were forcing an innocent child to live a lie to suit their needs. They forced him to acknowledge them as something they are not. That is abusive and horrible behaviour to do that to any child.

    They knew he had to go back to his father. They never bothered with visits and acknowledging the truth of their relationship to each other. They could have done SOMETHING to make this easier for that child. Well, now his father will. It's what a parent does - puts their child ahead of their own desires and needs. They need to learn that.

    That child is going to be so happy to know that his father did everything in his power to get him back from individuals who were passing themselves off as 'family'. They have also shown themselves to be dangerous and completely incapable and totally underserving of having any child in their "care".

    Your idea of family is astonishing and disturbing.

  13. I hope this serves as a lesson to other would-be adopters who want to maniuplate the legal system for their own selfish purposes. The courts see through this technique and have acknowledged that the right of a bio-parent to keep his/her child is fundamental and not to be abridged by PR stunts and legal shenanigans.

  14. Anonymous~ where the hell do YOU get off? Self entitled jerk. I'd love to b*** slap you a good one.

  15. The little boy still is not with his father. Late yesterday evening at about 7:25 p.m., the Vaughns left the courtroom with little Grayson, while the boy's father went out a back door....without his son. Seems the father and the Vaughns are now supposed to enter "mediation", and no speaking to the media.

    I believe this is yet another stall tactic perpetrated by the Vaughns and their lawyer. I believe the Vaughns will continually stall, stall, stall..until this little boy reaches the age of 18.

    I cannot celebrate...because still the boy did not go home with his father...he still went home with those people last night, who certainly believe they are more deserving of this child, then the child's own father. Very sad indeed.

  16. Anon said..""This will set back adoption for years.""

    GOOD!!! and I would certainly celebrate that event, I can assure you. Have your own kids or give some really deserving child a home, those that really need them...the older kids from foster care, who languish in the systemt til the age of 18. Now go do the right thing and quit whining.

  17. I am amazed that there are people that could actually agree with these people having this man's son. How pathetic is this Country when this kind of theft is taking place and some see it as "OK" and lawful.

    I could only ask the people that feel the Vaughns deserve this child... How the **** would you feel if it was your child being stolen by the Vaughns? Would the shoe fit your foot a little better then?

    An adoption never took place so to say that Grayson is the Vaughn's child is just plain ignorance. This little boy has been abused the most by the Vaughns as they should have returned this little boy back when the father first filed the fight for his son.

    How dare you lame thinking bleeding hearts blame the REAL father and look for things to persecute him with. Stealing his son was enough persecution.


  18. This is so similar to the Evan Parker Scott case and the many cases that Hear My voice.org (Deboars) and
    A child's Best Interest.org (Dawn Scott) donated their time and money to. Both seem to now be defunct due to legal problems and lack of "donations" allegedly. They taught the adoptive parents to stall until the child was older and did not seem to care that the child would be the loser in all of this.

  19. If a father were to take his infant child from the mother, and raised the child with another woman for 3 years, should the child be returned to the mother, or left with the only family the child has ever known?
    If the father picked up the child from the mother, than abandon the child at a Hospital ER, as he LEGALLY CAN, under the Safe Haven laws, just as a mother can, should she be allowed to get the child back?

  20. In response to George McCasland, the answers are no, yes.

    The situations he describes are not at all analogous to the Wyrembek/Vaughn case. In McCasland's first example, the child is living with the father. If the mother tried to get custody, the court would decide where the child was better off. That would clearly be with the father since the child has been living with him and the mother had abandoned the child

    In the second case where the father kidnaps a child and drops him at a "safe haven" the mother should get him back. She did nothing wrong.

  21. I have no personal experience with adoption, but am so sickened by the people defending the Vaughns. Anyone should be able to see this is kidnapping! It's so sad that anyone defends it.





  24. Anon,

    If Grayson's father, Benjamin Wyrembek, had done all these horrible things, the Vaughns could have sued to have his parental rights terminated. Apparently, they could not prove these allegations so they decided to try him in the media where he could not defend himself.

  25. You people are unbelievable. You obviously don't know all the FACTS here. No one is mentioning the birth MOTHER - yes, the person who gave birth to Grayson. And yes, that is his name. Her wishes were for GRAYSON to not be with the birth father - he has an assault and drug criminal record. Sure - let's send the boy with him versus a family unit that has loved him his whole life. Has nothing to do with how much money he does or does not have. Although it would be nice if he tried to get a job since he thinks he wants to be a father. RESPONSIBILITY is key. And yes, I typed in ALL CAPS. Deal with it.

  26. Dear Anon....you who know so much about the case, a question:

    What is your relationship to the Vaughns? Or are you Christy Vaughn?

    Once the child is born his natural parents have the right to raise him. He does not have to be a perfect individual. The father does not have the right to prevent the pregnant woman from having an abortion, but once there is a child, and the mother is not able or willing to raise him, he belongs with a father who wants him. How is it that you are so blinded to this? Read the judge's comments on the side of this blog. Read the blog about "transition" periods and how those kids have fared once returned to their real parents.

    BTW, Many or most of the people who are commenting here were adopted by genetic strangers. As the Vaughns are to the boy called Grayson.

  27. My comment doesn't fit the over-all feel of your forum, BUT, there has to more to this story. Where was this birth father for all of this time? WHY have such HOSTILITY towards the Vaughns? They were INNOCENT victims of the state. As far as they knew, they had legally adopted their son.

    Some of these posters act as this was a stray dog that should be returned to its owner. This is a child! Being snatched from the ONLY family he's ever known. Birth family or not isn't going to matter. He's being ripped away from all that he's known...

    This will, to some degree, DEVASTATE this young child. How you all can celebrate such a thing is disturbing, to say the least...

  28. "Coveting other people's children".

    SERIOUSLY? We've raised 2 of our own children & thought it was time to help our society out by adopting an UNWANTED, grossly ABUSED child.

    I assure you that the HELL we have gone through to help HEAL this child was not "coveted". We are doing our best to keep him from being forever institutionalized due to the behaviors developed by being ABUSED by his birth mother...


  29. We understand that many families take in children that truly need families and go through hell trying to help those children heal.

    But the Vaughns never adopted the boy, and they know that. The father appeared on the scene before they were able to file papers--17 days after the baby was born. So since then they have been fighting the father of the boy.

  30. As hard as it is for all involved I think this is the right decision. That being said; and acknowledging that all adoptions (and many fosters) aren't perfect...I'm a little surprised that many of you seem as though you would be happy if adoption were illegal completely!??

    No I don't think anyone should be forced into giving up their child; unless you can prove beyond a doubt they are a danger/risk to that child - however there are plenty of women who do enter into the adoption contract very willingly; they have no desire to raise a child and without that option you leave only abortion. While I'm totally Pro-Choice; I think removing the 'choice' of adoption sort of limits the available options - does it not?

  31. Anon wrote: "Her wishes were for GRAYSON to not be with the birth father - he has an assault and drug criminal record."

    And where is this criminal record accessible? On another forum, you or someone else wrote that the file was "misplaced" by the Lucas County Clerk of Courts. Well, the only court cases listed in Ben's name are those cases involving this the adoption suit. Even in the highly unlikely scenario of a "misplaced" file, his case(s) would still appear on the docket.

    Nothing appears in Toledo muni.

    If it's a juvenile case, it's sealed and doesn't count.

    So please please please elaborate on Ben's criminal record.

    BTW, I met Ben at the Ohio Supreme Court where I was to view the companion case. I didn't see the Vaughns there.

    So who are you really? I'm not afraid to post under my real name. Why are you?

  32. Nicole,

    While we and our readers are critical of adoption practices, we have not made or read a call for the end of adoption. Adoption is invaluable for children whose parents cannot or do not wish to raise them.

    As a practical matter, adoption can never be abolished. It existed informally long before the laws formalizing adoption were passed, in some states less than a hundred years ago.

    We believe that mothers and fathers should have competent advice and adequate time to make informed decisions about adoption. Today, slick marketing on the part of some adoption practitioners induces women to give up their babies although they could raise them and very much want to. The demand for babies has led to widespread corruption in foreign countries.

    Women who unwittingly or unwillingly lose their children suffer immense pain for the rest of their lives. Their children suffer as well.

    Many states fail to protect fathers rights. Some adoption practitioners ignore the few protections fathers have. When this occurs, fathers are entitled to the return of their children. Unfortunately, rather than complying with the law, some adoptive parents choose to create a media circus.


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