No Returns: Ohio Parents Return Adopted Son . . . After Nine Years

300px-ReturnpolicyIf news accounts are correct, Cleveland and Lisa Cox may be the personification of a consumer society . . . to the point of treating their son as an unwanted or defective product. The couple is charged with abandonment after they took their 9-year-old son back to the Butler County Children’s Services where they adopted him at 3 months old. They are seeking the termination of their parental rights and responsibilities.

The parents appear to believe that adopted children are like an unwanted dress, though even retailers will not honor a return policy after nine years of use.

The parents, who live in a $300,000 home and do not cite economic hardship, reportedly stated that the boy was acting aggressively toward them. They also reportedly stated that the boy would not cooperate in seeking help. Assuming that the boy has serious behavioral issues, there is not an option to terminate your parental duties. There is no difference between a natural and adopted child at this stage. It is important to remember that this is a nine-year-old boy. I have seen friends with severe cases but they have worked through it. Whatever “issues” this boy had before, they are likely one hundred times worse after being dropped off like a bag at Salvation Army.

The Coxes have a hearing scheduled on their custody issue but they will have to appear in a different proceeding for their charges of a first degree misdemeanor. For that, they could spend six months in jail though such sentences are often suspended or staggered . . . when you have to care for a child.

Source: Journal-News

34 thoughts on “No Returns: Ohio Parents Return Adopted Son . . . After Nine Years”

  1. Well, bravo to your friends who have worked through the issues with their children. What is wrong with a couple recognizing their limitations and doing what they feel is best for this child? Would you prefer he stay in this situation, with his agreesive behavior out of control, and then take a gun into the classroom where YOUR child is?

  2. Blouise,

    I am quite impressed by your posting on this thread…. It takes more to be a patent than just biology….. My hat is off to you….and your lucky family….

  3. blhlls THANK YOU ive been wondering since i read that story would any of the people condemning the family ever stop to remember the stories of kids younger then 9 shooting a parent (s) , setting the house on fire, killing the animals. the stories i read on this couple says they have other children. there has to have been some real danger happening for them to take this route. and i commend this couple for not doing what a lot of other adopted families are doing

    this is just one link that tells the stories of some adopted kids being turned over to other families underground. with just a notarized letter..

    Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they’d adopted from Liberia. When they decided to give her up, they found new parents to take her in less than two days – by posting an ad on the Internet.

    Nicole and Calvin Eason, an Illinois couple in their 30s, saw the ad and a picture of the smiling 16-year-old. They were eager to take Quita, even though the ad warned that she had been diagnosed with severe health and behavioral problems. In emails, Nicole Eason assured Melissa Puchalla that she could handle the girl.

    “People that are around me think I am awesome with kids,” Eason wrote.

    A few weeks later, on Oct. 4, 2008, the Puchallas drove six hours from their Wisconsin home to Westville, Illinois. The handoff took place at the Country Aire Mobile Home Park, where the Easons lived in a trailer.

    No attorneys or child welfare officials came with them. The Puchallas simply signed a notarized statement declaring these virtual strangers to be Quita’s guardians. The visit lasted just a few hours. It was the first and the last time the couples would meet.

    Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise the unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally, a Reuters investigation has found. It is a largely lawless marketplace.

  4. There are many cases in which adoptions out of the foster care system are disrupted (aka terminated). To judge this from the outside is risky.

  5. Blouise, but what if one of your children was harming the other and nothing you could do would eliminate that harm. Some communities have resources, including residential treatment facilities, to ameliorate the risk. Others have no residential options for children this young and inadequate support for the parents. When all of your options are unacceptable, what do you do?

  6. “I may be a simpleton, but I don’t understand the need for some to require additional information in order to form an opinion on this issue.” (Terry Clarke)

    As the mother of two adopted children and through them, grandmother to 6 grandchildren, I agree 100% with every word of your post.

    ” Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
    But still miraculously my own.
    Never forget for a single minute,
    You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”

    (Fleur Conkling Heylinger)

  7. Terry Clarke: I agree that abandoning the child is not an appropriate parental action. However, I would view parents who took such a drastic step after years of hospitalizations, treatment and fear, and months of no sleeping and terror different than I would view parents who took such a step at the first bump.

  8. As the father of an adopted daughter, I need no further information to conclude, in my humble opinion, that the actions by the parents are deplorable, regardless of the condition or characteristics of the now-unwanted child. Just as any father with a biological son/daughter, I love my daughter unconditionally, and have no more “standing” to nullify my legal relationship with her than if my DNA contributed to her development into a human being. I may be a simpleton, but I don’t understand the need for some to require additional information in order to form an opinion on this issue.

  9. Anonymously Yours, yes I did misread that. I thought they said they adopted him 3 months ago at 9 years of age. Clearly the Adoption agency had no clue.

    No they shouldn’t try to bring him back but if he is mentally unstable and possibly dangerous there are not a lot of options for parents, be they natural or adoptive.

    Regardless we need more facts here before condemning the parents. After the facts are in they may in fact deserve all they are getting but right now it seem premature.

  10. Considering who raised this boy, he may be better off with someone who can give him what he needs. Since he’s only nine, this situation will not improve as he enters his teen years. The parents should be financially responsible for him until he is 18, however. That means a chunk of their income will go towards his care.

  11. Thank you blhlls for stating what a lot of folks are overlooking. Perhaps these people are the essence of consumer mentality but perhaps the adoption agency was not as honest as they needed to be during the process. Children this age can be evil, perhaps not their fault, but destructive and evil none the less. This child may not be that but perhaps he is. There are numerous stories of parents with children that are destructive and possible sociopaths that have to struggle with how to keep themselves safe and provide for their child. We have sympathy for parents of children with physical ailments and disabilities but have no patience for people with kids with mental instabilities. The Sandy Hook shooter’s mom was attacked in some stories for not handling her son properly and providing him the help he needed.
    Were these parents made aware of issues before adoption? Were these problems present before adoption or manifest after? If there is evidence of problems and issue that were not disclosed to prospective adoptive parents then who is at fault for the break down later?
    Let’s get some more facts of the case before everyone is ready to get out the pitchforks and lynch this couple. That may in fact deserve it but how about we get some facts first?

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