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The parents, who live in a $300,000 home and do not cite economic hardship, reportedly stated that the boy was acting aggressively toward them.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. Unfortunately, you have a could of issues that the parents can be charged with…. Parental neglect, abandonment etc….. Failure to support a child that they are legally obligated to do so…..

    But apparently they do have the right with the approval of the court to voluntary terminate a parental duty….. With approval of the court….

    A parent or legal guardian may, subject to juvenile court approval, agree to surrender permanent custody of a child to an agency. Such agency must file a request for approval by the juvenile court. The court must then determine whether the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5103.15(B)(1).

    On other issues… If I recall adoption subsides end about the age of 16……. So, if they took the child for the money….. And then when no longer viable financially…..I would look at a fraud charge against them…. False pretenses…. Unfortunately…. The FTA does not apply…. As it’s not consumer goods….

  2. Often adoption agencies fail to tell adoptive parents negative information about the child’s biological parents and the course of the pregnancy. Often adoptive parents, and possibly the adoption agency, have no knowledge of fetal alcohol or fetal drug problems. That should make a difference in forcing adoptive parents to be financially responsible for prohibitively expensive treatment of the child when these conditions materialize later on. Our adopted son had to go into a 24 hour treatment center for a where 98% of the other “students” were sent there by the court and paid for by public funds. Only adoptive parents were privately paying as far as we could tell.

  3. Foster care is a better option. Foster care is not per se bad. Put the parents in the Army and send them to Afghanistan.

  4. This is awful. What will happen with the child? Will he be better off being raised by two people who wanted to dispose of him? Foster care is hardly a better option.

  5. leej and RWL, Thank you. I took my son and 2 friends from Jersey to the Packer/Eagle game on Sunday. These friends had not seen my son for awhile. They saw him throughout his life, and those were some very dysfunctional years. They saw his behavioral issues up close. They were always supportive and nonjudgmental. It made their day to see my boy in a pretty good place. They met his girlfriend and saw what I meant when I said she’s just what he needs.

  6. Obvously, the story lacks any detail concerning the child’s condition and so we are all speculating as to the extent of those issues. Many people responding to the story seem ignorant of the harm that a 9 year old can cause. We do see children that age who start fires, kill animals, and pose a serious risk of injury to others. In many places, residential treatment is unavailable for children that young, so parents are left with desperate choices as to how to care for the child without exposing other children/animals/themselves to a real threat to their safety. I recall dealing with a couple who had not been able to really sleep for months because they were afraid of what harm their son might do if they took their eyes off him. They were accessing all the local resources available to them, and were still overwhelmed by the difficulties of caring for their child.

  7. Adoption is forever. Frustration with possible emotional and behavioral problems with this child is no excuse for any parent giving up on a 9 year old child. They have had 9 years to raise and love this child. And now they abandon him. Disgusting. The only good news, as OS suggested, the child may be better off in the long term without these alleged parents.

  8. Great response Nick!

    There was an article about adopted children being abused while under state care in Michigan! I am looking for the article. In the Michigan case, the adopted children, under state care, became exposed to hepatitis?

  9. Nick, I can only imagine how hard it was but the bond you created with your son (Your son) made the work very well worthwhile, obviously.
    Maybe it is these parents who have attachment disorder.

  10. At age nine, the child must have significant issues, one might surmise, for the parents to seek having their parental r&r terminated. I understand that sometimes children adopted from foriegn lands have serious brain issues because of early neglect, but to reject a human child that you wanted so desperately? Displays a serious lack of maturity and the selflessness required by parents with minor children. This child is probably better off without them, and yes, it’s going to make whatever issues he has worse, before he can heal, hopefully with an exceptal new parent/ parents.

  11. What does the kid want at this point? This is already the point of no return. No return to the adoptive parents. He can not be sent back now. But they need to be barred from having children and sterilized and drafted into the army and sent to Afhganistan, and….

  12. maybe the child’s “problem” is the parents. Holy cow, they have probably made him feel like a second class citizen.

    Where they given any sort of evaluation prior to the adoption? I know Catolic charities vets potential parents before they proceed with the adoption.

  13. As a parent of an adopted son who had serious psychological issues including attachment disorder, I know their frustration. That is where it ends for me. You make a commitment when you adopt, as you do when you marry. It is “sickness and in health,” and all the rest. This is part consumer mentality as stated by Mr. Turley. However, it is also an even more serious erosion of the social fabric where marriage, relationships, contracts, etc. are not sacred. They are discarded when inconvenient. When a child, adopted or natural, has serious psych issues, it is a real disability. It’s no different than if they are blind, crippled, etc. On the dark days I would remind myself of that. Our son was 2 when we adopted him. He’ll be 30 in January. He struggles less than when he was a teen. But, that disability of being abandoned as an infant, and not held as every baby needs, will never go away. He has found a woman who is a God send. Lord knows we men are often shown the light by a good woman. I choose to pray for this couple and this boy. There will be ample judgment of them, so I’ll just pray.

  14. The only times I have heard of parents wanting to give up an adopted child, the child was much older than 3 months. Usually these children have a history of horrific child abuse.
    I wonder if the 3 month old did not grow up to be smart ,athletic, or pretty enough for the parents to keep.

  15. If one really stops to think of the implications, the kid may be better off. Especially if the parents are on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution.

    I do agree with those who believe this is going to result in psychological problems for the child. Adoptees are quite often insecure for a number of reasons, and this exact thing is one of them.

  16. Wow, this kid is going to have serious psychological issues! Shame on these parents!

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