Ind. couple surrenders 3-year-old to Ohio father
SELLERSBURG, Ind. (AP) – An Indiana couple has surrendered a boy they raised for three years to his biological father in Ohio following a lengthy custody battle, an attorney said.
Christy and Jason Vaughn of Sellersburg turned Grayson Vaughn over to his father in Swanton, Ohio, near Toledo on Saturday, the day after the child’s third birthday, Tom Hectus, a lawyer for the Vaughns, told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.
The child’s mother chose the Vaughns as adoptive parents. But in September, the Lucas County Juvenile Court ordered the Vaughns to hand over the boy to Benjamin Wyrembek – the biological father – and the Indiana Supreme Court said courts in Indiana had no jurisdiction.
The Ohio Supreme Court voted 4-3 Oct. 7 to lift a stay it had placed on other court orders in the case, including the juvenile court order, The Toledo Blade reported.
Hectus told The Courier-Journal that the Vaughns have no visitation agreement and don’t know when they’ll be able to see the boy again. He said leaving the child with his biological father was traumatic for the couple.
“They were there when she gave birth,” Hectus said. “Christy Vaughn was the first person to hold this child.”
A telephone message seeking comment was left at the Vaughns’ home Monday. There was no published number available for Wyrembek.
According to court filings, Wyrembek was seeing a married woman in Toledo, Ohio in 2007 when she became pregnant. She broke off the relationship and divorced her husband, ultimately surrendering the child at birth to a Columbus, Ohio-based adoption agency.
The Vaughns arranged to adopt the child and were present for the birth. Nine days later, the Vaughns brought him home to Sellersburg in southern Indiana. Christy Vaughn was pregnant at the time with the couple’s second child, Addison, who was born five months later.
But within 30 days of Grayson’s birth, Wyrembek signed up with a state registry in Ohio saying that he could be the boy’s father, and then objected to the adoption. That led to the court battle, with Ohio courts ruling in Wyrembek’s favor and the Indiana Supreme Court saying that courts in Indiana lacked jurisdiction.
A court-ordered mediation in Ohio was supposed to try to reconcile differences over the child’s custody, but Hectus said it resulted in the Vaughns getting just two weeks to turn Grayson over to Wyrembek are considering further legal challenges in Ohio.
Information from: The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., http://www.courier-journal.com
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