Parents Return 9-Year-Old Boy They Adopted at 3 Months

basketball hoopImagine what the world would be like if we could just give our kids back if they weren't behaving to our liking. Return them like we would a pair of jeans we changed our mind about. Seems like a horrible idea, right? Sure, there are days we wish we could drop our kids off somewhere and drive into the sunset, but we'd never dream of doing such a thing, because it's insane. One family actually tried to do this with their son. As in, they actually returned their child. A mom and dad who adopted a baby boy at 3 months decided they no longer wanted him and tried to give him back -- when he was 9.

Cleveland and Lisa Cox of Cincinnati have been charged with abandoning a child after they "returned" their 9-year-old son to the county. They were indicted on a misdemeanor count of nonsupport of dependents and may face up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 for what they did. The Coxes claim that the boy behaved aggressively and would not agree to get help. Adolf Olivas, an attorney appointed by the court to protect the child's legal interests, said best what we're all thinking: "If your 9-year-old needs help, you get him help." You're the parent. You make your child get counseling, if he needs it. Plain and simple. You don't simply say, "Oh, you're not going to get help?! Okay, bye!" Olivas also added that "the child is hurt and confused and doesn't understand what is happening."

Heartbreaking, isn't it? What parent in their right mind would return their child? What parent would think this is even possible or legal?! They've raised this boy since he was an infant -- how could they give up on him now? No matter how "aggressive" he was behaving. That's their son. 

The situation is a tricky one, though. See, the Coxes may very well wind up getting their son back, as that seems to be Olivas' goal -- and that's what the child wants. But should they? On one hand, they completely abandoned their child, so no. But on the other, this is the only family he's ever known, so yes. And it isn't just about his parents; he has siblings, as well. Would the boy be better off going somewhere new? Would anyone even want him?

In a way, this kind of feels like a lose-lose situation, but I think the best thing is for the boy to be placed back with his family. Clearly, he's going to have issues from this (he's been left by parents twice now), and clearly his mom and dad are pretty crappy parents, but it seems like the lesser of two evils. This is what the boy knows. He's grown up with siblings. He wants to go home. His parents obviously need help themselves, but separating him from them forever would probably do more damage than the other option. 

It sounds like the entire family needs counseling, not just the boy. And there should definitely be repercussions for the parents since what they did is so wrong. But I think he needs to go home because I'm really not sure taking him away and trying to find him "new" parents is the best idea.

What do you think should happen to the boy?

Image via Patrick LaRoque/Design Pics/Corbis

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nonmember avatar Jody

Putting a baby up for adoption isn't abandonment in all cases. What a mean, insensitve thing to say. Most birth parents give up their child in the hopes of giving it a better life then they could.

adamat34 adamat34

Horrible.for this child....idiots didn't get what they wanted..someone should.remind some of these adoptive parents that its not a.damn blue ray player you can hopefully this young man gets counseling and is placed with someone selfish....bastards.

nonmember avatar Mamba

They shouldn't have tried to give back their child...I agree that's wrong, but I do understand it as I am an adoptive parent of 3. It's not easy raising adopted children sometimes and people should wait until the other side of the story comes out because you don't know whether he has harmed any of the family members or anything. And definitely people without kids should stay out of it. Sometimes people don't know what to do and social workers, psychiatrists, doctors, therapists don't really help at all they just misdiagnose and stick them on meds.

Sande... SandeeDee

It's unconscionable that this family simply kicked their adopted son to the curb. They deserve to be prosecuted!!

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

I'm an angel baby (adopted since birth) and things like this break my heart.  My parents never once thought to give me back no matter how difficult I was.  I hope these "parents" are somehow punished.

Kim Hunn Budnick

I couldn't imagine returning my adopted animals, much less children. What horrible people!

Ashley Bissonette Fletcher

Here's a point...they adopted the boy at 3 mos ,,so in the 9 years they raised him...what damage did they do to make him behave aggressively?

Rachel Booker

Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens almost every day. I worked with many of these families, trying to reunite And bring these kids home.

April Dryburgh

they must neer have thought of the boy as their "real" child. what would they have done if he were their biological child? Biological parents have difficulties with their children too. I suspect  a lack of  parent/child bonding.


nonmember avatar Ann

Shame on the parents! The child should be placed back with the parents and all three should go for counseling. These parents are the only parents this child has known since he was 3 months.

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