Imagine 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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