Biological Vs. Adoptive Family: Who Should Get This Toddler?

Grayson Vaughn is only 3 years old, but he is at the center of a legal battle fought between his biological father and the family who adopted him at birth.

He was placed for adoption by his biological mother and her husband who was not the boy's biological father.

The Vaughn family was present at Grayson's birth in Ohio in October 2007 and have had custody of the boy since they took him home to Indiana just eight days later. But within 30 days of his birth,  Benjamin Wyrembek -- the boy's biological father -- registered with the Putative Father Registry in Ohio and sued to establish parental rights in December 2007.


He has wanted his son back for three years and now it looks like he will finally get his wish.

Grayson's biological mother tells ABC News she lost contact with Wyrembek early in her pregnancy, and wasn't required by law to provide his contact information to the adoption agency. Court documents confirm that the biological mother and her husband -- the legal father -- filed the necessary papers to surrender custody of the child within weeks of his birth.

What a mess.

After a long legal battle, the Vaughns have been ordered to give the boy back but they keep appealing even though both the Ohio Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio have ruled against the Vaughns.

Still they are stalling because they don't believe the father is sincere.

"He's never contacted us directly. He's never asked how the child is doing. He's never sent a birthday card," Jason Vaughn says. "What they'll say is they've litigated this from the beginning, that he filed a paternity action in the very beginning; that he's done everything he can do."

It's an interesting case, to be sure, and I feel for both sides of the issue. But the fact is the father filed within 30 days and the Vaughns knew it. I'm sure it was painful for them to imagine losing the new baby they loved, but the biological father had every right to want to be with his child.

The story is complicated and convoluted and at this point, a gradual transition or a joint custody arrangement is probably what would be best for the boy. Still, it's hard to imagine what the Vaughns were thinking when they chose to keep him despite the concerns about the adoption that came early in the process.

What do you think should happen here?


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