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young dad wins custody over wrongful adoption

 
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afrokock View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:17pm
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COWETA A few nights before the due date, Jeremiah Sampson stayed up late texting his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
She complained about contractions and backaches and was ready to "get this over with," Sampson remembers.
He left at daybreak to drive two hours to Joplin, Mo., for what he expected to be an induced delivery in late September 2010.
The mother wasn't answering her cellphone that morning. And the hospital wouldn't give out any information.
So Sampson drove to his ex-girlfriend's house to knock on the door. Her grandmother slammed it in his face, he said.
Stunned, Sampson sat in his car across the street. A young black man in a mostly white part of town, he wasn't surprised when a neighbor cautiously approached him.
"Sir," she asked, "is there anything I can do for you?"
Sampson explained the situation.
"Oh, honey," the neighbor said tenderly, "that baby was adopted three weeks ago."
Sampson called the Joplin Police Department's non-emergency number and an officer came to the scene.
"There's nothing we can do," he told Sampson. "What you need is an attorney."

'Not necessary'
Born and raised in Coweta, a town of 10,000 people half an hour southeast of Tulsa, Sampson had four older brothers, three sisters and a strong mother who worked two jobs to support them all.
He didn't meet his father until he was 13 and hasn't seen him much since.
"I would never do that to my own flesh and blood," Sampson said. "I would never walk away from my own child."
In 2008, Sampson was recruited to play running back and receiver for Pittsburg State, a small public university in southeast Kansas that has the most wins in NCAA Division II history.
With Pitt's rural campus just half an hour away, students hang out a lot in Joplin. And that's where Sampson met his college girlfriend.
"I wasn't looking to settle down or anything like that," he said. "We both understood it wasn't serious."
In December 2009, after not seeing him for a few weeks, she came to his house with an opened box of pregnancy tests and disappeared into the bathroom to take one, Sampson said.
When she came out, she showed him the positive result.
"Let's go to the doctor," he suggested, "and find out for sure."
She refused, Sampson said. And he doubted that she was really pregnant, suspecting the store-bought test had already been taken by someone else.
"I really thought it was trickery," he said. "I thought it was all mind games."
The relationship ended and he heard nothing else about the pregnancy, Sampson said, until March 2010.
His cellphone rang as he was walking out of class. A woman identified herself as a representative of an adoption agency.
"You've been alleged as a potential father," she told him.
Sampson asked for a paternity test.
"If I'm the father," he told the caller, "I want it."
"The mother," she replied, "has already put the baby up for adoption."
"I don't want that," Sampson insisted. "It's not necessary. That doesn't need to happen."
'Not fair'
Sampson's case resembled last year's epic "Baby Veronica" custody battle, pitting a biological father in Oklahoma against adoptive parents out of state.
Veronica went to South Carolina for the first two years of her life before her father, Dusten Brown, won custody in 2011 and brought her back to Nowata, an hour north of Tulsa.
Then Veronica's adoptive parents appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and, after a four-month standoff in various courtrooms across Oklahoma, took Veronica home to Charleston last September.
By then, Sampson was nearing the end of his long legal battle, too. But Missouri law gave him advantages that Veronica's father didn't have.

Missouri recognizes a "putative" father as a legal parent, while Oklahoma doesn't.
To terminate a father's paternal rights against his will, a court must find "clear, cogent and convincing evidence" that he's unfit, according to Missouri statutes.
"Thankfully, he didn't have to fight it here," said Linda Kats, a professional counselor and an advocate for adoption reforms in Oklahoma. "I don't think the case would have gone very far."
In Oklahoma, birth mothers wield a virtual "veto" over an unwed father's rights, Kats said. Refuse help during the pregnancy and he loses standing in court after the birth.
Kats helped draft the proposed Oklahoma Truth in Adoption Act that would require biological fathers to appear in front of a judge to relinquish rights before an adoption could proceed.
The bill is languishing in committee this session. But the issue won't go away, Kats said.
"If there's a biological parent who's fit and willing to raise the child," she said, "adoption shouldn't even be an option on the table."

'A soft heart'
Sampson drove five hours to Rolla, Mo., once or twice a week for more than six months to challenge the adoption in court.
His son lived in Florida. But under orders from the judge, the adoptive parents brought the baby to Rolla when he was 6 months old.
Sampson caught his first glimpse of him in the courthouse lobby, but the other parents quickly threw a towel over the baby's head.

"I saw how they looked at me," Sampson remembered. "Like I was the devil.
"How can anybody hate me that much? I'm the father."
People complain about men who don't take responsibility for their children.
"Well, here I am, wanting to be a father to my son," Sampson said. "And that makes me a bad guy?"
The judge nullified the adoption in July 2011 and temporarily put the baby in state custody while giving Sampson visitation rights.
Hilkyah, pronounced Hill-Kye-Yah, warmed up immediately to Sampson's attorney. But light-skinned with streaks of blonde in his hair, Hilkyah wouldn't come to his father, who's dark-skinned with shoulder-length dreadlocks.

"They say babies are color blind or don't notice any of that," Sampson said. "But I tell you, they do. They notice."
It didn't take long to bond, however.
"He has a lot of energy," Sampson said, "and reminds me a lot of myself."
He shared custody 50-50 with the birth mother until the day after Christmas last year, when a Missouri judge granted Sampson full custody with visitation from the mother.
Meanwhile, Sampson dropped out of college to pay for the three-year court battle. Now 26 years old, he works as a mental-health technician and plans to start nursing school this summer.
"I'm really proud of him," said Carol Carter, Sampson's second-grade teacher who has stayed in touch with him over the years.
"It was very much a David-and-Goliath situation to take on the adoption agency, but he never backed down."
With no male role model in his life, Sampson was a rambunctious student who acted out to get attention.
But with patience, Carter helped him stay focused and taught him to read.
God gave her a special love for him, Carter said, and he became almost like family.
"His weakness, if you can call it one, is that he's too kind," Carter said. "He's a very gentle father with a soft heart for his little boy."
Sampson sued the adoption agency for allegedly violating his parental rights by going ahead with the placement even after he objected.
A Missouri court gave the agency a summary judgment in January, but Sampson is searching for an attorney to refile the case in Oklahoma.
The agency declined to comment.
Michael Overall 918-581-8383

Edited by afrokock - Apr 01 2014 at 5:17pm
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afrokock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:18pm
Young Dad Wins Back Custody of Child Adopted Without Consent
26-year-old Jeremiah Sampson waged a three-year court battle that forced him to drop out of college to pay for legal expenses in gaining custody of his child.

Sampson drove five hours to Rolla, Mo., once or twice a week for more than six months to challenge the adoption in court. The adoptive parents threw a towel over the baby’s head in court, refusing to let him look at his birth father.

Born and raised in Coweta, Oklahoma, Sampson had four older brothers, three sisters and a mother who worked two jobs to support them all. He didn’t meet his father until he was 13 and hasn’t seen him much since.

“I would never do that to my own flesh and blood,” Sampson said. “I would never walk away from my own child.”

Sampson is now suing the adoption agency for violating his parental rights by going ahead with the placement even after he objected.

Edited by afrokock - Apr 01 2014 at 5:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote 4shopiece Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:23pm
I am happy to hear this good he is suing the agency
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote melikey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:26pm
good things worked out in the end. he needs to sue and also the adoptive parents who i am sure paid a pretty penny in fees to the agency to get a clear adoption done. 
if they are not out of business by now then somebody isn't doing their job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:28pm
 I saw this on Dr. Phil

good for him.


Edited by PurplePhase - Apr 01 2014 at 5:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (16) Thanks(16)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:29pm
Quote He shared custody 50-50 with the birth mother until the day after Christmas last year, when a Missouri judge granted Sampson full custody with visitation from the mother.


Stern Smile she called dibs after she gave away the baby?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:29pm
Hmmmm....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote missunfoolish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:30pm
he's a lil cutie tho. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote femmefatale85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:45pm
this happens way too often

they're basically kidnapping children
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lonisha87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 01 2014 at 5:46pm
Great for him, i hate to see when this happens. Glad he has his son
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