Thursday, February 18, 2010

Involuntary Termination Reversed After Five years

In 30+ years following adoption news stories - this is without a doubt the most incredible story I have ever read.

It speaks loud and clear to the insanity of permanent solutions for temporary problems.  I suspect the news is incorrect that it was an adoption, but rather a prospective adoption. The case was based on The Supreme Court's April 24, 2009 decision in the case of Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of G.Y.; R.Y. v. IDCS (see ILB summary here). The a 14-page PDF 4-1 opinion of Justice Sullivan appears here. The appeal reveals that "a 'friend of the family' attempted to execute an 'open' adoption which would have left it open for Mother to visit G.Y. at her discretion.  This did not materialize..."

5-Year-Old At Center of Adoption Court Battle

Biological Mother Fights To Regain Custody

INDIANAPOLIS -- A 5-year-old boy is at the center of a court battle between his biological mother and the woman who has raised him. Roxanne Yorn, 30, had her parental rights involuntarily terminated after she was convicted of dealing cocaine and sentenced to eight years in prison, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported. Her son George, who was then 19 months old, was adopted by Marian Stowe, 43, and her husband, who said they believed the adoption was final.

But last year, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the termination of Yorn's parental rights, ruling that "we do not find the likelihood of the mother re-offending to be a sufficiently strong reason that termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests."

Now Yorn and Stowe are facing off in court, each seeking full custody of the boy."You don't know what a treacherous nightmare it is to wake up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. worried that if your child leaves you, and he's calling out to you once he's gone, and there's nothing you can do to help him," Stowe said.

"He's mine from the depths of my soul and heart. That is my son. "Yorn said she has cleaned up her life and has given up drugs."I take weekly drug tests, therapeutic counseling. I work a full time job. I go to college full time. Just about everything I can possibly do," Yorn said. "He's my life. He's my heart. I've been fighting for this for a longtime."

Her attorneys said Yorn is able to provide for the child, and should not be kept apart from her biological child."The best interests doesn't mean who has the most money, or largest home, or who can provide the most financial opportunities for the child," said attorney Victoria Bailey.

"It simply looks at whether the biological parent is adequate. In this case, Roxanne is more than adequate. She is a great mom."Stowe said she will continue to fight to keep custody of George. She and her husband have two other adopted children and are waiting to adopt another.


Anonymous said...

Please tell me you're not arguing for a five year old to be returned to a drug dealer. If you're willing to sink that low when times are tough, you're not fit to be a parent. If they deal and use once, they'll deal and use again when times are tough. Drug dealers are not fit parents. Ever. How many children's lives did she ruin with her cocaine? I'm very much for adoption reform, but if you're arguing for *this* biological mother to regain custody then you're incapable of looking at any situation objectively, and I cannot take your opinion seriously ever again. Your bias is too great. This child should not under any circumstances be returned to a drug dealer simply because she's his biological parent. Biology does not trump everything. Yes, a loving adoptive parent is better than a drug dealing biological parent.

Anonymous said...

Also...have you ever dealt with an addict? They're always "cleaning up their act" and they always relapse. Once an addict always an addict. A child should be forced to live with her just so her "rights" aren't violated? Living with adoptive parents is so terrible that an addict is better so long as they share biology? How can you be so biased toward adoptive parents that you would argue for a child to go back to an addict? Sometimes adoption is a necessary and good thing. A mother in prison for drug dealing is one of those situations.

AdoptAuthor said...

That decsion is not mine to make, however I disagree with you that once means always. People deal drugs to support their drug habit. If thy clean up and get off the drugs there is no reason to believe they would ever engage in such behavior again. People DO turn their lives around - permanently. I HAVE worked with addicts and I KNOW this for a fact,and I am not the only one:

Success rates are not high, I grant you. But it depends on many factors: the type of drug and how prolonged the use was, as well as the incentive to quit and the support to do so.

In cases such as this the parent, they are drug-tested repeatedly over the entire period of time their child is in care. if there were any relapses they'd have known about it. It appears this mother managed to stray clean for years and impress the courts enough to make such a startling decsion as to overturn a relinquishment...

As I said, I do make these decisions and only know what I read. However I see absolutely no "bias" toward 'adoptive parents" on either the part of the court or myself. I do not believe the adoption was ever finalized or this could not possibly be occurring. These people were FOSTERING this child. They may have hoped to adopt and no doubt love the child and will be heart broken...they no doubt felt it was 'their" child even though legally that was likely never the case.

I think if anyone has a bias here it is you for not being able to accept that people can change and turn their lives around. That's very sad.

Roxanne yorn said...

I love it how people judge me and have no clue who I am, or my WHOLE STORY. Thanks to you AdoptAuthor for not being judgemental, and I will praying for you anonymous. If you do not think that dealing with this and DCS for the last 5 years is not hard then you have a lot to learn. I have remained clean for almost 7 years. If that is not enough; what is? He is MINE and I will get him back!!!!!

AdoptAuthor said...


The world is cruel and very judgmental. Mothers are always judged. We are targets.

I was watching Craig Ferguson the other night and reminded that he is quite open that he overcame alcoholism and use of drugs including cocaine!

Mackenzie Phillips also admits to have been addicted to drugs and overcame it.

Some say no one is ever recovered. I believe that some of us are. But whether you are recovered or "in recovery" - as long as you stay clean and turn your life around I wish you and your child nothing but the best!

YOU GO GIRL!! And don't let the naysayers get to you!

Roxanne Yorn said...

Two years later, still clean, and proved the naysayers wrong. I now have a beautiful little girl and G.Y. (my son) is doing great other than some crazy things the foster family did to him that he wont talk about. He has been in counseling. So much for his foster family being loving. Im still in college and a stay at home mom. I love my family and my life. It is just sad that almost losing my son to those evil ppl is what straightened me up.

Mirah Riben said...

Thank you so much !! I am SOOO happy!

Anne said...

I believe that miracles occur, and yes, drug dealers and addicts can and do change. As an adoptee, I also know how important it is to know where you came from, no matter how bad it may be. It gives an adoptee peace and a sense of identity and belonging. The best adoptive parents in the world simply can't replace biological parents!

We are constantly amazed at the depths of a mother's love for her child, and yet there are those who believe that this is not enough to keep Roxanne Yorn straight? Each of us possess the ability to traumatize a child. Ms. Yorn's son at the heart of the controversy has been blessed with wonderful adoptive parents, and yet her son G.Y. is suffering the affects of being placed with adoptive parents who appeared to be loving and nurturing and yet caused terrible harm.

There are no easy answers to this controversy. Perhaps there is a way that both mothers could raise the child...and give him the best of both worlds!

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