High court lifts stay on all lower court proceedings
CLARK COUNTY — The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request to reconsider its ruling that has resulted in a Sellersburg couple being ordered to return a nearly 3-year-old child they have raised since birth to his biological father.
The court further lifted a stay on all lower court proceedings that it granted on Sept. 28, allowing Christy and Jason Vaughn to temporarily keep custody of their son, Grayson.
In September, a juvenile court in Ohio ordered Grayson be returned to his biological father, Benjamin Wyrembek, in northern Ohio after it had determined he was legally the father. The Supreme Court had granted a stay on that order and all other lower court decisions on Sept. 28, but the state’s high court lifted that ban Thursday meaning the order is again in effect.
The Vaughns went through an adoption agency and were matched with Grayson. The mother and his legal father at the time agreed to give Grayson up for adoption as they were going through a divorce.
The Vaughns had Grayson from the day he was born, but within 30 days after a permanent surrender agreement was executed, Wyrembek filed a paternity action claiming he was the father. The adoption had not been finalized and Wyrembek was later determined to be the biological father, setting off nearly three years of legal battles.
An Ohio probate court dismissed the Vaughns’ adoption petition, and in July, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld that ruling in a 4-3 decision.
The Vaughns have argued that the biological father’s consent was not required for adoption since he did not support the [married] mother or child.
Attorneys on both sides of the case did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The Vaughns had previously defied a court order to return Grayson to Ohio. A hearing was held in Floyd County Circuit Court on Sept. 28 in which Judge J. Terrence Cody could have ordered that ruling enforced. The Vaughns signed a statement at that hearing last month that they would no longer discuss the case in the media.
Friends of the family have indicated that both parties agreed to mediation at the Circuit Court hearing.
Check later at www.newsandtribune.com and in tomorrow’s editions of the Evening News and Tribune for more information.