Three and a half years ago, Amanda Hopkins placed her newborn son Evan into the home of Dawn and Gene Scott in an open-adoption arrangement.
Despite the arrangements, Evan’s biological father, Stephen White, spent most of those years telling the court he wanted Evan back.
One week ago, the court sided with the biological father, and Dawn Scott gave up of the tearful Evan to his biological parents.
As Evan was driven away, Dawn repeatedly screamed “How can they do this to a little boy?”
Gene Scott lamented, “If they truly loved him, they wouldn’t have done this.”
That quote, “If they truly loved him,” would have made a fitting title for a famous biblical story.
The story begins with two women standing before King Solomon claiming to be the mother of the same baby. Solomon devised a test which he knew only the woman who “truly loved” the child would pass.
Short of a DNA test to prove the maternity, Solomon raised a sword and offered to divide custody of the baby — literally.
Horrific even in the most ancient of days, the modest proposal brought the intended reaction. To spare the child’s life, the woman who “truly loved” the child offered the baby to the fraudulent mother.
Solomon knew he’d found the real mother. And the story is so well-known in legal circles that the adjudication of difficult cases are often said to require “the wisdom of Solomon.”
But the scariest part of the Scott case is not the custody issue, or of Evan being ripped from the only parents he’s known. The scariest part is not the trauma this child may or may not remember.
The worst part about this case is that hundreds of people considering adoption may allow the cry of one little boy to distract their attention from the cries of thousands of children who are waiting to be adopted — all 129,262 of them in the US.
I know, because 15 years ago, when we first considered adoption, my wife and I pondered that fear. We asked, “What if we loved a child and had that child taken away?”
Yet despite the fear, my wife and I decided to welcome into our home a 31/2 year-old girl. Later, we decided that if we “truly loved” that child, we’d face our fears and take in her two siblings as well.
We never received that disturbing knock on our door asking for us to return the children because the truth is that such drama is very rare and that’s why the Scott’s story sells newspapers.
To allow the fear of the “knock” to have deterred our adoption would be as disabling as a biological parent allowing the fear of genetic diseases, birth defects and the risk of death in child delivery to deter conception.
If you’re one who has considered adoption, don’t let the fear keep you from doing what you know is right.
The most tragic thing that can happen in the ordeal of the adoptive child is not that he or she may one day have two sets of parents fighting over them. The most tragic thing is he or she would never have a parent at all.