Friday, July 2, 2010

Judge: 2-year-old girl must return to abusive dad's family (Orange County, California)

Shame on this unnamed judge. Taking this little girl and returning her to her abusive father's family, people she has never met. The dad, BENJAMIN MILLS JR., even has a prison record for domestic violence. He's such a devoted dad that his own mother has custody of his other two children. This is a familiar pattern with abuser dads. Custody itself is just a trophy. The actual work of raising children is delegated to someone else--either the new girlfriend, second wife, or the abuser's own mother. As long as its not the child's mother. She must be perpetually punished for not doing the abuser's bidding, see.

Yup, I think the adoptive mom's attorney is right. This guy is still angry at the birth mother, and wants to punish her by reclaiming "his property" in defiance of her wishes. Too bad the idiotic judge doesn't see the pattern here. But Daddy's rights must ride slipshod over every other consideration, right?

Custody Battle: Judge Says Girl Must Return to Ohio
The case pitted judges in Orange County against judges in Ohio

Updated 12:20 PM PDT, Fri, Jul 2, 2010

A judge ruled Friday that a girl at the center of a two-state custody battle must return to Ohio.

Stacey Doss of Orange County was attempting to retain custody of Vanessa, a 2-year-old girl she's raised since birth. Doss, who is single, started the adoption process in June 2008 after Vanessa's birth in Dayton, Ohio.

Vanessa's father, Benjamin Mills Jr., back in Ohio challenged the adoption and the case landed Friday in an Orange County courtroom.

An Ohio judge ruled last week that Vanessa should be returned to Montgomery County, Ohio, where she would be placed in foster care until officials sort out with whom she should be placed, Doss said.

Doss said she feared judges reviewing the case would decide to return Vanessa to Ohio, where she would be placed in foster care. Two psychiatric experts have prepared reports for Doss concluding that such a move would be a mistake, Doss said.

"This will break this child's heart and spirit and she will not recover," Doss said.

The girl will be cared for by her paternal grandmother.

Doss was given until July 16 to turn over the child. Doss said she will file an immediate appeal.

Patricia J. Robb of Legal Aid of Western Ohio, which is representing Mills, declined to discuss the details of the case before Friday's proceedings.

"For the benefit of all involved, we do not think it is appropriate to discuss the details of the case outside of the courtroom," Robb said. "We have faith that the court process will lead to results that are best for the child.

Doss said she tried for years to become pregnant, but several fertility treatments failed.

"When I got divorced, someone said, 'Gosh, you've wanted it so long, why don't you consider adopting as a single mother?'" Doss said.

Doss, 45, signed up with adoption agencies, and after several discussions with pregnant women did not seem like the right fit, she was introduced to Vanessa's mother in Ohio.

Vanessa arrived earlier than expected June 13, 2008. Doss and the birth mother crammed months of bureaucratic machinations into two weeks of paperwork. Doss flew back to California with Vanessa in time for the Fourth of July two years ago.

"When I was still in Ohio, though, my attorney said, 'Don't panic, but the birth father of the birth mother's other two daughters has come forward and says he thinks he's the birth father (of Vanessa),'" Doss said.

The birth mother claimed the pregnancy was the result of a one-night stand, and the father was not Mills, with whom she had a longstanding relationship, Doss said.

But later, Mills was determined to be the father, she said.

Mills and the birth mother have had a "contentious relationship,'' including several restraining orders against each other and a prison record for Mills for domestic violence, according to Doss, who has cited court records.

Doss also claims Mills has relinquished custody of two daughters to his mother.

"He says he wants custody of (Vanessa), but I don't think he really wants custody of her," Doss said. "I think he's very mad at the birth mother and he believes Vanessa is his property. And, unfortunately, he's made this a racial issue."

Doss flew Mills to California in September to visit with Vanessa, and in the hope she could negotiate a settlement of the dispute. Mills returned to Orange County earlier this month for a supervised visit with his daughter, Doss said.