Friday, May 16, 2014

9-year-old girl taken from adoptive parents and returned to ex-con biological dad she didn't know (Omaha, Nebreaka)

Horrible story illustrating how far fathers "rights" have come at the expense of everyone else.

But notice a little detail almost buried here. In 2004, the biological mother (or so we are told) "gave up her rights" to the biological father--a man who is, AT MINIMUM, a convicted felon for transporting firearms. Are we really sure this decision wasn't free from coercion?

Dad is identified as JOSH MCCAUL.

'I want you to come and get me': Heartbreaking final calls of girl, 9, to her adoptive parents before she was returned to ex-con biological father
Sonya McCaul has been 'returned' to a ex-con father she did not know
Nine-year-old had been living with Kim and David Hodgin since 2006
They were given two hours notice before she was removed from their care
She now lives with her father, jailed for transporting arms, in Nebraska Sonya has been calling her adoptive parents, pleading to return home

By Sara Malm
Published: 03:51 EST, 16 May 2014 | Updated: 13:00 EST, 16 May 2014

A Tennessee couple has revealed the heartbreaking pleas of their adoptive daughter begging to be returned to their care after she was forcibly removed to live with her ex-con father in Nebraska.

Sonya, aged nine, had been in the care of Kim and David Hodgin, from Dickson, Tennessee since before she was two years old, but has recently been ‘returned’ to her biological father in Omaha, Nebraska.

In the last phone call to her adoptive parents, Sonya can be heard pleading with them to come and take her from her biological father more than 700 miles away.

Despite having adopted Sonya in 2008, the Hodgins were forced to watch their daughter be taken to her father, a convicted felon who served time for transporting firearms.

A Tennessee appeals court overturned the adoption of Sonya, who had lived with Mr and Mrs Hodgin since before she was two years old, after her father Josh McCaul was released from prison.

In a recording of a phone call made on January 30 this year, a day after Sonya was moved from Dickson County to Omaha, she can be heard asking for her adoptive parents to take her back.

'What did you say, baby doll?' Mrs Hodgin can be heard asking in a recording of the phone call obtained by CNN.

'I want to you to come and get me', the young girl responds.

During the phone call, the last time the Hodgins spoke to her, Sonya also describes her biological father's home as 'dirty, with mold and cigarettes everywhere,' and although the man is 'nice' to her, the home lacks clean water.

The Hodgins say they were given just three hours' notice before the young girl was taken from them.

'Sonya's crying her eyes out. Screaming bloody murder, "Please don't let them do this, Daddy, please, Mama, don't let 'em take me,",' Mr Hodgin told CNN.

'They took her bags, and that's the last that I've seen her,' Mrs Hodgin adds.

McCaul had been awarded custody of his infant daughter in 2004 after Sonya's mother gave up her rights.

However, she has been living with the Hodgins since 2006 and they were able to adopt Sonya after McCaul pleaded guilty to transporting firearms and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

This automatically terminated his parental rights as Tennessee state law does not allow anyone incarcerated for more than ten years to have rights to a child under the age of eight.

However, his sentence was shortened to just eight years and he was able to retain it upon his release from prison after claiming his parental rights were illegally terminated.

In 2009, McCaul won an appeal claiming he did not voluntarily give up his rights and the court did not follow due process in the adoption proceedings.

For the next five years, Sonya continued to live with the Hodgins on their Tennessee farm as the two sides fought for custody.
In January this year, a judge ruled that the nine-year-old should return to her biological father, and a few hours later, she had been taken from the Hodgins.

The couple are now petitioning to have her returned based on Sonya's best interest and a hearing is scheduled for Friday.
DCS spokesman Rob Johnson said earlier this year that while foster parents often come to love the children in their care, the law is clear, 'Birth parents have the right to raise their children.'