Why Teen Dad Must Fight Adoption Agency for His Child

(KPLR) – Hundreds of you have commented on our story of a teen dad fighting for his child.  A 16 year-old boy says an adoption agency is standing in the way of him raising his child.  He also has a second child, with another girl, on the way.

Reporter Chris Hayes asked, ‘Did it ever cross your mind, `I can`t do this?`’
Cody answered, ‘No, never crossed my mind.’

Cody Deadmond said he went to the hospital after his ex-girlfriend gave birth.  He described holding the baby when he talked about, ‘…looking at him smiling. Whenever the nurses or anybody else tried holding him he would start crying.’

Though Deadmond says he wants to raise his child, he failed to notify what`s called the Illinois Putative Father Registry.    You have 30 days to register after a birth.  16-year-old Deadmond said he and his family didn`t know such a registry existed. His baby was born February 4th and Deadmond put in his name about two weeks late.

He`s since hired attorney Lucinda Bugden who said, ‘(Deadmond and his family) went to a lawyer, not me, who didn`t give them the right advice and now he didn`t register within the 30 day period.’

The potential adoptive parents of Deadmond`s baby are north of Chicago in Rockford, IL, where attorney Bugden practices.  She added, ‘(Cody) wants to be a father, he wants to step up. There`s no reason to think this child can`t be healthy and loved by the father and his family.’

Though Deadmond missed the deadline to register as a father, his stepdad explained how his son showed the right intentions.  Bo Stell said, ‘(by getting) the DNA first. Prove the baby`s yours and he did that right away as soon as we got the (notification from the adoption agency) we had the DNA ready to go.’

Now they say the adoption agency won`t get the baby DNA tested.  We spoke to Loyolla University Chicago Professor Bruce Boyer is also a child welfare attorney.  He said, ‘If a child ends up feeling like their adoptive parents took them away from biological family members that wanted to care for them and fought for them and would`ve been capable of caring for them that can end up being very detrimental.’

Deadmond says he can care for his baby, but friends of the birth mother told Fox 2 about another baby Deadmond`s expecting, with another High School girl.  Deadmond says he can raise both kids, with his family`s help.

I asked Professor Boyer about people`s temptation to judge.  He answered, ‘I don`t think you can ever say categorically that one set of circumstances is going to lead to a better outcome than another and we also know that as kids get older, it becomes increasingly important for them to know something about their biological families.

That means it could end up being very important to this child to know his father fought for him, no matter the outcome and also important for him to learn that his mother sought an adoption agency because she believed it could give her child the best possible life.

Previous Coverage:
Teen dad says adoption agency stands in the way of raising his baby

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