(KTVI) – A Judge appears to have ordered silence in the case of a teen Dad who claims an adoption agency ‘legally stole’ his baby. The 16-year-old father says he can raise his baby, with the help of his family, but claims an adoption system and the courts are making it nearly impossible. FOX2 went to Rockford, Illinois, where a Judge appears to have made his fight even harder.
Just before the 8:30 am hearing, an attorney for the adoptive parents told reporter Chris Hayes that he was going to ask the Judge to silence everybody.
A Court Administrator said reporters were not allowed in the Courtroom for the hearing. About 30 minutes later, 16-year-old Cody Deadmond walked out of the courthouse with his family. His Mom Angie was in tears. It was a sign they`d been told to stop talking about Cody`s fight for his child.
In April, Cody claimed an adoption agency withheld information about a father`s registry Cody should`ve contacted immediately. Cody also said the agency told the birth mother to leave Cody’s name off of the child`s birth certificate.
Now Cody and his family may risk jail time if they keep talking.
In April I asked Cody, ‘What do you want this baby to know when he`s old enough to understand?’
Cody answered, ‘That I was there for him and that I fought for him as much as I could whether I get him or not. And that I care about him.’
Their attorney Lucinda Bugden carefully answered me after the hearing when I asked, ‘Can you tell me what happened?’
Bugden answered, ‘No, unfortunately I cannot.’
Hayes followed up, ‘Does that mean there was a gag order?’
Bugden said, ‘Typically juvenile proceedings, adoption proceedings, are subject to a privacy and I just can`t provide details at this point.’
Bugden said she`s only faced two gag orders in 20 years of practice. She told us during a previous interview that she has concerns about how prolonged court proceedings could impact the child.
In April, Bugden said, ‘A Guardian Ad Litem has been appointed here in Winnebago County, but nothing`s been done on the case because as soon as I was retained I talked to him. He hasn`t talked to anybody and meanwhile this baby is bonding with these people who have no legal right to this child.’
Now it appears some kind of silence order prohibits Bugden from even telling us the next court date.
Bugden added, ‘If there`s a court order, I have to comply with it and advise my clients to do the same. it`s not an option.’
Though it`s impossible to know for sure, it does not appear that anything happened other than the judge`s order for everyone to keep quiet. There will be another hearing in Rockford IL and we will try to keep track of developments by asking the Deadmonds about their future road trips.
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