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Parents Charged for Returning Adopted Child, 9 Years Later

Parents return adopted son, charged with nonsupport

It was nine years ago that Cleveland and Lisa Cox welcomed a newly adopted baby boy into their Ohio home. They named him, they raised him; and nearly one decade later—in a move that has stunned nearly everyone who hears it—they simply gave him back. As in, turned him over to child protective services and went home.

If you're speechless right about now, we're right there with you.

The couple claim the boy's aggressive behavioral issues became too much for them to bear after he recently threatened a family member with a knife. But the Butler County courthouse isn't exactly finding that a good enough reason to give up your kid, and has slapped them each with misdemeanor counts of nonsupport. If convicted, both parents face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The court has since hired attorney Adolfo Olivas to represent the boy's interests. And according to Olivas, the "confused and emotionally hurt" 9-year-old is currently getting the help his parents apparently couldn't be bothered to give him.

However, the upsetting parts of this case don't just end there. Documents filed by the prosecutor reveal that the parents didn't even tell the boy he wouldn't be coming home when they dropped him off with children's services on October 24. According to the documents, the 9-year-old originally thought he was going to a hospital to be "fixed." Instead, he was left with a bag of clothes and a handwritten note penned by his mother, which insisted that she loved him and would never forget him.

"It breaks my heart that you can no longer be a part of our family," Lisa Cox wrote, adding that she was praying to God that the boy would be taken care of and the "perfect family" would be found to love him.

While Butler County prosecutor Michael Gmoser declined to comment about the case, the couple's attorney, Anthony VanNoy, was sure to point out that the case involves "very difficult issues" and isn't so black and white.

Still, many within the adoption community find the case absolutely heartwrending, and worry about the long-term trauma this will have on the child.

Speaking recently with the Huffington Post about the case, adoptive parent Robin Smith put her thoughts simply: "You just can't give up on children, no matter how hard the situation is."

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