A 22-year old black woman became pregnant by her 23-year old boyfriend. At that time, the mother was teaching at a Christian school by day and she was studying at a community college to earn a degree as a medical assistant. Her boyfriend was working for a large retail company but he was working toward a degree in automotive mechanics.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said both the woman and the man lived with their families. The woman had a two-year old daughter who lived with her and the man had a three year old son who lived with his ex-girlfriend but the man enjoys joint custody and regularly paid child support for his son.
While the woman was pregnant, she responded to a personal advertisement in a newspaper placed by a single woman who wanted to adopt a baby. The woman and the pregnant lady spoke to each other over the phone and they met several times. Both the pregnant woman and her boyfriend liked the woman and were willing have their baby adopted by the single woman.
The single woman had an adoption lawyer who recommended that the pregnant lady and her boyfriend also retain the services of their own lawyer. Their lawyer’s fees will be paid for by the single woman. The lawyer the couple chose went through the adoption process with them. He explained to them what they were giving up and explained to them the legal consequences of the consent they were giving to the adoption.
The couple fully understood what they were giving up when they signed the consent. But when the woman gave birth, she held the baby in her arms and the baby spent the night with them in the hospital. The baby’s father was there and he assisted in bathing her and changing her. Both of them felt that they had made a mistake putting up their baby for adoption. They still turned over their baby to the adoptive mother who brought the child from Maryland where the baby was born to Brooklyn, New York where she lived. From that time, the parents revoked their consent to the adoption within five days from executing it and filed a case in New York to revoke the adoption.
At the trial, the adoptive mother testified and it was found that she was more than able financially to take care of the baby. She rented an apartment and had a successful career. However, the family court discovered that there had been undisclosed marijuana use and an undisclosed diagnosis and treatment for mental illness which would affect a determination of her fitness to be a mother to the baby she adopted.
On the other hand, the biological father of the baby also testified and candidly disclosed that he had been involved in a domestic violence dispute with his former girlfriend who was the mother of his son. He testified that he and his girlfriend had an argument and the argument ended up with physical violence being inflicted by the two of them against each other. The police who arrived in response to a 911 call had to physically pull them apart. Mutual orders of protection had been issued in their favor against each other.
The ex-girlfriend of the biological father of the baby testified also. A Westchester Criminal Lawyer said she portrayed the biological father as abusive and violent and cast aspersions on his person and fitness to be a father. She claimed that he assaulted her several times. She claims that she filed police reports about these separate incidents but there was evidence only of one incident.
The neighbor of the biological father testified as to the domestic violence incident. She claims to have also testified in the criminal court as to what really transpired during that one documented domestic violence incident. She claims to have been alerted when she heard two people arguing just in front of her house on the street. She saw the girlfriend of the biological father take things out of the car of the biological father. The biological father then started taking things out of his girlfriend’s car. She saw the girlfriend run toward the biological father and jump on him from behind, biting him on the shoulder and clawing him on his back. The boyfriend tried to push off the girlfriend from his back so that she fell on the pavement. She then got up again and jumped on the biological father again and slammed him down. The police came and pulled the two apart.
The Court ruled that the revocation of the consent shows that the written revocation was timely made and that it was received by the adoptive mother within the time required by the law. There is no question that the consent signed by the couple was valid. A Queens Criminal Lawyer said the only issue for determination before the family court is the best interest of the child.
It shows that from the evidence presented, the couple decided to give up their baby for adoption because they were convinced at the time that it was in the best interest of their baby to be adopted. They had no financial means by which to support another child and they did not enjoy the support of their parents.
The Court also noted that they were attentive parents who spent time, money and effort to see their baby in New York every week during the pendency of these proceedings. They were both concerned and diligent parents who worked hard to give both their children the love and support they need. They seemed to come from stable and supportive homes with the presence of extended families (grandparents and great grandparents) who all extend support for the raising of both their biological children.
The Court notes that the adoptive mother, while she is financially more able to care for the baby is a lot older and has had more time to earn and to save up for her future. The Court however did not find the adoptive mother’s non-disclosure of her past drug use and her past diagnosis for mental illness a good indication of her moral fitness to raise the baby. She should have been forthright with the Court.
The Court compared this with the candidness with which the biological father disclosed his conviction for assault. He testified truthfully about the circumstances surrounding his domestic violence misdemeanor conviction. The Court was impressed with his lack of bitterness and vindictiveness against his former girlfriend. The Court also noted that he expressed regret that his son had witnessed the domestic violence.
The Court compared his behavior with that of his former girlfriend who displayed animosity toward him and refused to admit that the assault inflicted upon her was precipitated by the assault committed by her against her boyfriend.
The Court determined that the best interest of the adopted baby was to remain in the custody of her biological parents who are granted joint custody of their baby.
A domestic violence conviction has consequences that affect your fitness to be a parent or an adoptive parent. A New York City Domestic Violence lawyer should be able to help present facts that show, as in this case, that the assault relative to the domestic violence t mutually inflicted between you and your partner. A New York Domestic Violence attorney can present evidence in your favor and argue your case to show that you were as much a victim as a perpetrator of the domestic violence. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today. Go and speak to any of their New York City Domestic Violence attorneys at any of their offices in the New York Area.