Texas Single Dad Stops Adoption; May Get Custody of his Son

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

September 24, 2009 / mensnewsdaily.com 

In this case, a single father actually wins a round in family court.  It's not over yet, for reasons I don't understand, but read the court's opinion here and maybe you can figure it out.

There's a good bit to chew on in the case of In the matter of Baby Boy M., A Minor.  As its name suggests, this is an adoption case.  Like the last adoption case out of Utah that I wrote about a few weeks ago, the facts in this case tell a lot about the depths to which some mothers will descend to keep a father from his child.  Adoption agencies facilitate the mother's behavior.

Shawn and Samantha lived together in the little Texas town of Granbury just southwest of Fort Worth.  They weren't married, but they had a daughter, Kaylee in 2003.  In late 2004, Samantha moved out of the house and within weeks was living with Darrell.  A few months later, she announced that she was pregnant and intended to place the child for adoption.  Shawn immediately told her that, if the child were his, he wanted custody and would not agree to any adoption.

Samantha learned of a couple, Travis and Sabra Hess, who lived in Boise, Idaho, who wanted to adopt.  The Hesses were using the services of LDS (think "Latter Day Saints") Family Services, which coincidentally was one of the adoption agencies involved in the Utah case I blogged about earlier.  Samantha spoke with LDS caseworker, Kimberly Sidwell and according to the court,

Sidwell met with Samantha two weeks before the baby was due to be born. At that time, Sidwell asked Samantha whether she knew the identity of the baby's father. Samantha told Sidwell that Shawn was the father and indicated he was not aware of her pregnancy. Sidwell asked for an address to contact Shawn, but Samantha said she did not know where he was. Samantha did, however, provide Sidwell with Shawn's date of birth and social security number. After the meeting, Samantha asked LDS if she could work with a different caseworker due to a “personality conflict” with Sidwell.
        Samantha next met with Eric Larsen from LDS. Larsen also asked about the paternity of the baby, and Samantha told him she was fairly certain that Shawn was the father. Samantha also stated, however, there was a possibility that the father was Darrell. When Larsen asked where he could find Shawn, Samantha told him she thought he was either living in Dallas or going to school in Florida. After being asked multiple times how to contact him, Samantha finally admitted that Shawn lived in Granbury and gave Larsen a phone number for Shawn's mother, Sandra.

Both Sidwell and Larsen were informed by Shawn and his mother that Shawn had no intention of relinquishing his parental rights if the child were his.  When Shawn and his mother found out what hospital Samantha was in, they both talked to a social worker there and told her Shawn would request a DNA test to determine paternity and assert his rights.

At that point, everyone involved in the case knew very well that Shawn refused to give up his parental rights.  The sensible thing - the humane thing - to do would have been to perform genetic testing and, if Shawn were the father, turn the baby over to him.  But that is not what happened. 

In fact, Samantha, LDS Family Services, the Hesses and the hospital all worked hand in glove to keep the baby from Shawn.  That included the hospital's designating Samantha a "no information" patient.  That meant that the hospital could only release information about the baby to people Samantha approved.  Needless to say, that did not include Shawn.  Despite knowing of Shawn's intentions, the Hesses took the baby boy back to Idaho, Samantha signed a relinquishment of her parental rights and presumably, LDS got paid.

But Shawn was not deterred so easily.  He filed the correct forms with the Texas Paternity Registry within the 30 days alotted him.  He talked to several attorneys, contacted the FBI and even wrote a letter to the governor.  

Eventually LDS and the Hesses sued Shawn to terminate his parental rights and Shawn countersued to establish paternity and to be managing conservator of the child.  (In Texas, "managing conservator" means the parent with physical custody of the child; "possessory conservator" means the parent with visitation rights.)

Despite finding that Shawn is the child's father, the trial court ruled against him, but the appellate court reversed that ruling.  The child is now four years old.  In reading the case, notice how LDS seems to have intentionally delayed almost every step of the process.  That's because in adoption cases, often courts simply rule that, due to the length of the court proceedings, the child has bonded with the adoptive parents and, therefore, whatever the father's rights may be, they are superseded by the best interests of the child.  Clearly, that's what LDS and the Hesses were counting on in this case, but, as of now, at least, it didn't work.

But as I said earlier, it's not over yet.  Instead of reversing the lower court and rendering judgment for Shawn, the court ordered another trial in the same court that ruled against Shawn in the first place.  We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, read the court's opinion and notice the behavior of all parties who were bound and determined that this adoption would take place regardless of the father's rights and wishes.

And again, as in all these adoption matters, there are far fewer qualified parents who want to adopt than there are children who need adopting.  So where adoption is forced on a child who has a father who is ready, willing and able to care for it, another child, somewhere in the world, who needs adoption, is denied loving adoptive parents.   

That very result, which so often occurs, was barely avoided here.  And it was only avoided because of the dogged persistence of Shawn and his mother who managed to overcome the disgraceful conduct of Samantha, LDS, the Hesses and the hospital


Shawn McDonald case

There is some more information about this case here.

Utah, "best interest" what are they putting in the koolade

We all know how the "best interest" in Utah works.
Keep the child in the home of the Mormons. That is the "best interest".
Even when everything that is presented against the family is all bad, and even criminal.

Drag the case out, drag it out to a trial, let the non-Mormons go to the Court of Appeals, we all know that the appeals process is a lengthy process.

Then the Mormon appellate judges rule in favor of the crooked Mormons but they slip in there a "oh oh clause, " the trial court judge missed something big, the Mormon family has neglected and abused an adopted child, or two or three.......
The Corrupt of Appeals sends it back to the trial court, but to cover your bum, the non Mormons feel they must go to the Utah Supreme Court. so that becomes a long drawn out process hoping to get a reversal there before going back to the hick town where the Mormon judge did a "blotch boo boo" on the case.

Then if the non Mormon family loses in the Utah Supreme Court then they march back to the hoe down town of Mormonville for yet another hearing or trial. Are you getting the "wait them out" Mormon drift here?

Meanwhile an innocent child's brain is being white washed into believing that it's real parents are "bad" and that the Mormon parents are "good". Just to confuse the child, so that the corrupt Guardian ad litem can say, "well, your honor, this child has been in these "dumb, morons home and they have brainwashed the child into thinking that they are the "true" parents."
By this time you have spent your money, your parents money, your relatives money and your banks money fighting Mormon INC. trying to get your child back.

It is a game that they play in that state and it is called "in the best interest of the child" Do a little bit of history,,look at other fathers and other families, go back and look at the Meadow Mountain Massacre, where they slaughter all but the infants and put them in Mormon Homes. Oh, but the child is ever so precious, that ten of them will get you to Mormon heaven. Kids are used in that state.

Shawn's Case

This is a case that I have been personally involved with for years.  Texas changed the law to prevent men like Shawn from being fathers.  Here Shawn did everything right. He is still fighting four years later for his son.  The Hess's intentionally hid this child from his father until they joined the trial case. 

Keep in mind that there was no adoption.  The Hess's are non parents.  That is a legal term here in Texas.  I have written Glenn Sacks, Dr. Phil, and many others about this case.  It is such a  perfect example of the abuse that adoption agencies do.  This particular incident is very reflective of LDS Family/Social Services.  They are the ones that the most guilty.  They have done this to countless numbers of fathers all over this country. Even Gladney would have dropped this case like a hot potato.  They have done that.

Since there was no adoption, Shawn's rights were NEVER terminated.  Both the trial court and the Appeals court affirmed his parental rights.  The trial court erred in giving guardianship to the Hess's.  He has kept his child support payments current despite what the Hess's say.  The state of Texas lost some of his child support payments but Shawn had copies of the checks that they cashed.  So that issue was quickly resolved.

Shawn has passed three homestudies.  He is now having to do a fourth one.  He has passed every single one of these homestudies.  These homestudies were done by CPS.  The Hess's have pursued false allegations which have been disproven by a Texas District attorney.  The grand jury has also declined to file a case against him. 

This young man should have had his son returned to him immediately.  His son should have never left the state of Texas.  In fact, the agency was forced to pay his legal fees for the trial court.  The original social worker did not have a personality conflict with Samantha.  She just refused to follow through with the intention to deceive Shawn.  Erik Larson was brought in.  He too was put on a two year probation at the expense of the agency but that was dismissed eventually.  He was able to whine his way through that one.  The agency was also reprimanded for their actions in violating Shawn's rights. I have documented this on my blog.  I believe this website has those violations in its database.  Shawn also sued the agency and the LDS Church.  He settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

The Hess's also filed an appeal with the Appeals court and were denied.  They are now planning to go to the Supreme Court.  They have until October 5th in which to do so.


wow , what you posters were

wow , what you posters were not aware of was while this was going on the family the parents of shawn were not paying their federal taxes and later got caught for tax evasion . the mother has a history of writing hot cheques ( evaded the law for nearly a year ) in parker county texas and shawns sister misty was getting another family member do her english papers and term papers at Tarelton in stephenville texas , how do you spell lairs cheats and thieves ( plagiarism ) . The mcdonald family are not all roses , the sister of hunter is still not living with shawn currently and no doubt someone is getting her tax credits on their files . they may have gotten 750,000.00 and blew it in months so when they continue to cry the blues on twitter then remove the post from the father david mcdonald something stinks on the farm and it is crap not from the animals . the father david has been accused of abuse from the mother in a certain email sent to a relative , was the contents of the email abuse accusation true or false from shawns mother ?

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