A father from South Carolina is full of joy after winning custody of his daughter who was adopted by a new family without his permission. Christopher Emanuel said his girlfriend put their newborn daughter, Skyler, up for adoption without telling him.
“…I was hurt, I was confused because I wanted to ensure that I could be there for my child,” Emanuel said.
In South Carolina, fathers can sign up on the responsible fatherhood registry, an online database through DSS that tells the state that you have a child. Emanuel had filed on February 14, 2014, to be added as Skyler’s father on the registry, which must notify him if her mother puts her up for adoption.
However, when a Southern California family filed to adopt her a few days later (February 19), Emanuel was not added to their paperwork as the biological father. At that moment, Emanuel said he didn’t know if he would ever see his daughter again. But after months of contesting the adoption through a court in Aiken County, where Skyler was born, he got his daughter back; the judge granted him sole custody of his daughter.
“This was my opportunity to prove that I was deprived of that my constitution and state rights were violated,” he said.
“Aiken County Judicial Center this is where it went down at. But when I’m here being in this space it fills me with joy, I feel safe because Aiken County brought my daughter home where she belongs,” said Emanuel, who was inspired by his case to start the Sky Is The Limit Foundation where he travels across the U.S. educating fathers on their parental rights.