Oklahoma Couple Want to Return Troubled Adopted Son to State

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ByABC News via logo
December 20, 2009, 8:08 PM

Dec. 21, 2009— -- Melissa and Tony Wescott are afraid of their son. They're so afraid of the boy they adopted that they're trying to have Oklahoma law changed so that they can return him to the state's care.

"He tried to burn our home down. The note said, 'I'm sorry you had to die,'" Melissa Wescott told "Good Morning America."

She said she and her husband have found butcher knives under his mattress and lighters hidden in his bedroom.

The Wescotts' 11-year-old son has been locked up in a psychiatric hospital in Tulsa, Okla., for nearly a year. But now doctors say he's not a danger to himself or anyone else, and the boy is scheduled to be released from the hospital next month.

Despite the doctors' opinion, the Wescotts say they are so afraid of having him back home that Melissa plans to stay awake at nights while her husband sleeps.

The trouble started shortly after the couple -- who couldn't have children of their own -- adopted the boy in 2007. His behavioral problems became so severe that he needed inpatient care.

Within a year of the adoption, the Wescotts told the Tulsa World, the child was diagnosed with reactive detachment disorder, disruptive behavior disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome.

The parents said the boy became violent toward other children and nonresponsive to adults, hurt and killed animals and ran away regularly, requiring help from police.

So they're trying to return him to the care of the state's Department of Human Services, but the state says adoptive parents should be treated no different from birth parents.