Fighting for Grayson: Indiana Couple Fights Court Ruling to Give Son to Biological Father

An Indiana couple fights court ruling to give son to his biological father.

September 22, 2010, 9:50 PM

Sept. 23, 2010 — -- An Indiana couple fighting for custody of their son said they have no plans to turn their 3-year-old over to his biological father despite a court ruling ordering them to do so.

"That court order is not final yet," Jason Vaughn said. "We haven't had our day in court yet."

Cristy Vaughn didn't give birth to Grayson, but she was the first to hold him. She and her husband, Jason Vaughn, took him home when he was just 8 days old after his mother gave him up for adoption. He was named after Cristy Vaughn's grandfather.

"He's our child and he has been since the moment I held him," she said. "And I don't know anything different than that."

But before Grayson's adoption could be finalized, the little boy's biological father filed a petition for paternity. Despite that man's history of juvenile arrests, a court in Grayson's home state of Ohio sided with him.

The biological father, who declined an interview request, has argued that he was not aware of Grayson's birth at the time and that he filed his petition as soon as he found out.

Now the Vaughns, the only family Grayson has ever known, are in the midst of a contentious and emotional legal battle to keep him with them.

"My client has sought the return of his child since shortly after birth and will not relitigate this matter in the media," Lehenbauer wrote to ABC News in a statement. "My client, the biological father, was awarded legal custody by an Ohio court after consideration of all evidence."

Grayson's biological mother told ABC News that she lost contact with Grayson's father early in her pregnancy and wasn't required by law to provide his contact information to the adoption agency.

The Vaughns say the father has made no attempt to get to know Grayson or support him in anyway, save for one three-hour meeting in which the Vaughns had to drive him from Indiana to Toledo and back.

"Litigation isn't the same as support," Jason Vaughn said.

Indiana Family Fights to Keep Grayson, But Prepares for the Worst

The battle for Grayson hasn't just affected his parents but has also ripped through the entire family, which includes the boy's older brother and his sister who is nearly the same age.

"I can't imagine telling my 7-year-old that his little brother isn't going to be there anymore," Cristy Vaughn said.

Though the Vaughns have no plans to turn Grayson over to his biological father, they are preparing for the day it may happen -- just in case.

Cristy Vaughn said the courts have ordered that he be returned to a father he's never known within 24 hours of the final ruling, a notion she considers to be unacceptable.

"Twenty-four hours isn't fair at all," she said.

"There are laws in both states that if a child is forced to change custodians there should be a transition plan," Jason Vaughn said.

The Vaughns said they have consulted with a child psychologist who drafted a transition proposal that has been submitted to Grayson's court-appointed guardian ad litem.

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