Woodward Couple Forced To Relinquish Adopted Son
Woodward, Oklahoma - It could easily be the scene out of a movie: a baby ripped out of the hands of his adoptive parents after the biological father decides he wants custody. But that's exactly what is playing out in real life for a Woodward couple.
Last week the Oklahoma Supreme court upheld a decision that the couple has to give up the baby they raised for eight months.
Mark and Veta Burdine tried desperately for a baby, even moving to China for cheaper infertility treatments. Finally, after two failed adoptions, they had baby to call their own.
On Friday, as they played on the floor with 16-month-old Kyzer, they knew that these were likely some of the last hours they would get to spend with him.
"He knows we are Mommy and Daddy and if we never get to see him again, he knows there is a hole in his heart and he's not going to know why," said Veta Burdine.
They have been there since Kyzer was born.
"My husband cut the cord, we named him," said Veta.
But months into making the adoption official, Kyzer's biological father decided he wanted his son.
According to court papers, Kyzer's biological mother had an extra-marital affair with Theodore Rea. In court, The Burdines argued Rea spent eight months in prison for physically abusing his ex wife, offered the biological mother $400 so she could get an abortion, and drank alcohol with the mother throughout her pregnancy.
But the judge ruled in favor of Rea, ordering the Burdines to hand Kyzer over immediately.
"They don't seem to care about the baby in this situation, only blood," said Veta.
For the past eight months the Burdines had only four-hour weekly visits with Kyzer as they hoped and prayed the Oklahoma Supreme Court would reverse the decision. Last week they found out the high court also sided with Rea.
"The court system gave the rights to a biological father based on a DNA sample and a verbal statement," said Mark Burdine.
The court ruled that because Rea gave the biological mother $600 (something she disputes) that is enough to determine he contributed to the support of the baby, and still has parental rights.
When we asked Rea if he wanted the baby when he found out the biological mother is pregnant he said: "I'll leave you to answer that. I have him don't I? I've gone this whole way for my son. What makes you think I wouldn't want him?"
The Burdines now have little hope that something will happen to reverse the court decision before they have to hand him over to Rae forever.
"As far as I'm concerned, they don't deserve a baby," said Rea.
But the Burdines want to warn other parents thinking about adopting what may be in store.
"An adoptive baby can be taken away from you based on little proof, little requirements from a biological parent," said Mark.
"If I had it all over to do again, I will do it because Kyzer is my son, so heartache or not I would have done it," said Veta.