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Twists and turns in 'Baby Vanessa' custody battle

The tug of war over two-year-old "Baby Vanessa" continues to receive national attention. The case began when the then-infant was moved from Ohio by the birth mother so that the girl could be adopted by a woman in California.

Now the adoptive parent and biological father, along with his mother, are grappling in an Ohio court to see who will prevail and raise the child.

The birth father contends that the birth mother lied on adoption forms, claiming the baby was the result of a one-night stand and that she had no idea who the father is. In reality, the birth father and birth mother were in a relationship marred by allegations against him of domestic violence.

He reportedly has four kids; custody of none. He's been jailed for domestic abuse and convicted of child endangerment.

Defenders of the birth mother say she had good reason to lie about the birth father.

Meanwhile, a California woman contends that she truthfully and legally signed adoption papers giving her custody of Baby Vanessa.

The woman says she has sacrificed financially not only in order to adopt a child, but to fight for custody of the child. The biological father's legal expenses are reportedly being covered by the states of California and Ohio.

Many observers of the legal fight wonder what motivates a man who is arguably less than an ideal parent to fight so hard and so long for custody. Some contend that his legal quest is simply another way of exerting control over the biological mother.

The desire to control is often a central theme in domestic abuse.

Clearly, anyone contending with physical or emotional abuse from a partner should reach out to one of the many helping hands extended in our community.

Resource: Dayton Daily News: "'Baby Vanessa' improperly taken from Ohio, biological father argues": March 8, 2011

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