Chris Emanuel never stopped loving his daughter, even after she was taken away from him and given up for adoption against his will.
The 25-year-old father fought the court at every turn, but it was a battle that was almost impossible to win.
Then something wonderful happened. This is the story of a man who staked everything in a desperate battle for the rights of the fathers.
It all started when Emmanuel’s girlfriend got pregnant for the first time.
They were living in Aiken, South Carolina, and Emanuel’s girlfriend was different from some of the other women he had dated in the past. He explained to ABC News that she was a girly girl, yet was still down to hang and play pool.Besides, she could ride horses with the best of them.
When he found out his girlfriend was pregnant, Emanuel was happy.
Even though they both came from different backgrounds, she was totally willing to commit and try to make it happen. They even started discussing marriage.
However, not everyone was as happy with the situation as he was.
When a long-awaited meeting between the two families went wrong, Emanuel suggested that his race might have something to do with it.
Whatever promises they made to each other didn’t matter in the end.
When Emanuel’s daughter was born, his girlfriend gave the child up for adoption, and he had no say in the matter. They promised to let him know when the baby was born so that he could be present at the birth. However, in fact, he did not even know that the birth had taken place until a messenger came to his door a week later to tell him the news.
He was told that the child was born and should already be adopted by a family in another state.
The paperwork was already done and that was that. Emanuel’s dreams of being a father were instantly crushed.
“My daughter was stolen from me. I asserted my rights. My rights were stripped of me. But not only that, now I’ve got to prove myself for my daughter,” said Emanuel.
This is where the real nightmare began.
As much as he wanted to be a father, it was against the law.It took three months for Emanuel to fight in court before he was finally able to bring his daughter back home.
For many fathers who are trying to get custody in court, things often go horribly wrong.Emanuel was one of the lucky ones though, after all he’s been through, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
We can’t imagine how stressful it must have been for everyone involved, not to mention how expensive it must have been. Lawyer fees and fighting in family court are notoriously expensive.
If Emanuel hadn’t had the foresight to add his name to the state’s register of responsible fathers before the baby was born, no one would have even contacted him about it. He would remain completely unaware.