Aiken, South Carolina – Christopher Emanuel is a father who wanted to be the best father that he could be to his children. After learning that he was the soon-to-be father of a child, he thought that it was a perfect opportunity to do so.
But unfortunately for Emanuel, he was left out of a life-altering decision that forced him to fight for to reverse. Under South Carolina state law, unwed fathers can register through the state’s responsible fatherhood registry to be notified if their child was to ever go up for adoption. “Before rights are terminated to allow an adoption to occur attorneys as well as the department of social services will check this registry and if his name is on there he must be notified,” says Pat Littlejohn, President of South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families.
“My daughter was in San Diego, CA with the prospective adoptive couple where her name is changed. I have medical documentation calling my daughter another name and she was never legally adopted,” says Emanuel.
An adopter from another state can adopt a child that falls under a situation that encourages families to adopt biracial kids or kids with disabilities that are often left in the system. In Emanuel’s case, there was a family in California willing to adopt his little girl without any hesitation.
Emanuel challenged the adoption in his home state where the adoption originally took place. He showed that his daughter’s adoption was not properly executed with his legal involvement and rights to know of the proceedings. The courts later decided in his favor and had his daughter returned to him with sole custody of her.
Advocating for the rights of other unwed fathers, Emanuel established a nonprofit called, “Sky Is The Limit Foundation,” to educate them on their rights.