According to a report in the Orange County Register, a key hearing is scheduled to take place in Orange County Family Court today in the ‘Baby Vanessa’ case. As I have outlined in earlier posts here and here, this complex Orange County father’s rights case involves a Rancho Santa Margarita woman, Stacey Doss, who adopted Vanessa, now age 2, shortly after the child’s birth.
Doss was told by the child’s birth mother that the baby was the born as the result of a one-night stand and that her father wished no involvement with the baby. In fact, the father, Benjamin Mills of Dayton OH, had an on-and-off relationship with the birth mother who had not, it emerged, told him she was pregnant. Mills sued for custody of his daughter, with Doss countering that she is the only parent Vanessa has ever known and that parting the two would be too traumatic for the child. Over the summer Mills’ mother, who is raising his two other children, also petitioned for custody of Vanessa.
Now, the Register, quoting a spokesman for Doss, reports that custody negotiations between Doss and Mills “started Wednesday and continued Thursday with no resolution.” The timing is crucial since, the paper notes, “a court hearing Friday will determine if mediation will continue or if the custody case will go to trial.” A custody hearing was originally scheduled to take place in Ohio early next week but has, for the moment, been “put on hold”, according to the paper, pending the outcome of these talks.
Orange County father’s rights, custody and adoption and questions of parental alienation have all come into play in this case. All these, in turn, serve as reminders of the importance of having an experienced Orange County family law attorney on your side when undertaking any legal matter. The justice system can be complex and confusing. Cases like Baby Vanessa’s, which stretch across state lines, can be especially complicated. Having an Orange County child custody lawyer in your corner is an essential in protecting your rights.
Orange County Register: Talks held in ‘Baby Vanessa’ custody fight