May 16th, 2014
11:37 PM ET

Adoption battle in court

It was a rough day in court today in Dickson, Tennessee for Dave and Kim Hodgin. They are the adoptive parents of a 9-year-old girl named Sonya, who desperately want her back. She was removed from their home and returned to her biological father after living with them for nearly 8 years.

Today the Hodgins went to court to ask the juvenile court judge to vacate the order which sent Sonya back to Omaha, Nebraska to live with her father. They also asked for visitation rights with her. The judge denied their request to vacate the order, ruling that Sonya will remain with her biological dad in Nebraska, at least for now. He did not rule on them being able to visit with her. That is under review.

Dave Hodgin, the adoptive father, spoke out after court saying “what happened in this court today is devastating for Sonya, Sonya doesn’t deserve the pain this court and DCS has given her. We will never stop.”

Many legal questions are involved in this particular case. Attorney and children's advocate Areva Martin and Carrie Gasaway, an attorney for Sonya's biological father, discussed the custody battle.

Read more about the case...

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Filed under: Adoption • Randi Kaye • Sonya
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. bcgardener

    Carrie Gasaway has been convicted of attempting to extort money from a client. She'll likely lose her law license.


    May 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm |
  2. nomrgdoboys

    At this point, I don't think that details of how these families and this child got here is really relevant, but more importantly, what has this sudden change in surroundings, people, and lifestyle done to this child? What will this change continue to do for her? What about her security, her safety? This would be different if the child had been returned to The Beavers but this guy is career criminal. This child did not have a clue who he was until she left the state with him, how or why doesn't matter. The point is she was taken from the only family she ever knew, for whatever reason and now she is suffering. All this caused by one man's inconsistent court rulings and not caring for how his decisions affect the children in these cases. Cases, much like this one, have been handled very similarly in Dickson Co. for 30 years. This election year that will finally change. Unfortunately for many children who have been ripped from a parent's custody and given to strangers, this will not change. But its time for someone to start making the right decisions for these children and not for the parents. The laws in TN state that once adopted a child is to be raised by the adoptive parents as blood relatives and the biological parents are no longer involved as biological parents. I think that applies here. Should the father have some rights, yes, but so should the child and those are the rights that are being ignored.

    May 21, 2014 at 7:04 am |
  3. natnme

    For those blindly supporting the Former Foster Parents because of the half-truths reported in the media, you might want to do some further research about this case (through true, unbiased facts – like actual court documents and not PR fed stories such as this) before supporting and encouraging the actions of these people.

    From the very beginning, Sonya's family has fought for her. She was never in need of adoption! DCS was working with her Grandmother, eight years ago, so she could be returned to her family where she belonged.

    But the Foster Parents did all they could to force Sonya away from her own family. They decided they were entitled to another man's child and went against DCS and Sonya's family to illegally adopt her.

    The adoption was overturned five years ago and yet the foster parents have continued to deny Sonya her family. For eight years they have fought to take a child that was never in need of a family.

    This is not a case of father goes to jail, adoptive parents come in and lovingly care for a child in need, father gets out of jail and suddenly decides he wants his child back.

    This is the case of a father, an entire family, that has fought against the Foster Family from the VERY beginning because their love for her was never ending and she deserved to be with her family. It is a case of a couple, desperate for a child, deciding they had a right to try and rip an innocent little girl away from her own family so they could have her.

    DCS just testified in court on Friday that the Foster Family has fought against them for eight years to return Sonya to her family and that, even if she were ever removed from her Father's care, she would not be returned to the Foster parents because that would be detrimental to her!

    I cannot understand, once learning the facts, how anyone could support such cruel actions by a couple who feels they are entitled to take an innocent girl away from her family simply because it's what they desire.

    May 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

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