Man stands up for biological father in adoption controversy

David Houston
David Houston
Jason and Grayson Vaughn
Jason and Grayson Vaughn
Christy Vaughn
Christy Vaughn

Louisville, KY - By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 is getting a different perspective on a local adoption fight that's gained national attention. There has been an outpouring of community support for Jason and Christy Vaughn, a Sellersburg couple trying to keep the little boy they call their son. A retired paralegal is standing up for Grayson Vaughn's biological father.

David Houston was a paralegal for 32 years who has worked on Ohio adoption cases. He started digging into court records after hearing this one still wasn't settled after three years and said things are being mis-reported.

He says that the biological father did not show-up out of nowhere, but in fact, has tried to get his son back for almost three years now.

Grayson was born October 29, 2007. Records show his biological mother and her husband gave up their rights as parents six days later, but her husband wrote: "I am not the biological father" on the form.

On November 20, Benjamin Wyrembek registered with the Ohio Putative Father Registry because he suspected the baby could be his son.

"Because of the unique facts of the case where he has had an affair with a married woman, gotten her pregnant, I don't see anyway that Ben could have known prior to the paternity test that he was the real father," said Houston.

Just 60 days after Grayson's birth, Wyrembek filed for his parental rights in juvenile court.

"Until Ben got his paternity test, which proves that he is the real father according to Ohio law, its presumption was that the husband was the real father, even though in this particular scenario he was not," said Houston.

As Wyrembek waited on a paternity test, Jason and Christy Vaughn filed for adoption.

They argued that because Wyrembek was not legally the father at that time, Grayson was now their son.

"You have a race to the courthouse under the current law under," said Houston. "The Vaughns because they seek to adopt they only have to sprint 10 feet. Ben because he's the actual father he has to run a mile."

The courts ruled against the Vaughns, first in adoption court last year and finally in the Ohio Supreme Court in July. Houston says the child is, therefore, not legally adopted.

"At the point in time--no," said Houston. "The adoption has been denied. It was denied years ago and it stands denied today."

The Supreme Court ruled 4-3, but could reconsider its decision. Until then, we expect Grayson to stay with the Vaughns.

"They say well you know the child has bonded with the Vaughns and the Vaughns love the child and I assume the child loves the Vaughns," said Houston. "That's fine, but it doesn't mean the child won't love his natural father."

Houston is not a spokesperson for the family because both parties have agreed not to speak with the media following a hearing in September in Floyd County.

Houston did tell us that the biological father has met with the child at least once, but it ended badly after a disagreement over whom Grayson should call daddy.

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