Oklahoma court orders SC family to return Baby Desirai
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A second Oklahoma father is fighting for the custody of his biological daughter after she was adopted by a South Carolina family, in a case that looks strikingly similar to the custody battle for Baby Veronica.
Jeremy Simmons says he has never met his daughter, Desirai, and did not know she had placed for adoption until the baby's maternal grandmother told him. Desirai was born in May.
"I was mad, sad, upset," said Simmons. "I didn't know why or how somebody could hand over their baby like that."
Baby Desirai's mother is part Absentee Shawnee Indian, a tribe federally recognized and protected.
Although Simmons is not Native American, he is trying to use the Indian Child Welfare Act to get custody of the baby girl; The same act the U.S. Supreme Court said did not apply in the Baby Veronica case.
On Wednesday, an Oklahoma court ordered Desirai to be returned to Oklahoma.
At this time, it is unclear where in South Carolina she has been living. Desirai's adoptive parents have not been identified by the courts, and her location has not been revealed.
Even with all the similarities, a local attorney for Simmons say she does not expect the case to go as far as the Baby Veronica case has.
"No court of my knowledge has given (the child's adoptive parents) permission to have this child," says Shannon Jones. "Baby Desirai was transported illegally from Oklahoma to South Carolina."
Simmons says he won't stop until he gets his daughter back and has this message for the family who currently has custody.
"If they would, you know, have a kind heart," Simmons says. "People that's got my daughter, if they would bring her back home safely because her daddy misses her and her daddy loves her very much."
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