10,000 signatures delivered to SC legislature to keep child with - | WBTV Charlotte

10,000 signatures delivered to SC legislature to keep child with adoptive parents

(Photo courtesy family) (Photo courtesy family)
(Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV) (Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) -

A York County couple isn't giving up their fight to keep the little girl they believe is their own. Three-year-old Braelynn has been living with Tammy and Edward Dalsing since she was 3 months old.

But the couple now worry that could soon end after a South Carolina Court of Appeals overturned their adoption order. 

Tuesday morning, the Dalsings walked quietly towards the South Carolina State House. In their arms they carried a large stack of papers. Since December, the Dalsings have been gathering signatures on a change.org petition. They brought the list of 10,000 hoping the governor would hear their plea.

“You can’t take a child off a shelf and dust her off 11 months later like she’s a baby doll. Kids don’t have pause buttons,” Tammy said. 

The parental rights of the child's biological father, Andrew Myers, were terminated while he was serving time in prison for fraud because a judge decided he didn’t show he wanted to be a part of her life.

Paul Meding is a South Carolina adoption attorney based in Columbia. 

“It’s pretty clear in South Carolina that if a father’s rights are to be protected, that father has to take immediate and consistent steps to preserve his parental rights,” he said. 

But In December, the Court of Appeals overturned Braelynn’s adoption – stating Myers had made an effort to support the child and that she should live with him, a man she’s never met.

“It appears that there were gaps in time, lengthy gaps in time, where the father didn’t do anything at all. And that’s rather troubling,” Meding said. 

While South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster wasn't available to meet with the Dalsings, Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant did. 

“Hopefully, it won’t fall on deaf ears. Hopefully, there will be some action out of it,” Edward said. 

The couple is hoping to get someone on their side as they petition the South Carolina Supreme Court to hear the case. 

Meding worries what this could mean for other adoption cases if the order stands. 

“This could definitely send a chilling effect through the adoption community if this decision is allowed to stand,” Meding said. 

As they wait, Braelynn continues to live with the Dalsings, where they believe she should be forever.

“We are her family,” Tammy said. 

WBTV reached out to Myers’ attorney for comment and he declined.

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