"It's My Baby Too!": Chris

Delane and Vada"
Grandparents at Odds

Chris, says, "In my heart, I totally feel that it's because of Dylane that that baby is not with her family. I got the feeling that Esther was afraid of her father. I really thought that she would have the baby, but her parents felt it was a bad thing. They have total control."

"Bryce's mother's wrong. It was more Esther's decision than mine," Dylane says.

"We definitely wanted a two-parent family for Esther's little baby girl," Vada says.

"Dylane is a very overbearing man," Chris says. "He is not a grandfather because no grandfather would send their grandbaby to be raised by strangers."

"Bryce said, ‘I want full custody.' I said, ‘Why? You can't even afford it.' He said, ‘I'll take it to my mother. She's going to raise this kid.' And I said, ‘I don't think so,'" Dylane recalls. "Giving the baby away was one of the hardest things we did. That kid's going to have a great life," he says, holding back his emotion.

"They're not honest people. They went into the court room, they lied," Chris
says.

"I am not a liar," Vada says.

"Bryce's mother or Bryce never showed any commitment or support any time she was pregnant," Dylane argues. "He said, ‘I can afford it if I go to my mother's house.' And I said, ‘Yeah, and your mother is going to be raising it while you try to work,' and he didn't deny it."

"The day the baby was born, I was there," Vada says. "I was so excited that I got to hold Esther's little baby girl in my arms. She was beautiful. We were sad to see the baby go, but we know that Esther did the right thing."

Chris grows teary-eyed. "I cannot handle the thought of my own flesh and blood out in the world and never being a part of its life," she says.

Another reason Bryce and Chris are upset is that Esther didn't just give her baby to an anonymous family. She placed the baby with friends of her family. "These people are friends of Esther and Esther's mom and dad," Chris says. "They're going to get to see that little girl grow up, and we're not and that's wrong."

 

"We were excited that Esther found an adoptive family. We had her dedicated, then she went home with them," Vada says.

"We have access to the baby because we supported Esther in this deal," Dylane says. "Bryce never sent us a dime, so by law, there are no grandparental rights."

"I told them, ‘I will see you in court,'" Chris says. "‘You are not going to get rid of my grandchild.'"

"What makes me upset is Bryce doing what he's doing to mess the life up of that kid. And if he got the kid, who knows what kind of life it's going to have? It won't be as near as good as it has now," Dylane says.

"I didn't know when my daughter was born," Bryce says. "It hurts that I didn't get to be a part of her first moments coming into this world. I wasn't allowed to be there to hold her. I feel like I've been robbed of some precious moments with my daughter. I can never go back and get those."

"If he just would've allowed the open adoption, then he would've had visitation, and there wouldn't have been a problem," Vada says.

"I had one four-hour visit with Bryce, and the baby and myself. And that's not how God wants it. You want to talk about Christian people? That's not what God would do," Chris says angrily. "Why do they have anymore right to a relationship with that baby than the father or the other grandmother?"

"I do consider myself a grandmother now," Vada says. "Even though she's being raised by another family, I'm still a grandparent."

"Do I have regrets? Not a one. Not one," Dylane says. "That kid is well loved, well spoiled. She's going to have a great life."

"No, I am not done," Chris says vehemently. "I don't know what I'm going to do, but I am not done. I tell you, this has been the worst hurt I have ever in my life been through. Ever."

Dr. Phil addresses Dylane. "I guess, as any father, you weren't happy to find out that your 19-year-old daughter was pregnant."

"No," Dylane says.

"You're a father of a daughter. If you were in Bryce's position, and someone had taken your daughter without your knowledge or consent, and placed her for adoption, what would your reaction be?" Dr. Phil asks him.

"I'd be the same as him. I'd want to see the baby. I totally agree with that," he says.

"And the reason that he doesn't have the right is because he did not register with the Putative Fathers Registry, and make contributions during the year preceding the adoption," Dr. Phil says. "Did you know this registry existed?"

"No, I didn't," he admits.

"You didn't know about it. Is it fair to expect him to know about it if you didn't know about it?"

"No."

"So, this is a leverage, a loophole, that you found to exclude him," Dr. Phil surmises.

"We didn't. I didn't. The court system did," Dylane clarifies.

"But your lawyer found it. So you were looking for a way to exclude him from access to his daughter," Dr. Phil says.

"We were trying to get him to do what's right," Dylane says.

Referring to Dylane, Dr. Phil asks Bryce, "You two went to dinner, right?"

"Yes," Bryce says.

"You had dinner, and he said, ‘You can have visitation with this child.'"

"No," Bryce says. "He asked if I would give the baby up for adoption, or how I felt about that. I said, ‘Absolutely not. I don't want to give my child up for adoption. I will raise her,' and it didn't sink into his head."

"Did he threaten you with abortion of the baby if you did not agree to the adoption?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, he did, if I would not cooperate," Bryce says.

Dr. Phil asks Dylane, "So you threatened him with abortion? ‘I'll have this baby aborted if you don't agree to the adoption'?"

Dylane reiterates that Bryce said he would give the baby to his mother. "He would not listen to me. He was one-sided, period," he says. "I said, ‘Then
fine, we'll just end this thing right here.' I do not believe in abortion, but I said that to change his mind."

"Just because I'm a guy does not mean I can't raise my child," Bryce says.

Esther speaks up. "You don't even have a driver's license. If there's an emergency, how are you going to get her there?"

"911," Bryce says.

"You say you do have a spotted past," Dr. Phil says to Bryce. "You were involved with meth?"

"Yes, I was," Bryce admits. He also admits to two DUIs. "I made those choices, and I have consequences because of those choices."

"I think there are two questions here," Dr. Phil says. "I think one is: Have you been fairly treated in losing your parental rights with this child? And the other is whether you would be fit as a father if you had the right to assert your position as father. And those are two separate questions, and you answer both of them with you do think you've been cheated, and you do think you would be fit as a father."

"Yes, I do," Byrce says.