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Friday
Nov152013

Ohio Couple Indicted for Returning Adopted 9-Year-Old Son

iStock/Thinkstock(BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio) -- An Ohio couple is facing criminal charges after they brought their adopted 9-year-old son to a child services center and said they no longer wanted to care for him, according to authorities.

Cleveland and Lisa Cox took the boy to Butler County Children's Services in early November, saying that though they had raised him since he was a baby, they now wanted to give him back, according to officials and court documents.

"Adoptive children don't come with a return to sender stamp on forehand," said Mike Gmoser, the prosecuting attorney of Butler County.

"You don't get to give back. You have to accept them and give them unconditional love when you have the means and ability to provide for them. You may not have to love them, but it's your child, period," he said.

Gmoser took the case to a grand jury after learning of the child's return from his office's juvenile division. The grand jury returned an indictment against the couple, charging them with one count each of misdemeanor non-support of dependents.

The charge carries a possible six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The boy, whose identity has not been disclosed, is under the guardianship of attorney Adolfo Olivas. Olivas did not return calls from ABC News Friday.

Olivas told ABC News affiliate WCPO that the boy's parents could not handle his aggressive behavior any longer, and were frustrated that he refused to get help for his behavioral issues.

"The parents were willing to get help, but the child wasn't. That just is nonsense to me," Olivas said. "A parent is a parent and a 9-year-old is a 9-year-old. If your 9-year-old needs help, you get him help. It is not a question of a 9-year-old wanting it or not."

Both Olivas and Gmoser told WCPO that the couple has other children at home.

"What does this do to these other kids? You have these siblings and one goes away and doesn't ever come back because of some behavior issues. Anytime you separate siblings in the blink of an eye like that, it's got to have some bad effect on them," Olivas said.

"(The child is) hurt and confused and traumatized," Olivas said

Gmoser pointed out that mothers who take children to "safe havens" within the first 30 days of a baby's life are, by law, protected from any prosecution.

The couple, who did not return calls to ABC News, has a Nov. 27 court date scheduled.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio