Torry Hansen had adopted the child and thus become a legal parent. The law is fairly clear that you cannot just quit being a parent. You can place a child for adoption, but that is not what happened here. Generally speaking if you totally shirk your parental responsibilities, you can be held criminally liable for child abuse and/neglect. While this may not happen in this instance, the structure of the law makes apparent the permanent nature of legal parenthood.
It’s also interesting to note the citizenship issues that are being raised. It seems to me that more and more parties are expressing an interest in the case. Perhaps that’s a good thing, but it also means the tangle will continue for quite a while.
In a totally different vein, consider this story about a woman becoming a first-time mother at 73.
It’s not uncommon to read criticisms of women who become parents at various advanced ages, but generally speaking this is in the context of ART. This is quite a different story.
Marilyn Berger is mother to a 8-year-old Ethiopian boy she helped bring to this country for medical care. She isn’t, in fact, a legal parent of the child. Ethiopia prohibits adoption of a child more than forty years younger than the prospective parent. But it seems in the real world this legal point matters little. The boy’s guardian is the doctor who performed the surgery and is contented with the boy’s living arrangement.
This is the sort of story you often do not see in the news–there’s no conflict, there’s no drama. There’s just a mother and her child, getting along with their lives.