Three years is what it took for one man to try and hug his little boy. From dropping out of college to paying the legal bills, constant traveling, and court dates, let's hope it was not all in vain.
Jeremiah Sampson grew up without a father figure for most of his childhood. He only met his dad at 13 years old. After this, his father was still not present in his life.
Sampson was determined to be a wonderful father and great family man with this background. But, no one seemed to believe in him.
[Left] Jeremiah Sampson’s children; [Right] Jeremiah Sampson and one of his children. | Source: facebook.com/jeremiah.t.sampson facebook.com/kim.k.crosby
GETTING IN THE LEGAL RING
In 2009, a twenty-something Sampson was an Oklahoma student. He played football for the Pittsburg State University in Kansas and was dating a woman who fell pregnant.
In 2010, when they were not together anymore, he found out that she was with child as he received a phone call from an adoption agency.
Jeremiah Sampson. | Source: youtube.com/HLN
THE BELL RINGS
They let him know that he was most likely the child's father, and it was probably being put up for adoption. Immediately, the football player insisted that he look after the baby.
They prohibited Sampson from catching a good look at his baby by putting a towel over his son's head.
But, it was not as simple as that. By the time Sampson had contacted his ex-girlfriend, the baby had already been adopted. So the three-year battle began.
Jeremiah Sampson’s son Hilkyah. | Source: youtube.com/HLN
ROUND ONE: 2010
Armed with a lawyer and dropping out of college to pay for the upcoming road ahead, this father decided that no one would take his child away from him. He saw his kid for the first time in court. The adoptive parents were not impressed, Sampson said:
"I saw how they looked at me - like I was the devil... People complain about men who don't take responsibility for their children. Well, here I am, wanting to be a father to my son."
Sampson was prohibited from catching a good look at his baby by them putting a towel over his son's head. The dad traveled to Rolla twice a week for six months to fight for his parental rights.
Jeremiah Sampson and his son Hilkyah. | Source: youtube.com/HLN
ROUND 2: 2011
By mid-2011, things started to look up as the court allowed Sampson to visit his child, who was being held under state care for an interim period.
In the beginning, there were some issues connecting with the little one, as the boy didn't recognize his biological dad. But, it didn't take long for them to form a deep bond.
THE FINAL ROUND
2013 came around, and the day after Christmas, this tired and relieved father was finally given full custodianship. Speaking about his little Hilkyah, as the boy was named, the ecstatic father expressed:
"He has a lot of energy and reminds me a lot of myself."
This energy was put into full force when Sampson battled for his son. As his second-grade teacher Carol Carter, who he is still close to, said, "It was very much a David-and-Goliath situation to take on the adoption agency, but he never backed down."
THE BATTLES CONTINUE
Sampson isn't the only dad who found himself on a bold mission to become the legal father of his biological child.
In 2013, Preston King from Southern California also claimed that his ex-girlfriend gave their son up for adoption without his consent or knowledge.
According to the 19-year-old, he had been nothing but the best dad possible, taking on a second job and doing all he could to look after his former lover while she was pregnant.
Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend begged to differ, stating that he was never there for her throughout her pregnancy. Either way, the father vowed to continue fighting.
Adoption and birth father's rights are tricky and messy areas of the law mixed with deep ethical debates. Do you think that a mom has the right to give her child up for adoption without the dad's approval?