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youtube.com/ABC News
youtube.com/ABC News

Couple Raise Adopted Baby from Birth as Their Own — Her Biological Father Shows up 3 Years Later

Brittany Chalmers
May 17, 2022
08:40 A.M.

A drug-addicted mother made the devastating decision to give her child up for adoption. The sweet girl was welcomed by adoptive parents, who gave her the love she needed. However, a single letter changed their lives forever.

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Parents sometimes make the tough decision of giving their child up when they know it is for the best. The choice is never easy, but one mother knew it would give her daughter access to opportunities and a home filled with care.

An adoptive couple welcomed the infant into their lives and fell in love with her. They never imagined the little one's biological father would resurface after a few years—he sent them a letter that felt like the family's worst nightmare.

Braelynn Dalsing with her adoptive parents. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Braelynn Dalsing with her adoptive parents. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

THE ADOPTION

Braelynn Dalsing was born in 2013, and she didn't spend much time with her birth mom. The woman knew she needed help fighting her addiction, so she handed her newborn to the Dalsing family.

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Ed Dalsing felt for the mom and shared:

"She made a choice, probably one of the hardest choices I could imagine a mother making, and that’s handing her daughter over to somebody else."

They raised the child in South Carolina and watched her blossom into a confident and sweet little girl. By the age of three, she was like any other youngster, enjoying life without worry.

Ed Dalsing is emotional speaking about his adoptive child. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Ed Dalsing is emotional speaking about his adoptive child. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

HER FATHER'S UNEXPECTED LETTER

Braelynn never knew that her adoptive parents were in the middle of a heated custody battle with her biological father, Andrew Myers. He appealed the adoption and wanted his daughter to come home to him.

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In 2016, he sent the Dalsings a letter that changed their lives. Tammy Dalsing stated:

"That’s the worst day I can ever remember, was Dec. 15. And my husband called me, and he told me that the appellate court ruled against us."

The adoptive parents were emotional and couldn't bear the thought of giving up the girl they came to know and love. Ed expressed: "I'm a 20-year Marine veteran, and I've never cried as much as I have over this."

Mom Tammy Dalsing and her child, Braelynn. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Mom Tammy Dalsing and her child, Braelynn. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS WERE SHATTERED

Tammy and Ed had nurtured little Braelynn through challenging times. Her mother's addiction resulted in issues like a droopy eye and a misshapen head. They ensured she received the needed care and were delighted with her progress.

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However, their life with Braelynn was hanging on by a thread, and the couple was concerned. Ed noted: "It breaks our heart. Braelynn is the one in the middle of this."

The Dalsing parents were devastated because of the custody battle. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

The Dalsing parents were devastated because of the custody battle. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

THE BITTER CUSTODY BATTLE

Braelynn's birth mother, Erica Keisler, believed her daughter belonged with the Dalsing family. She knew they cared for her and couldn't believe the child's father was seeking custody that would disrupt her entire life.

Keisler said:

"It was hard. What the Dalsings do for my two girls is a blessing. I can lie down at night and know that they're taken care of, know that they're loved."

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The biological mother saw how the adoptive family helped Braelynn when she needed them the most. She also pointed out that her birth father didn't even know her favorite color and couldn't understand why a judge would give him custody.

Braelynn Dalsing's biological mom shares why she gave her up for adoption. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Braelynn Dalsing's biological mom shares why she gave her up for adoption. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

THE FATHER WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON

The biological dad, Myers, was not present during Braelynn's formative years because he was serving a jail sentence for fraud. After he was released, he wanted to have his child with him.

The Dalsing couple had no feelings of hatred toward Myers and even wanted him to spend time with his daughter. However, they believed it was best for them to remain her legal guardians and adoptive parents.

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Tammy noted:

"We don’t think that her biological father, his grandmother are mean or evil or anything like that. We’ve made it available to them that if they wanted to see her, they could."

Braelynn Dalsing's biological father who was seeking custody. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

Braelynn Dalsing's biological father who was seeking custody. | Source: youtube.com/ABC News

SHE STAYED WITH HER ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Myers had no connection with his little girl but believed it was his right to father her—however, the court ruled differently. While state law advocates that every effort must be made to place kids with their birth parents, Myers was not fit to be her parent.

In 2018, the South Carolina Supreme Court reinstated Braelynn's adoption, proving that love can be stronger than blood. The ruling had Braelynn's best interests at heart and kept her with the people she saw as her parents from the very beginning.

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THEY ADOPTED HER HALF-SISTER

The adoptive dad revealed he was "shaking" as the judge read the verdict. Meanwhile, the Dalsing family was happy their little girl was staying with them, where she belonged.

The couple also adopted Braelynn's half-sister, and her biological mom, Keisler, was thrilled her girls would have the chance to grow up side by side. Braelynn's adoption story was not without challenges, but for the Dalsing family, she was worth the fight.

Click here for another story about a woman who received a letter from her child's adoptive dad years after giving the little boy up for adoption.

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