Controversial adoption case leaves one family ecstatic, another crushed

Published: Friday, December 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM.

After fighting to get back a foster child that was removed from their home in August, a Gaston County couple has achieved the outcome they were hoping for.

David and Michelle Buchanan’s adoption of the 2-year-old boy in question was finalized last week, during a hearing presided over by Gaston County District Court Judge John Greenlee. Though the Buchanans have declined comment on the controversial custody case in the last three months, friends say they are overjoyed with the decision.

The Buchanans began fostering the child when he was a day old in November 2010, and believed they were on a path to adoption over a period of almost two years. After he was removed from their home against their wishes Aug. 31 and placed with a Concord couple, their account was detailed in a Gazette story Sept. 27, which led to the child being returned to the Buchanans’ home about a week later.

The Buchanans and other local foster parents say the toddler’s unnecessary removal from their home was indicative of indiscretions that have existed for years within the DSS system. Since then, the attention brought to the matter has resulted in staff reassignments and structural changes within the department’s Family and Children’s Services division.

While the Buchanans pursued a permanent adoption of the child in the last three months, the Gaston County Department of Social Services asked them not to speak with the media or bring additional attention to the case. Gaston County DSS Director Keith Moon has said that as a matter of policy, foster parents are generally urged to maintain confidentiality.

Concord couple still upset

Despite the happy ending as far as the Buchanans are concerned, the Concord couple that cared for the toddler for five weeks in autumn is still upset.



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