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In 2014, Christopher Emanuel’s girlfriend gave birth to their daughter. Emanuel wasn’t present for the memorable moment. His daughter’s racist white family denied the black father that right. They disapproved of her mixed-race relationship with Emanuel.
He knew that his girlfriend was pregnant and, out of precaution, registered himself with the Responsible Fatherhood Registry in South Carolina. This gave him parental rights to care for his daughter when born.
After giving birth and to please her racist parents, his ex-girlfriend placed his daughter up for adoption without notifying him. A family on the opposite end of the country had his newborn, thousands of miles and several states away.
Adoption agencies often have difficulty finding homes for black and mixed-raced children. South Carolina allowed families from outside the state to adopt.
“I didn’t know if I would ever see her again,” he said. “My daughter was in San Diego, CA with the prospective adoptive couple.” He says they changed his daughter’s name. In court, he presented medical documentation as proof, showing his child’s name was illegally changed. “This was my opportunity to prove that I was deprived of that. My constitutional and state rights were violated.”
“Before rights are terminated to allow an adoption to occur, attorneys, as well as the Department of Social Services, will check this registry, and if his name is on there, he must be notified,” says Pat Littlejohn, President of South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families.
When the courts checked the Responsible Fatherhood Registry, they found Emanuel’s name listed. Thus, he was given custody of his daughter, whose name is Skyler.
Since the horrifying experience, Emanuel founded a non-profit called Sky Is The Limit Foundation. His non-profit is dedicated to educating, empowering and equipping willing Fathers who want their children.