AIKEN, S.C.. (WRDW/WAGT) - A father from Aiken County had to go to court and fought for months to get his daughter back. But now, they’ve been reunited.
His daughter was put up for adoption without his permission, all because of an outdated South Carolina law. Now, this father is working to make sure this never happens to anyone else.
“When the one thing that you love is deprived ... something as simple as...feeling the warmth of her skin, seeing her eyes. It’s an experience and a moment one language can’t put into words. It’s very hurtful.”
Christopher Emanuel knows the pain of a father losing his daughter.
“There wasn’t anybody that I could talk to that could tell me I was going to get my daughter back,” he said.
On February 11, 2014, Emanuel’s daughter Skylar was born and put up for adoption without his permission by his then-girlfriend.
“No dad should have to be deprived of their God-given right. Children deserve their dads just as much as they deserve their mothers,” Emanuel said.
But before Skylar was born, Emanuel had signed up for the Responsible Father Registry. This gives a man who has a child with a woman that he is not married to the right to be notified when their rights have been terminated or there’s been an adoption.
That never happened.
So, he took his fight to the Aiken County courts, not knowing if he’d see his daughter again.
“Not knowing if she was safe, if I would ever see her again, what she looks like... I was lost and I was confused,” Emanuel said.
And after four months, they were finally reunited.
“How often it’s happening and the fact that we’re not paying attention to it is disheartening and so many situations are the same thing,” Emanuel said.
So he created a foundation to help fathers in similar situations. It’s called Sky is the Limit and with its creation came hundreds of emails.
“The sky is the limit. Skylar is the limit. This will not happen again,” Emanuel said.
And he wants to remind fathers out there going through the same thing, that they are not alone.
“I want the responsible dads to know that you’re not by yourself, the time is now, and keep fighting. You’re not by yourself,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel and the Sky is the Limit Foundation has started a GoFundMe page to benefit the needs of fathers it supports.