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Happy Headline: Oklahoma Father Wins Custody

A young Oklahoma father wins back the custody of his son after a three-year battle.

The battle started in 2009 when Jeremiah Sampson, a former student and football player at Pittsburg State University, met his child’s mother at the Kansas-based institute. After losing contact for a brief period of time, the girlfriend returned in December 2009 to inform him of her pregnancy.

The relationship ended and Sampson heard nothing about the pregnancy until March 2010 when he received a call from an adoption agency. According to an interview with Tulsa World, Sampson, who grew up with eight siblings and a single mother, felt very strongly about fathering his children and attempted to halt the adoption.

“People complain about men who don’t take responsibility for their children,” he said. “Well, here I am, wanting to be a father to my son. And that makes me a bad guy?”

But once the child was born in September 2010, he found out his son, Hilkyah, had already been adopted. Sampson drove to Missouri one to two times a week for more than six months to fight the adoption in court.

A judge nullified the adoption in July 2011 and placed the baby under state custody, awarding Sampson visitation rights. He shared 50-50 custody with his ex-girlfriend, but was awarded full rights on Christmas of last year.

Sampson dropped out of college to finance the lawsuit, but plans to begin nursing school this summer. He’s also in process of suing the adoption agency for violating his parental rights by proceeding with the adoption despite his objections.