An Iowa couple is devastated after a little boy who they adopted, but then were forced to return to the birth mother, died at the hands of his biological dad.
Rachel and Heidi McFarland had cared for Gabriel since he was born and were there for the birth of their adopted child.
“We brought him home from the hospital,” Rachel said. “I cut his umbilical cord.”
Then a few months later, the happy family was shattered when they found out the teen mother, who they had supported during her pregnancy, wanted to take the little boy back.
Rachel calls the day they found out that they would have to return their son, “the worst possible day.” Yet, just a few weeks later and still mourning the botched adoption the couple got even more devastating news-5-month-old Gabriel was dead.
On the day of his death, Gabriel’s 16-year-old biological mom had left him with his teen father to go and run errands. When she returned, the infant was sitting in a glider chair with a bottle nearby. He had a white substance around his mouth and he did not appear to be breathing.
The 17-year-old dad had also fled the scene.
The teen dad has since been charged for leaving a dependent unattended and may face more charges pending the autopsy.
In the meantime, Rachel and Heidi are devastated by the news of the death of the child they considered their own and nurtured for most of his short life.
“It’s like he’s been taken away from you again,” Rachel said, pointing out that no one even bothered to inform them of Gabriel’s death.
The couple, who have been together for 18 years, and married for five, insist that they have a strong bond and a good group of friends to get them through this difficult time.
“I refuse to let them ruin our lives,” Rachel said. “We’re just left to put the pieces back together.”