Custody Battle Heats Up Over Three-Year Old
12/28/2004 11pm report
Scott family (from left): Dawn, Gene and Evan
By Jennifer Brice
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- There will be a hearing Tuesday to try and figure out the best way to make the transition for a toddler who's been at the center of a high-profile custody battle.

Evan Scott's curiosity overflows just like his blonde curls. Curiosity his adoptive parents both love and fear.

We first met Dawn and Gene Scott during an interview last year. "He is not going to understand what's happening to him," Dawn told First Coast News. "We are worried about him." Because the couple is still fighting to keep Evan, they're advised not to talk with the media today. They still say their fears are the same. "We don't know how to prepare him," Dawn told us last year. "We don't know what to do and no one can tell us."

Three-year old Evan Scott will soon be back with his biological mother. She gave him up for adoption when Evan was an infant. Evan's biological father said he was never told Evan was given up for adoption and fought to get custody of the child from his adoptive parents in Jacksonville.

The question many are asking, how do you prepare Evan for a new mommy and daddy? Jacksonville Psychologist Stephen Bloomfield says ideally all parties involved would have the same therapist. "You need counselors."

Debbie Grabarkiewicz of "Hear My Voice", a child advocate for Evan, says help hasn't been easy to come by. She says the courts have suggested the help of counselors, but doesn't think they've been offered. "At this point there has been no evaluation done, or offered, to help Evan process that kind of information."

Dr. Bloomfield says how a child in this situation fairs, will depend on the adults. "A situation like this depends on how the adults are handling it."

Parents, like the Scott's still worry the way a mother and father would. "This is devastating," says Dawn Scott. "We can get through anything, but we are worried about him."

First Coast News has contacted Evan's biological mother, Amanda Hopkins. She did not want to comment. Her attorney did not return our phone calls.

Created: 12/27/2004 8:20:04 PM
Updated: 12/28/2004 12:50:46 PM
Edited by  Jennifer Brice, reporter
2004 First Coast News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.

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