Arnout Janssen and Stefano Franke are still reeling from a hearing that ended with them having to turn their newly adopted baby girl over to her birth mother.
The Dutch couple were stripped of the newborn Friday because a required DNA test proved neither of them were the baby’s daddy; the birth mother’s husband actually fathered the child, named Hayley by Janssen and Franke when she was born almost two weeks prior.
“For us it was a huge shock. Hayley was and is our child,” Janssen said, according to PinkNews. “It still feels like that. She has been with us for two weeks. And suddenly, just on a beautiful spring day, she is gone and changes the nursery into a place of sorrow. As if somebody died.”
It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, of course; the mother had agreed to use protection during the time she was being artificially inseminated with Janssen’s and Franke’s sperm. Child services in Holland required the DNA test for the adoption to proceed.
The couple were allowed to spend one more day and night with Hayley, before turning her over to child welfare officials Saturday. Franke said it was an emotional time for them.
All our friends and family have been visiting. At night, we had her in bed for the last time. I’ve been watching her for hours. It’s incredibly hard to get her out.
Problem was, they hadn’t yet signed any legal adoption papers, and so their rights to Hayley did not exist.
“Everything depends on the mother’s willingness and good faith,” Janssen told reporters. “Apart from an internet checklist, we had nothing on paper.”
The couple blogged about their sorrow, regrets and their wishes for Hayley. This was translated from Dutch:
We are completely devastated and do not really know what to do. Somewhere I totally get that she is going to live with her biological parents [and] brothers and sister but we are so sad…
We never went to this possibility because why would you go [have] sex when you’re engaged in this process and also why at the time of ovulation when you are most fertile?! It is incomprehensible how such a small chance that if you do it safely you do become pregnant…
We feel like months of our lives have been taken away from us, as well as money, her names we wanted to give to our child, and of course Hayley!
…We hope she grows up to be an amazing women [sic]. We love her very much and we will never forget her. To us she is our first child and we are blessed to have had her with us for 13 days.
We are very sad and hope very much… that she will get all the love and attention she had gotten here too. We love you very much dear and we will never forget you! We will miss [your] cute sounds, your smiles when we tickle you, your sweet baby’s legs and your pretty face, thank you dear Hayley you [gave] us these two weeks… this forever shall carry with us. What remains is emptiness… It is so unfair that we have to go through this after these two lovely weeks with Hayley.