Dayton boy to join family in Utah
December 16, 2004
After a year-long struggle to get 1-year-old Nick out of Nevada foster care, his uncle said Thursday that the boy will soon join family in Clinton, Utah.
Raymond Saunders, who is active-duty military stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Clinton, said he and Nick’s adoptive family have been trying to get the child back since he was born.
“As soon as she had the child in November, and he tested positive for any kind of drugs he went into state custody,” Saunders said.
Although Nick’s foster parents, Tracy and Erich Walters of Dayton, have raised him since he was born and also wanted to adopt him, Saunders contends Nick belongs near family.
Prior to Nick’s birth, his mother planned to place him with the Miller family, who also live in Clinton.
“We’ve been involved the entire time trying to get (him) back from the state,” Saunders said.
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He said the adoption process has taken a while to go through, but Nick will soon join family in Clinton.
Saunders and his wife, Melisa, have adopted Nick’s 2-year-old brother. The Millers, who are close friends of the family, have adopted Nick’s cousin.
“We want to keep all three boys here together,” Saunders said. “Hopefully everything will go through so that the two brothers and cousins can grow up together.”
So far he’s visited his nephew once. While a child is in foster care, all visitations have to be set up by the state.
Saunders said it is important to the family that Nick stay near the family, where he can see his biological mother, uncles and grandparents.
Saunders said he is grateful for the Walters for taking care of Nick, and for the state for making sure the boy was put in a proper home.
Alice Pittsley, manager of the Division of Child and Family Services’ Carson City office, said Nick’s needs will be met with his Utah family.
“Everything seems to be very copacetic,” she said Thursday. “Everyone seems to be on the same page and we’re transitioning the child from foster home to adoptive home.”