A California man was adopted today at the age of 32. Maurice Griffin now legally belongs to the family he never forgot after being removed from their home nearly 20 years ago.
At the age of 13, Maurice was removed from his foster home by social workers — just two months prior to being adopted by his foster parents. The pain stayed with Maurice into adulthood until a connection through social media changed everything.
Maurice spent his early years in a Sacramento orphanage before he was taken into the home of foster parents Lisa and Charles Harris.
On all accounts, the child seemed a perfect fit for the Harris family and developed a close relationship to the couple’s biological sons.
After several years of living in the home, Maurice made an innocent request. The boy wanted to be an equal part of the family, including being spanked when he misbehaved — just like the other Harris children .
Maurice innocently shared the idea with his social worker, who reported the conversation to her supervisor. It was determined that removal from the home was in the boy’s best interest.
Two months away from being adopted by the Harris family, the boy was suddenly packed up and whisked away from the people he loved most. According to Maurice, he was never given the opportunity to say goodbye.
The Harris family was also devastated by the separation. Lisa and Charles attempted to fight the removal but were reportedly warned they would risk losing their biological children in the process.
For the next several years, Maurice shuffled between numerous foster homes. He acted out often, yearning for the home he was forced to leave behind. “It was just an emptiness. I couldn’t talk to anybody about it because nobody was there,” he explains. “I couldn’t call somebody; there was just a void in me.”
Time marched on for both Maurice and his former foster family. Charles Harris passed away and his wife remarried, becoming Lisa Godbold. Maurice attended college and followed employment to San Diego. However, they thought of each other often throughout the years.
Six years ago, social media brought them together again. Lisa Godbold was able to locate Maurice and they shared an emotional phone call. The two soon reunited in person and stayed in close contact.
One day, Maurice expressed his desire to finalize the adoption that was halted so many years ago. Godbold liked the idea and Maurice filed the adoption paperwork on Valentine’s Day. Now the man who feared he would never become part of a true family has been officially adopted at the age of 32.
Judge Richard Monroy finalized the adoption today in a short proceeding at San Diego Juvenile Court. Maurice and Lisa even posed with the judge for picture, a court tradition for children and their adoptive parents. “It was the best day in my life,” Maurice expressed afterward. “I fought for 10 years and finally the day came.”
What do you think about a man being adopted at the age of 32?