A Comment from a Friend of Savanna’s Father

This comment was posted on our website this week by a person named Ruth. In all my years of following these cases including several high-profile ones, I have never before encountered one like this that summarizes the the past and current situation for all parties involved. Thank you Ruth for posting this.

“I’ve known Harris Todd my whole life and can attest to his good character and profound heartbreak over losing the opportunity to be a part of his child’s life. I do not know Lee and am only able to judge by her actions, but hopefully after a great deal of dust has settled this unbelievable saga will move toward an equally hard to believe productive outcome and Savanna will find a way to accept and love both of the people who love her and brought her into the world.

Savanna’s mother did not lose custody “because she was diagnosed as bipolar” as has repeatedly and sloppily been reported in the media. Among other things, she refused treatment for an apparent disorder and repeatedly acted in ways that put Savanna at risk throughout her pregnancy. Despite this, the father never had any intention of preventing Savanna’s mother from being a part of her life. He wanted Savanna’s mother to seek treatment so that they could both be parents parent to a child they both loved. I am sure the sting of being a new mother and losing full custody of one’s baby (especially in the South Carolina of 19 years ago) was humiliating and beyond what Lee thought she could bear, but clearly there was a better way out of what she thought was an intolerable situation.

The abducted child in question has been raised according to the fictional narrative that her father was abusive to her mother. Not surprisingly the child is siding with the only parent she has ever known and not with a father she does not know and never has been allowed to know.

Both parents have a right to be involved with rearing their children regardless of their gender, regardless of whatever love has been lost between the two parents, and regardless of any animosity and anger incurred as a result of not being awarded full custody. Whatever happens moving forward, one thing is certain: the father in this case has been unjustly disconnected and alienated from his child. How this injustice will be dealt with is an open question, but hopefully the fact that two parents love this child will factor into the decision.”

— Ruth


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