PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The foster family who had custody of two-year-old Jordan Belliveau before his death said they now have custody of his newborn sister.
- Foster family plans to adopt Jordan Belliveau's newborn sister
- Charisse Stinson charged in Jordan's death gave birth in December
- Stinson requested daughter go to biological father
It’s been a little more than a month since Charisse Stinson gave birth to a baby girl named Serenity while behind bars and charged with murder.
Juliet and Sam Warren are the foster parents who many grieved for when documents surfaced, showing how Jordan was well taken care of with them. Those documents also showed how he was failed before they took him in and after they returned him to his biological family.
The two year-old was reportedly killed at the hands of his biological mother, Stinson, in September. Now nearly five months after his death the Warren family announced they now have custody of Jordan’s newborn sister Serenity and they’re in the process of adopting her.
In a statement the family says they approached Stinson about adopting the her baby.
“As the fall continued, the question of what would happen to Jordan's little sister began to weigh on us. We knew that Charisse would not be able to care for her. After much prayer, we approached Charisse about allowing us to adopt the baby, and she agreed,” they wrote.
The family asked for privacy but wanted to give an update on baby Serenity’s status.
“She is with us now, and we are continuing the legal process to complete her adoption. However, given some of the news reports, we wanted to make it clear that this beautiful girl is safe, healthy, and deeply loved,” they wrote.
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Loryn Smith is the owner of Finally Home Christian Adoption Services. She’s not involved in the case but gave insight of what could happen next.
“If a mom signs consent and it was an unmarried, biological father, mom’s constitutional rights trumps the capacity. She has the right to make that choice,” Smith said.
However, in a letter to the court five days after giving birth, Stinson asked for custody to be given to the child’s father Jordan senior and his mother Jessica. Both were mentioned in documents from the Department of Children and Families highlighting failures in caring for two-year-old Jordan.
“It’s a constitutional right for parents to make a decision about their children and that constitutional right is nationwide protected by the supreme court,” Smith said. “The caveat is as long as it’s a safe placement. And then of course in Florida we add that we have to be able to demonstrate best interest of the child.”
So which family does Stinson want her daughter with? What documents did she sign and when did she sign those documents? Smith said that could play a role in this case.
“It is binding and irrevocable once you sign if the baby is under six months old. Upon signature it is binding and irrevocable,” Smith said. “You can’t sign until 48 hours after birth or upon your discharge from the hospital.”
In a court filing the biological father’s attorney writes, “there was premature action by adoptive parents filed before the child was born.”
Smith said this will likely boil down to hearings and testimony and a judge will decide what’s in the best interest of the child. The biological family said they plan to fight for custody.
Stinson has a pretrial hearing on Monday for the murder charges against her.