Ohio couple tries to return adopted son, face misdemeanor charges

The couple was charged after trying to return their kid. Photo: WCPO

(CNN/WCPO) - An Ohio couple has been accused of trying to return the adopted son, a move that has stunned neighbors and angered county prosecutors.

The case of Cleveland and Lisa Cox came to light when the pair petitioned to give their 9-year-old son back to the state. At the time, officials made it clear that there was no recourse to simply give a kid back.

"Is there a return to sender stamp on these children?" Butler County prosecutor Michael Gmoser said. "He remarked, 'No, but in the past, that's the way it has been done.'

"I said, 'Well, not anymore, we're not doing that.'"

Investigators from the Butler County Sheriff's Office went to the couple's Liberty Township, Ohio home on Thursday in an attempt to find the boy, but they came up emptyhanded.

Gmoser subsequently took the case to a grand jury, which returned a misdemeanor charge against the Coxes. Neighbors say they're stunned by the indictment and describe Cleveland and Lisa as good parents who were trying to work through family issues.

Despite one of the neighbors calling the child in question a "bad seed," Gmoser would rather take a more optimistic approach.

"Children are like a box of chocolates - when they are born into your life, you never really know what you're going to get," he said. "You have the responsibility to care for them up until adulthood."