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Cleveland and Lisa Cox
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Liberty Township adoptive parents agree to waive rights so son receives state care

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LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The parents who tried to give their 9-year-old adopted son over to Butler County Children’s Services because they said he threatened to kill them with a knife will now be without that child for a while longer.

Cleveland and Lisa Cox waived their rights to a dependency hearing Wednesday afternoon in a Butler County court.

Essentially, the parents decided they would not fight the state's position that there is a problem with their son and that the state should continue to have custody of him.

"By entering into this agreement you understand it will give the court the power to make any orders that the court determines to be in your child's best interest,” said Magistrate Barbara Infantino. “Do you understand that?”

The Coxes responded “yes.”

Last month Lisa Cox plead guilty to one count of attempted abandonment after she and her husband handed over the boy they raised from the age 4 months old with a note to children’s services on Oct. 24.

Charges against Cleveland Cox were dropped as part of the plea.

The Wednesday hearing only lasted about 10 minutes, but will have longer repercussions. The Coxes, who authorities say were always responsible for their son’s well-being, will not get the child back until the court determines certain treatment milestones for the child are met.

In the meantime, the state will execute a plan of treatment for the 9 year old.

"The finding of dependency says that there are issues that are not the fault of the parent that need to be addressed,” said the family’s attorney, Anthony VanNoy.  “The case plan helps to address those issues that the parties have been experiencing."

The court set a progress hearing scheduled for June 18.

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