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BABY WHO WAS TAKEN FROM DAD AFTER HIS WIFE DIED IS RETURNED

SHARE BABY WHO WAS TAKEN FROM DAD AFTER HIS WIFE DIED IS RETURNED

A man who lost his wife to cancer and his adopted baby to bureaucracy won his fatherhood back Tuesday in a decision that contradicts one of the strictest rules of Korean adoptions.

Keith Lussier of Cheektowaga, N.Y., is to take custody of his 10-month-old Korean daughter, Brittany, from the Quakertown-based Love the Children adoption agency by Sunday under the order from Bucks County Judge Leonard B. Sokolove.In issuing his order, Sokolove rejected the agency's claims that Lussier and his wife, Kimberly, deliberately misled caseworkers into believing Kimberly Lussier was not terminally ill.

The ruling also runs counter to a prerequisite used by virtually all agencies arranging Korean adoptions - that adoptive homes include two parents.

"A month is long enough," said Lussier, 28, tears streaming down his face as relatives clapped him on the back after Tuesday's ruling.

"I'm just picturing her in her crib again, smiling and sitting in her high chair. I'm going to hug her, and hug her and take her for a walk - just the two of us," he said.

Love the Children removed Brittany from the Lussier home on July 24, six days after Kimberly Lussier, 27, died of uterine cancer. The girl had gone home with the Lussiers on Feb. 22.

The judge, repeatedly and harshly shooting down arguments by agency attorney Paul Rosen, said it was "inappropriate" to speculate that a child's well-being would be hampered by having only one adoptive parent.

"This baby is on its way back," Rosen said. "And I can't say I'm completely upset about it. I'm a lawyer doing my job."