AIKEN, SC (WJBF) - On Father's Day, families across the country will celebrate the contributions of the dads in their lives.
One local man was nearly denied the right to be a father to his daughter. Now, he has turned his pain into purpose toward educating and elevating fellow fathers who may find themselves in the same situation.
For 28 year old Christopher Emanuel, being a father to four year old Skylar has been a smooth ride, however, it started off bumpy.
"The parents didn't approve of our relationship and my daughter was put up for adoption without my consent," explains Emanuel.
He could have easily run away from his responsibility, but, he didn't.
"I can't help bring a spirit into this world and not rear them. My child needs me. One of the things where you have to over-stand, you can't understand, you have to over-stand that being a dad is the most important job under God."
Armed with his faith and family, he jumped into action hiring a private investigator and taking on the courts.
Turns out, baby Skylar had been adopted and taken to California a day after her birth.
"I was able to intervene because because I registered on the "Responsible Father Registry." What that does is for any father who feel they have fathered a child or is about to father a child that they be notified if the baby is put up for adoption or if a father's rights are being terminated."
He was able to get his daughter back when she was nearly four months old.
He says, right now, 33 states have some type of registry for fathers.
But, registration varies by state.
After stopping the adoption, Emanuel began realizing cases like his could lead to a larger, more profitable issue.
"Ultimately, this opens up the ring for human trafficking and children are stolen and sold for profit everyday," he says.
Through his organization called the "Sky is the limit Foundation," Christopher Emanuel is pushing for laws and education for fathers who end up in the same situation.
He reflects, "it's encouraging to talk to someone who's been through those challenges. Who's been through those structural impediments and can show you how to maneuver and the steps to take to be a proactive dad."
After doing research on fighting similar adoptions, Christopher Emanuel stays he discovered 99 percent of fathers fail in getting their child.
Due to the large threshold of failure, he says his situation is not a burden, rather a blessing to help more fathers gain success.
"Your career is what you're paid for. Your calling is what you're made for. I didn't ask for this. So, I would be disobedient to God if I didn't step up and allow God to use me as an instrument."
As a father, he is active in all parts of Skylar's life.
He even serves as the PTO President at her school.
He's proud of his achievements with her, but, admits there's one area that he's not making the grade.
"Ah man! Doing her hair is by far one of the most challenging things," he laughs.
Christopher Emanuel hopes to go to law school and become an Attorney to further help fathers and families.
In the meantime, his "Sky is the limit foundation" is holding a Daddy's Diapers Drive to help provide items for dads in need.
Donations are being accepted until June 28th at the H. O'Dell Weeks activities center or Smith Hazel recreation center.
Both are located in Aiken, South Carolina.
You can learn more about his foundation at SkyIsTheLimitFoundation2014@gmail.com.
Currently, he is traveling across the country to rally for fellow fathers to stand up and be active in their child's life. Contact Christopher Emanuel at SkyIsTheLimitFoundation2014@gmail.com.
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