Solitude: Episode 1 - 50 : TOPSTER STORIES

Solitude – Episode 15

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The weekend has gone by in the blink of an eye, I know Chibesa hasn’t been on his best behaviour in the past but maybe; just maybe he has a chance to change. After dinner Friday evening we had a few glasses of wine which led me to talking and opening up a little more.


Saturday morning, we had breakfast at the corner café and afterwards drove to Chaminuka to relax, I must say it was one of the best weekends after a long time.


Now I have to get back to the real world and deal with real issues aside from having fun. I got a call Friday afternoon from Aunty Connie, she was Chileshe’s



good friend and informed me about a case she wanted one of our lawyers to deal with.


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I walk into my office and I am met by August’s serious face.


‘Good morning Mr. Cochrane.’ I say


‘Good morning Ms. Mphanda.’ He responds formally


‘How was your weekend?’


‘It was okay. Thank you for asking.’ I say


I don’t know if it is just me but there is something about the way he is talking to me that says there is something he is holding back.


‘And how was your weekend?’ I ask putting my things on my desk


‘It was well.’


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Just then my secretary walks in obviously wanting to find out if I am expecting anyone but I inform her that I will call her to give her my schedule for the day.


‘I wanted to talk to you about something.’ I begin immediately I settle into my desk


‘What about?’ August asks


‘There is a case that I would love for you to handle.’


‘What is it about?’


‘There is a client who adopted a child, but then; the girl’s biological mother has kidnapped her.’


‘Wait what?’ he asks


‘That is all I know for now but she will be coming in before ten.’


‘Why don’t you give this case to Chibesa?’


‘If I wanted Mr. Chanda to handle this case I would have given it to him.’ I say with a deep sigh


‘So you are going to refer to him as Mr. Chanda here right? When the two of you were cozy all weekend long?’ he asks before clicking his tongue




‘What Nella!’ he yells


‘Are you okay?’


‘Of course I am fine.’ He says angrily


‘Whatever you say.’ I respond


I don’t say anything else after that to him, I don’t know what his problem is and I am not about to start asking. The last time I checked we were okay and our relationship has strictly been professional


Around nine my secretary comes to inform me that there is a MS. Thelma to see me and I ask her to let her in.


‘Good morning Thelma.’ I say standing up when she walks in


‘Good morning Nella.’ She responds with a smile


‘Please take a seat.’ I say


‘Thank you.’


‘Mr. Cochrane, this is Thelma. The lady I told you about.’


‘Call me August.’ He says as they shake hands


‘He will be handling your case.’ I say


Thelma smiles


Thelma takes us through her case, explaining how she adopted the little girl who we learn is Olivia. She also tells us about the girl’s biological parents; Olipa and Lackson. She also gives all the details on Mulife her ex fiancé and why she thinks the parents put the little girl up for adoption.


All the while I am watching intently, I can see she deeply loves the girl and genuinely cares about her.


‘Wow.’ August says after Thelma is done explaining


‘Do we have a case?’ I ask


‘This is a very simple case when brought in the courts of law.’ He says


‘Can birth parents take their child back after adoption??’ Thelma asks


‘Assuming that you went through a legal adoption, the answer is no, you can’t get your child back once he or she is adopted by someone else.’ August begins


‘After you sign adoption papers, you are terminating your parental rights. According to the law, the adoptive parents are now legally the child’s parents. That is why adoption requires the consent of both parents, provided they meet certain requirements.’


‘So what you are saying is that if we sue, the biological mother will lose no matter the case?’


‘What the Olipa did here is wrong, she took Olivia against her will and is keeping her captive. What you need to understand now is that you have more rights



compared to Olipa because the child is now legally yours. Parental kidnapping or parental abduction, is a criminal violation of a standing child custody order.


‘I don’t know what to do.’ Thelma says confusion written all over her


‘The child involved can be mentally disturbed with all this, so I don’t know how best you want to sort this out as the adults before it begins affecting her.’


Thelma sighs


‘Is there a way of the biological mother gaining back the rights of the child?’ I ask


‘Yes.’ August responds


‘There is?’ Thelma asks alert


‘Yes, birth parents and the adoptive parents can file a petition to reverse or vacate an adoption. If birth parents wish to regain their parental rights, they may petition the court for an adoption reversal. This is the most difficult form of reversal and, in some countries, is actually impossible.’


‘What about here?’


‘It may take years of trying but it is almost impossible too.’


I see Thelma frown.


‘I don’t know.’


‘Don’t you have anyone you can talk to? Maybe ask them about the way forward to all this unlike making the decision on your own?’


‘I wish there was.’ She says a tear escaping her eye


‘Hey, don’t.’ I say squeezing her hand



‘Life has screwed me in all different angles hey, I don’t know if I will ever stand up on my two feet the same.’ I say


‘There is always a way.’ I assure her

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‘Thank you, let me sleep over it.’ She says getting up


‘Take all the time you need.’ I tell her


‘I can still ask Chibesa to take over.’


‘Really August?’ I ask before rolling my eyes

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