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The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families


March 3, 2016

A Dad who knows spreads the word on the importance of the Responsible Father Registry


Christopher Emanuel and Skylar pose with members of the Aiken team.


The story of Christopher Emanuel and his daughter Skylar has made national news, but the young Dad is making it his business to spread the word even further.

That brought him to a recent Monday group session in our Aiken program, where he spoke to other fathers about the importance of the Responsible Father Registry.

His own situation makes the point compellingly.

Here are excerpts from a story ABC News did about him last year:

Emanuel, a 25-year-old from Aiken, South Carolina, met Skylar's mother, whom he now refers to as simply "the egg donor," through their work as fork lift drivers at a manufacturing company three years ago. He said they started off as friends before it escalated into something more....
In the beginning, Emanuel said they texted all the time, and their affectionate messages soon turned into flirtations. Three months later, Emanuel was overjoyed to learn he was going to be a dad....

Six months before Skylar's birth, Emanuel's half-sister, Chelsea McKnabb, and her best friend, Jill Thomason, were more than worried. They feared the woman would give the baby away....

Thomason discovered that South Carolina is one of at least 25 states that have what's called a "responsible father registry" where unwed fathers can sign up to be notified if their child is put up for adoption, and urged Emanuel to look into it. Thirty-thousand children were born out of wedlock in South Carolina according to the 2014 census, yet less than 300 men signed up for the registry.

But at the time, Emanuel said he didn't think signing up was necessary. To him, it seemed like a lack of trust for Skylar's mother. Instead, he and his family focused on organizing a family baby shower. But when Skylar's mother never showed up, Emanuel got nervous and signed up for the registry.

A few days later, a messenger showed up at Emanuel's house to hand him papers showing that his daughter Skylar had been born over a week earlier, that she had been given up for adoption and had already been placed with an adoptive family in another state....

But thanks to his having signed up for the Registry, Chris was able to get his daughter back.

Thanks so much, Mr. Emanuel, for sharing your story!