After Searching for 16 Years, Dad Finds Daughter Who Was Taken From Him & Gets Billed For Her Care

After Searching for 16 Years, Dad Finds Daughter Who Was Taken From Him & Gets Billed For Her Care

A father searched for his daughter frantically after her mother took her 16 years ago and has finally found her, but got a rude financial surprise when he was billed for her care.

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As the Stir recounts, Dean Harper last saw his daughter Athena when she was only two — right before Athena’s mother disappeared with the girl. Harper spent the next sixteen years trying to track down the missing girl, finally finding her through some online sleuthing.

As KTRK News reports, their first meeting was at Athena’s workplace, and Harper was more than a little nervous.

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“My heart was pounding like you wouldn’t believe. I thought for sure Athena could hear my heart pounding,” Harper told CTV News. “And I said, ‘My name is Dean Harper… I’m your father.’”

Athena says that meeting her father was like seeing puzzle pieces fall into place. She soon moved in with Harper and the two are catching up on lost time. She’s happy to have a family and two new brothers in her life.

Harper, however, wasn’t happy to learn what had happened to his daughter during their many years apart. It turns out that Athena had been in foster care since she was twelve years old. The Batshaw Youth and Family Center never contacted him about his daughter – despite the fact that they had his information on file as the biological father.

What’s more, once Harper had found Athena, the foster home billed him $7,800 for his parental contribution to her care.

Contacted by CTV News, the Batshaw Center issued a statement:

“In all situations, social workers make regular attempts to locate parents, in the province of Quebec, across Canada, and any other countries, even in prisons,” said Claire Roy, a Batshaw spokesperson. “These efforts are always based on children’s needs.”

While Athena is thankful to her foster home, she objects to their billing her father. Harper told reporters that he plans to fight the bill and is pondering legal action over their failure to contact him with information about his daughter.

It’s unimaginable that the foster care system could keep a man from his child and then have the audacity to bill him for her care. But what’s worse is all of the years she went without a father.

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