Court documents say an Ohio couple accused of abandoning the adopted 9-year-old son they raised from infancy didn’t tell him they were giving him to child welfare officials.

Documents filed by prosecutors in Hamilton say the boy’s mother thought he was a threat to the family’s safety. The documents include a letter the mother wrote saying she prayed he would find another family to love him.

Cleveland and Lisa Cox adopted the boy when he was 3 months old. The pair was indicted  on one count of nonsupport of dependents after “recklessly” abandoning him on Oct. 24.

“My position is children in general, not speaking to this specific case, they do not have a return to sender label on their forehead,” said Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser. “They are their children for always and they have that duty to support and they cannot abandon without consequences.”

The couple pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of nonsupport of dependents.

Prosecutors have accused the couple of abandoning the boy by leaving him with children’s services. A defense attorney says “very difficult issues” are involved.

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