The Ohio couple who tried to return their 9-year-old adopted son after raising him from infancy have now been indicted on charges of abandonment and may face up to six months in prison, state prosecutors said in statement released Friday.

Citing issues with “aggressive behavior,” Cleveland Cox, 49, and his wife Lisa, 52, of Cincinnati, Ohio reportedly brought their son back to Butler County Children Services, where they had adopted him nine years earlier. According to state prosecutor Michael Gmoser, the couple had previously accused their son of threatening the household with a knife and “refusing” psychiatric help. They now face charges of nonsupport of dependents.

“I want to provide as much deterrent as I can for parents who think, 'Oh, I’m honked off at my child; I can just abandon him,'” Gmoser said, speaking to Yahoo News. “After reviewing [the parents’] financial and psychological abilities, I couldn’t wrap my brain around any defenses people in these circumstances could have about wanting to give back a child.”

The 9-year-old boy is now in the custody of the state. His court-appointed attorney, Adolfo Olivas, said that although he is confused and hurt by the situation, he is finally receiving the type of care his adoptive parents should have provided. “If your 9-year-old needs help, you get him help,” he said, rejecting Cleveland and Lisa Cox’s contention that the boy did not want their help. “It is not a question of a 9-year-old wanting it or not.”

The adoptive parents are currently out on a $10,000 bond. If convicted of the misdemeanor, they could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. In addition, the judge will decide whether they will be able to relinquish their custody of the boy, the Associated Press reported. "There has never been a focus on the criminality of merely abandoning a child," Gmoser told reporters. "That stops immediately. There is a legal consequence."

Some organizations believe that the case illuminates the dire need for more comprehensive post-adoption services. Speaking to USA Today, Benjamin Johnson of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said that of the state’s 12,000 foster children, nearly 400 have been returned to county care or custody. "We urge any parent struggling to raise children to seek public or private assistance or counseling as appropriate," he told reporters.