A same-sex couple in Iowa was awarded $3.25 million in a malpractice suit against their lawyer Tuesday after the biological father of their adoptive son killed the child. The lawsuit was won Aug. 15 against the family's former adoption lawyer, who the couple claimed acted negligently in failing to ensure that the infant’s biological parents severed their parental rights.

The adoptive parents — Rachel McFarland and Heidi McFarland of Ankeny, Iowa — filed the suit against attorney Jason Rieper in August 2014 just months after the death of Gabriel McFarland, who was 3 months old, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.

The couple maintained that Rieper led them to believe that he obtained a signature from the child’s biological mother on a release-of-custody document but failed to do so. A jury unanimously ruled that the couple should be awarded the figure for emotional distress.

“The release-of-custody never got signed by either birth parent,” Rachel McFarland told People in an interview published Monday. “Obviously our child and us weren’t a priority to [Rieper]. We are just happy he was found negligent. That was what our goal was. We will not see any money from this.”

Gabriel McFarland, who had lived with the McFarlands since birth, was killed April 22, 2014, approximately five weeks after his birth mother Markeya Atkins — who was 16 at the time of the child’s birth — regained custody. Drew James Weehler-Smith pleaded guilty in 2015 to second-degree murder in the death of the child and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Weehler-Smith was 17 years old at the time of the murder.

“[Rieper] said there is nothing left for us to do: [Atkins] wants him back and you have to give him back,” Rachel McFarland told People. “It was horrible. There are no words. We had him for 78 days. We loved him from the first idea. We cut his little mohawk off. All we have left of him is his hair, and little did we know that would be all we had left of him.”

After returning from running errands, Atkins found Gabriel unresponsive in a chair, the Des Moines Register reported at the time. The cause of the child’s death was ruled to be head trauma by a medical examiner. Atkins reportedly found the infant “alone, pale, wet and foaming from his mouth and nose.”

The McFarlands said that they learned of the child’s death while watching television.

“It didn’t say his name, but we had received a bill from the guardian ad litem and it had the address on it. It was this normal report that a baby was found dead at such-and-such address,” Rachel McFarland told People. “Heidi was screaming, and I looked at the paperwork and it was the address. I texted [Atkin’s mother] and she confirmed it was him.”

Rachel McFarland added that adoption wasn’t the couple’s first choice, but that they were reassured by the fact that it was private.

“We didn’t know if we could do artificial insemination, and it seemed like a route we could afford,” she said. The birth mom didn’t care if we were a same-sex couple. It just seemed too good to be true — and it was too good to be true.”

The McFarlands have since grown their family by two. The couple was able to adopt a baby girl after being approached by another pregnant woman, according to People. Heidi McFarland also gave birth to a daughter.

But Rachel McFarland maintained that the couple is unable to move past the loss of their adoptive son.

“He was just a sweet baby,” she said of her adopted son. “He smelled good. He loved music. Our cats loved him and our dogs loved him. He was just a sweet and beautiful baby boy. He was learning how to smile when we gave him up.”