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Utah Supreme Court Denies Birth Father's Challenge


In Utah, the Supreme Court says a birth father is not allowed to challenge the adoption of his child.  He was aware that his girlfriend was pregnant and considering adoption.  They verbally agreed that she would not pursue adoption and he would not file a paternity action.
She carried through with the adoption and the agency did not find the birth father’s filed paternity action in the Utah’s Office of Vital Records.  Therefore, the adoption proceeded.
The birth father claims he was misled. 
This all occurred back in 2010.
What are your thoughts?
Read the article here:
Utah Supreme Court says father can’t challenge adoption.

Replies

I think Utah is so screwed up on so many levels.  Frankly, I wouldn’t touch a Utah adoption with a 10 foot pole…lots of shady stuff going on there IMO.

I also think it’s INSANE that it costs $3500 to put your name on a putative father’s list…is that really true??  If it were an inexpensive or free thing to register and he didn’t despite her promises I would say shame on him for being so gullible. If you aren’t protected by marriage and you want to claim your child step up and do something about it.  But if in fact it is $3500 then I see how he backed off (but would challenge Utah as that seems like one hell of a hurdle—how much work is it to put your name on a list?

Posted by JustLaugh on Aug 20, 2015 at 6:13pm

This is sad for everyone involved.  Who knows if the birth mom was even truthful with the adoptive parents about these circumstances before they took custody. We were involved in something similar very early before the EM gave birth, and fortunately all of this deception was apparent and we walked away.  Best decision we made during the long and painful waiting process before we adopted our son.  Adoption should never be about deception.  Going back to what the first poster said about a cost related to signing onto the putative father registry, could that be true?  I can’t imagine something more unethical and hopefully illegal, than to charge a father an exorbitant fee just to make himself heard by the court.  Talk about discriminatory..

Posted by Stacoid on Aug 21, 2015 at 12:30am

In at least one of the Utah cases, the birthmother placed her child with family members. I’m pretty sure they knew what was going on.

Even if the adoptive parents did not know about the birthfather before taking custody, they did shortly thereafter. As soon as it became apparent that the birthfather was duped, and that he actively wanted to parent, the APs should have stepped aside. If the birthfather had dragged his heels and hemmed and hawed, that would be different, but in almost all of these cases out of Utah, the birthfathers did what they were supposed to do and began actively fighting the adoptions within weeks.

Utah basically allows agencies to kidnap children from their biological fathers.

Yet another reason why we need to make federal-level adoption laws.

Also, I don’t know where the $3500 thing comes from. In my research, signing the putative father registry in any state is free. (Don’t get me started on how inadequate putative father registries are.)

Posted by rredhead on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:24am

Unfortunately a lot of law based on paternal rights dates from the centuries of time when paternity could not be determined with any accuracy.  The law has not really been adjusted to account for DNA testing.  This is true in a lot of states.  As an unmarried birth father, it is very hard to establish rights.  He has to be assertive right from the beginning whatever the state requirements are.

Posted by Great Aunt on Aug 31, 2015 at 2:41pm

JustLaugh - late chiming in…

Utah has a ridiculous process to sign up for the Putative Fathers Registry. Per the link below:

“Father must file a petition with a Utah district court

1. Petition must include an affidavit by father stating:
a) He is fully able and willing to have full custody of the child
b) His plans to care for the child
c) He agrees to pay for child support and expenses incurred in connection with the pregnancy and birth”

Then the court must verify the petition and send him a verified copy of the petition before he can file with the registry…

“Then the father must file a Notice of Commencement of Paternity with the Office of Vital Records that includes a verified copy of the petition”

The mother has a 24 hour waiting period before papers can be signed.  The father’s filing with the Office of Vital Records must be PRIOR to that signing by the mother.

I think you’d have to hire a lawyer to ensure that you filed things correctly and in a manner in which would be acceptable to the district court.  You then have to wait for the court to verify - receive it back, then and only then can you file in the registry and hope it is date stamped and entered, because just received isn’t good enough…

A father was recently denied even after he hired a lawyer because *something* wasn’t done right - even though it was done on time. 

Few men even know about the registry and to require a parenting plan approved by the court - before you can register with the registry? 

Even fewer men who DON’T reside in Utah would have any idea about how to go about doing all that - without a lawyer…

Parts in ” “‘s are from this link: http://le.utah.gov/interim/2013/pdf/00002297.pdf

The case Robyn mentions is this case: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=36225499&nid=148&fm=most_popular&s_cid=popular-9

Posted by Toa on Sep 04, 2015 at 9:08pm

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