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Sgt. Reunited With Baby Given Up for Adoption

An army drill sergeant whose estranged wife put his daughter up for adoption without his knowledge or permission while he was stationed in another state, has been reunited with the little girl, following a nearly two-year battle to get her back.Terry Achane/Facebook"I'm just happy right now. I'm with my daughter," Sgt. Terry Achane said. "It's about time."The Utah Supreme Court earlier this month overturned a request by the toddler's adoptive parents to stay a lower court's December order that the child be returned to Achane, her father.On Friday the original trial judge, Darold McDade who ruled in Achane's favor, held a transfer hearing that resulted in the little girl and her father being united this weekend for the first time since she was born 22 months ago."This is the first known case where the Utah State Supreme Court has removed a child from an [adoptive parent's] home and returned the child to the ... legal father," said Achane's lawyer Mark Wiser.Wiser called the Supreme Court's ruling a "huge victory" for "equal parental rights," meaning one parent can't put a child up for adoption without the other's permission, and decried the adoption practice in Utah."Terry Achane believes that justice is finally taking place," Wiser said, adding that his client remains "heartbroken that he has missed 22 months of his daughter's life because of what happened. This is time that he and his daughter can never replace."Achane, 31, was stationed in South Carolina on March 21, 2011, when his estranged wife, Tira Bland, gave birth in Utah and turned the baby over for adoption just two days later.He initially believed that his pregnant wife had followed through on a threat to have an abortion. It was several weeks after the baby, whom he calls Teleah, was born that he learned the child had been adopted and was in Utah.When Achane contacted the adoption agency that had facilitated the baby's placement with the couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, he was stonewalled, denied information and ignored when he told them he had not consented to the adoption, according to his lawyer.In his ruling to restore Achane's custody, Judge McDade said he was "astonished and deeply troubled" by the actions of the agency, the Adoption Center of Choice, calling its treatment of Achane "utterly indefensible."According to Achane, Bland gave the agency Achane's old address in Texas where he lived prior to being stationed in South Carolina, and suggested he would not consent to the adoption. The agency attempted to contact him once in Texas, but seems not to have made any other efforts to receive his consent, Wiser said.The agency would not comment.Achane knew Bland was pregnant and had taken her to prenatal doctor appointments in Texas, but Bland cut off all contact with him following his deployment to South Carolina and made arrangements for the adoption in secret, he lawyer claims in court documents.Calls to the Freis were not returned. In an emails to ABCNews.com, their lawyer Larry Jenkins wrote: "The Freis have asked us not to comment publicly about the case."The Freis, however, have maintained a blog about the case where they claim that Achane "left [Bland] without any money, a car, or details of his whereabouts. Needing to act quickly for the best interest of her unborn child, and with incredible faith, fortitude, and courage, she put her child up for adoption."In 2008, Kristi Frei was diagnosed with endometriosis and told she would not be able to conceive, according to the blog.The Freis insist that it was they who tracked down Achane "several months" after adopting the baby, whom they call Leah, but to "our great shock and dismay" he refused to consent to the adoption.The judge said in his ruling, however, that the couple knew that Achane had never been consulted and "acknowledged this risk but decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway.
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by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Replies (11-20):
lexxie28
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 2:20 AM


Now that does make a little more sense, in the post it did not mention that the adoptive parents were crazies...poor little girl :(

I see so many instances where birth mothers or father show up and are all like hey that's mine...I want it back...

I am glad that this case is not like that :)

Quoting sheramom4:



Quoting lexxie28:

 I am entitled to my opinion as are you. I read the post. This is what I think. So what if you do not agree...obviously nothing that is said on here will change the outcome lol

l am a CASA volunteer and I think that the emotional damage to the child is more prevalent than the father randomly showing up and being like "hey that's mine I want it back".

I am also a CASA volunteer. What is missing from this post is that the adoptive parents were aware prior to the adoption that the father did not consent and conspired with the mother and the adoption agency to try to proceed with an adoption that would be illegal in most states. They make it very clear that they knew but were driven by God to adopt the child anyway and fought tooth and nail to keep the child knowing the father wanted to be a parent and kept insisting that their religious beliefs were keeping them from giving the child back to the rightful parent. It is the fault of the adoptive parents, the mother,and the adoption agency that she is now 22 months old and just be reunited and no one else. As a CASA I have to disagree that she should stay with the adoptive parents. In fact I believe all the parties in this case, save the father, should face criminal charges and they should be banned from further adoptions.




randi1978
by Bronze Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM

It was not solely her choice.  And the fact that she was married to Teleah's father actually gave him ten times more rights than an unmarried father.  His rights were never terminated and the family that fought to keep her KNEW there was a chance he'd want her back if he found her.

He tracked his daughter down when she was a few months old and said he did not consent and wanted her back.  The family that tried to keep her were greedy, selfish and entitled and fought hoping that either he'd run out of money and quit or if enough time had passed, the courts would rule in their favor.  They were not her parents since the adoption was never completed (judge threw out their petition).  Just temporary caregivers/kidnappers until the courts sorted this all out.  And they even barred Achane from having contact with his daughter until the courts threatened them with contempt charges.

Quoting lexxie28:

If the mother had her baby "stolen from her" then it would be kidnapping. In this case the child was given up for adoption by the mother. It is her choice as it is her baby. The law in my state is that the father/mother gets a notice in the newspaper for two weeks to contest an adoption and if he does not respond then his rights are terminated. That baby was raised by those people. It was incredibly unfair to the little girl to be ripped from her home like that. It would be a different matter entirely if she was in foster care or a ward of the state but she wasnt. She had a mother and a father her loved her, they were her parents not him. 


sugarandstones
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 4:42 PM
He is in the military. Finding him would not of been hard to do. She didn't want him to know.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM
Adoptions have to have consent of both parents.


Quoting lexxie28:

If the mother had her baby "stolen from her" then it would be kidnapping. In this case the child was given up for adoption by the mother. It is her choice as it is her baby. The law in my state is that the father/mother gets a notice in the newspaper for two weeks to contest an adoption and if he does not respond then his rights are terminated. That baby was raised by those people. It was incredibly unfair to the little girl to be ripped from her home like that. It would be a different matter entirely if she was in foster care or a ward of the state but she wasnt. She had a mother and a father her loved her, they were her parents not him. 


Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Exactly. The birth mom was a total loser for going behind his back.


Quoting sugarandstones:

He is in the military. Finding him would not of been hard to do. She didn't want him to know.

onethentwins
by Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:01 PM

So in other words, all "adoptive" parents have to do is hang onto the kid for long enough to make their kidnapping legal? How long is the cut off? A month, 10 months, a year? That's a very dangerous president. They should have handed him his child back as soon as he asked for her. They were the selfish ones keeping her from her rightful parent.


Quoting lexxie28:

In this case the adoptive parents had the child from birth and it was most likely in her best intrest to stay with them. Imagain if your almost two year old was taken from you and given to someone else.. How heartbreaking for that little girl and her parents. I understand where the biological father was coming from but considering he had never even met the little girl I think it was selfish of him to uproot her from her home. 



AdryF
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM
Yays! I am happy he got his little girl! :)
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Eve-marie
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:26 AM
This is the stuff of Lifetime movies, but it's the mother moving heaven, earth and the deep blue sea to get her kid back, when she learns it wasn't stillborn after all. Good for you, dad. Enjoy parenthood.


Quoting LiesLiesLies:

Are you insane?



If this was the opposite situation do you think the mother should have just let them keep the child?



Of course not because it wouldn't take a mother 2 years to get her stolen child back.




Quoting lexxie28:

In this case the adoptive parents had the child from birth and it was most likely in her best intrest to stay with them. Imagain if your almost two year old was taken from you and given to someone else.. How heartbreaking for that little girl and her parents. I understand where the biological father was coming from but considering he had never even met the little girl I think it was selfish of him to uproot her from her home. 



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cecenichole
by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

If anyone is interested, search Support Terry Achane on FB. We have updated pictures of Teleah and her daddy and she is doing AMAZING!!

emeraldangel2.0
by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

the adoptive parents knew the father hadn't consented and took the kid anyway. i feel nothing for them but contempt, along with the mother and the agency.

Quoting lexxie28:

In this case the adoptive parents had the child from birth and it was most likely in her best intrest to stay with them. Imagain if your almost two year old was taken from you and given to someone else.. How heartbreaking for that little girl and her parents. I understand where the biological father was coming from but considering he had never even met the little girl I think it was selfish of him to uproot her from her home. 



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