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follow up on baby given up for adoption without dad's consent

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http://news.yahoo.com/sgt-reunited-baby-given-adoption-181449034--abc-news-topstories.html

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.

"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."


so glad the Judge had the common sense to give this little girl back to her father. sad for the adoptive parents but they knew what they were doing was wrong but did it anyways. sad, but I'm glad the dad won

by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM
Replies (11-20):
funglemuggle
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:18 PM
The state where this adoption occurred is known for shady adoption practices.


Quoting GraceStrickland:

My husband and I have been working with a childrens home to adopt a 2 year old. Before this child was adoptable the law stated that efforts had to be made to find his father for 12 month.  The Mom said he was a drug addict and wouldn't want him, but after almost a year they found him and the boy was reuinted.  I would have NEVER sweet and precious as he was fought this reuinion.

I'm wondering how it got this far when we had to wait so long and go through so many hoops!  Yay for Dads who are willing to fight for their kids.


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GraceStrickland
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM


Utah huh?  I wouldn't have guessed...I've met some odd sheep from there though! :-)

Quoting funglemuggle:

The state where this adoption occurred is known for shady adoption practices.


Quoting GraceStrickland:

My husband and I have been working with a childrens home to adopt a 2 year old. Before this child was adoptable the law stated that efforts had to be made to find his father for 12 month.  The Mom said he was a drug addict and wouldn't want him, but after almost a year they found him and the boy was reuinted.  I would have NEVER sweet and precious as he was fought this reuinion.

I'm wondering how it got this far when we had to wait so long and go through so many hoops!  Yay for Dads who are willing to fight for their kids.




mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I watched some interviews with both parents. I have a sneaking suspicion that the mother did this because of a domestic violence situation. The way she spoke about him was with fear in her tone of voice. 

I can't prove that. That's just the feeling I got. It would also explain why she went to such lengths as she did. i honestly have no idea. But I do agree with the ruling. You cannot put a child up for adoption unless both parents agree. 

MentorMom1
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Why the heck did the court approve the adoption in the first place? Is it really Utah state law, allowing a mother to give a baby up without the consent of the father?

I think it's bogus that his estranged wife could not locate him through the military. They have family resources for situations like this. Maybe she didn't try very hard. Still, a married woman giving up a baby when she knew the father would not consent makes me wonder about her mental health. And the integrity of that adoption agency. Poor child, now having to leave the only parents she's ever known. As one commenter said, the baby is young enough to make the adjustment. But not without trauma. I hope they make the transfer as painless as possible for the tot.

Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM
3 moms liked this

Personally i don't think any girl/woman should be allowed to put her child up for adoption without the childs fathers permission. While i fully agree with the woman making the decision to abort i do NOT agree that she has sole rights over adoptions choices. Once that baby is born it belongs just as much to the father as to the mother.

caito
by Silver Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Hell yes! I'm so glad he got her back!

Lurion
by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

You could see that story working...if they weren't married and he weren't in the military! 

The blame lies not only on the biomom, but squarely on the adoption agency that handled it as well. Even the most preliminary of investigations would have revealed this information on the father and enabled them to track him down. 


Quoting GraceStrickland:

My husband and I have been working with a childrens home to adopt a 2 year old. Before this child was adoptable the law stated that efforts had to be made to find his father for 12 month.  The Mom said he was a drug addict and wouldn't want him, but after almost a year they found him and the boy was reuinted.  I would have NEVER sweet and precious as he was fought this reuinion.

I'm wondering how it got this far when we had to wait so long and go through so many hoops!  Yay for Dads who are willing to fight for their kids.



survivorinohio
by René on Jan. 27, 2013 at 8:16 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with those who feel there were criminal acts committed here.  Shameful:(

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 8:42 PM

How could an adoption agency not track down the woman's HUSBAND and get consent?  

onethentwins
by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM

 Utah gets away with this all the time. In fact it's so well known that adoption agencies often send their "birth mothers" to Utah because they know how hard it is for fathers to claim their children there and how the laws are stacked up against fathers.

Utah is the very worst but many states have laws against fathers. They have "putative father registries" that men have to register in if they even suspect a woman they had sex with may put his child up for adoption. And in many cases the father has to prove that he supported the pregnant woman through pregnancy regardless of how she treats him, or if he even knew she was pregnant.

Mothers of sons BEWARE!

I'm thrilled that in this case at least justice was done and Utah is getting attention for it's terrible adoption practices.

Here's a link to another shameful court case that's happening right now:

 http://www.babyemmawyatt.com/

Quoting futureshock:

How could an adoption agency not track down the woman's HUSBAND and get consent?  

 

 

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