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Utah judge upholds custody of adopted child to biological father

A U.S. Army drill sergeant was recently awarded custody of his 22-month old daughter who had been put up for adoption by the baby's mother. The two parents were married at the time and the wife was pregnant. They have since gotten a divorce and a child custody case has ensued between the man and the couple who adopted his baby girl without his knowledge or consent.

As we discussed in our Dec. 7 blog post, the father of the child was told to report for duty in another state and planned to return home for the delivery. Yet when the baby was delivered a month later, the mother put the baby up for adoption and told the adoption agency the father of the child had abandoned the baby and her.

The baby girl was adopted by a couple who are now appealing the decision of the judge who awarded custody of the girl to her biological father. The couple asked the judge to stay his decision and he refused. They then asked for a stay from the court of appeals in the state in which they reside while the appeal the judge's decision.

An attorney for the child's biological father said his client is the only one with rights to the child at this point, and he believes the judge was acting solely in her best interest by awarding custody to the father. He added that the parties would discuss visitation and arrangements to reunite the baby with her natural father while all await a decision from the Court of Appeals. Because the parties reside several states apart from each other, it's difficult for the father to visit the child.

Both parties are currently collecting donations to help deflect their legal expenses and to help pay for additional legal expenses in the appeals process. The biological father has received about $3,000 in contributions so far and the adoptive parents have received about $22,000.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah judge upholds decision to give father custody of his child," Brooke Adams, Jan. 4, 2013

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