Missouri residents might be interested in one father’s quest to gain custody of his daughter. In a case that stretches over four years and two states this father is not giving up on his rights to gain full custody of his now four year old daughter. Two months after the Utah Supreme Court dismissed his case it reversed that decision and reinstated the case.
Last week a 3rd District Court Judge indicated he would most likely dismiss the Utah case that challenges the adoption of the man’s daughter so that the state of Colorado, where the father lives, could pick up the case and decide its final outcome. At issue is whether the father should have filed for paternity rights in the state of Utah where the baby was born, instead of or in addition to the state in which he and his then girlfriend live.
The father did not learn about his daughter’s birth until his girlfriend returned from a trip to Utah where she gave birth and placed the baby up for adoption, without the father’s knowledge or consent. Every state has its own laws in regards to paternity, father’s rights and adoptions. The Colorado and Utah courts have been fighting over this case for four years and this latest decision brings the father one step closer to gaining custody of his little girl.
When two people are not married and have a child together and that relationship doesn’t work out things can get rather complicated in a hurry, as this case demonstrates.
Sources say this case could bring hope for other birth father’s who claim their child was placed into adoption without their knowledge. It can be difficult for unmarried fathers to understand their parental rights let alone enforce those rights without the help of an experienced child custody attorney. When custody battles cross state lines, as in this case, the laws can become extremely complex and making it more difficult to enforce paternity rights and court ordered agreements.
This latest court decision required that the father’s name be placed on his daughter’s birth certificate. Just one more step in a lengthy court battle that could see this determined father reunited with his daughter, whom he has only seen and held once.
Source: KSL.com, “Colorado man closer to having daughter returned after adoption in Utah,” Lori Prichard, May 21, 2012