In August, we told you about a father who was seeking custody of his now 6-year-old daughter. The child’s mother put her up for adoption after she moved from Colorado to Utah. The father, who was living in Colorado at the time of the girl’s birth, had filed a paternity petition with a Colorado court before the child was born. However, he was not aware the mother had moved to Utah. The child was adopted by the mother’s brother and sister-in-law.
For six years now, the father has been pursuing custody of his daughter. It took five years just for the man to be allowed visitations. The father, who now lives in New Mexico, has seen the child on a few weekend visits to Utah and during a trip in which the girl came to stay with him in New Mexico for a short time.
The father appealed to the Utah Supreme Court in order to stop the adoption. The court found that the father was denied a chance to object to the adoption and dismissed the adoption proceedings. However, the girl resides in Utah with the couple who still wants to adopt her.
That ruling occurred in Jan. 2012, but next week, a Denver, Colorado, juvenile court will hear the matter. The father wants sole custody, but he does say that he is supportive of an agreement in which the Utah couple would be allowed to continue a relationship with the child.
A child psychologist in Utah has recommended that the 6-year-old remain with the couple in Utah. The psychologist has been involved in “reunification therapy” between the father and the child.
Child custody cases can be contentious, but it should always be determined on what is in the best interests of the child. In this case, the father wants to be more than just a visitor in his child’s life. Advice from an experienced family law attorney can be very valuable in such cases. As it stands, custody will be up the Colorado judge to determine who will be awarded custody of the girl since the prospective adoptive couple and the father cannot work out a suitable, agreeable arrangement.
Source: sltrib.com, “Father fighting for custody of daughter being raised by Utah couple” Brooke Adams, Dec. 10, 2013