In another update to a story we told you about in August and December of last year, a Colorado juvenile judge has ruled that a man will now have a parenting role in his now-6-year-old daughter’s life. The girl was adopted by her uncle and his wife in early 2008, after her mother gave up her parental rights.
The man who was just awarded his “important fatherly role” by the judge had dated the girl’s mother. She was pregnant when they split up, and the father filed a petition to assert his paternity in a Colorado court. The baby was born prematurely, and the father didn’t know about the birth until sometime later. When the man appeared in court on the paternity petition, the mother was appearing in a Utah court to give the child up for adoption to her family members.
The man filed a number of appeals, asserting that the girl was adopted without his consent. The Utah Supreme Court eventually found in favor of the father, ruling that he had not had a chance to stop the adoption. The adoption was actually never completed. The Utah Supreme Court remanded the case to a lower court. That court then sent the case back to Colorado.
The Colorado judge has now ruled that child will remain with the couple in Utah, but the father will have visitation rights in the state where he current lives — New Mexico — and in Utah. He is to be part of all major decisions involving the girl, including her health care and education.
Most child custody cases are not as complicated as this one is, but many are very contentious. If you are seeking custody of a child and have run into legal barriers, the advice of a Colorado family law attorney may be helpful in navigating the legal system.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Father wins role in life of daughter being raised by Utah couple” Brooke Adams, Mar. 08, 2014