A Utah father has been fighting for custody of his newborn baby girl, Kaylee. The 20-year-old father claims that baby’s mother put Kaylee up for adoption against his wishes.
The father has been caring for Kaylee ever since her birth on November 4th. He says that he never left Kaylee’s side from the day she was born until the day she was taken away from him. Without his consent, the mother voluntarily relinquished her parental rights and consented to Kaylee’s adoption by a couple that is friends with the mother’s parents.
Under Utah law, a biological mother has the right to put a child up for adoption without having to notify the biological father. This law states that a biological mother can voluntarily relinquish her parental rights either by signing a document or confirming the relinquishment under oath. Once a judge accepts the relinquishment, it cannot be undone. The judge will then determine what is in the child’s best interests, such as placing the child with adoptive parents.
In this case, Kaylee’s father believed he had done everything possible to keep his daughter. He filed a paternity action in court and had Kaylee’s birth certificate amended to name him as her biological father. However, according to Utah law, he needed to file the paternity action, as well as an affidavit and commencement notice, at least one day before Kaylee’s mother signed the relinquishment papers. The mother gave the father only a few hours’ notice of what she planned to do.
The father plans to continue fighting for custody of Kaylee either by pushing for changes in legislation or by taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. He believes that the law is unconstitutional because it is skewed against fathers.
If you are dealing with a difficult child custody situation, you should speak with a family law attorney to learn about your options. Every parent has certain rights under the law, and an attorney can help ensure your rights are protected.
Source: Fox13, “Utah father says newborn’s mother placed child with adoptive parents against his wishes,” Dora Scheidell, Nov. 20, 2015