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Poorly processed adoption leads to emotional child custody case

Colorado readers who would consider adopting a child into their family should take note of a recent court case that demonstrates the risks associated with a poorly managed adoption process. The unusual child custody battle has made headlines across the nation, and serves as a warning to not only adoptive families, but to expecting fathers. Sadly, the entire proceeding could have been avoided had the adoption agency at the center of the case acted responsibly toward all parties.

The case involves a husband and father who was transferred out-of-state in his position as a drill sergeant for the U.S. Army. His wife was nearing the end of her pregnancy at the time, and wanted to remain in place until after the birth. However, once her husband was moved into their new home, she made the decision to place their child for adoption. She told an adoption agency that her husband had abandoned the family and had no interest in his child.

Without checking into the matter further, the adoption agency placed the child with an adoptive family and went forward with the adoption process. When the father found out what had occurred, he contacted the agency and demanded that his daughter be returned to him. They chose to ignore his request, and went through with the finalization of the adoption process.

The father then filed a child custody case against the adoptive parents. In a recent court hearing, the judge upheld his constitutional rights to parent his child, and ordered that the 22-month-old be returned to him within a short period of time. While this case is a major victory for this man and for fathers' rights in general, it is important to remember that on the other side of the equation is a family that is simply heartbroken. The adoptive parents of this little girl have fully integrated her into their lives, and are now faced with the loss of their child.

This case demonstrates the importance of securing proper legal guidance when attempting to adopt a child in Colorado or elsewhere. Had the adoption agency not mishandled this case, two families could have been spared a great deal of pain. The child custody case also illustrates the importance of asserting one's parental rights in a timely and aggressive manner. By doing so, this father was able to win the return of his daughter.

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

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