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Child custody case focuses on improper adoption

Preparing for the birth of a child is a busy time, full of excitement, anxieties and plans for the future. For unwed fathers in Colorado who are awaiting the birth of their children, there is an additional level of stress than comes in the form of a tenuous legal connection to their unborn child. When there is a difference of opinion between the mother and father, the man is often placed at a distinct disadvantage in determining how the child will be cared for. An example is found in a child custody case in which a man had to plead with a court for the return of his baby daughter, who had been placed for adoption without his knowledge or consent.

The child's biological mother and father were dating when the woman became pregnant. While there were early plans to raise the child together, the woman's family felt that a different path should be taken. The father believes that their disapproval of the union was based on the fact that he is African-American and their daughter is white. The mixed race of the infant was what allowed her, under the laws of their state, to be labeled as "difficult to adopt." That gave the birth mother the ability to place the infant for adoption without notifying the father.

The only reason that the man was able to learn about the adoption was due to the fact that he had registered for the state's "responsible father registry." His family, concerned over the sudden lack of communication from the mother or her family, had urged him to sign up for the service. As a result, he was notified days after the infant was given to another family in an out-of-state adoption.

He immediately took action to ask the courts to return his child, and after a stressful legal battle, the matter was resolved in his favor. However, that outcome also left the adoptive family in turmoil, having lost the baby that they had welcomed into their family with whom they had bonded. The child custody case illustrates the disadvantages that unwed fathers in Colorado and elsewhere can face and the importance of establishing parental rights at the earliest opportunity.

Source:, "Father Rebuilds Life with Daughter After Losing Her in Wrongful Adoption", Chad Carter, Sept. 17, 2015

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Attorney Brandon

Brandon Ceglian

Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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J. Adam Beckman

Adam Beckman’s areas of focus are family law, adoptions and prenuptial agreements, and criminal law/DUI. View Attorney Profile


Domenic Nicotra

Domenic Nicotra’s practices primarily in the areas of Landlord-Tenant, Family Law, Criminal, Protection Orders, and Civil Litigation. View Attorney Profile

Daniel J. Zolnikov

Daniel J. Zolnikov

Daniel Zolnikov practices in the areas of HOA, debt collections, landlord tenant, civil litigation and construction law. View Attorney Profile