With changing times, many fathers in Montgomery, Tennessee, and other parts of the country are expressing their intention to obtain primary custody of their children. They are also becoming more vocal in matters related to their biological children and the decisions that they choose to make about their children’s lives. The laws have evolved over time and the present day judicial system in Tennessee shows a great deal of respect to fathers’ rights.
Recently, a man from Pennsylvania challenged the adoption of his biological son by a family from Tennessee. His son was born in Utah. According to reports, he has taken his case to the Utah Supreme Court. The lawsuit claims that the child was put up for adoption by his mother without the father’s consent. Both parents in this case are residents of Pennsylvania. The father claims that the mother took advantage of adoption laws in Utah to intentionally deprive the father his parental rights.
The case goes back some years when the father was 18-years-old and got into a relationship with the mother, who claimed to be 16-years-old at that time. The father subsequently found out that the mother was in fact 14-years-old and broke off the relationship. Later, he found out that the girl was pregnant. Except for an early appointment with the doctor, the father lost all contact with the mother. Eventually, when he obtained a copy of adoption papers and intervened, he was charged with statutory sexual assault. However, he pled guilty to a lesser charge.
According to Utah laws, the father of a child who is born as a result of a sexual assault is not entitled to an adoption notice. However, the father claims that, in his case, Pennsylvania laws should apply, which has a similar statute but only in the case of rape or incest. On those grounds, the father is now challenging the laws in Utah and also contesting the custody of his biological son, who is now living with an adoptive family in Tennessee.
Family laws in Tennessee, or any other state, can get fairly complicated, as seen in this case. Therefore, consulting an experienced attorney may help a father in a similar situation to fully protect his rights.
Source: Deseret News, “Pennsylvania man challenges adoption, Utah law,” Emiley Morgan, Mar. 4, 2014