Utah accused of denying child custody rights to biological dads
In the state of Utah, like other states around the country, fathering a child does not necessarily mean that the individual has legal rights to that child in some instances. As a result, some biological fathers are forced to petition for paternity and child custody rights. One man claims that his paternal rights were infringed upon when his biological child was adopted out against his will. He also argues that Utah legislation does not protect the rights of biological fathers in many child custody disputes.
According to the man identified as the biological father in the adoption and custody dispute, he met his three-year-old son’s mother in 2009, and was led to believe that she was divorced when they began dating. The woman allegedly became pregnant a few months into their relationship, and the man claims that he always agreed to support the baby.
Later, however, the man allegedly learned that the woman never filed for divorce. Consequently, the baby had been placed for adoption with the permission of the woman and her husband, since the husband had legal rights to the child. The biological father was not even apparently informed of the child’s birth until after the fact.
The biological father’s efforts to stop the adoption and gain custody of his son were unsuccessful since he failed to register his paternity rights with the state. His petition to be granted custody of the child was rejected in court. As a result, he has filed a $130 million federal lawsuit.
The plaintiff in the suit claims that the adoption of his biological son was illegal, and that the rights of birth fathers are not protected by Utah state laws.