Here’s a fairly recent UT opinion that lies right at the intersection of two lines of conversation here. You could think of this as one more UT unmarried father case. (There have been a whole series of those discussed here over the years. One was the topic of yesterday’s post.) But it is also a case about the marital presumption–something we’ve all been discussing fairly recently.
It is somewhat surprising to me that I have come across several marital presumption cases in the last months. I don’t know if this is chance (that I ran into them), chance (that the topic came up in different states) or some sort of meaningful pattern. Whatever it is, I can assure you that I’ve put up posts on all I have come across–I am not selecting to make a particular point.
That said, there’s nothing terribly surprising about the UT decision. UT has a strong preference for having children raised by married couples. (Perhaps it is worth noting that until recently that necessarily meant different-sex couples, but UT is one of those states where the restriction on access to marriage has been successfully challenged in federal court. Continue reading
My thanks to TAO, who pointed me towards this story in a comment to the last post. I had written about the case two years ago, but would surely have missed this chance to follow up on it.
I’ll leave folks to go back and read either the earlier post (I just linked to it) or the article for the facts. They are rather long and complicated. But the short of it is that Robert Manzanares is the genetic father of a six-year old girl who has been living with a Utah couple her entire life. (The people raising her are actually the brother and sister-in-law of her genetic mother.)
Regular readers here will know that Utah is a state that is very hard on unmarried genetic fathers. As a matter of policy the state would much rather have children raised by married couples. Hence, it is easy for a woman to give birth and place a child for adoption in UT and it is hard for a man who is the genetic father of the child to stand claim a right to raise the child himself. Continue reading
Once again thanks go to The Adopted Ones blog to letting me know that it was time to go back and look at Utah again. There’s some new Utah legislation that I think merits a close look.
For those of you who may not have been following along closely, Utah has come up repeatedly in this blog because it has laws that dramatically limit the rights of unmarried men to claim legal parentage. As I’ve discussed before, this is the result of a policy choice Utah has made–the state wants to encourage adoption by married couples and giving unmarried men the right to object to adoption runs counter to that goal. Obviously the merits of this policy are debatable–but I’m going to stay on a more technical level for the moment.
As you’ll see if you scroll through the posts, Utah’s approach has generated some controversy. Continue reading
This is just a brief update. A while back there were a number of posts about a father named Terry Achane. You poke around through the posts to get the details. But during the course of the case there were a number of allegations of bad acts on the part of the Utah adoption agency involved. And it wasn’t the first time, if rumors are to be believed.
It’s terrible when agencies charged with legal obligations deliberately evade the law. It harms kids and adults. Now here’s a story which suggests that the Utah legislature may take some steps to try to limit the potential for frauds like this. It looks like it is in direct response to cases like Achane’s. I’ll keep an eye on it.
Just the briefest of notes: On Friday Terry Achane took custody of his daughter.
This is a story that I’ve been following here for a long time. While it is quite clear that this is an incredibly important development to those involved in the case, it isn’t clear to me whether the case is actually over. It’s possible that the Frei’s will continue an appeal. I’ll keep an eye out.
Earlier this week I noted that the Utah Supreme Court issued a stay of an order transferring custody to the Terry Achane in a contested Utah adoption. As it turns out, that stay was in place only long enough for the state supreme court to superficially review the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. This afternoon a more lasting stay was denied. The case is set for an expedited briefing schedule with argument likely at the very end of March. But in the meantime, it appears that custody of the child will be transferred to Achane.
I can only imagine how difficult this week has been for the people involved in the case.
Credit to Adopted Ones who caught this right away. The Utah Supreme Court put a hold on the transfer of custody in the disputed adoption case involving Terry Achane that I’ve been following. Though this is obviously incredibly difficult for Achane and the other people closely involved, it’s a bit early to make too much of it. If the Utah Supreme Court wants to take a look at the case–even a quick look–I’d expect them to put everything (like changes of custody) on hold for at least a short time.
If the Court thinks there’s any real issue here I would expect it to continue the stay while it reviews things. If it doesn’t, it could dissolve the stay in a day or two. No way to tell yet, I don’t think.
I’ve been following a case from Utah for some time now. You can read those earlier posts but the basic outlines are simple.
Terry Achane was married and his wife was pregnant. She wished to give the child up for adoption and he did not. When the army moved him from Texas (where they lived) to South Carolina the wife stayed behind. Eventually, she went to Utah to give birth. Utah law grants very limited parentage rights to unmarried men and, though Achane was married, it seems that the wife took advantage of this feature. (The marriage was apparently ending.) She placed the child for adoption and the little girl ended up with a couple named Frei. It took Achane some months to locate the child but in time he did and in October a court affirmed his rights as a legal parent. By that time the child was around 20 months old.
In terms of remedy going forward, the problem is that, rightly or wrongly, Achane is a total stranger to the child. Continue reading
The past several posts have focused on a recent adoption case from Utah. I’m going to assume people are up to speed on the basic facts and the outline of the discussion here. I’ve two more points to add to the conversation–one a news update (courtesy of TAO) and the other a further consideration of the legal issues raised here.
First the news: As The Adopted Ones Blog says, the agency involved in the Achane case is apparently under investigation in Utah. It’s actually a tad misleading to say “agency” as the article notes that the corporation has done business under at least eight different names. Thus, I’m sure to many people it appears to be agencies.
Two things here are particularly striking to me: First, the same entity faciliated five of the controversial and litigated adoptions of children born to unmarried women akin to ones we’ve discussed here. Continue reading
I wrote about a recent Utah case yesterday and that post has attracted a lot of comments. I haven’t had the chance to read them all (and I’m a bit worried about the tone of some) but the ones I have read have gotten me thinking more about the case. I thought I’d do a second post on it partly because reading through too many comments becomes unwieldy. This way people can spread them out. But I will write here assuming you have already read yesterday’s post, so if you have not you should go do so.
I’m sure it is the contrarian in me, but first I want to think about this from the Frei’s point of view. These are the adoptive parents who are seeking to keep the child and everyone has jumped all over them in the existing comments.
I actually can imagine why their side of the story appeals to some people, and if you all can’t I think you should try harder. It’s important to try and take other people’s points of view even when you don’t like them. Continue reading