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.