Monday, March 24, 2014 | 53 comments

One Father’s Story of His Legally Kidnapped Daughter Being Raised by “Psychological Parents”


Editor’s note: Libertas has been closely following the stories of birth fathers around the country who are defrauded by mothers who exploit weaknesses in Utah law to put their children up for adoption over the wishes—and without the consent of—such fathers. Recently, several of these fathers have filed a class action civil suit against the state of Utah.

The following is an edited transcription of an interview Libertas conducted with Rob Manzanares, one of the plaintiffs in the class action suit and one of the more notable cases in Utah. Manzanares has been involved in court battles for years, costing nearly half a million dollars, to win custody of his daughter, Kaia. The comments in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of Libertas Institute.

Libertas Institute: Tell us about yourself and your story.

Rob Manzanares: My name is Rob Manzanares and I’m from Colorado. My story is about my love for my daughter. It begins in 2008 when I was living in a serious relationship with my former girlfriend—my daughter’s mother. We had moved in together and were planning on starting a family together. We took steps toward that end, probably faster than we should have, but we were definitely taking the right steps to become a family.

We found out we were pregnant about 8 months into our relationship. For me, that was the most exciting day of my life. I was 30 years old at the time and had just finished a masters degree. I was in between jobs and was figuring out what direction to take in my career. I always loved children and knew I wanted to have a family after finishing my education and so I was extremely excited to find out that we were pregnant. We sat down together and started making educated decisions on how to proceed with the pregnancy and how to raise a child together. My former girlfriend also had a six year old daughter from a previous marriage who was living with us. It was a really happy time around our household when we found out we were going to have a child.

The feeling inside that you get as a father is indescribable: you are happy, excited, and a little scared of the unknown.

The day we found out that we were pregnant truly was one of the happiest days of my life. We started going to doctors appointments and doing all the other things expectant parents do. At 12 weeks we went in for the first ultrasound. I’ll never forget all the emotion I felt after seeing a being that is half of who you are on a computer monitor from the ultrasound machine—I remember thinking “that’s my child, that person is part me!” The feeling inside that you get as a father is indescribable: you are happy, excited, and a little scared of the unknown. It was two or three days after that appointment when things started to change dramatically in our home. The mother determined very quickly that she was considering an adoption—that came like a cold towel across the face—and I couldn’t comprehend what it was she was thinking. It was very strange to me—I would have never considered giving my child up for adoption.

One factor that may have played a part in the story was my girlfriend’s religious involvement. I don’t really have an opinion on it one way or the other but it probably was a component in her decision-making. About the time she became pregnant she started getting back involved more in her church—she is LDS. She told me she had sought advice from her bishop who thought that the best thing was to give this child up for adoption. I am not LDS so I wasn’t involved in these meetings or this counseling that she was going through, so I was really shocked wondering how this could happen. I asked her if I could also speak to her bishop to try and better understand why adoption was so important to the both of them. I never did get to speak to him but I think those discussions she was having were a big part of her decision to pursue adoption.

A couple weeks after that ultrasound we started the process of separating. Arguments would arise as she tried to get me to agree with adoption. This all took place as we were still living in Colorado. She moved out and I was soon contacted by the LDS Family Services adoption agency. They wanted me to come meet them at their offices—sort of coerce me, if you will, as I have learned they do to the fathers in these situations—to discuss my situation with them and get counseling. I declined. They continued to harass me so I hired an attorney. The month I hired an attorney in Colorado they stopped harassing me.

I was suffering through a lot of sleepless nights with worry and devastation. All I wanted was for my child to be okay…

At this point, I was severely concerned and worried after our separation because I received threats and suggestions from the mother about abortion. At one point the mother told me that this child was neither of ours but was like a business for her (the mother). I was suffering through a lot of sleepless nights with worry and devastation. All I wanted was for my child to be okay and I had no idea what would happen to her.

All along after our separation I was in contact with the mother, trying my hardest not to be harassing or stalking her. However, I wanted to take responsibility and provide the needed child support and funding for her pregnancy. I tried giving her money and payments but she denied all my offers and would not receive any support from me. I thought it strange and even my attorney started to think that she perhaps she wasn’t going to go through an adoption after all.

About 8 months into the pregnancy, I received an email from the mother stating that I was nothing but a “chromosome donor,” that neither of us would benefit from fighting over this, and that she was going to go visit a sick relative in Utah for a couple weeks. She also wrote that when she got back we would re-discuss adoption. After that email, I told my attorney that I thought we needed to file a paternity action in order to prevent adoption. Fortunately, Colorado is one of the few states where you can actually file a paternity action before a child is born. This allowed me to declare paternity for my child prior to her birth. We filed that paternity declaration, along with an injunction against adoption, since I had the feeling that she was likely to follow through with her statement that she was going to proceed with adoption. That injunction would have stopped any sort of adoption process in Colorado cold in its tracks.

On the exact same day as our hearing was scheduled in Colorado our child was three days old and the mother was standing before a judge in Utah giving my daughter up for adoption.

After she had been gone for a week, she missed a hearing in Colorado that we were both supposed to appear at. She requested a continuance for that hearing, claiming she was out of town. It was completely unknown to me at the time that on the exact same day as our hearing was scheduled in Colorado our child was three days old and the mother was standing before a judge in Utah giving my daughter up for adoption. Such hearings in Utah courts are quick and back-to-back—15 minutes and it was over. At the missed hearing in Colorado, the judge re-scheduled. I am feeling thankful at that point that I will be able to be a part of my child’s life in some way after she is born. I was feeling good because I was thinking the Colorado courts would prevent a unilateral decision for adoption and I was much more confident after declaring paternity for my daughter—thinking all the while, of course, that she had not been born yet. Little did I know my child was already in someone else’s custody in Utah.

The Colorado court hearing was scheduled on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008. The following Monday I heard that the mother had returned to work with no child. After getting that phone call I was scrambling and calling around to different hospitals. I even went to a couple of hospitals in person, thinking I might find my daughter. Of course you can’t get into a maternity ward in hospitals because they are completely locked down from any outside visitors. I was trying to look through the glass window partitions trying to see if I can see my daughter—I truly had no clue that the mother had gone to Utah to deliver the child like she did. I actually didn’t even think she had left the state of Colorado. I thought her story about visiting a relative was just her excuse to not show up in court.

So there I was earnestly looking for our child. I even called the mother’s brother and sister in law, who actually had my daughter at the time, to ask if they knew anything about where my daughter was. They lied to me at the time and said they didn’t know and told me I would hear from the mother’s legal counsel. At this point, I am in complete devastation and fearful about all the unknown possibilities: has the mother sold my daughter? Is my daughter possibly dead from a late term abortion? Is she in an ICU somewhere? I was desperately looking for my child and am emotionally torn to pieces by this point because I have no idea what has happened.

Luckily, my attorney had scheduled a hearing so we could get in front of a judge in Colorado who then ordered the mother to tell me where my child was. It was then that I found out all the details of how my daughter was in Utah and how I was going to have to take the legal fight to a Utah court. At that point I was thinking that I would have a good case because the judge in Colorado had put me on the birth certificate and I had even hired legal counsel in Utah—one of the best attorneys in Utah for these types of cases. My attorney in Colorado also thought that it would work out and that it probably wouldn’t take more than six months to get my daughter. At least at this point I now knew that my child was not dead. Instead she was in an ICU and was stable and getting better. These little details started to give me some peace of mind; however, I could not imagine leaving my child in an ICU and not staying with her after her birth.

Judge Faust was actually so furious after hearing what had happened that he dismissed the adoption and told the adoptive family’s attorney to return the child to me in six days.

At this point in time I sincerely thought things would work out quite quickly—little did I know that I would have to wait six months just to get my first hearing in Utah court. For our first hearing we went before Judge Faust in Utah’s 3rd District Court. Judge Faust was actually so furious after hearing what had happened that he dismissed the adoption and told the adoptive family’s attorney to return the child to me in six days. This was on July 2nd, 2008. The adoptive family claimed they were out of town for the 4th of July holiday and would not be back soon enough. The judge still said they had to return the child. At this point I am so relieved thinking I have finally won custody of my daughter and that this nightmare is all over with. On the 7th day, after they should have already returned the child, Judge Faust vacated the decision and called for an evidentiary hearing in 30 days. We still felt confident we would be successful at that hearing too. However, one day in court turned into many as we navigated the Utah court system over the next two years.

Initially, we were just waiting for the judge to issue a decision after the evidentiary hearing. But the opposing counsel made a motion to remove the judge from the case. After that, the judge actually filed a bar complaint against the other attorney—the outcome of which I am still puzzled about. From that point on it seemed there was just a general procedural “fumbling” of the whole case over the course of the next two years. It was an emotional and legal roller-coaster as the court decisions went back and forth.

As a father, every minute of every day I was realizing that I was missing things in my daughter’s life. After the initial first six months, I have already missed her first smile, missed her first coo, missed her first roll-over, her first everything. After two years, I am wondering if she is walking now, what her first word was, what her personality is like, what her eye and hair color is, whether she is potty-trained or not yet, what her complexion is like. I am also realizing that she is bonding with her custodial parents who, in my view, have basically kidnapped her.

LI: Did it make it worse since the first court decision gave you the expectation that you were getting your child back very soon? How did that play a factor?

RM: It seriously destroyed me. I cannot explain all the emotions I felt. I even bought a carseat. In fact, over the course of those two years there were actually three separate occasions when I thought I was getting my daughter and I literally bought a different carseat for each stage of child size. That is how confident I felt. The judge had led me to believe that this was over and the decision was final. The first time in July I had the carseat, a diaper bag, the works. My mom had traveled with me and was there to assist. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Anybody knows that taking on an infant is not easy, but I was willing to do whatever it took and take on that full responsibility and make it work.

I became depressed feeling like there was no justice anywhere. I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. I had done everything right.

I definitely think it made it worse thinking I had initially won the case. It was like a nightmare where you are being chased and you are almost to that room where you will be safe and then the door won’t open and so you run to another room, and room after room the doors won’t open. It was the worst emotional nightmare you can imagine. You bounce between happy to sad so frequently. I became depressed feeling like there was no justice anywhere. I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. I had done everything right. I had filed all the right papers to claim responsibility for my child in my home state. My child should have never left the state of Colorado.

LI: After you navigated the court system in Utah, you ultimately ended up with an appeal before the Utah Supreme Court. Briefly summarize for us what their decision was.

RM: The Utah Supreme Court decision essentially overturned the adoption on its face. They said that the mother, the adoptive family, and their attorney had defrauded two states causing harm to me and my daughter. They said that this should never happen and they could no longer accept these outcomes in Utah—that the state should not allow fraud to be a part of adoptions. The decision seemed clear cut. The Utah Supreme Court remanded the case back to the 3rd District court in Utah after which it was then moved to district court in Colorado. In fact, one strange element to this case is that there was actually never a finalized legal adoption in Utah. For me, I felt my civil right to due process was violated because there was never a final legal adoption and yet I was denied custody of my child.

LI: The Colorado court, in deciding custody of your daughter, said that it was “mindful of the deceitful, fraudulent and outrageous conduct” involved in your case, but that the court would not “dwell on the past or give [the fraud] much weight.” Does it concern you that the underlying fraudulent action was disregarded in determining Kaia’s fate?

RM: Absolutely! I think that is a huge violation of any biological parent’s natural rights. I think the court has basically said it is fine for you to go to a local park as a two-parent family and just steal a child from a single parent. As long as you can stretch out the court process and get the case to fumble around long enough then you will, at a minimum, win primary care and joint custody with that rightful biological parent. As I think more about how this case has turned out, it makes me concerned for a military service member who might be deployed overseas in combat losing their child while absent. What if the other parent of a child dies and the deployed service member asks that the child be cared for by an extended family member until they return? Under this court decision, if that child is in the care of those people for more than six months that new family can file for guardianship or adoption of that child. While that scenario might be a little more of a stretch than my case, this is exactly what would be possible under this decision. This decision has set up a very scary and dangerous precedent.

LI: In the Colorado custody decision the court also referred to the adoptive parents as “psychological parents.” As her actual biological father, what is your reaction to that term? How do you feel about these people being called her “psychological parents?”

RM: I don’t think they can be called any sort of parents because of how they got that title—they got it by fraud, they got it by kidnapping, they got it by taking a child that was never theirs to take in the first place. They only ended up here through legal mischief which allowed them to fumble and delay legal proceedings long enough to gain that title. Now, has my daughter bonded with them? Absolutely; I will agree 100 percent that she has bonded with them and loves them. Do they love her? They most certainly do. Are they good parents? They are good parents to her. There is nothing wrong with the way they care for their other children or her.

I don’t think they can be called any sort of parents because of how they got that title—they got it by fraud, they got it by kidnapping…

The thing that disturbs me is simply how they obtained custody of my daughter in the first place. The “psychological parent” title really frustrates me though. It is a term that we have given too much weight to and we have given a lot of weight to a doctor in Utah who didn’t really do his job. His job was to reunify me with my daughter, and not to make custody decisions or generate opinions on the case. His opinion as a psychologist would mean that none of these children should ever be returned and can never develop that strong of a relationship with their biological parent. I think it is an absolute fallacy to say that no child can ever bond with their biological parent. We see stories all the time of adults who find their biological parents and bond with them and develop wonderful relationships with them.

LI: Did the court consider some sort of gradual weaning from her current environment where she is comfortable to ultimately living in your sole custody, instead of the joint custody arrangement? What about something that would ultimately result on you having custody instead of forever relying only on joint custody?

RM: We requested just that and argued for it. We obtained an opinion from the guardian at litem in the case who agreed with us that I should have sole decision-making and they recommended a long transition to primary care in my household. What we requested was a two to three year transition with the end result being primary care by me but also allowing the other family to be involved in her life even after I would have had full custody. I don’t think the court really considered that in their opinion. They rejected our proposal and opted instead for shared decision-making and primary care by the adoptive family. What I fear the court has not fully recognized is that one day this child is going to have a mind of her own and she is going to be able read the Utah Supreme Court decision for herself. I fear that one day she will read that and realize what happened to her and understand that her daddy did everything he could to be with her. She may realize that the case was fumbled so badly through the court system after fraud on the part of this family which kept her away from me—she may then turn on her adoptive parents.

LI: When you talk about this concept of “fumbling” through the courts and how this custody battle seems to have taken a long time during which your daughter’s relationship with her adoptive parents has undoubtedly become stronger, do you think this outcome would have been different had the court acted more quickly? Do you assign any portion of blame for this outcome to the court process itself?

I was only able to spend time with my daughter—someone who should never have been taken away from me in the first place—for an hour at a time under the supervision of a psychologist.

RM: Absolutely. One thing I would advocate for, that would help these cases tremendously, is some sort of expedited fast track for cases like this. To wait 15 months for the Supreme Court to make its decision? One year and 3 months! All while I am not spending any time with my child? That is unacceptable. My daughter does not know who I am and is going through what psychologists call the “critical years” between ages three and four where she is gaining an identity and recognizing who she is and what she likes and doesn’t like. That whole time that they were allowed to keep her during the Utah case put me at such a huge disadvantage for the later custody decision in Colorado. Then to wait another two years for the actual custody hearing during which time my entire focus is on waiting to re-integrate with my daughter was another huge error.

Here I am left trying to enter my daughter’s life after years of delay and only then on a very limited basis. I was only able to spend time with my daughter—someone who should never have been taken away from me in the first place—for an hour at a time under the supervision of a psychologist. I also had to wait for the right time when the therapist said it would be okay to tell her I was her real father. It is definitely devastating for me and these cases to be fumbled through the court system for so long because of the other parties. I put a lot of the blame on the attorneys out there that represent these other parties for causing these unreasonable delays.

LI: Your class action lawsuit indicates that you and the other plaintiffs represent at least over 300 individuals “whose constitutional rights to due process and other fundamental civil rights have been violated.” In your mind, why has this injustice been occurring so long?

RM: I think it requires somebody taking their case through the full term—taking it as far as I have taken it. I had a great opportunity to take this case on appeal to the Supreme Court but many of these cases never get to that point and can easily drain you of money. I have not even talked about the tremendous financial devastation I have gone through. You are looking at nearly $100,000 a year for the last six years of my life—a half million dollars in all for travel costs, legal costs, and attorney fees, both in Utah and in Colorado. It is time for a change in the law now but it took someone following their case all the way to the top.

Kaia should have been returned immediately when she was born so that I wouldn’t have lost any time with her to begin with.

I really want to open Utah’s eyes to what has been happening with fraud immunity and how unconstitutional that is. It needed something to happen; fortunately, now we are starting to see these cases change in the direction of fathers. It took the Utah Supreme Court justices realizing that the previous outcomes were not what they wanted to see in the state. I think it just required that amount of time for them to realize. I think there are even more cases that are not well known; perhaps in the thousands of cases where there were fathers that just couldn’t fight. It’s interesting how people in Colorado react when they hear about my case—their gut reaction is that this never should have happened and that Kaia should have been returned immediately when she was born so that I wouldn’t have lost any time with her to begin with. People are surprised when I explain the legal bureaucracy and complexity of the system and the different laws Utah and Colorado both have. To me it shouldn’t be any more complex than filing a declaration of paternity.

LI: Talking about legal declarations of paternity, critics might argue that if you are really concerned about your child then you, or other similarly situated fathers, should have married the mother before hand so that you had those paternity rights automatically as a married father. How do you respond to that idea—the idea that because you were not married to the mother you essentially forfeited your claim on your children by default?

RM: I think it is a bit of an ignorant view based on the times we are in now. The nuclear two-parent family is increasingly unlikely in our society. I have heard recently that over 50% of children will grow up in a split or divorced home. Many children initially adopted by two-parent families still end up in a single-parent home. I don’t know that every situation is perfect and that marriage will always work in every situation. I also don’t think that bringing a child into this world should constitute a marriage that could end up in divorce. I feel that such an argument really just doesn’t have much merit anymore.

My daughter is still half or me whether I am married to the mother or not—she has my genes in her and I am half of who she is.

LI: As a father that is trying to assert your parental rights, do you think those rights should be dependent or conditional upon obtaining a marriage license from the government? 

RM: Absolutely not; I don’t think parental rights are, or should be, conditional. My daughter is still half or me whether I am married to the mother or not—she has my genes in her and I am half of who she is.

LI: There are a variety of lawsuits from your case now. There was another one you filed recently against the birth mother, the adoptive parents, and their attorneys in federal court seeking $120 million in damages that alleges a “clear cut case of an illegal, fraud-ridden adoption being accomplished through deceptive and clandestine conduct.” The suit argues that these individuals essentially kidnapped your daughter from you. Why are you filing a civil lawsuit rather than a criminal one if in fact these people fraudulently adopted or kidnapped your child?

RM: I think that because Utah and other states have allowed these fraudulent adoptions and have not gone after the people involved in such cases criminally that there was no grounds to seek a criminal case. In our original case in Utah we brought up the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) and the Utah Supreme Court justices even asked for a supplemental briefing of the act in light of this case. I think Utah is starting to open their eyes to the possibility that perhaps this behavior truly is kidnapping covered under the act and is being carried out by criminal means. Ultimately, in our case, the justices didn’t accept that the PKPA should apply.

A civil case ends up being the only way to try and get what I never had the chance to have, and will never get back: a part in my daughter’s life. The damages are a result of my missing so much of my daughter’s life and her missing out on my care and the life we could have had together. In fact, one Utah Supreme Court justice made a strong comment in the end of her concurring opinion about the damage to the child’s ability to build a relationship with her father. She said they haven’t just hurt the father, but have hurt the child too.

Legally, I don’t know the exact reason we couldn’t go after them criminally. Generally, my sense was that it just wouldn’t work. Now we are interested in passing legislation in Colorado where someone like me would have the ability to press criminal charges against mothers who fraudulently lie on birth certificates or leave the state to give birth in order to avoid a father’s paternity declaration. But this is a new area of the law and still in its infancy.

LI: Where do things stand now for you and your daughter?

RM: She is still living in Utah with the adoptive parents with whom I now have joint custody. With the visitation decision I now have a lot more ability for visitation—even more time than I can afford with time and travel between states. She gets some time to live with me in Colorado and I can see her in Utah a couple times a month. I certainly get something that I didn’t have before, but it’s not right that the court essentially granted “custody by estoppel” and awarded something to someone else because of their fraud.

LI: If you had two minutes to speak to the entire Utah legislature what message would you share?

Then for that child, now adult, to know that they have been stolen, or lost their identity, because of a law that allows mothers to cheat, lie, and commit fraud to keep away a father who wants to be a part of that child’s life is a scary proposition for that child.

RM: Remember that there is a child in every single one of these cases and that all of these fathers are half of who these children are. If we are truly putting our children first, we need to recognize that there is often a father who has tried to become a part of this child’s life; someday this child is going to be an adult and will always wonder who their father is and what their father did. It is scary to think that there will be children who, after reaching adulthood, find out they had a father who did everything he thought he could and should have done to be a part of that child’s life. Then for that child, now adult, to know that they have been stolen, or lost their identity, because of a law that allows mothers to cheat, lie, and commit fraud to keep away a father who wants to be a part of that child’s life is a scary proposition for that child. The opportunity to fix this problem and change the law is now. Let’s make it right for these children because they are going to be adults someday.




50 comments
maizy
maizy

When I was pregnant with my daughter, being an unwed mother in Utah my doctor pushed for adoption. Utah adoption agencies call and visit doctor offices for information about pregnant unwed mothers and the doctors get a fee or gifts for this. This is what happened in my situation. Being alone at a doctor's office pregnant, and unwed, women are vulnerable and listen to their doctors advice.

801-497-6562

PROTECTOURCHILDREN
PROTECTOURCHILDREN

DEAR FELLOW MOTHERS, FATHERS, GRAND PARENTS, AUNTS AND UNCLES.. AS A FATHER I DESPERATELY PLEAD OUT TO YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!!

MY TWO BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS BOTH NADAKKAH AND NEVAEH DUKES, AGES 8 AND 9 HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED BY THE STATE OF UTAH AND NOW THE STATE IS ATTEMPTING TO ADOPT OUT MY CHILDREN IN COMPLETE SECRECY. UTAH CURRENTLY HAS A CLASS ACTION SUIT BEING BROUGHT AGAINST THEM FOR ILLEGAL ADOPTIONS BUT THE BUCK DOESN'T STOP THERE!

I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THIS SINCE MAY OF 2013 AND THE STATE HAS ATTEMPTED TO KEEP EVERYTHING HUSH, HUSH BUT NOT ANYMORE! MY GIRLS WILL BE HEARD! MY FAMILY, MY DAUGHTERS AND ME AS THERE FATHER DESERVE THE SAME PROTECTIONS AFFORDED TO THE ELIZABETH SMART FAMILY. KIDNAPPING BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL KIDNAPPING. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY CREATIVE CONDITIONING OR PROPAGANDA/SMEAR CAMPAIGNS SHOULD ANY SUDDENLY APPEAR. THE TRUTH CANNOT NOR WILL IT BE SILENCED ANY LONGER! I WILL FEAR NO MAN BUT ONLY GOD!

VISIT US AT: WWW.LEGALLYKIDNAPPED.ORG
PLEASE WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry5eSKyZ98g&feature=youtu.be
PLEASE WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Y-fP-qp4U

**UTAH CORRUPTION IS DEEPER THAN YOU KNOW**

- I HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME
- I HAVE NOT BEEN SERVED WITH ANY PROCEEDINGS

- I DO NOT LIVE IN UTAH NOR AM I A RESIDENT
- THE STATE OF UTAH HAS MALICIOUSLY ALIENATED ME FROM MY CHILDREN WITHOUT JUST CAUSE.
- EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE IN COMPLETE SECRECY
- NO JURY, NO TRIAL
- CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE CONSTITUTION HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
- DUE PROCESS HAS BEEN DENIED
- EQUAL PROTECTION HAS BEEN DENIED
- LAWLESS UTAH/NO RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW
- VIOLATION OF OUR GOD GIVEN INHERENT RIGHTS OF LIFE LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

I AM A GOOD FATHER AND I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I HAVE DONE NO WRONG! PLEASE HELP ME, PLEASE EXPOSE WHAT IS GOING ON HERE IN UTAHS SECRET COURT ROOMS. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THIS IN PART IS RETALIATION AFTER BLOWING THE WHISTLE AGAINST JOHN SWALLOW AND OTHER CORRUPTION WITHIN THE JUDICIARY AND THE STATE OF UTAH.
PLEASE REPORT THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. I CANNOT EXPOSE THIS NOR MAKE A CHANGE BY MYSELF BUT TOGETHER WE ARE ARE UNITED AND UNITED WE WILL MAKE A CHANGE A CHANGE FOR A HONEST AND TRANSPARENT UTAH THAT DOES NOT TRY TO TEAR FAMILIES APART SO THAT THEY MAY GET RICH OF YOUR PAIN. PLEASE WAKE UP MY FRIENDS.

**DON'T BE FOOLED BY WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING**

UTAH IS KIDNAPPING OUR CHILDREN AND PLACING OUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN IN FOSTER HOMES AND ADOPTING THEM OUT. THE SAD PART ABOUT ALL THIS IS THAT IT IS BEING DONE NOT FOR NEGLECT OF A CHILD, NOT BECAUSE OF A CRIME BUT SO THAT THE SICK AND GREEDY POLITICIANS, JUDGES AND LEGISLATORS OF THE STATE OF UTAH CAN CONTINUE TO INDULGE THEMSELVES IN THE FEDERAL BACKDOOR INCENTIVE MONEY THAT THEY RECEIVE FOR EACH CHILD THEY REMOVE FROM THE HOME.

**ANOTHER DIRTY SECRET OF UTAH**

YES UTAH IS MAKING MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR LEGALLY KIDNAPPING OUR CHILDREN TO THEN ONLY SELL THEM OFF WITHOUT CONSCIOUS.

PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO MY DAUGHTERS OR ANYONE ELSE EVER AGAIN. MY DAUGHTERS DESERVE A FATHER THAT LOVES THEM AND MISSES THEM VERY MUCH.  WE MUST DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY AFTER ALL THE PUBLIC SERVANTS AND THE STATE OF UTAH WORKS FOR US, WE DON'T WORK FOR THEM WE ARE NOT SLAVES OR ARE WE?

PLEASE IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF THE STATE OF UTAH, JOHN SWALLOW, DCFC, FAMILY COURT, SALT LAKE CITY JUSTICE COURTS I WANT TO HERE FROM YOU!  

**KNOW INVOLVEMENT THUS FAR IS AS FOLLOWS**

- UTAH LEGISLATORS
- GOVERNOR GARY HERBERT
- F.B.I. INVESTIGATED JOHN SWALLOW
- JUDGE KIMBERLY K. HORNAK
- STACY JACOBSON
- AMY MITCHELL
- MELISSA FOULGER

All individuals are benefiting directly and financially from this state sanctioned kidnapping OF MY DAUGHTERS AND ANY AND ALL OTHER VICTIMS OUT THERE. The only thing they fear is public opinion. Please help, please help bring them home!!!!! GOD AND CHRIST JESUS are my strength and my light. May GOD be with me and with all those that suffer from such inhumane injustices.

amymp
amymp

This is a classic example of legislation aiming at one problem and unintentionally sweeping in a lot of other stuff. The law was written so when a girl gets pregnant during a fling, she can give the kid up for adoption rather than having to a) marry the guy and raise the kid when they wouldn't otherwise have any further relationship or b) let the father have custody when the girl is uncomfortable turning her baby over to a single guy she doesnt know well and doesnt think is dad material. However, the law unintentionally swept in cases like this where a couple in a serious relationship intends to have a kid and the father wants to be involved and the mom changes her mind after. Sorry girlfriend, the time to vet a man for fatherhood is before you have sex, not after you are pregnant. 

kris10akb
kris10akb

Dbreit1 you only see one end if this... The loving nurturing end where your parents kept babies until placed... My friend was in the same situation only he lives in Utah and his ex went to California to have the baby and the mother of the baby LIED saying that she didn't know who the father was, she got drunk one night and had a one night stand and didn't want to keep the baby she also did the LDS adoption thing now I'm not saying this is a religious thing because I don't know but as a member of the LDS church I would sure hope not.. seems to me the plan is to have the mother give birth in a separate state to make it harder for the father to gain custody because he will have to fight two states instead of one.. And for the record my friend tried to fight it but just didn't have enough money to take it all the way.... I THINK LAWS NEED TO BE CHANGED... and these people adopting illegally should be charged criminally...

rainlady02
rainlady02

DBreit1  you sir are the one that made this a religious issue.  No one else really did.  I will have you know that many of these thwarted fathers are being represented by a man that I hold in great esteem.  He is LDS and he is very ethical.  This is not a religious subject unless you choose to make it so- it is about what is right and ethical.  And again I will disagree with your general comments on fathers.  I am so thankful that we have a new generation coming up that despite the lack of marriage love and honor their children.  These fathers deserve to raise their child- and these children deserve to have their fathers raise them.  

DeborahPowell Porrazzo
DeborahPowell Porrazzo

I am 59 years old and was the child involved in a similar situation in the Southern US in the '50's.  It was the stuff nightmares are made of.  I should have been allowed to know and to live with my birth parents as they would have raised me, but at that time-were considered 'unfit' being single parents.  I am blessed to know them now.  The guilt, the abandonment, the psychological scars I carry first being in foster care, then abused at the hands of two people not fit to parent anything anywhere could not be more real.  The courts have their priorities in the wrong place when loving, able bodied, responsible parents try to step up and BE parents only to have this so called religious ideology undermined and impact what any child knows to be a home. The Utah courts are famous for this as are some others.  It needs to stop; even if it requires a federal mandate.

DBreit1
DBreit1

My parents served as foster parents for LDS Family Services in California. They cared for 45 infants over ten years while they were awaiting placement. In over one third of the cases, the birth mother decided against adoption. The most common reason being: the birth father (who generally never wanted the baby at all) threatened to take the baby away for good - IF the mother was going to have the baby adopted out and raised LDS. Many of these guys wanted to punish the "good Mormon girl" by forcing her to keep the baby and be held back from getting her life on track.  Rarely was there a father who wanted to raise the baby himself out of love for his child.

DBreit1
DBreit1

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to start bashing/blaming the LDS Church/adoption services for this.... :(

Diann Miller Graham
Diann Miller Graham

IN MY OPINION:

The women who give their children to strangers, whether it be for money or because they can't raise them, should be court ordered to become unable to reproduce.

These illegal tactics should be federally dealt with and all adoptions should fall under federal mandate, thus all adoptions follow the same procedure and law.

To those who believe that marriage will protect a man's rights, you have it wrong. If they are married, nothing will stop the woman from doing what she wants to with her child. In most states the woman is the primary care taker whether married or not. Just as it is a woman's choice to abort, it is her choice to adopt out their child. It is the law of man.

Changing the laws to protect the child is what should be done. Every child in an adoption should be represented by their own lawyer from the beginning, that lawyer should be required to find both parents and get it into writing that the adoption is alright. In the cases where the mother claims she doesn't know who the father is, that becomes a bit tricky, but that lawyer should be able to notify the area in which the woman was born, raised and lived in order to give a notification to whom ever she had contact with sexually or her own family which may want to keep the child in the family.

Children have become like pets, we live in a throw away society and when you get finished with something you just give it away or drop it off somewhere.

I am pretty sure these children will not understand why they were given to people who lie, cheat, steal, barter, sell, buy or anything else that is not moral just to obtain a child that isn't theirs.

Adoption is a wonderful gift for so many people that can't have children of their own but do it legally, with the consent of both parents, unless in the case of incest, rape or abuse, these children need to be adopted out without the sperm donor's knowledge due to the crime imposed on these women.

KaySpringsteenTate
KaySpringsteenTate

These "psychological parents" absolutely committed the crime of fraud. And yet they are rewarded with custody of the child. I am not questioning their capacity to love her, nor that she loves these parents. However, the court is 100% wrong in this decision. If they can do this to her rightful father, what does that say about the sort of values they will instill in this child as she grows? That it's okay to steal? To lie? To cheat? That men (her father) are to be looked at as no more than DNA donors?

Angela
Angela

Many people say that the problem would be solved if they were to marry before the baby is born. This is not true. My brother in law married the pregnant mother and they ended up separating ( but still legally married) before the baby was born. He is currently going thru the legal process to get some type of custody but it is a long and costly process. His son is now 6 months old and he had been able to see him on 2 occasions for a few hours each. While I agree people should date, marry and then start on their families not doing this in this order should not automatically void the fathers rights. If that is what you believe then every child born out of wedlock or during separation should be taken from both parents with our without their consent. I believe that both parents should have equal rights to their child unless one has a criminal/medical/mental history that would prevent them from being able to parent a child.

rainlady02
rainlady02

The US has fought long and hard to guarantee equality.  When will this be granted to the Fathers who want to raise they own child?  This decision went the wrong way.  It rewarded the birth mothers brother and sister in law who were absolutely involved in the deception and fraud.  Their actions were deliberate in blocking this father.  The Father, Rob, should have primary custody. Visitation, which he was agreeable to for a smooth transition, should go to the people who have had this child.  The decision by the Colorado court only sets the stage for more Fathers to be blocked from their children's lives by "adoptions" which start with lies and deception.  This is a national problem and needs to be rectified.        

rmads
rmads

I think the obvious solution for men who want to be a father and have a family is to MARRY THE GIRLFRIEND before having children (Or engaging in activities that might likely bring them about).  That way you make sure she is committed to you and she knows you are committed to her and you both know you are committed to your children.  Without that COMMITTMENT, the woman may make a decision that she sees as in the best in interest in the child.  The best interest of the child is to have two parents who are committed to one another and to their children.

Cache Kid
Cache Kid

You don't have to look very far or under many layers to see the underlying reason Utah laws are the way they are.  They're designed so that children can be brought up in LDS homes, regardless of the anguish caused to the biological fathers.

Shame on Utah legislators for allowing this to continue.

KaySpringsteenTate
KaySpringsteenTate

@amymp Except if a guy isn't "dad" material, the lady in question shouldn't risk becoming pregnant with him. Assuming, it was not a forced or otherwise illegal encounter, simply put, if his DNA comprises half the child he has a right to play a role in determining the future of that child. And the child has a right to know and have a relationship with its biological parent(s) who want it. There should never, under normal circumstances be a time when the mother can make the unilateral decision to adopt out the child. And she has no right to judge after the act whether he is capable and fit to raise HIS child.

ohhkay
ohhkay

@DBreit1  I would like the information to where you got your "figures" besides your mommy and daddy telling you this.

rainlady02
rainlady02

@DBreit1 I don't think that even applies in this case so I am not sure why you posted.  The mothers have the choice to decide to TPR and continue with life as they would if they had adopted out.  The fathers that step forward do so with the hope they can raise their children-  so nothing about forcing a "good Morman Girl" to keep her baby- It is about parental equality.  It takes 2 to make a baby and 2 to relinquish- If one wants to move on so be it the other should not be judged or punished.  I will disagree with your conclusion that there is rarely a father that wanted to keep and raise his baby himself and the number of court cases challenging these laws will support me.  There are fathers that are willing to lose everything financially to have their child.,  

ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@DBreit1 Can you call it "blaming" when the adoption services, LDS church attorneys and employees (Larry S Jenkins and David McKonkie), and LDSFS social workers have been shown to engage in this kind of behavior?

When I was considering placing my child for adoption, I was told by a counselor for LDSFS to lie to the father of my child because it would, and I quote, "Make things easier in the long run if he doesn't believe this baby is his." I was also told that is I could go for one calendar year without his contacting me, then his rights would be automatically terminated. The counselor at LDSFS then told me to refuse any phone calls from him, letters, or offers for financial help because if I did, it would "restart the clock."

So I don't call it "blaming" to call a spade a spade. I call it "telling the truth."

ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@Diann Miller Graham"The women who give their children to strangers, whether it be for money or because they can't raise them, should be court ordered to become unable to reproduce."

Wait...so are you saying *EVERY* woman who relinquishes a child for whatever reason should be permanently sterilized?????

Darla
Darla

What about the 17 year old who made a mistake and is not ready for motherhood now but will go on to marry and raise a healthy happy family? What about the 19 year old who is raped and choses adoption over abortion?

And yes, more FEDERAL mandates and control are exactly how to solve the problem. NOT.

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@KaySpringsteenTate It's basically saying "You ran out the clock, so you get away with it".  Write up a transition plan and put the child in her father's care.

KaySpringsteenTate
KaySpringsteenTate

@rmads While you are so busy making moral judgment on a man who wants to raise his own child, what about your judgment against the fraud and deception perpetrated by the "psychological parents"?

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads The obvious solution is for people to stop facilitating and participating in unethical adoptions.  That child wasn't adopted out because the couple wasn't married, the child was adopted out because the birth mother made the conscious decision to place the child against the father's wishes and two other people made the conscious decision to go along with it.

belongtotoday
belongtotoday

@rmads  -- Marriage guarantees nothing. There have been at least two contested adoptions in the last few years that involved wives putting children conceived and born into marriage up for adoption. The first was the now rather reknown story of soldier Terry Achane. He did win his daughter back, but it took two years and he largely only won because the potential adoptive couple decided to stop litigation. Had they decided to continue it is very unlikely he would have won. I forget the other gentleman now but I know there is another case and in that case he did not get his child back. 

Marriage does not guarantee your rights as a father, nor should it have any bearing on your rights as a parent. No one has the right to abscond with a child that is half someone else's and sell them. Not only is this unfair to the other parent, but it's also unfair to the child. How would YOU feel if you know that you'd been sold right out from under your parent's nose and that they wanted you and fought for you but the people who bought you got to keep you because they signed some stupid piece of paper first? That's basically what it boils down to in these cases. 

Attempting to make parental rights hinged in ANY way on marriage is basically nothing more than Christianity coming into and imposing it's anti premarital sex doctrine into actual law. So much for separation of church and state (not that it ever really existed). 

Darla
Darla

Really? Can you site which lines in the legislation lead you to that conclusion? Which statutes encourage that? Which adoption laws perpetrate it?

DBreit1
DBreit1

@rainlady02 @DBreit1Please read my comment again. I was referring to the 45 infants my parents cared for in California. And yes - in these cases most of the girls who kept their babies stated that the father did NOT want the baby, but wanted to slut-shame the mother ("Look at that "good" Mormon girl who got pregnant out of wedlock (even though I - the baby-daddy - was the one to knock her up) - I'm not gonna let her get off the hook by adopting - ESPECIALLY NOT to a Mormon family").


NOWHERE did I make a blanket indictment of all unwed fathers - in fact immediately after this post, I made another comment clearly agreeing with the father in this case.

rainlady02
rainlady02

@Darla It takes 2 to make a baby and unless there are serious legal concerns, as in the case of a convicted rapist, it should take 2 to sign away rights.  We are fortunate that many ethical young men are willing to step up and raise their children.  The mother can still elect to TPR and move on with her life if that is her choice.  Stranger adoption should be the last choice.  Utah is one of many states that need to review their laws to reflect this.  I don't want to keep going on but their are even recent situations which involved married parents where the wife signed away the baby for adoption in Utah- took 2 years and severe financial hardship on the part of the father to regain his child.  We need to make sure adoptions are ethical.

KaySpringsteenTate
KaySpringsteenTate

@GeneDarnall @KaySpringsteenTateI was just thinking that - they've imposed a short-term statute of limitations on a very serious crime. Opened the door for kidnapped babies to form psychological bonds with their kidnappers.

rmads
rmads

@KaySpringsteenTate What's best for the child?  If the man really wants to "raise his own child" he gets married to a woman, promises he will always be there for her, and they have children.  The "man" (I use that term loosely) didn't really want to be a father, he started out wanting to be a boyfriend.  If he wants to be a good father, he should want a stable family for his child.  Stability is by far most likely to come from the marriage commitment.

rmads
rmads

@GeneDarnall The adoption would not have happened if the couple was married - since the father would have legal rights.  Contrary to your statement - the adoption happened because the couple wasn't married.

rmads
rmads

@GeneDarnall If the couple had been married, the father would have legal recourse.  Therefore, the child was given up for adoption because the couple was not married.  Do you really think the child is better off with a mother and father who are not married?  Seriously!!?

rmads
rmads

@belongtotoday Marriage may not guarantee that the child will have two parents that stay together and raise the child together, but the odds are a damn site better than for a child born out of wedlock in the first place.  At least theirs is a *public* commitment.  And it need not be a "Christian" marriage.  Your contention that the marriage commitment is limited to the influence of Christianity is nonsense.  Marriage has existed in all societies in the world for millennia, for the express purpose of having parents make a binding agreement that they will care for one another and for their children through out their lives.  That has been a foundation of stable societies.  And one reason our society is floundering.


I still contend that if the would-be father truly wanted to be a father, he'd act like a real man and prove it by promising the prospective mother that he will be there for her and for her children - BEFORE play-acting in the role of husband.  Not saying it's all his fault either.  She is acting unwisely by letting the boyfriend ACT like a husband before making the promise.  However, once she has a child, and does not have (or want) the commitment from the man, I don't blame her for wanting a stable family for her child.

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@belongtotoday I agree with everything you've said, but I feel I should mention that there's nothing Christian about taking someone's child away from them just because they aren't married.

ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@Darla

Here are the specific lines of legislation.  What you will find is that the Utah state legislature says they can't prevent fraud and it is the father's responsibility to prevent  any fraudulent behavior on the part of the mother, the adoptive parents, or the agnecy. Also, the mother DOES NOT legally have to notify the father or the courts she is relinquishing his child for adoption, which in and of itself sets up a situation ripe for fraudulent actions.

She can lie to the father, tell him the baby isn't his, tell him the baby died; she can tell him she is just "visiting" friends in Utah where she can have a doctor induce her two weeks early  (ahem - I *am* talking about you doctors in Utah county, you know who you are), lie about actually being in the hospital  to deliver until after the 24 hours is up and she has terminated her parental rights and it is too late for an out of state father to file. These particular statutes also allow a mother to lie to the court about the paternity and/or whereabouts of the father with no impunity or fear of punishment from the law. Can you think of ANY other situation where it is LEGAL to lie to the courts?

In short,  these two statutes together allow 

a biological mother (and her agents) to commit all manner of fraud against a father and the state can say, "Well, you should have magically known she was going to commit fraud. Too bad, so sad." (Which is precisely what they have done over 30 times in recent years.)


From: http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE78B/htm/78B06_010200.htm

Utah Code 78B-6-102

(6-d) The Legislature finds no practical way to remove all risk of fraud or misrepresentation in adoption proceedings... the Legislature has determined that the unmarried biological father is in the best position to prevent or ameliorate the effects of fraud and that, therefore, the burden of fraud shall be borne by him.

Followed up by:

(7) The Legislature finds that an unmarried mother has a right of privacy with regard to her pregnancy and adoption plan, and therefore has no legal obligation to disclose the identity of an unmarried biological father prior to or during an adoption proceeding, and has no obligation to volunteer information to the court with respect to the father.

ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@Darla Oh dear, Darla. You do not know the Utah laws, do you? Let me go feed my small ones and then I will come back and link to the specific laws and statutes that legally enshrine adoption fraud in the Utah code.

Cache Kid
Cache Kid

@Darla  Google it, look for LDS social services and utah baby mills.


GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads


"The "man" (I use that term loosely) didn't really want to be a father"

No, it's pretty clear based on his actions that he did.  Being a husband and being a father are two different things, and while traditionally they tend to go hand-in-hand, one is not dependent on the other.  The idea that the birth parents not being married somehow gives either parent the sole right to decide where the child goes is psychotic. 

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads 


Incorrect.  The case of Terry Achane invalidates that theory, he was married and providing for his family at the time that his wife put their child up for adoption without his knowledge or consent.  The adoption happened because a crooked adoption agency, a birth mother, and two unethical adopters conspired to do it.  That's not even a matter of opinion, it's basic cause-and-effect.  It happened because they did it.

Cache Kid
Cache Kid

@rmads @GeneDarnall  In many cases, yes.  Just because a couple is married doesn't mean they are good people, or good parents.

You are WAY too judgmental.

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads


Better off with their parents who aren't married than with a pair of married sociopaths willing to participate in an unethical adoption?  Yes, as a matter of fact I do think that. 

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads Well you should blame her.  It's twisted and cruel to put a child up for adoption when at least one parent is fit and willing.  There's no moral justification for doing that.  And the argument that it's giving the child a "stable" home is invalid because unethical adoption always carries the risk of being contested by the parent who didn't give consent.  Furthermore, anyone willing to adopt a child via unethical means isn't fit to parent said child in the first place.

GeneDarnall
GeneDarnall

@rmads If the adoptive parents are willing to adopt the child against the will of one or both parents, there's nothing stable or loving about their home.  If a couple decides they don't want to get married and they both agree that adoption is a better option than anything else, that's one thing.  But that child has two parents, and if it was conceived as the result of a consensual relationship, both parents need to sign off on it.  Any adoptive couple willing to cut corners isn't what they claim to be in the first place.

rmads
rmads

@ValencySpeaks @GeneDarnall@belongtotoday The LDS church has as their policy that the child should be raised by loving parents.  The FIRST option is for the parents to get married.  The SECOND option is for the child to be placed in a stable home with loving parents to provide it with the best opportunities for a happy home.  I know not all two-parent homes are happy, and that many single parent homes are.  However, you've got to be willfully ignorant of what's happening in our society, and the statistics for troubled youth from single parent homes to think that being raised in a home with a mother and father does not generally make a huge difference.

ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@GeneDarnall @belongtotodayIt is true there is nothing Christian about taking someone's child away from them just because they aren't married, but this is *exactly* what the Christian right recommends happens, even the LDS church this as their official church policy regarding single expectant parents. 


ValencySpeaks
ValencySpeaks

@DBreit1 That's an interesting question. Let me do some research and get back with you about how this has been address in the courts (if it has) or what current legal opinion is on the matter. 

DBreit1
DBreit1

@ValencySpeaks So how does (7) square with the Right to Privacy established by Roe. v. Wade, and the woman's control of her body - EVEN IF MARRIED, that the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed?


*I HATE Roe v Wade, btw - but (7) appears to be consistent with the "rights" as defined by the USSC.


Featured

Google+