Comments about ‘Utah Supreme Court hears fight over 'Baby Emma'’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 10 2010 12:58 a.m. MDT

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snowman

eenymeenymyneechic: It's not just the mothers that can deciede this. The dad has a say too.

K

It should not have gone on this long. The outcome shouldn't have a different ending cause one party was able to stretch it out so long. If the potential adoptive parent's didn't want to risk losing a child so old they should have stopped fighting a long time ago.

When you adopt you are dealing with the bio mom, and bio dad and their families in many cases. A couple taking custody without a dad signing is asking for a hold up in the process and broken heart.

A man who has relations with any women not married to should sign father's registry in every state that has one.

Finality is necessary. In IL there is an agency where there is a nursery so while bio mom and dad are making up minds baby doesn't have to go perhaps temporarily "home" to AP's who might not be able to complete adoption while they are deciding whether to place or not. And a lot of times they don't place and decide to parent. Easier for everyone that the child is in a neutral place while decisions are being made post partum.

Rmh

eenymeenymyneechic - my apologies. I am just frustrated with arguing with people who jumped to conclusions, and didn't realize that the court case started in Virginia, not Utah, and that the biological father didn't just wake up 18 months later and ask for the baby back - he filed for custody less than a week after the baby was born. I realize the law IS different in Utah, but in Virginia that was within the limits, and at the time mom, dad, and baby were all Virginia residents. I just don't think it's right to sneak a child to another state to avoid a pending custody change.

CB

He had his chance when he found out the mother was pregnant. If he was so intent on being 'dad' why didn't he marry the mother and provide a stable home before his daughter's birth? Now he comes along to provide what? A life that is disrupted when she's torn from the only home she's ever known...placed in a day care situation where she will be one of how-many? Unfortunately this guy doesn't know what love is. His actions so far are totally selfish and self serving. Now he has a chance to prove that he loves his daughter. Walk away, let her grow up in a stable, two parent home. If she wants to know you, she will find you.

Sorry Charlie!

@ CB: gub-ment-cheeze brought that issue up on page 1. I will give you the same response I gave him:

Because hitting the woman over the head with a club and dragging her off to be married against her will went out of style several thousand years ago.

Both he and the mother state that they were in contact during the pregnancy. According to him, they had plans to raise the child together and eventually get married. (Apparently, she didn't want to get married until after college.) She changed her mind about raising the child with him and decided to put the baby up for adoption against his expressed and known wishes.

The ethical thing to do, would have been to give him custody - she knew he wanted to raise his daughter.

She chose this, she is the one putting her daughter through this. He is a victim of the mother's actions and he should not be penalized because the mother did something which - in the state that has jurisdiction over this case - is basically illegal.

CB

Perhaps this is a good lesson in 'casual sex' then. It has consequences and these consequences fall upon an innocent child. In the good old days it was not a club, but a 'shotgun' that prompted marriages where conception came before the ceremony. Being born a short 8 months after my parent's anniversary which was a 44 year marriage, I'm grateful they took responsibility for their behavior.

Sorry Charlie!

@ CB: The father has been trying to take responsibility ever since he found out he got the mother pregnant.

It is unfortunate that she denied him that and, as a result of her actions, he is now suffering.

Rebeckah

I am absolutely appalled by the tenor of comments here. Emma's KIDNAPPERS are NOT her "adoptive parents". They knowingly stole this baby from her father and are attempting to manipulate jurisdiction to keep her. How DARE you people accuse her father of not loving her OR of being selfish. I hope her father keeps record of every comment made here just in case young Emma is ever tempted to believe the LDS lies of "forever families". Clearly the majority of posters here have no care about family OR what is best for children. Just as clearly Emma's kidnappers don't care either. All they cared about was their own trophy baby that they could raise and indoctrinate themselves. If they actually CARED about children they would have legally adopted one who actually needs a home.

Rebeckah

"Please read the article before you post. The birth mother waived Virginia rights and accepted Utah adoption law in the hospital."

Actually, the birth mother was restrained in a hotel room while her mother and the adoption agency strong-armed her into signing adoption paperwork. She did not "waive Virginia rights" because she had NO legal grounds to do so.

"The registry is a national registry so the nonsensical "registering in India" analogy carries no water."

Actually, there are several such registries and Utah has no legal grounds to hold a Virginia resident to their obscure laws. They kidnapped the baby and Virginia has, and should have, jurisdiction. I hope the lawyer and the kidnappers face federal charges for their actions myself.

"You may have an opinion but try improving your reading comprehension before you form that opinion...or had you predetermined it was a case of baby snatching?"

Yes, it was baby snatching. Only a brainwashed fool would think otherwise.

GoManUReds

@RMH
Obviously you're part of this whole ordeal and are biased by your desire that the birth father be given parental rights and the baby returned with him to Virginia. The birth mother waived rights to the baby and then the birth father, apparently (b/c the judge in Utah determined it was so) registered with the national registry too late or not at all. There is a uniform set of laws from state to state (maybe not many but there are some) and those are that the birth mother can waive her rights to the baby and, if that happens the father must register with a national registry to exert his rights as the father of that baby.
As far as Virginia law and Utah law are concerned, obviously each state has determined it has the ability to pass judgment in this case. I'm not telling you you're right or wrong, just what the situation is, even if that situation is frustrating to you.
Personally, I hope the adoptive parents get to keep their baby, but that's just me.

Bethanymom

Wow, what a mess!! Both sides have strong emotional arguments. Sadly I am not nearly well versed enough in the laws of either Utah or Virginia's adoption/parental rights to offer an opinion one way or the other.

I can only hope that no matter what does or does not happen little Emma will come out of this with as little damage as possible. Kids are resilient, and she may shock us all by being very well adjusted, and having a happy life.

I know it is not the same, but there are so many adoptable little kids (and bigger ones too) in the foster system that is it hard to see people fighting over one child like a rag doll. Not that they don't both have good reason to want this specific child, but with such an excess of children that no one will fight you for, and people will gladly help you adopt children from the state's foster system, it is unfortunate to see something like this possibly scare away potential adoptive families.

Sorry Charlie!

@ GoManUReds: There is not a uniform registry law - there is a proposed law, but it has not been adopted by all states yet.

The father registered according to the guidelines of the state that has jurisdiction over the case - Utah is ignoring that.

Additionally, there is no national registry - each registry is a state registry.

What there is is a federal law which establishes the conditions under which a state determines jurisdiction such that "full faith and credit" under the US Constitution can be applied. This federal law determines custody based on where the child has lived for the 6 months prior to the proceeding, or, in cases of an infant under 6 months, where the child was born and where the parent(s) live - which was clearly Virginia.

If there is a law in my home state that I do not want to follow, I don't get to just arbitrarily decide to apply the laws of a different state.

I also do not have the right or the ability to waive someone else's rights and protections.

Sorry Charlie!

@ Bethanymom: The only side that has good reason to want this specific child is the father. When this whole thing started the adoptive parents knew it was contested and had no connection with the child - they could have held off for a child who was not contested or adopted a foster child.

Rebeckah

@GoManUReds

"The birth mother waived rights to the baby"

Which was, in and of itself, illegal. In Virginia (where the child was born and both mother and child were located at the time) a mother cannot sign away her rights until three days after the birth. This is a very reasonable law as a woman's hormones are still fluctuating wildly after the birth of a child and that can impact her decision making abilities. Right there this Utahn lawyer committed a crime against the laws of Virginia.

"and then the birth father, apparently (b/c the judge in Utah determined it was so) registered with the national registry too late or not at all."

First of all, there IS no national registry -- each state has their own. Secondly a Utah judge has no jurisdiction in this case -- Virginia does. Virginia is where the child was born and where it was kidnapped from.

Rmh

GoManUReds - I don't know anyone in this case, I just don't agree with kidnapping a child across state lines to get your way. And I don't agree with a state protecting this type of behavior while ignoring federal custody laws. There is NO national registry, adoption laws are decided by states. However, we do have a federal law that prevents poeple from feeling to a state whose laws are friendlier to the adoptive parents, when one or both biological parents have decided against or changed their minds about the adoption within the requirements of the original state. This law says that once a state with proper jurisdiction has begun a custody case in court (In this case, Virginia, the home state of both bio parents + the baby), another state does not have the right to steal jurisdiction to make a custody decision about that particular child. It is called the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.

Rmh

Rebeckah - the funny thing is if there was a national registry, none of these Utah adoption cases would have ended up in court, because in pretty much every case the birth father registered in at least one state and then the mother learned about it and tried to sneak off to Utah. I really hope a national registry that all states are required to check before proceeding with an adoption is a reality in the future!

Rmh

Rebeckah - the funny thing is if there was a national registry, none of these Utah adoption cases would have ended up in court, because in pretty much every case the birth father registered in at least one state and then the mother learned about it and tried to sneak off to Utah. I really hope a national registry that all states are required to check before proceeding with an adoption is a reality in the future!

Bethanymom

SorryCharlie! At this point the adoptive parents have emotionally/financially/physically invested 18 months in this child. So I would say they have good reason to want this specific child. In the beginning, BEFORE they bonded to the kid I would have agreed with you that it didn't need to be a specific child they adopt. But at this point, after 18 months, you can't just swap in a different child and say there you go, all better.

Rmh

Bethanymom - they knew when the child was born that the father planned to fight the adoption under the laws of the state the child was born in. They signed a paper stating they were aware of those risks. They should have walked away on day one. I have NO sympathy for them - none, zero. They are at fault for any pain they end up feeling, because they knew the situation from day one and refused to back off, instead taking the child to another state while they knew a custody case had begun in Virginia.

county mom

Desparate parents-to-be will do many things to get a child. In this case they went to far. I can't believe they would have not known the reputation of the Adoption Agency and the desires of the Father. If they are LDS they know that we are not released from the calling of parent just because someone else wants our child. We are parents from the cradle to the grave. The birth father has the right to raise his child and if the birth mother disagrees, she should have been more careful who she had sex with. She picked him.

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