I'm aware of too many situations where Utah was really good at denying divorced
and unmarried biological fathers their parental rights in favor of biological
mothers and adoptive parents. There definitely seems to be a prejudice within
the courts in these matters. What are the adoptive parents going to tell the
child when old enough? Your biological Dad wanted to be your real Dad, but the
court said no?
How awful that good people who wanted to give a child a stable home with both a
mother and father are now being sued by the "man" who couldn't keep
his pants zipped. The adoptive parents simply tell her the man who
was the sperm donor wasn't the best person to raise her, so they got that
privelege.It's all about what's in the best interest of the child.
RE: SarahBAm I understanding you correctly in saying that no single parent
should be able to raise a child? BTW, if its for the best interest of the
child, what exactly qualifies you to have kids that this man does not have?
Where else should the govt decide what is best for you? If the birthmom had
decided to keep the child, would this man have to pay child-support? If so, why
then should he have no standing on who gets to raise the child as it is his?
This lawyer seems to pop up a lot in Utah adoption cases where the agencies are
playing fast and loose with the rules.
I'm glad the decision came out the way it did. This is the best outcome for the
child, although I do not like seeing anyone suffer loss. My birthfather gave me
up for adoption when I was 13. Best gift he ever gave me. We're still in
contact. When the child is old enough, she should also be given this option if
she desires it. I was 28 years old when I got back in touch with my birth
father. If he had only married the mother, this would never have happened. Some
poor choices were made. Good luck to Baby Emma!
This is just a messy case in General. Being a Virginian who moved to Utah for
college, i do find irony in it. But the case hinges on something which is being
ignored. Does the state have the right to take the choice away from the mother.
The right to choose the life of the child has be established as a maternal
right. She decided against keeping the kid and putting the child up for
adoption.Although the father seems intent on wanting to raise his
child, something which is commendable, he is going after another state in
something which is a matter of Federal law. It isn't fair to tell the adopted
parents, whose only failing is not knowing how much the father wished to be part
of the child's life, that they can't keep a child they have come to love. If
Mr. Wyatt didn't like the idea of losing his child, he needed to file as soon as
she mentioned the idea of adoption.This is just a messy case in all.
Disgusting. These people basically got away with kidnapping. I feel awful for
the father and the little girl, who deserved to grow up with her REAL father.
"That good people" are simply kidnappers, in my opinion, who rely on
legal technicalities to separate the child from her biological parent. This is
wrong, this is immoral, and I hope they will lose the civil case.
Re: Joggle | 5:26 p.m. July 19, 2011 "What are the adoptive parents
going to tell the child?"Emma's parents will tell their
daughter the truth. Her birth mother loved her enough to want her raised in a
traditional 2-parent home where she would be loved by both a mother and a
father.There are far fewer divorces when people give some careful
consideration to the qualities they want in their spouse, and then wait until
after they get married to start having children.What can this
stranger give Baby Emma that her loving 2-parent family isn't providing? If the
bio-dad really cared about Baby Emma would he take her from the only family
she's ever known?
"However, the state's high court ruled that Wyatt failed to meet the
"strict requirements for unmarried birth fathers" as laid out by the
Utah Legislature and therefore waived his rights to the child."The child was kidnapped from Virginia, Mr. Wyatt was a resident of Virginia,
and Utah is simply usurping the jurisdiction here. Because of this, the quoted
argument is totally irrelevant. Go to the federal court, Mr. Wyatt!
A third comment - I apologize, but this made me really mad. The father was given
legal custody by a court in Virginia, and this means that Mr. Wyatt may simply
ask the authorities in Virginia to prosecute the crime (kidnapping). According
to the U.S. Constitution (Article 4, Sections 1 and 2), the "good
people" can (and should) be extradited.
Dear Rifleman,Forgive me for asking a hypothetical. Imagine that
tragically your spouse dies while giving birth. Following this, as a single
father (I assume that since you are not "riflewoman"),would you
conclude that you could not possibly provide for the child like a loving
2-parent family could and therefore, as a matter of principle, ditch the child?
And if you decided differently, and wanted to keep the child, would that be
proof that you don't really care about the child.
I agree that this is a very unfortunate case, and I don't like the way the child
was brought to Utah. However, if a mother has the right to terminate a pregnancy
without the father's permission, she should have the right to place it for
adoption without his permission as well. I admire this gentleman's desire to
care for his child, but he cannot provide a stable environment with a mother and
"Utah encourages kidnapping.""Virginia is ignoring the
rights of the adoptive parents.""Utah doesn't like single
fathers.""Isn't it better for the child to be raised by loving
parents?"None of these arguments deal with the actual problem.
The child's mother put "Emma" up for adoption. She cut the father out
of the entire birth process. She decided that neither of them were ready.If we say that the mother has the right to decide the child's fate, then
the adoptive parents have legal right to "Emma." If we say that it
should be a choice made by both parents, then Mr. Wyatt should be the legal
guardian.Where is the mother? She is sitting out while the States
duke it out. If we really want an answer, then we need to have her in court.
Otherwise, she stated her case, and didn't want the child.Roe vs.
Wade states that the mother has the right to choose the fate of the child. Are
we saying that it shouldn't apply just because a single father apparently wanted
The reason Roe v Wade says abortion is a mother's decision is because the
pregnancy takes place in her body. Once the child is born, obviously that no
From the article:"Simultaneous to the adoptive parents taking
the child to Utah and filing an adoption petition, Wyatt initiated custody
action. In April 2009, he registered as the child's putative father."So, if I am reading this correctly... At the *exact* same time the kid
is taken to Utah, the father asks to be granted custody of the child.Do I understand that correctly?-?How is that kidnapping.When the adoption papers were signed, and the kid is en-route to its new
home... That seems a little late to claim that the kid has been
"kidnapped..."Once the documents have been signed and the
wheels went up on the airplane flying the family back to Utah, it seems a little
late to be claiming the kid has been kidnapped.He was there when the
pregnancy took place. Didn't ask for custody then.He was there when
he was told she was pregnant. Didn't ask for custody then.The pilot
gets clearance to take-off, and the kid has a new home... Yeah, bad timing to
start claiming parental rights, bud.And... Utah courts have just as
much power as Virginia courts... Tough situation. Good ruling.
He filed for custody in Virginia 5 days before the adoption was filed for in
There may be more to this untold story. By and large, there are paternal
biological "grandparents" who are behind the fight (and money) for the
child in adoptive situations such as this. Everything was done that pertains to
the legal adoption of Baby Emma. The Utah Supreme court ruled it as such. No
amount of battle is going to change the facts. Yes, Utah has a law
that the birth father is on notice at the time of conception and has nine months
to make his claim. Just because he was there at that time, does not make him a
father. His lack of action until after the adoption took place created the
issues for his rights one way or the other. The birth mother was in
her legal rights to place this baby, and too little too late happened after the
fact regarding the birth father, so ruled by the final court ruling. Children
are not property, but are protected for this same reason by the law. Life may
not seem fair, but the one who is to benefit by all this is the child in the
long term. Leave it at that, and go your separate ways.
I have no sympathy with the birth father. If he wanted parental rights, he
should have married the mother. These are the messes that are
created when people act irresponsibly, behave in selfish and ways then leave
others to clean up the mess. He needs to learn from this and behave more
responsibly in the future. The Child is MUCH better off with a
two-parent, stable family. I'm glad the courts got it right this time.
Utah's laws make me sick.
More needs to be done to make potential, unmarried fathers aware of what they
need to do to secure their rights as parents. In most states, and especially in
Utah, the unwed father must assert that he is the child's father and is planning
on remaining active in the child's life. This can be done by registering on a
state's putative father's registry any time after intercourse with the birth
mother. Wyatt did not register, either in Virginia or in Utah, until after the
mother waived her parental rights. Since she had waived hers and he had yet to
claim any, this baby was given up legally and adoption proceedings were started
I hope this goes to the US Supreme Court. I don't think this should be a
State's rights issue. The high court needs to decide whether biological fathers
(no matter what State they live in) have rights in this regard. Shopping for
State laws that are more favorable to adoptive parents is completely out of line
in my opinion.
I'm getting the impression that there are a few illigitimate fathers on here who
don't like the fact that their irresponsible behavior is not sanctioned by the
State. They behave selfishly and immorally and then think they should be
rewarded with some sort of "rights."This child has the
"right" to a good family and a stable home. I'm not one bit sorry for
these guys. They need to grow up. What's best for the child is what matters.
The State is doing EXACTLY the right thing.
All of you who are making comments about the irresponsibility of the birth
father need to go back a bit to the story of "he who is without sin, let
him cast the first stone." We all make mistakes. That does not mean our
parental rights or the love for our own child go out the window.Sarah
B-sometimes the best interests of the child means she stays with a birth parent
who obviously wants her. I would not want to be in the adoptive parents shoes in
15 years when they have to explain that although the father wanted her, they
chose to take her away from her father because they thought they would be better
parents. I think there will be some understandable anger issues there. I speak
from experience on this one.Ethel-I don't think the child is benefited in
the long term by being taken from a birth father who wants her.
Re: ClarkKent | 7:57 a.m. July 20, 2011 "Utah's laws make me
sick."Utah isn't for everybody but the majority of Utahns like
our state laws just fine. They are one of the reasons why people who believe in
family values come here. Babies shouldn't be treated like yo-yos and jerked
around by unwed fathers who never gave a passing thought to marrying the baby's
@TamiThese loving parents won't wait 15 years before telling their
daughter that she was adopted, that her birth mother loved her enough not to
abort her, and that her birth mother wanted her to benefit from the advantages
of being raised by two parents. This story has a happy ending for two loving
parents and their daughter, Baby Emma.
@ Rifleman, the "family values" term makes people feel all warm inside
doesn't it. Have you checked the divorce rate in Utah lately? Makes you wonder
if people really believe what they say.
Some of ya'll are writing quite a soap opera over this! I'm amazed at all the
"facts" some of you seem personally aware of, including what these
"loving parents" are going to tell their adopted child. LOL
@ Ms MolliWhy is it that those who favor giving this little girl to
a man who never bothered to marry her mother are agitated by terms like 'family
values' and 'loving parents'? Could it be that these politically incorrect
terms rub on a sore spot?This is not a soap opera for Baby Emma or
her parents. She'll now have the chance to learn some more politically
incorrect phrases like 'chastity' and 'virtue'.
How many of you out there are adoptive parents? I am. My wife and
I adopted a baby at birth in 1991 by private adoption. We knew and our lawyer
reiterated to us several times that the birth father had rights to this child
for six months and we were only granted temporary custody until that six month
period expired. It was an agonizingly long six months waiting for that
permanent custody paperwork. If couples are unwilling to accept the
risk that they may have to surrender custody, then they shouldn't adopt. The
laws don't take into consideration the emotions of the adoptive parents. I'm not saying the adoptive parents are right or wrong, but if they had
temporary custody and the birth father exercised his rights to the child during
the allowed period of time, then the child should be surrendered to the birth
So 2 parents in the house automatically makes for a stable home, what cave are
you people living in, maybe if my mother had left her abusive husband instead of
staying cause she thought it was "better for the kids" her and my
sister would still be alive! Just because someone is married that does not make
them any more fit to raise a child! More so if it is not even their
Whoever said that stability only lies with a two-parent unit is out of touch
with reality. Many single parents are able to give children stability as well
and have "family values". Divorce or single parenthood isn't always a
recipe for instability. Even seemingly stable two-parent families can become
unstable (and divorced) at the drop of a hat! The birth father shouldn't have to
be in a shot-gun wedding either because an intimate relationship is producing a
child. Those days are over. Perhaps the decision not to marry despite the
impending birth was a smart choice by BOTH the birth parents. Nobody should be
forced to marry simply to please the moral requirements of other people! We
can't assume the birth-mother even wanted to marry the birth-father. We don't
really know that....do we?! I love the the broad morality brush some people use
here to paint everything black and white!
@ LisaMNobody on the face of the earth has ever suggested that
having 2 parents in a home automatically makes it anything, let alone stable.
You can find exceptions to every rule. Obviously your mother was an exception
to the rule that says women don't tolerate men hitting them. The first time I
ever hit my wife would also be the last time. She just wouldn't tolerate it and
I would never in a million years expect her to!!.What a lot of women
fail to understand is that children are typically much safer in a 2-parent home
than they are in a home where momma has a boyfriend. Any police officer can
testify to that statement.In this specific case Baby Emma IS this
This was a victory for Emma. Now she won't be yanked from the only home that
she has ever known and the people she has bonded with. In most of these cases
the child seems to be the one left out of the loop and the sympathy goes to
those who should receive the least attention because of the selfish, self
indulgent behavior that led to the situation to begin with.
Re Joggle | 1:29 p.m. July 20, 2011 While many single parents are
able to give children stability and have "family values" they are
lying to themselves if they think they can fill the shoes of a spouse in a
traditional marriage. Both parents bring unique and different qualities to the
table as parents, and a mother can't fill the role of the father.There has been an ever increasing decline in morality and the children suffer
the most as a result. Baby Emma is lucky. She'll grow up in a home where she
can observe the roles both a mother and a father contribute to the family.
@RiflemanTraditional marriages fall apart everyday! There are no
guarantees in life. While a single parent may not fill the shoes of a missing
parent this doesn't mean that the shoes can't or never will be filled by
extended family, a future spouse, or grandparents. Perhaps Baby Emma does have a
good home, but do we really know that she will have a "bad" home with
the REAL father who wants to raise his own flesh and blood? This is a custody
and care issue....not an issue of whose moral standards are better. If he can
parent and care for her....he should be able to have custody. Utah's attempt at
legislating the morality of a father and child from another state is disusting,
in my opinion.There are plenty of single-parent homes with fathers
still filling their fatherly roles despite not being with the mother. There are
also men in traditional marriage who are lousy fathers. Should we start removing
children from their homes simply because they aren't a "traditional"
family? As great as adoption is for many children....the biological father
should at least have a choice after the woman has given up hers.
Re: Joggle | 8:29 p.m. July 20, 2011 To the contrary, this story is
totally about morals. A birth mother chose to give life to her baby instead of
aborting it. Thereafter she chose to place her baby in a normal 2-parent home
because she is smart enough to know it would be in the best interests of her
baby. Obviously she didn't think Mr. Wyatt would be able to teach Emma the
value of getting married before having babies.Baby Emma will have
both a mother and father to watch her perform in her first school play. Poor
little Suzzie will notice and wish she had a father too.
adoption is in the best interest of the adoptive parents - no one else. I am an adoptee (step-parent) and it was not good. My brothers and
sister were treated differently while there was a lot more expected of me.I did finally meet my birthfather when I was 17 I wish that I had been
given the change to know him while I was growing up. One of my relatives
apologized for keeping me and my father apart. The birthmom here
walked away from the gift that Heavenly Father gave her, and now the courts are
forcing the birthdad to walk away for his child. If we are going to keep
children away from one parent because the other gives up their parental rights
then it's time to start taking children away from parents when they divorce or
are left widowed.Utah family court - you are not God so stop acting
like you are. Heavenly Father knows where the children are born to and one day
this young father will be united with his daughter and have the opportunity to
let her know how much he loves her.
A few salient points.1. In Virginia the birth mother is required to
wait three days before signing over a child for adoption. Emma's mother signed
the papers and Emma was removed from the State of Virginia on day two. This is a
clear violation of Virgina adoption law and makes the adoption null and void.
The kidnapping couple new they were breaking the law and did so willingly - that
makes it a kidnapping.2. Baby Emma was and still is a legal resident
of Virginia. The simple fact of flying her to Utah at two days of age does not
make her a resident of Utah and therefore Utah doesn't and has never had
jurisdiction.3. This is now a Federal case and I fully expect the
federal courts to reverse Utah courts. Not only on the above points but on other
constitutional poiints as well.
For those claiming this is a good ruling because the father should have married
the mother. The mother did not want to marry him so according to your logic he
has the right to force her to marry him in order to protect his parental rights.
You can not simultaneously claim he should or is required to marry the mother in
order to protect his parental rights and not give him the power to make her
He registered in Virginia before the potential adoptive parents left the state
with the child. They need to get both parents permission to place. I'm sure some
could argue that a child would be best suited in a home that has no children
than one of 5 siblings. Lets take all the 5th children born and place them with
childless couples. That is as ridiculous as suggesting this is about who is
better to parent. US supreme court will rule for dad. And Emma will
hear about how the couple tried to hang onto her. And explain why she was kept
from dad. Who was lied to and still filed paternity.
Dear Rifleman,Based on your comments, I would expect you to
relinquish your children for adoption should you (a) ever divorce or (b) your
wife dies, leaving you a single father. According to your own words, your
children would no longer be "in a normal 2-parent home." Certainly you
would be "smart enough to know it would be in the best interests" of
your children to be raised by a mother AND a father. Hopefully you
be man enough to realize how selfish you were for wanting to parent your
children, even without your wife. I expect you would be at your local LDSFS
office within days of either of those events, ready to sign away your rights to
a TWO-PARENT family. Oh. The single parent (for whatever reason) =
bad parent equation doesn't apply to you? If it's good enough for
John Wyatt, it's good enough for you, sir. I would also expect you
would insist your wife do the same, if you were to pass away. According to your
own reasoning, she would no longer be qualified to raise your children. They
would deserve from life than to be raised by a single parent. Sincerely,Valency