Comments about ‘Utah high court rules in favor of adopted parents in 'Baby Emma' case’

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Published: Tuesday, July 19 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

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Clearfield, UT

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?

Sarah B

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.

West Jordan, UT

RE: SarahB
Am 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.

Layton, UT

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!

Sandy, UT

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.

Fairfield, CT

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.

Gruffi Gummi
Logan, UT

"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.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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?

Gruffi Gummi
Logan, UT

"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!

Gruffi Gummi
Logan, UT

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.

West Jordan, UT

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.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

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 father.

Sandy, UT

"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 child?

Fairfield, CT

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 longer applies.

Somewhere in Colorado, CO

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.

Fairfield, CT

He filed for custody in Virginia 5 days before the adoption was filed for in Utah.

Home Town USA, UT

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.

Somewhere in Time, UT

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.

Bountiful, Utah

Utah's laws make me sick.

GQ Monkee
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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 legally.

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