Birth father rights the focus of two bills under consideration by Utah Legislature

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  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    March 11, 2014 11:58 p.m.

    If a woman, alone, has the absolute right to kill her child (through abortion), how can she not have the same right to place it for adoption in Utah (where infants are only adopted to two-parent families)?

    If we’re going to give fathers the absolute right to stop an adoption, then we must also give those same fathers the absolute right to stop an abortion of their child.

  • scraphappyrhodes IDAHO FALLS, ID
    March 7, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    @AZKIDbeing The father being married to the mother is not always the perfect solution either. My husband had a daughter with his first wife. They got a divorce while she was still pregnant. She wanted to put the baby up for adoption, he did not. He was willing to take the baby and raise it. She did not want the child but did not want him to have it either. She ended up keeping the baby who had Cystic Fibrosis. She made his life miserable as well as the baby's. My stepdaughter ended up dying at age 7 from complications from the cystic fibrosis because of choices the mother made. We tried for 2 years to get custody but no judge wants to take a child from a mother that seems like she is doing the right things. It has been one of the saddest things I have ever had to endure.

  • sayswho Hurricane, UT
    March 7, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    My wife and I adopted while living in California. The mother put our foster child up for adoption. Even though we had had the child in our home for over two years, only then did the process begin. We had to be approved. Her mother had already agreed to the adoption. We spent months while the father was found. He said that he wouldn't sign but then immediately ran off so that he couldn't be held responsible for the child's care. We spent several more months trying to find him again, but eventually the court had to remove his rights before the adoption could proceed. We gave both parents ample time and legal options before being able to adopt our child. Even though it was hard on us, my wife and I know that we were not "stealing" their child. It's better that all involved have ample time to make their choices -- father, mother and adoptive parents.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 6, 2014 9:58 p.m.


    What about Fathers who would love their children and provide a good home?

    In the current system, you can protect an innocent child, but an innocent Father can also be abused of his rights. With a change, it's win/win. A father's right to raise a child is preserved, BUT it could still be challenged if the Father was a credible danger to the child. From a legal standpoint, if a woman says "He's unsafe", that's not enough because human beings lie... it's a fact of life. But if there is reasonable evidence the child would be in danger with their father, then it's win/win because you can still protect children.

    There is no such thing as a perfect system. But we should be working to preserve rights, preserve families, etc... not working toward something else. I'm not saying you would have anything else. I don't know. I'm just saying that I know what's right, and it's that.

  • Jenbug2015 Provo, UT
    March 6, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    As a birthmother I need to make a comment to all of this. I see many people seem to be confused at the process and since I placed in Utah and had to learn all the laws in order to go through the process of Adoption then I want to clear up some fallacies. First of all, many of you are attacking Utah law, but I am here to say that it is because of how the law is that I was safely able to place my baby for adoption without getting the father's consent. The birthfather to my child is mentally unstable and severely abusive and would never have signed any papers if the law had required his signature. My child deserved a better life than my 19 year old self could provide at the time. And he was unfit as well. NOW I AM NOT SAYING that all birthfathers are like this, but the law protects those of us who are in dire situations. And I firmly stand by the belief that a man should file for paternity if he believes he got the girl pregnant and it shouldn't be her responsibility to tell him.

  • belongtotoday US, NY
    March 4, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    The comments here show the typical sad lack of understanding of constitutional rights and adoption.

    Too many who are quick to decide that their moral compass should be the basis of rights, not the constitution and the due process it protects for all citizens. So many who are quick to buy into the mythology that adoption is always better and a solution to all kinds of ills, instead of simply a different life with no more guarantees of happiness, success, financial stability, staying off government benefits than remaining with the original family.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 6:20 a.m.


    Marriage is indeed the appropriate avenue for a family...

    Teaching all of mankind a true ideal is one thing. Holding them accountable to it as if they have always known it as well as you... that's something else.

    We are to forgive others, show compassion, preserve families, and so on. If the mother doesn't want to marry and doesn't want to raise the child, but the Father wants to give HIS own flesh and blood a family... it is absolutely his God-given right to do so.

    There is nothing decent about letting a legal technicality rob children of their father, especially because one simply focuses on his faults. You and I are both equally with fault. I wouldn't want to be judged that way and I won't judge others that way either.

    I can understand how you got to that position. But it's not the way we should go. One simply has to look at what it does to families to know it.

  • Random Redlands, CA
    March 3, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    Wow. Just wow. Women who go through the pain, joy, and morning sickness of pregnancy have "secured" the right to raise the child without input from the father? So much of the responses seem to favour the mom, simply because she is female and therefore, *must* be a better parent. That is so insulting on so many levels to the men I know to be good men, men who step up and take care of their children, married to the child's mother or not, and men who want to be dads.
    This is presuming that all women are fit to be mothers, that none of them are alcoholics or druggies. This presumes all women like children. Again, a generalization that is not a reality.
    While a two parent family is the best choice, not all two parent families stay that way.
    I am a woman, a mother, a conservative thinker and I know some woman should not have children and that the child's father would have been a better choice to raise the child.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 3, 2014 5:33 p.m.


    How can one be a father unless they are first given a chance?

    Denying them that chance upfront says nothing about the prospective father.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 3, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    Service members are not protected. Took Vanessa's dad two years. In my opinion there should be protections for all military parents married or not. They are contactable, not unknown or unreachable. They are separated due to duty station and unaware of much the other parent is doing in their absence. Why can't there be a law that requires both parents consent in court having been given council in order to finalize an adoption? No harm would come to a child in this case. Every child adopted would know they were not stolen or their parents treated unfairly. A true choice. Adoptions should not be in any way corrupt. These are human beings. King solomon didn't take the child away from the unmarried mother, he determined which woman was mom and sent them on their way. Didn't take the child and place in a two parent family.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 3, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    You ask what BF have done to bond? What has a stranger done to bond until the child is placed in their home and actually cared for, not a darn thing. Why does the prospective adoptive parent get preference over a bio parent, that child hasn't bonded to them on day two. You are trying to vilify a BF to get children into two parent families because you think it's cheaper to the taxpayer. I hate to say it but there are just as many two families getting assistance in a lifetime as a single parent family. In fact in single parent families both parents are working and paying taxes. Society benefits more from this arrangement. There are not children truly orphaned from parents actually dying anymore. And those who want to add children to their family and those that want to help them and profit from it are doing a great deal of harm breaking up families.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    March 3, 2014 11:54 a.m.


    "Except these fathers are willing and actively pursuing to be a part in their children's lives."

    In most cases, they aren't. They are exploiting the child to get emotional revenge (yet another form of abuse and control) against their estranged girlfriends or wives, most of whom were their abuse victims for far too long anyway.

    I have no problem with a man who honestly and sincerely wants to be part of his biological child's life. But such men are too few and far between to justify legislation favoring their so-called "rights" in some generic sense.

    With few exceptions, the best person to decide whether a man is going to be a good influence in the child's life is the mother. When laws favor father's "rights", men use it as another abusive weapon against the mother.

    By bonding with the child for 9 months and giving birth and sacrificing her health and wellbeing, mothers have earned the right to make legal and physical custody decisions for the child.

    Biological fathers often have done nothing to bond or earn any rights. Only if they prove otherwise should they be given "rights".

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    March 3, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    @ Linus

    Do you also propose that an unmarried father also not have any financial obligations to the child if the mother decides to raise the child? If he has "no rights" to the child, why should the father have to support the child? Regardless of the religious and "moral" implications, the child is still his. He should get both parental rights and the financial obligations.


    Except these fathers are willing and actively pursuing to be a part in their children's lives. These fathers are not as you so eloquently put it "sperm donors." It seems in these cases, the mothers are simply "egg donors" and baby factories for others.

  • Mike12 SLC, UT
    March 3, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Re VIDAR

    Service Members are protected by the “Service Members Civil Relief Act”

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    March 3, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    Birth father "rights"?

    Just because a person had sex does not make them a father, much less a Dad. At best, it makes them a person lacking in self control who does not take responsibility for his actions. The time to be responsible is not AFTER the birth of the child! By then, it is too late.

    Too many "birth fathers" are little better (or worse) than mere sperm donors. When the law requires them to be involved with the children they produce, more often than not, the child suffers by having a loser and a manipulative control freak as a "father".

    Better to have no father in the home than to have an abusive, loser of a father who passes on the undisciplined, irresponsible life style and exposes the child to those who would abuse the child.

    Many of these accidental fathers are just trying to get revenge on the mother for rejecting them, and they are using the child as a weapon against the mother. Utah's laws favoring mothers are correct. Changing them is NOT in the best interests of children.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    March 3, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    @From Ted's Head

    This is not about being "pious" it is about being practical. The social cost of unwed parenthood is astronomical. You pay for it and I pay for it through the myriad of social services that have to be provided--simply because these birth fathers do not engage in the social contract that we have required of them. Yes, people are imperfect, and because they are, society has provided for adoption in order to secure stability for the child. It is not a perfect solution, but it is far preferable to having the child raised by a single parent, more often than not, on taxpayer's nickel. And the tradition of unwed parenthood then often propagates to the next generation. This is precisely why there is poverty in America to such an appalling degree and why we have huge budget issues and social problems galore.

    So if a birth mom wants to place her child for adoption, it is her decision and hers alone. Don't talk to me about birth fathers's rights. When faced with the overwhelming social problems resulting from their actions, they have no rights in my view.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 3, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    If a parent is incarcerated the child should be fostered if the unincarcerated parent does not wish to parent until that situation is resolved. So now dozens of men will be arrested and charged with rape if their child's mom wants to place? Does that make sense? We see in the paper case after case of the female teacher having inappropriate contact with a male student. Should she be able to place her victims child? Women aren't the only victims of rape. If you want to parent get permission from both. If the laws were written that only the bio dad had to sign, would that sound fair?

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 3, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    Bramble's bill should have only included exceptions in the case of current incarceration or pending litigation for those crimes. Its too vague and unenforceable the way it is written.

    Interesting that someone finally questions the constitutionality of Utah's adoption laws. We read too many stories where mother sneaks into Utah, gives birth and puts the child up for adoption because of how easy it is to get away with it. I say get away with it because had the couple been married doing so constitutes kidnapping.

    The best thing for men to avoid such problems would be to avoid the behaviors that lead to pregnancy. Marry a woman first before going for a child. Doing so grants more rights for fatherhood.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 3, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    To all adoptive parents. If you want to adopt someone else's child, get both of their consent. I adopted. This really isn't complicated. Lying and deception don't need to be involved, Agencies are relocating and dad's are being lied to so she can place in secret before dad even knows his rights are in jeapardy. I would hate to be the adoptive parent having to explain this to an angry adult. What if the man were their child? Do you really think it's okay to tell the hospital to lie about a brith mom admittance and other stunts to keep the adoption plan quiet from dad and help the clock run out faster on his taking legal action. These men in large part are preparing for baby with no idea their child is about to be given to another family. They have no idea she is about to place. If you want a situation where only mom can decide to place then the woman should be a surrogate or gestational carrier. I am not in favor of this legal loophole. Agnecies are trying to get their hands on babies and will tell moms to lie.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    March 3, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    RE: Linus

    What about a situation where a man is married when his wife becomes pregnant. He goes off to an assignment in the military. Woman files for divorce when he is gone. She comes to Utah, because Utah is known nationally to be weak on protecting fathers’ rights, and he does not know until he returns

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    March 3, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    We don't live in a perfect world, populated by perfect people. Those pious folks--no doubt imperfect themselves with beams in their eyes--would deny a child the opportunity to be raised by its biological father because he wasn't married to the child's mother. The old "sperm contributor" definition of a biological father is designed to denigrate men and in my opinion supports the idea that women have total control over the fetus (abort or not?) and then the child at birth. Missing in that definition is the fact that that sperm carries the genes of the father and his parents, grandparents, etc. While not essential for a child's life, being raised by those who have shared traits can be a true blessing and shouldn't be cynically cast off due to the manner in which genetic seeds are sown or the existence of a marriage contract. Yes, we live in a messy world and that is why compassion is such an admirable trait and why judging others is such a precarious activity. Utah needs to make these changes and support the role of fathers in their children's lives.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    March 2, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    I have thought for some time that there should be a law that no man should have any parental rights at all unless he is married to his child's mother. Marriage is a contract that ensures a father's parental prerogatives. No rights should accrue to or be secured by sex outside the covenant or contract of marriage.

    A mother's parental rights are secured by virtue of the price she pays before and after childbirth. If she doesn't abort her baby, she is bound to acquire some degree of self sacrifice. A male who contributes nothing more than a romantic interlude and his sperm earns no inherent rights at all. Let a man marry to secure his rights.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    March 2, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    To all unwed birth fathers: Marriage before the pro-creative act will solve all of your problems.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    The problem with making exceptions where the fathers don't need to be notified is that too many birth mothers already lie in order to deceive the birth fathers. That is the basis of the problem we are trying to fix. Brambles exceptions open the door for any mother who wants to get rid of the father to lie and say, "oh, I was abused," and the father's rights basically cease to exist.