Judge: Biological father will share custody with girl's 'psychological parents'

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  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 12, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    It actually was not undone. It was never done. The prospective parents should have handed the baby over the day they took possession. It was clear from the start that they did not have the father's consent and he actually did assert his desire to oppose the adoption and parent. You can't keep a child and claim it will be determental to change things when you yourself cause the 6 year delay. Also forgetting children of all ages get adopted and fostered. You wouldn't say an adoptive parent shouldn't adopt that child from abroad who is 6 or whose parents died at 6 or whose parent in the prison system allowed their child to be adopted to extended family? These people should have been the child's aunt and uncle, not the child's parents.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    March 11, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    I wish the father would wait until the child grew up and was more emotionally mature. I know children sometimes like to know who their real parents are when they are around 18 or so, but age six is way too young. Will this involve the little girl going to another state without who she feels is her parents? I know how hard it must be for the adoptive parents to turn their child over to a stranger and how frightening it could be for the child. If I were the extended member of this family like a grandparent, I would just want to keep up with pictures, not actual visitations to confuse a child. It seems like the child's best interests weren't honestly considered.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 11, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    This clearly seems to me an issue in which one can't attribute any obvious hero, villain, or legal procedure (besides, of course, hurrying up.) The collection of possibilities, dangers, and uncertainties that lead to a situation like this just don't have one clear-cut solution to fix once this kind of mess occurs.

    The only sure-fire preventative formula is to meet someone, court them responsibly and honestly, exercize abstinance before marriage and fidelity afterward, and understand marriage in terms of sacrificing yourself entirely. A failure of either or both people in any one of these steps risks so much.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 11, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    All this happened because the birth mother hid the baby's birth from the father and came to Utah to have the baby when she was supposed to be in Colorado at a custody hearing. It was illegal to start with and continued so. Everyone has been hurt by this. Frankly a Colorado Judge should have found this mother in contempt and thrown her in jail. If the mother didn't want the kid, it appears the father wanted the kid. The father shouldn't have been deprived of his rights.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    March 9, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Utah's adoption laws seem to be a mess... they need to amend the laws so that so that biological, adoptive, & children's lives aren't torn apart in the process. It would be far. far better for some adoptions to not take place than for adoptions to be undone years later after a child has bonded with her adoptive family and a biological parent has missed out on years he did not want to miss. Rather than give biological fathers a time table to register for custody, the state should automatically assume that the father wants that child until they consent to the adoption as well. In other words, they shouldn't have to sign up to be father's, they should have to actively consent for an adoption to go through.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 9, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    County mom, then if your husband were to be found unfaithful in marriage would you place your children for adoption? Course not. That's not staying morally clean either which the standard you decided was the only correct one. People can be happy and unhappy if every type of family group. I adopted. I don't know how I could be happy as an adoptive family if I had to tell my child his father wanted to raise him but his mom, aunt Jane fled the state and gave birth to him and gave him to us instead, so that he wouldn't be able to. I don't know how that child could be happy. The mom should have indicated she wanted to place and his consent given or they raise the baby together. The APs should have his signature. If they let the dad's raise alone they would be on the hook for child support. I also wonder how much pressure these pregnant women are under? In the fifties when women were frequently sent to other locations to have their babies there was pressured to place and the practice disbanded.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 9, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    Having sex outside of marriage comes with massive, hateful and life long repercussions to the lives of every person in a family.
    Staying morally clean before marriage and faithful after marriage is the most important value we can possible teach our children and the most important thing we must do.

    Do not tell me I am being old fashioned, unrealistic and foolish.

    The hell people put themselves and their children through by not keeping the moral laws of God are obvious in every aspect of family life.

  • Romany MIAMI, FL
    March 9, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    For those of you who continue to portray unmarried fathers as mere "sperm donors" and their unmarried status as reason enough to deny the child the chance to know her father... For those of you who claim "if only he had married her..." there wouldn't be such a mess... For all those who think the problem is the lack of marriage between father and mother...

    Let me present Exhibit A - the case of Terry Achane, a married father whose wife pulled a disappearing act and ran off to Utah to give birth, then placed their child for adoption.

    So when Mr. Achane found out where his child was, do you think that the Utah court immediately gave him custody? You'd be wrong. The would be adopters fought him for TWO YEARS before a Utah court ripped both mother and agency a new one, and continued their media campaign against him with all the usual handwringing about "the only family she's ever known".

  • Romany MIAMI, FL
    March 9, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    For those of you using the abortion card to justify defrauding father AND child of their rights, just know that your argument is ridiculous.

    (1) A married father's consent is NOT needed for an abortion but IS needed for adoption.
    (2) A woman has a unilateral right to an abortion - but only up to the point of viability. I think we can all agree that a living breathing child has proven viability.

    Adoption is NOT a reproductive choice. Never has been.

    March 9, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    There are more facts I can state , however , if you knew the whole situation you would have to question WHY THIS EVER HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE ! I am no one special , but it seems to reason , had this of been stopped in the beginning NO ONE IN THIS SITUATION WOULD BE WHERE THEY ARE TODAY ! JUST THAT SIMPLE ! When the adoptive parents knew Mr Manzanares wanted his child , why did they not give her back while she was an infant ??????

  • Katherine Tate lynchburg, VA
    March 9, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    It's really sad to see all these commenting on the article laying judgment on a father who wanted to do the right thing from the start. This court ruling sets a dangerous precedent for fathers who want to raise their children. At what point is a child too attached to current caregivers to be returned to her rightful parent? And who gets to make that determination? Perhaps if the courts could put an urgency on these cases and didn't allow them to be so drawn out, we wouldn't end up 6 years down the road with dwindling options for the child. It MUST be about the child. International Law even recognizes children's rights to identify with their heritage and biological families. When will US courts acknowledge the rights of the child to his/her identity as set forth by God in the form of the parents to whom the baby was born?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 9, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    If the prospective adoptive parents had seeking consent of both the child's parents they would have saved this child, the child's dad and themselves a lot of heartache. I don't see how the PAPS should prevail in any sense. A biological parent should not have to share parenthood or lose parenthood because they had sex before marriage and the woman delivered in utah. We all are shocked at the reassigning of children into other families in polygamist communities by leaders who decide they are not worthy or someone else is more worthy. King Sol placed with a single parent prostitute before DNA could prove which parent was the grieving parent and who was the bio parent. He didn't declare the child go to a two parent family. He chose biology.

  • hooptax Hooper, UT
    March 9, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    The father is not to blame in this case. UT courts have trampled on the rights of fathers for decades. This decision should have been made within months of the baby being born, and not tens of thousands of dollars and six years later. I am sure this has put a terrible financial burden on the father. The courts need to protect the child’s right to have a relationship with the father.

    As a father who divorce with a young child I can tell you that I spent thousands of dollars to maintain any relationship with my daughter. After my divorce my wife switched religions and baptized my daughter into the Catholic Church without my knowledge or consent, and the courts would do nothing. When my ex-wife decided to move out of state with my daughter, the judge told me "it's none of your business where your ex-wife lives, and if you want to have any visitation at all with your daughter, you will have to pay half of the travel costs for her to visit here 3 times per year". It is time that UT laws and UT courts give fair consideration to fathers.

  • mizdeborahwolf Lake Ann, MI
    March 9, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    I am astounded by all the self-righteous moralizing in some of these comments. Are you really saying that in this country, a child does not have the right to be raised by his or her family if the parents weren't married when they had sex? And are you really saying that people who are married and wish to adopt are always morally superior to an unmarried parent? That is just ridiculous.

  • 2rainlady redmond, WA
    March 8, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    I really am having a hard time with some of these comments. Last time I looked it took 2 to create a baby and it should have taken 2 to decide to terminate parental rights. While not married this father supported the mother and took steps after the birth to claim this child when the mother did not want to raise the child. I really do not understand why his daughter remained with her Aunt and Uncle for the six years it took to wind through the legal system. It seems to me that the rule of possession has trumped a fathers right to raise his own child. I would like to praise this young father for staying on task since pre birth to raise his child.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    I love how people who claim same-sex adoption harms children who should be with biological parents... are now arguing this kid is better off with adopted parents.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    March 8, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    Unless any of us have full information on this sad situation, we should not be making judgment calls. I agree with those who find that the six years of legal hassle make it far worse. I hope the adoptive parents and bio-dad can make it work to all be a part of the girl's life, without causing problems for her. At least he is willing to acknowledge that he isn't blaming the adoptive parents. Are they actually the girl's uncle and aunt, as one poster has stated?

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    Strider303 has it right. If the mother can abort the child without the permission of
    the sperm donor, then why doesn't she have the right to chose adoptive parents?
    Is this going to cause more women who find themselves in this condition just choose abortion to avoid the kind of mess these men create after the fact?
    The child should be the most important person in this whole mess, or maybe Solomon had it right,
    just divide the child in two and in this case you know who would be the first to stop that.

    March 8, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    What is with all the "if only" moralizing? The child has been born and all your hand wringing is not going to change that. I admit to not following this case closely, but how is allowing this child to have more people in her life that love her a bad thing? It doesn't appear that he wants to take her away from her adoptive family; he wants to be part of her life. It's the same arrangement many children of divorce navigate.

    And are you the same people who keep harping that it is always best for children to be with their "biological" parents?

  • Lobotech Grantsville, UT
    March 8, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    I am appalled. People on here are attacking him. Is the father of the child perfect....not even close. But he is standing up for his responsibilities as a parent. In this day and age where many children have no clue who there father is, much less supported by them, and people want to attack him for doing the right thing. Of course the mother is a vestal virgin and the presence of all that is good in world, at least until this ogre of a male spoiled her virtue.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 8, 2014 10:44 a.m.


    The biological parents both behaved irresponsibly; they should have gotten married before sexual intimacy. But, it is the mother that carried the child through the pregnancy and and gave birth to her. The mother's sacrifice and interests should outweigh the irresponsible behavior biological father unless he can show that the adopted parents are unsuitable. But it looks like selfishness will trump compassion and the person who will suffer the most will be the innocent little girl.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    March 8, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Maybe Utah should only do adoptions strictly for its own residents and refer out state people to their respective states. Also a legal document should be required from the biological fathers should be issued and signed relinquishing his rights before an adoption can be done, with an except in cases of rape that has been documented via police and medical professionals. It is sad if people would not have sex out of marriage most of these problems would never happen.

  • Due Process Man Salt Lake, UT
    March 8, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Cleetorn, get your facts straight. Rob filed for his paternity action WEEKS before his daughter was born. He didn't come forward at the last minute. He even paid financial support to the birth mother during the pregnancy. It is NOT just his family and only Rob that want his daughter. What is so wrong about extended family wanting the child too? What is so wrong with grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins wanting to be involved in a child's life? Isn't a child better off having more loving adults in his or her life, rather than fewer? The ONLY way the bio mom and adoptive parents were able to successfully obtain custody over this child was through FRAUD and DECEIT. They admitted as much in the Colorado custody proceeding. Are we now saying, steal a child, commit fraud to do it, and if you tie that child up in litigation long enough, you are able to keep the child you committed an illegal act to obtain in the first place? No way. And what message is this sending to adoption agencies, adoptive parents out there? Okay to do this? No way. It has to stop. Go Rob!

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    @ Clarissa
    "If only this man had married the mother before getting her pregnant, none of this would have occurred. What a mess."

    Or another way of looking at what you are saying: If only the mother would have married this man before she slept with him..."

    I am pretty sure both of them were there.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    March 8, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    The biological father was not willing to take responsibility in the first place for his sexual escapades nor was he later when both he and the mother learned of the consequences of their relationship. He only jumped in at the last minute when goaded on by his family members because THEY wanted the child but had no legal rights to her. Sometimes people have to learn to live with their decisions even if they are unwise. One cannot jump off a cliff and decide half way down they don’t really want to deal with the consequences after all.

    If this really is about the child – and the biological father truly does love his biological daughter, he should let her go to grow in the stable family life she already knows and comprehends. By forcing the issue through the courts, the suing family has shown it has no regards for the daughter but only for themselves. And the child will pay with her mental stability for the rest of her life.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    This situation is a mess. If parenthood was the goal one would think some degree of commitment, yes marriage, would be in order. It appears that living together is what it is, consensual sex with no long term commitment. Why then the angst by the father over the mother giving up the child to caring, responsible adults? All he was in the relationship for was a good time.

    I think the whole situation is tragic.

    IMO he wants a human puppy. Someone to meet his ego needs.

    Our legal system is laughable. If the mother decided to end the pregnancy via abortion, the father would have no rights in the matter. Why is it that the unmarried and thereby uncommitted, father all of a sudden has a boatload of rights for the baby?

    Rights, rights, rights, and no responsibility. That seems to be the mantra of a spoiled and feckless generation.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    March 8, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    If we are “putting the child first,” why is this even an issue? While it may be unfortunate that the so-called “biological father” has been cut out of the child’s life (except for what the courts have mandated), the child has grown for the first 6 years of her life knowing, loving and bonding to the adoptive family. Just because Mr. Manzanares has a blood relation to the child, that does NOT make him family.

    This whole fiasco is NOT about putting the child first. It is about the selfish machinations of the biological father and his relatives demanding to tear the child away from the life she’s come to know and understand and force her to live another that she “is too young to understand.” She may not understand it but she will be confused by it. And this will not be traumatic? Guess again. (MORE) . . . .

  • ignoranceisbliss Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:36 a.m.

    If only she hasn't lied to and deceived the father and the adoptive parents, this never would have happened. Regardless of what either of the parents did or didn't do the adoption agency should be punished so as to discourage other agencies from committing fraud and condoning kidnapping.

  • Xbalanque DC, VA
    March 8, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    "If you like it you then you should put a ring on it."

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 7, 2014 11:29 p.m.

    @ Clarissa: If only the mother hadn't lied to the father none of this would have happened.

  • Due Process Man Salt Lake, UT
    March 7, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    Oh, Clarissa. If it were only that simple. Last time I checked, it not only takes two to conceive a child, but it take two in order to consent to a marriage. How do you know Rob did not want to marry the mother? What about those situations where the man is totally in love with the woman, and would marry her, but she is not interested, but wants to have sexual relations with him nonetheless--he may be more committed to the relationship than she is. And if she didn't want the child, why not just give his daughter to him? Oh yeah, it was because she wanted to give her daughter to her brother and sister-in-law to adopt, so she could see her daughter whenever she liked, but deprive Rob of that very same right. That is seriously messed up! The problem here is that it takes a case like this 6 years for this to work its way through the court systems of two states and it is not even over yet! Dear Judiciary: Fast track these cases!!! Justice delayed truly is justice denied.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    March 7, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    If only this man had married the mother before getting her pregnant, none of this would have occurred. What a mess.