SALT LAKE CITY, (UPI) — The Utah Supreme Court returned a child whose mother had put her up for adoption without her father’s consent, to her Army drill sergeant father.
Mark Wiser, the father’s lawyer, said it was the first time in the state’s history that the Supreme Court in Salt Lake City took a child from the adoptive parents home and returned the child to the legal father. He said the case represents a victory for equal parental rights, meaning one parent may not put up a child for adoption without the other’s permission, ABC News reported Sunday.
Tira Bland gave birth in Utah on March 21, 2011 while her husband, Terry Achane, 31, was stationed in South Carolina. Bland gave the baby girl, Teleah, up for adoption two days later. ABC News reported.
Achane at first thought Bland had followed through on an abortion threat. He discovered the Utah adoption several weeks after the baby was born, ABC reported.
Wiser said Achane contacted the adoption agency, which denied Achane information when he said he had not consented to the adoption.
The baby had been adopted by Jared and Kristi Frei of Utah, who in December had secured a stay of the initial court order to return the baby to Achane.
The original trial judge, in a transfer hearing Friday, said the Freis decided to proceed with the adoption even though they knew that the baby’s father had never been consulted.