Residents here in Colorado are watching an interesting child custody battle play out before their very eyes this month as a biological father fights for the right to see his daughter who was given up for adoption in another state without his consent. The case is now drawing national attention and pitting differing state laws against each other.
The situation for this father began nearly four years ago when his girlfriend at the time became pregnant with their daughter. Unbeknownst to him in 2008, she travelled to nearby Utah where she gave birth to the girl and legally signed over her parental rights to family members who then adopted the girl. Complicating the issue further was the fact that the biological father had already filed for his paternal rights in Colorado, which made it clear that he wanted a part in his daughter’s life.
Because of how the wording of custody laws here in Colorado, a situation like this could have been prevented. But because of how Utah has its laws, a mother is allowed to waive her parental rights without the consent of the biological father. This has now presented such a problem in this particular case that Utah legislators have now changed their laws in order to prevent further cases like this from occurring down the road.
Unfortunately, it does not help the Colorado father at this time who is still tangled in a messy child custody battle. Although both the Utah Supreme Court and Colorado courts have ruled in the father’s favor, giving him visitation rights for his daughter, recent mishaps with visitation have prevented the girl from visiting her extended biological family. As a result, the man must go back once more to the courts in hope of getting relief in this case.
Source: NBC 9 News, "Colorado dad faces next hurdle in custody battle," Cheryl Preheim, Aug. 11, 2013