Putative Fathers Registries…and of course UTAH

20 Jul

If you were a man who wanted to ensure your parental rights were legally protected, then you would (providing you even know about them) sign up on your states putative fathers registry.  You should be protected then right?  Especially if the baby was born in your home state?  And after the baby is born your state grants you full custody?  Nope, it really isn’t that simple if the mother and baby cross state lines within day or so of the birth and move into Utah for the adoption. 

So then, a smart father would choose to protect his parental rights in Utah…well that’s kind of hard to figure out.  Go and google Putative Fathers Registry+Utah if you don’t believe me and see if there are any Utah government websites on the first page of the search.  I mean you would assume that the top ranking search result would take you right to it, just as it does if you googled Putative Fathers Registry+Ohio or Putative Fathers Registry+Virginia but no, no mention at all from the Utah government.  Thankfully New Hampshire has a complete listing of all Putative Fathers Registries by state that is current as of 2010 – somehow I think that was done on purpose as it comes up on the first page of a search for Putative Fathers Registry+Utah…

Anyway, Utah does not have any government website that I could find that even mentions Putative Fathers Registry and guess what they named the form…Notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings…note the omission of putative father…on purpose?  I think so.  I did find this OH SO NOT HELPFUL Q&A from the Utah Department of Human Services – what do you think – does it help?

But the reality for a father whose child was conceived and born in a different state, whose mother went to Utah after birth and handed the baby over to the PAPs immediately?  By the time they figure out what the mother has done, and where she went and then figure out what Utah requires – well they are S.O.L.

I think everyone should boycott anything to do with Utah – see the name and run the other way.  Fathers when they have the birds and bees talk with their sons should also talk about Utah.  Sex-ed classes in school – should talk about Utah.  Getting your driver’s license – they should tell you about Utah…pretty much it should be shouted from the mountain tops.  Keep your hands off my kid – here is my form listing all your stupid requirements Utah because I had sex with a girl down in Arkansas, and you just never know if she gets pregnant, who will convince her to not only back-door me out of my child but slam it good and tight. Thanks Utah.

Here is the Utah law on what a father has to do to protect his rights – would you be able to do this if you were blindsided?  I believe this is the most current version of the Utah Act regarding paternity per the link below to the O’Dea v Olea case.

28 Under Utah law, an unmarried biological father of a child under six months of age waives all rights in relation to his child, including rights associated with consent to adoption and notice of a hearing, if he does not strictly comply with the requirements set forth in section 78-30-4.14(6). Utah Code Ann. § 78-30-4.14(11). An unmarried biological father can only establish himself as a person who must consent to the adoption of the child if he strictly complies with the following requirements:

(a) initiates proceedings to establish paternity under Title 78, Chapter 45g, Utah Uniform Parentage Act;

(b) files with the court that is presiding over the paternity proceeding a sworn affidavit:

(i) stating that he is fully able and willing to have full custody of the child;

(ii) setting forth his plans for care of the child; and

(iii) agreeing to a court order of child support and the payment of expenses incurred in connection with the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s birth;

(c) consistent with Subsection (7), files notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings with the state registrar of vital statistics within the Department of Health, in a confidential registry established by the department for that purpose; and

(d) offered to pay and paid a fair and reasonable amount of the expenses incurred in connection with the mothers’ pregnancy and the child’s birth, in accordance with his financial ability, unless:

(i) he did not have actual knowledge of the pregnancy;

(ii) he was prevented from paying the expenses by the person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the child; or

(iii) the mother refuses to accept the unmarried biological father’s offer to pay the expenses described in this Subsection (6)(d).

Id. § 78-30-4.14(6)(a)-(d). These requirements must be completed before the day on which the birth mother executes her consent for the adoption or relinquishes the child for adoption. Id. § 78-30-4.14(6).

John Wyatt is just the latest casualty in a long list of casualties of wrong-headed adoption law in Utah. 

Virginia father loses bid to overturn his daughter’s Utah adoption

Below are just a couple more examples and from what I have been told it is far more than this…incredibly wrong.

O’Dea v Olea – note the lawyer for the AP’s same as for the AP’s in the John Wyatt case.

In re Adoption of K.C.J.

Note Who’s My Daddy?! A Call for Expediting Contested Adoption Cases in Utah

I know that one day soon someone will write a book similar to The Baby Thief – The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption by Barbara Bisantz Raymond.  This time the state will be Utah and we all know who the main characters in the story will be…and if you don’t then you have your head buried in the sand.

I hope John Wyatt can have his case heard by the US Supreme Court. 



Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


Tags: , , , ,

12 responses to “Putative Fathers Registries…and of course UTAH

  1. cb

    July 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I am reading about John Wyatt now and am just reading the comments. I hope he is successful in the Supreme Court too. It sounds like he did everything right in Virginia and why would he be expected to know the laws of Utah. It is certainly a disgusting law.


  2. Raven

    July 21, 2011 at 2:20 am

    I remember when John Wyatt joined the forums and told us what had happened when he contested the adoption of his daughter. He seems like a really nice guy…

    I do not understand why there aren’t federal regulations when it comes to putative fathers registries. We have federal protection under the “Lemon Laws” when it comes to buying used cars…but no protection when it comes to natural fathers.

    I don’t have a clue how the state of Utah gets away with this crap. And I cannot believe how many PAPs on the boards are adopting in Utah, even though they are residents of other states.

    Yeah, I’m waiting for the new book too. And people wonder why we think there’s a BSE II happening in today’s world of adoption.


  3. cb

    July 21, 2011 at 5:01 am

    This older article by the same newspaper tells the story of a few other victims as well as John Wyatt:

    It talks about Larry Jenkins and notes that he is central to a lot of these men’s stories. It does seem that there are a few judges on the Utah circuit who acknowledge that these men are being unfairly treated – one Utah judge says that the men are placed in “an impossible bind”.

    Btw I agree that it sounds to me like kidnapping. Interestingly, the article gives the impression that the bmother was pressured as well (she was taken to a hotel room to sign with her mother)


  4. Sarah

    July 22, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Do you think it is people that know how Utah adoption laws work that are still adopting from Utah, or is it people that are new to adoption? We were presented with a situation in Utah that almost happened. It was the first situation we were presented, mom was in labor, but it just didn’t happen. I couldn’t figure out why emom had driven to Utah to give birth, but I didn’t think to research the situation more. I think I honestly believed the way fathers are treated in Utah could not be legal in the US. It wasn’t until after I had been involved in adoption a while that I found out how Utah laws work and only then did I decide we would never adopt from Utah, unless the birth father was known, it was proven he was the actual father by DNA testing, and the father was on board. But then again, if all that was true, I seriously doubt the baby would have been born in Utah.


  5. The adopted ones

    July 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm


    PAPs are incredilbly naive and not thinking about ethics simply because society at large views adoption as GOOD. Ethics must be excellent if society views adoption as GOOD right? Add to that the huge percentage of PAPs that finally move to adoption when every other method under the sun has been tried repeatedly and they are only focused on the end point. And the end point in UTAH is REALLY QUICK and IRREVOCABLE and that is to them a huge selling point and like moths to a flame they gravitate.

    Sadly – by the time they figure out if they have any morals at all – then they will live with the guilt until they find out otherwise.

    I think PAPs who don’t get matches right away or have failed matches are much more aware that ethics matter and in reality thats a much better thing.


  6. usisarah

    July 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I definately took it for granted that ethis are inherant in adoption when we first started.

    I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I found out after the fact that my child’s birth father had been misled in the adoption process. I would HAVE to return the baby to the father. How much worse would it be if I didn’t find out until one or two years later…I don’t even want to think about it.


  7. The adopted ones

    July 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Of course you did Sarah simply because society believes adoption is good. But the HUGE difference is you wanted to learn and were willing to listen to reality and understand it isn’t just black and white…and now look where that has got you!!!


  8. The adopted ones

    July 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting discussion. Not that anyone actually listens to what the other person said but…at least this blog post had an important statement in the title so it wasn’t derailed right away by obviously someone on the AP’s are always right side.


  9. Melynda

    September 11, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I would love to write that book about Utah adoption laws but would anyone listen since I am “just” a birth/first/natural mother? Nothing I say will be listened to, especially by those who need to hear it most: potential adoptive parents.


    • The adopted ones

      September 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      I will buy it!!! Your writing ability is incredible. Actually I think it might become a best seller in adoption circles as I am hearing more and more AP’s speak out about Utah’s practices. We can only hope they speak loudly and clearly to those brand new PAPs.


  10. Dan

    November 28, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Can you recommend a non-LDS lawyer. My son wants to file the Notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings, and is still within the timeframe.

    Many thanks!


    • The adopted ones

      November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      No I don’t have any recommendations. All I know is the clock is ticking. I can say make sure he has done financial and emotional stuff for the mother. Offer in writing to pay finances – include a check – offer in front of witnesses and give money. Offer to attend doctors appointments. Find the best lawyer you can. May be bad advice but look for an attorney who has already worked on behalf of fathers – they may not have won, but will know the process and hopefully can counteract the moves that will be made.



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