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.
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.
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.