While many Belleville, Illinois, couples choose to have children outside of wedlock, doing so can present some unique legal challenges in the event that a custody issue arises. In some instances, the paternity rights of the biological father can be challenged by the decisions and actions of the biological mother, leaving the man with few options to gain custody of his child. One recent case involving the adoption of a child allegedly against the will of the biological father illustrates how complex and difficult some cases it can be.
The biological parents of the three-year-old boy at the heart of the case reportedly met in 2009. At the time, the man now identified as the plaintiff in his federal lawsuit apparently believed that the child’s mother was divorced. After dating several months, the couple became pregnant. The plaintiff claims that he always agreed to provide for the baby once the child was born, and voiced his interest in being a part of the child’s life.
According to the biological father of the child, however, the baby’s mother never actually divorced her husband and proceeded to place the baby for adoption without the biological father’s knowledge or permission. In fact, the man claims that he wasn’t even told when the child was born. As a result, the biological father allegedly attempted to contest the adaption and seek custody rights to the baby. Because he failed to register with the state of Utah as having paternal rights to the child in the first place, though, the man’s petition for custody was denied.
Now, the biological father is suing for $130 million, alleging that the adoption of his son was illegal, and that his paternal rights were infringed upon throughout the process.
Source: NBC News, “Dad files $130M lawsuit after son in Utah is given up for adoption,” Erik Ortiz, Dec. 31, 2013