As Ohio residents may have heard, a father in South Carolina was recently granted full custody of his child after going to court in a unique case. He and his former girlfriend had conceived a child, and he was led to believe he and his girlfriend were going to live together and raise the child. Without his knowledge, the child was born and placed with an out-of-state adoptive family.
Over 25 states across the country, including Ohio, maintain a registry where expectant fathers are notified if their child is placed for adoption. After being told that his daughter had been adopted, the South Carolina man went to court to request custody and won after showing that he had been lied to by the child’s mother.
The mother of the child falsely led the father to believe that they would be raising the child together. Although it was suggested to the father that he register to be notified if the child was placed for adoption, he did not do so until after his family held a baby shower and the mother did not show up for it. The father found out the child had been adopted out of state over a week after the child’s birth. She had used a loophole in South Carolina law that provides that “difficult to adopt” children, which includes biracial children, as well as special needs children, may be adopted out of state. He and the child’s mother are of different races.
If an expectant father believes that his parental rights may be ignored, it may be advisable to speak to an attorney who has family law experience. Legal counsel may provide advice as to the steps an expectant father needs to take to protect his rights.
Source: ABC News, ‘A Father’s Fight to Win Back His Daughter Secretly Put Up for Adoption,” Juju Chang, James Wang, Katie Yu, Lauren Effron, Sept. 15, 2015