Like Ohio and all other states, Utah has a law that specifically addresses and governs adoption. These days that law is receiving a lot of national scrutiny.
And for all the wrong reasons.
Attention has centered most recently on a notable fathers’ rights case that pits an unwed Utah father against myriad named parties in a federal lawsuit the man recently filed. The complaint alleges that the father’s young son was “essentially kidnapped” by the mother and put up for adoption immediately following birth and without the father’s consent or knowledge. In addition to naming the mother as a defendant, the lawsuit also accuses the adoption agency, the mother’s attorneys and the adoptive parents of bad-faith conduct.
The man has received support from across a broad spectrum in his quest to gain custody of the young boy, who has been with his adoptive parents for nearly four years. The Salt Lake City Tribune, a prominent Utah newspaper, adamantly supports his case and has leveled strong criticisms against the state’s adoption law in a recent -- and scathing -- editorial.
Among other things, the paper states that the law flatly favors mothers over fathers and places “nearly insurmountable obstacles in the way of fathers” seeking to have meaningful contact and play a strong parental role in the lives of their children. In an opinion piece, the paper notes that many unmarried mothers thinking about adoption move purposefully to Utah, knowing that they can “take advantage of Utah’s discriminatory law.”
The father’s lawsuit demands $130 million in damages from the named defendants.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Fathers deserve equal rights under Utah adoption law," Jan 2, 2014