It seems that the state of Utah is a place where a mother who no longer wants her child can easily get that child placed with adoptive parents without the father's permission. Recent cases involving the state have blatantly disregarded the rights of a father. In many cases, the parents of the child are unmarried, and an illegitimate adoption could involve any father, including one in Tennessee.
In one case, a man had been doing battle in courts within two states to receive custody of a daughter that he had only seen once in more than four years. The mother of his child had left the state and headed to Utah, where she allowed her brother to adopt the young girl. The custody change was approved by Utah courts, despite the fact that the father had signed up to be his daughter's dad in a different state before the mother traveled to Utah.
According to experts, Utah laws are much more in favor of the birth mother. This has led to many fathers having their custody rights infringed upon once the state gets involved. Fortunately in Tennessee, a child's biological father has to terminate his parental rights before a child is adopted. That wouldn't stop a mother from moving from Tennessee to Utah, however.
Earlier this year, the Utah Supreme Court decided to overturn a lower court decision, which led to the overturning of the adoption. This meant that the custody case would have to be heard in the state where the child was born. In response to this ruling, the father said that it was a great victory, but if the high court had decided otherwise, the case would be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court and a decision similar to the one that was made would have eventually been reached.
The court now overseeing the case gave visitation rights to both parents. Within the next 30 days, the parents will begin spending time with the child and tests will be conducted to see how the child is responding to each of her parents. The judge said that these tests would ensure that the child is not experiencing any undue stress.
Source: KDVR, "Unmarried father wins visitation rights in custody battle," Jon Bowman, April 27, 2012