Dear Rarely Home Mom,
I just finished reading your latest blog entry, My thoughts on the adoption case heard in UT Supreme court . And even though I know there is an awful lot of our society that would agree with you, I still find myself shocked and appalled at what you had to say . . .
*** Utah has really strict laws about rights of birth fathers, and their rights are pretty minimal here.***
This part you have 100% right. Utah has the absolute worse laws when it comes to rights for First Fathers and even First mothers. That is why so many flock to that state to finalize an adoption. So they can take complete advantage of the laws to acquire a child.
***Utah law says that any man in the country who has sex with a woman anywhere in the United States has the responsibility to follow up with that woman and determine if a pregnancy resulted from their little rendezvous. If the man does not do that, he automatically has no rights to the child after birth. ***
Seems to me a woman should be expected to have the same responsibility of informing a man if a pregnancy occurred after sex – sorry but “little rendezvous” just doesn’t describe the act for me. And to automatically remove a father’s rights based solely on such a reason is ridiculous. Just because a man does not follow up (or is outright not told) to find out if he might be a father has absolutely NO BEARING on the kind of parent he will be.
If neither party takes the responsibility to inform one another of what has occurred after sex, then yes, it is a lack of judgment, I believe, on BOTH sides, but it in no way predicts any kind of abuse or harm that would demand parental rights be stripped from them.
***If the man does find out that he fathered a child, it is then his responsibility to show interest in that child before it is born. Some ways he can do that are by financially supporting the mother (rent, groceries, medical bills, etc.), driving her to doctors appointments, and so on. If a man knows he impregnated a woman and shows no interest in the baby before it is born, Utah law gives him absolutely no rights to the baby after it is born and the mother signs paperwork terminating her own rights (which can be done as early as 24 hours after birth if she is not on narcotics). ***
I will agree with you that any man who fathers a child should show responsibility from the start as he does become a parent at the time of pregnancy just as the mother does. But there are a couple big flaws in believing that a man is somehow unworthy of being a parent if he doesn’t step up to the plate from the very start.
One is, unfortunately, there still is very little support out there to help young men understand the importance of being a father. There are very few role models for them to follow while at the same time lots of judgment and unfair treatment, such as Utah Laws, that already place them in a negative light before they even get the chance to try. I know young men who are wonderful fathers but never understood the importance of support and being there for the mothers of their children while they were pregnant.
The other is, if you have never experienced what it is like to be a parent. If you don’t know that love that can overwhelm you and take you over the minute you hold your child in your arms, then yes, you might very well make mistakes and back away during the pregnancy, because you are unaware of just how significant it is to hold and love your child. But, it is VERY common to have that love and understanding hit you the moment your child is in your arms. To look into the eyes of your son or daughter and be completely swept away and understand just how much that tiny life is depending on you.
And in the case of, John Wyatt, neither of these two arguments have relevance because he did show an interest and he let it be known, from the start, that he was against adoption. He isn’t a man who just threw up his arms and said, “I don’t give a damn.” He’s a father who knew from the start that he wanted to keep and raise his child.
And on a side note, the fact that mothers are allowed to sign ANYTHING related to adoption and giving away their children after only 24 hours after giving birth is appalling. Talk about coercive and manipulative practices!
*** If a man knows he impregnated a woman, supported her during her pregnancy and wants to retain rights to the child after birth, he MUST file certain papers in court in a very specific manner of time.***
And that just boggles the brain in all ways! So, in the state of Utah, even if the father does everything right (in their diluted eyes) and is a father of the best kind even through the pregnancy, he must still file papers in court to be able to keep his own flesh and blood? His child? Forgive my language here, but that is bullshit! There is absolutely nothing, no tangible reason for this law to be in existence other than to ensure more children are taken from their fathers in the interest of making adoption easier for adoptive parents. Where else, expect for in the world of adoption, would a man have to go to court to protect his rights to his child when he has done nothing but prove what a good father he is?
***From all the family situations and birth family situations I’ve seen over the past few years, the laws in Utah work. They have been a lifesaver to countless birthmothers, and I sure appreciate them as an adoptive mom.***
Yes the laws in Utah work for adoptive parents, which is why I am not surprised you, as an adoptive mother, appreciate them. And they are far from being any kind of lifesaver to a First Mother facing such unethical practices. The only people the laws are “saving” are the hopeful adoptive parents desperately wanting a child and the adoption industry looking to guarantee their disgusting high profits remain intact.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in Utah laws to protect a mother and child. NOTHING! They are designed to encourage the manipulative, coercive practices that feed the adoption industry. For anyone to appreciate or like these laws is beyond my understanding.
***When Joshua was born in Utah we still lived in California, but because Utah adoption law kicks the pants off of any other state in the country, we chose to use Utah law. ***
And right here is exactly why Utah laws are such an extreme failure . . . because, just like you, hopeful adoptive parents can use the laws to their benefit and use the most unethical way possible to ensure they get that baby they are hoping for, without thought to what they are, in turn, doing to the mother and her child in the process.
***The problem with this current case: Virginia – where the baby was born -has awarded custody to the birth father, but the adoption of the baby was by a family who are Utah residents and worked under Utah law, who has given custody to the adoptive family.***
You are right, there is a huge problem here. The problem is, this father has been given the rights to his own child. His very own. The one made of him that is a part of him, and always will be. But, in every essence of the law, his child has been kidnapped from him under the guise of the Utah laws that gave custody, they didn’t have to give, to the adoptive family.
***BUT at what point do you just STOP fighting and admit that even if you were wronged (which I do not believe he was, but play along – what IF he was wronged) – this is a human. ***
You don’t stop fighting. Plain and simple. Would you expect parents who had their child kidnapped from them, to just give up the fight. To stop and throw in the towel. I would bet you wouldn’t. And in all ways, John Wyatt’s little girl was kidnapped from him. Taken without his permission, forced into a life her father never wanted for her.
***An upstanding birth father, who actually cared about his daughter would never want her to go through that. In my opinion, his is the highest form of selfishness, bordering on evil. He is treating this little girl like property. A lost dog. John Wyatt is showing the world he cares not about his daughter, but himself. A real parent places the BEST INTERESTS of the child above theirs at all times. He is showing he cares about himself, not about what would be best for his birth daughter.***
This is probably one of the most biased, ridiculous statements I have seen in a long time. To call John Wyatt selfish and bordering on evil because he is fighting for his OWN daughter, while supporting the couple who has fought him and used every avenue to keep the little girl since she was a newborn (when he first filed papers with the court) is unbelievable. If him fighting for his daughter with everything he has for all these months makes him such a monster. Than what does it make the adoptive parents who have KNOWN the father of the little girl NEVER wanted to give her up for hiding behind Utah laws and doing everything in their power not to reunite father and daughter and allow them to have the life they both deserve?
John Wyatt did not just come out of the woodwork last month and declare he wanted his daughter back. He has been fighting this fight since she was born and it is the adoptive parents, in my opinion, who are being selfish and not doing what is in the best interest of the child. Her father loves her, he has wanted to raise her and be her parent from the start. That means they never should have had any legal right to his daughter. NONE! They, plain and simply, took another man’s child right out from underneath him and separated a little girl from her father just so they could be parents themselves. The best interest for her would have been being placed back in her father’s arms immediately after learning he never wanted to give her up.
You are so mad at this father who always has, and still does, want his daughter. He wants to raise her and love her and be her parent. And yet you stand behind the couple that has fought him. Has, in my opinion, done the worst of all human acts by keeping her from him and denying him what is his right, as is everyone’s – to parent his own child!
You call him cruel and evil and selfish and yet say nothing of the acts the adoptive parents have done to not only him, but to the little girl stuck in the middle of all of this. This man has done nothing to deserve losing his daughter and the adoptive parents have done nothing to deserve being the ones to keep and raise her over the desires and love of her own father!
Adoption is supposed to be about children in need of a home. This little girl has a home, a father, and a grandmother who love her and want her. This case, as in so many others in the world of adoption, just proves that it is no longer about the child in need but instead about the couple in need of a child, at any and all costs to that child and the parents he/she is being separated from.