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Pennsylvania dad fighting for child custody after secret adoption

A Pennsylvania man is embroiled in a bitter custody battle after his son was allegedly placed in an adoptive home without his knowledge. The man, age 20, contends that the mother of his son intentionally concealed the fact that the child had been born. That woman is accused of fleeing to Utah to complete the adoption; dads in that state do not have the same paternity rights as those in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania man is now fighting in the Utah Supreme Court, arguing that he should receive child custody because the adoption was completed illegally. That man explained that he told the mother of his child that he wanted to keep the baby, even though she wanted to give it up for adoption. He said the mother fled to Utah, where the baby was born weeks earlier than her due date because of medical induction. The child was then placed in an adoptive home without the father's knowledge or permission.

In Pennsylvania, fathers must approve adoption paperwork in order for physical custody to be transferred. Utah statutes do not feature the same requirements. Attorneys in the case are arguing that the adoption agency that facilitated the process violated the man's child custody rights.

Family members say they are hopeful about the outcome of the case. The man's son is now 2 years old. He has never met his father.

Child custody arrangements should be based on the best interests of the child. In most cases, biological parents are prioritized when considering physical custody. However, the adoption process in this case seems to have circumvented the traditional child custody proceedings. It is particularly disturbing that the father was not even notified about the birth of his child. Pennsylvania attorneys may be able to help parents whose children have been adopted in illegal proceedings.

Source: Fox 13, "Penn. man claims his child was put up for adoption without his knowledge" Kiersten Nunez, Mar. 04, 2014

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