A yesterday ago the Utah Supreme Court put a stay on the a ruling that would allowed Terry Achane to be reunited with his daughter. Well it seem that less then twenty four hours later that the hold has been removed.
The Utah Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay a trial court judge’s order giving a married father custody of a child who was placed for adoption at birth without the father’s consent or knowledge. The court also set an expedited hearing for the appeal.
While it is good news that the stay was removed. Also according to the court ruling that any further request for time extensions would be denied. However it does no explicitly say that Terry Achane will get his daughter back. Only that the hearing will be held on March of this year.
“In plain English: Teleah is going home to her father,” said attorney Scott Wiser, who with his father, Mark, represents Achane, in a post on Facebook.
The Utah Supreme Court denied the stay. This means the district court’s ruling is back in effect. The district court has to schedule a new hearing (the 16th was canceled due to the provisional stay) which will hopefully be next week. Teleah will go home with Terry at that time and will remain with her through the appeals.
But as optimistic I would like to be, I will not be confident that he will get his daughter back until it actually happens. I mean this was suppose to have happened on January 16th.
There is a good statement made on Terry Achane’s Facebook.
One thing I have an extremely hard time understanding is how the Frei family has repeatedly stated and written in their blog that Terry abandoned Tira. How is changing a duty assignment abandonment?
I think the Frei’s should take an extremely close look at themselves and what they truly believe. I think they should ask themselves, “Did our nephews, that are currently in Afghanistan, abandon their children? Would we approve what we are doing to Terry to their children?”
The military does not give you much of an option. You go or you get in trouble. Does this make the nephews of the Frei’s horrible parents? They are currently in Afghanistan after all. Isn’t this why they claim Terry is an unfit parent?
New updates can be found here.
Updated: The Statement provided by Jared and Kristi Frei to KUTV. I am posting the statement here just in case it is deleted later.
Twenty-one months ago the birth mother made the decision to give her child up for adoption because she had been abandoned by her husband when she was seven months pregnant. He cut her off from all financial, physical and emotional support, leaving the mother with the sole burden of determining what was in the child’s best interests. The birth father took almost no efforts to determine the whereabouts of his child after her birth until the mother informed him of the adoption several months after birth.
Upon being notified of the adoption, he took the step of hiring an attorney to oppose the adoption, but has taken no steps, other than one 3 hour visit with the child when he came to Utah for his deposition, to form any bond or relationship with the child. Despite the parties being in frequent contact with each other over the last 15 months during the adoption process, the father has never sent the child a letter or gift, even on her birthday and at Christmas. He has never requested any update on her health and well-being. He never tried to call her on the phone or video conference with her. The law requires a father to at least attempt to form a relationship with his child to show he is not disregarding his parental obligations. If he fails in this regard over an extended period of time, it is considered abandonment, regardless of the fact that he has hired an attorney to object to the adoption.
The court’s ruling relies heavily on the determination that the adoptive parents were required to return the child immediately when the father requested. However, the Utah Adoption Act clearly states that once a child is placed with an adoption agency or adoptive parents, they shall have custody pending further order from the court. The father never sought custody during the adoption process so there was never a court order requiring either the agency or adoptive parents to relinquish custody. See UCA 78B-6-134.
We are deeply saddened by the court’s decision in the case to give the child back to a father she does not know at all. We believe the court made serious legal errors in his decision and will address these concerns with the Utah Court of Appeals.