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Father fighting for custody of daughter

A father is arguing that his daughter, soon to be 6 years old, was placed for adoption with the mother's out of state relatives without his knowledge or consent. Even before the child was born, he filed papers to seek paternity. Now, he is continuing the battle to seek sole custody of the child. Many in Arizona have watched the long-term child custody battle unfold in neighboring Utah, where the child has lived with her mother's relatives.

The father says that he is open to the idea of those relatives continuing to be in his daughter's life, but not them adopting her. Almost two years ago, a high court in their state ruled in the father's favor, but he still does not have his daughter, and the prospective adoptive parents have even been denying him mere regular visitation, and he is only allowed to see her once a month. A new court hearing is occurring soon on the matter.

The prospective adoptive parents are the brother and sister-in-law of the child's mother, who tried to go forward with an adoption, and might have succeeded if not for the father's intervention in the case, asserting his constitutional right to a say in what happens to his child. At one point in time, it was relatively rare for fathers to seek sole custody of their children, but that has changed significantly over time.

Biological mothers and fathers both have parental rights under the Constitution and both have a right to consent or object to a child's placement for adoption.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Father fighting for custody of daughter being raised by Utah couple" Brooke Adams, Dec. 10, 2013

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