Back in February we posted on the heartbreaking story of a father who had only seen his daughter once in four years. This was all due to the fact that without his permission, the mother of the child let her brother and sister-in-law adopted the little girl. However, in what is being considered a win for fathers around the country, the biological dad was recently awarded visitation rights.
Going forward, the father will continue to have visitation rights while the child custody battle continues on. This means that not only will he be able to see his daughter, but there is also still the chance that he will end up being awarded custody of her.
When looking at what happened in this case, the man claims part of the issue is that even though he signed his state’s registry in order to assert his rights as a father, the mother decided to go to Utah to have her brother and his wife adopt the child. Utah is historically known for having the church get involved and there being very little chance of a father winning a custody battle.
However, the tables started to turn for this father when the Utah Supreme Court overturned the adoption and a lower court ruling, which led to the case going back to the state the father originally signed the registry in. After being moved back to his state, the judge awarded him visitation rights.
Looking to the future, this case will most likely have implications in not only Missouri, but also on a national level.
“For all the dads fighting for custody, this ruling will go a long way in rewriting laws both in Utah and other states as it relates to what a dad’s rights are, when a mother violates one state’s laws to get a child adopted in Utah,” the father said.
Source: KDVR, “Unmarried father wins visitation rights in custody battle,” Jon Bowman, April 27, 2012