a child that isnt theirs -___-
A Texas man is battling for
custody of his first-born daughter after his wife successfully gave her
up for adoption without telling him - to a family who now refuses to
return the girl.
Achane, 31, a drill instructor in South Carolina, says it was just days
after he left his pregnant wife for his new job out of state that she
quietly signed over their unborn baby to a family of seven in Utah.
newborn baby, whom he had wanted to name Teleah, was given to Jared and
Kristi Frei, who now say the girl is theirs and won't give her back
without a fight.
Custody: A fight over custody of this baby who
was unknowingly by her father put up for adoption by her birth mother in
2011 has her adoptive parents in Utah vowing an appeal on a judge's
ruling to give her back
Achane says that he and his wife, Tira Bland, were having marital
problems not long after learning she was pregnant in 2010, leading to
her decision and his now spiraling struggle today despite a judge
ordering the girl returned to him last October.
now ex-husband says Ms Bland had suggested having an abortion or giving
their child up for adoption - fearing she would end up as a single
mother - but he said no, encouraging their daughter's birth.
It was just months later in
February of 2011 that Mr Achane found himself sent to Fort Jackson in
South Carolina for work, believing he’d leave and come back a new dad.
days after his move, however, his wife went gave birth to a premature
baby and signed away their child before cutting all contact with her
'I was like, "Utah? Where is Utah?" I’d never been to Utah. She's never been to Utah,'" Mr Achane told the Salt Lake City Tribune of the moment he first heard the bizarre and horrifying news.
Sent to live with Jared and Kristi Frei, who had spent
the last few years struggling to naturally expand their family of five
children, the baby found herself in the city of Spanish Fork.
New home: Days after Tia Bland gave birth to her
daughter while her husband was working out of state, Kristi Frei, a
Utah mother of six others welcomed the baby into her home knowing that
the father didn't know about the adoption
'We knew that we were not done
having children, but after years of sudden infertility and several
miscarriages … we discovered somewhere down the line that Kristi had
advanced endometriosis, and would not likely conceive or carry another
child again,' the Frei family write of their struggle in a blog aimed at raising money for their court battle.
'...little did we know the challenges and trials that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl.'
- Frei family
Turning to adoption, in early 2009 the Frei family grew their family by one more with a baby boy named James.
to add one more child - 'a close, similar sibling' for James as they
write - they found Mr Achane's daughter, whom they named Leah.
that eventful day, we have, as a family, come to know that this dream
was a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God, and that Leah would
be that child - and yet, little did we know the challenges and trials
that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl,' they
adoption agency Adoption Center of Choice told the new family that Mr
Achane wasn't aware of his daughter's placement with them and he would
most likely contest it if he had found out.
Tribune reports that Ms Bland had given the adoption agency Mr Achene's
former address in Texas for contact, knowing full well at the time that
he was not living there.
Scared: The baby's mother, Tira, pictured, told
the family in Utah that she was alone and scared during her baby's birth
and wasn't sure if her marriage would last
the judge's recent ruling he noted the Freis family acknowledging the
risk of the father's upset but 'decided they wanted to proceed forward
with the adoptive placement anyway.'
in the dark throughout this with months of being unable to reach his
wife, Mr Achane asked a friend to visit her home in Texas who reported
that the house appeared vacant.
calling anyone who may know where his wife could be, while fearing she
may have carried out the abortion she once threatened to do, he learned
from a family doctor that his wife was no longer pregnant but they could
not legally disclose what had happened to the baby.
ounce of relief only came to the horrified man when his wife finally
called him in June, telling him she had signed away their baby to the
‘I believe she felt guilty at that point because she just made a call out of the blue,' he said of his ex-wife’s phone call.
he learned of his daughter's fate, he immediately tried to track his
little girl down but upon contact with the adoption center they refused
to disclose any information on her whereabouts.
agency told the court in October that it was standard procedure to not
share any information with a father of a potential adoptive child when
Missing: The baby's mother admitted to giving
the adoption agency an incorrect address for her husband to use as
contact, preventing him from finding out about his little girl's
whereabouts for months
'I am not a very religious person,' Mr Achane has since told the Tribune, 'but thou shalt not steal.'
of the drawn out legal battle, he said: 'If they prolong it, that is
more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get
back. ... It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order
saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to
get my daughter and raise my daughter,' he said.
Judge Darold McDade berated the Adoption Center of Choice's handling as 'utterly indefensible.'
'This is a case of human trafficking,' Mr Achane's attorney Mark Wiser told the Tribune.
'Children are being bought and sold. It
is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried
biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a
child away from a married father who wants to have his child.'
'It has been a year and a half now. There
is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the
case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter'
- Terry Achane
When an attorney for the Frei family
contacted Mr Achane, asking him to consent to the adoption, he said no
and demanded his little girl returned to him - to the Frei family's
the last 19 months, despite the law requiring that a father show
interest in his child and at least attempt regular communication to
establish a bond, the father has never shown any interest in Leah other
than to hire an attorney,' the family writes in their blog.
a judge's order to return the child within 60 days, the family now asks
that his parental rights granting him custody of her be terminated.
accuse him of abandoning both the mother and baby during her pregnancy
and therefore demonstrating no capability for raising the girl.
right of a fit, competent parent to raise the parent’s child without
undue government interference is a fundamental liberty interest that has
long been protected by the laws and constitution of this state of the
United States, and is a fundamental public policy of this state,’ said
He added that there is no law requiring the father to 'prove himself' as fit to father his own child.
Mr Achane contacted the Adoption Center of Choice ... to let them know
he opposed the adoption and wanted his daughter back, that should have
been the end of this case,' said Mr McDade.
going down without a fight, the Freis vow to appeal the judge's
decision, asking friends and family to support their case financially
through their blog.
note having paid for 'two already expensive adoptions (each costing
around $25,000),' with a continuing fight only requiring more money.
Their online petition has since raised more than $20,000.
A hearing has been set for January 16 of next year on the child's transition back to her father.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2242567/Terry-Achane-Married-fathers-horror-wife-places-baby-adopted-Frei-family-telling-him.html#ixzz2E8sgXyn7
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