The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a father who was intentionally misled about the birth of his child can stop the baby’s adoption. The court held that the consent of the child’s biological father must be obtained under state law in order for a child to legally be put up for adoption if no exception applies such as the following:
1) If the biological father abandons the child; or
2) If the biological father is legally deemed to be an unfit parent.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought forth by, Jeremiah J., against his ex-girlfriend, Dakota.
In June 2011, Jeremiah learned that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant. 5-months later, Jeremiah was contacted by an adoption agency notifying him that once the child was born, he/she would be put up for adoption. Jeremiah informed the adoption agency that he did not want his child put up for adoption and tried to contact Dakota to work out a custody arrangement. Jeremiah was never notified about his child’s birth.
After several failed attempts to contact Dakota, Jeremiah subsequently learned about the adoption proceeding (including the birth of his child) and filed an objection. Dakota testified in court that she refused to tell Jeremiah about the child’s birth because she did not want him to know about it during the five days he had to object to the adoption.
Fortunately, the court ruled in Jermiah’s favor ordering the adoption proceeding to be stopped. Jeremiah plans to file a paternity action in order to establish custody and visitation rights for his child.