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  #1  
Old 11-01-2007, 12:58 PM
benhenny benhenny is offline
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Can birthparents contest a finalized and proper adoption?

Has anyone ever heard of a birthparent attempting to reverse the adoption AFTER finalization? In California, the law states that birth parents can't attempt to rescind their revocation of rights after finalization, but I know there are certain lawyers who would represent anyone with a bank account.

Does anyone know of horror stories where everything was done right but the birthmom or pop went for custody after, say, 6 months?
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2007, 01:00 PM
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I'm sure it has happened, but the bparents would have to prove that their was wrong doing. For instance that they were lied to and can prove it etc.
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2007, 01:02 PM
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In Texas, even after finalization bparents can ask them to set the decision aside. I don't know what criteria is used, it may be only for bfathers whose rights are terminated by publication and not by them actually signing TPR. So, even a finaliztion is not final! Gotta love the court system. And, as long as there are lawyers willing to take on those clients, there will be aparents put through the wringer. Our lawyer assured us that even if that happened, it is unlikely that the bfather would win, but that doesn't keep it from draining our bank account!
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:01 PM
DianeS DianeS is offline
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I think you may be asking two different questions.

Can a birthparent file a claim to rescind their revocation of rights? No, not if state law forbids that.

But can a birthparent contest an adoption? Probably, but they'd have to prove they had grounds to do so. For instance, they could claim they never signed any revocation of rights, that their signatures were forged. In that case, they'd probably be given a court date to prove it.

And remember, filing a claim does not equal winning it. If you really do have a finalized and proper adoption, they won't win. It's only if you don't have a finalized and proper adoption that they might win. And that's what the courts would be charged with figuring out.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2007, 02:08 PM
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There has been a couple of well known cases where that has happened. The Baby Richard case for instance. In this case though the Birth Mother lied to the Birth Father telling him the baby had died at birth. Later they rekindled & she told him she lied. He wanted the baby & WAS given him back after I think either 2 or 4 years of being with his adoptive family, who by the way fought very hard to keep him.

Otherwise, most state laws state that once the adoption is finalized there is nothing that can be done UNLESS their were lies, bribes, etc. that can be STRONGLY PROVEN.

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  #6  
Old 11-01-2007, 02:32 PM
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OMG! That Baby Richard case sounds just horrible!!! What state was that in? I'd love to read up on it.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:12 PM
benhenny benhenny is offline
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Baby Richard:
Baby Richard case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a case where it was contested after 30 days, but it was contested early on, when the baby was still only a month or two old. The court ruled against the father, but the father continued to pursue the case for years. That's why Baby Richard was returned when he was older (3-4 years old). But the bfather wanted custody as soon as he found out about the adoption.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:35 PM
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Here's another famous case from about the same time.
Baby Jessica case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Again, there were mistakes made in the TPR of the birth father. I hope that one positive thing that has come from both of these celebrated cases is that SW's are much more careful now.

One thing I've always been curious about in both these cases is if the adoptive parents recouped any child support from the birth fathers after the children were returned to the biological parents.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:49 PM
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That crossed my mind too - that if the birthparents were granted custody after 2 or 3 years whether they'd be liable for costs, not to mention opportunity costs.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2007, 03:54 PM
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Those cases were horrible! Both of those cases were from the early 90's--does anybody know if there are any more recent nightmarish cases?
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2007, 04:20 PM
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This one is similar to the others above:

Cletus Miller says he didn't know he had a daughter until she was more than a year old and had been put up for adoption. Miller says his daughter's mother lied to him and claimed she lost the baby.
kdka.com - Picketers Support Father Fighting For Custody

and Evan Parker Scott - this one made national news a few years ago - having to do with the bfather returning to claim custody and the bmother objecting to the bfather's custody, so she sued for custody and won. This one's a real heartbreaker.
ABC7Chicago.com: Adoptive parents ordered to give up toddler
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2007, 04:25 PM
HansenFamAZ HansenFamAZ is offline
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Looking at it from the angle that the adoption could be challenged down the road, why aren't DNA tests required when a birthfather is named and signing TPR?

Our DD's "birthfather" requested a DNA test the day after TPR was done and submitted to the county. 6 weeks later we got him to sit down and do it and it was negative. We were left wondering who the real birthfather was, would he oppose the adoption and what might have happened if the DNA test was never asked for. Would the real birthfather have shown up years down the line and started a custody battle. It was the worst few weeks I can remember.

So, in this day and age, why do the courts allow a man to sign away parental rights without proving they are his to give away?
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2007, 04:49 PM
benhenny benhenny is offline
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That's a good point about the DNA. The whole birthfather issue is a sticky one anyway, considering the number of birthfathers who are either unknown or unresponsive to inquiry. It seems like the worst cases involve a bfather who was lied to and found out soon after the adoption. Makes you want to do more to find the bfather and get valid termination from him.
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2007, 05:54 PM
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We had some similar questions re: birth fathers. I found out, in the process of our adoptions, that the legal father need not be the BIOLOGICAL father, and that a child may have no legal father, but an identified (but not confirmed by DNA) birth father who doesn't choose to acknowledge or act on the possibility that he may be the birth father. Also that if a man who knows he is not the birth father allows his name to stand on the birth cert, then he is the father dealt with in court proceedings, particularly if the mom does not know (or doesn't name) any other man as the birth father. I got so confused after a couple of the legal tangles involved when we were adopting that I'm amazed that the courts, agencies and other concerned parties can keep any of it straight.
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Last edited by Barksum : 11-01-2007 at 05:57 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2007, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benhenny
That's a good point about the DNA. The whole birthfather issue is a sticky one anyway, considering the number of birthfathers who are either unknown or unresponsive to inquiry. It seems like the worst cases involve a bfather who was lied to and found out soon after the adoption. Makes you want to do more to find the bfather and get valid termination from him.


We were working with an adoption agency-the one we are not matched with-and they told us how they do a lot of adoptions without the father's consent and it's no problem. ...you just post a public announcement and if he doesn't come forward in 30 days his rights are automatically terminated. A lot of states seem to follow such a policy, but I never thought about what if the named BF is not the actual BF.
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02/09/08 - Matched!!!
02/14/08 - Backed out of match...too many possible medical concerns.
03/18/08 - Matched to baby boy born 03/15/08
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