Utah Supreme Court Denies Biological Father Custody of Adopted Child

by Norris Law Group on November 11, 2014

Utah Supreme Court Denies Biological Father Custody of Adopted ChildOn January 31, 2014, this blog reported on an ongoing Utah court case in which twelve biological fathers are fighting for custody of their children whom they say were adopted in Utah without their knowledge or consent. The Deseret News reports that a ruling came on November 4 for one of these fathers. William Bolden’s request for custody of his now three-year-old child was denied by the Utah Supreme Court in a split decision.

The Utah high court found that although Bolden had petitioned for paternity two weeks prior to the child’s birth—a requirement to establish parental and custody rights in Utah—the petition was not signed under oath, and is therefore null and void.

In addition to trying to establish paternity two weeks before the child was born, Bolden also filed a sworn and notarized notice to the Utah district court that a week after that stating that he had begun the process of establishing his paternity of the child. Utah law, however, required an additional separate sworn affidavit outlining his reasons for claiming paternity, an order for child support, and his plans of how to care for the child. Bolden said that he did not file such an affidavit on the advice of his attorneys at the time.

The child’s biological mother put the child up for adoption in Utah, and the child was adopted by a couple identified only as “John and Jane Doe” in court documents. The adoptive parents were aware that Bolden was taking steps to establish his paternity of his child, but still decided to complete the adoption. Bolden lost his parental rights through his failure to file an affidavit when he submitted his initial petition for paternity.

Bolden’s attorneys said that Bolden may appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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