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Father files $130M lawsuit after child adopted without his knowledge or consent

Traditionally, in cases where a child is born to a couple that subsequently divorces or breaks up, the mother retains physical custody of the child. There's no doubt that a mother's bond to her child runs deep and that most mothers provide a loving and healthy environment in which a child can grow and thrive. However, when discussing the important role a mother plays in a child's life, it's important to also consider the crucial role fulfilled by a father.

Sadly, many within society and the judicial system are quick to dismiss the important role a divorced or unwed father plays in a child's life. A recent case in another state illustrates this point and has resulted in a father, whose child was put up for adoption without his knowledge or consent, filing a $130 million lawsuit.

The man fathered a child with a woman to whom he was not married. Prior to the child's birth, the mother contemplated giving the child up for adoption. Upon learning of her plans, the baby's father repeatedly expressed his wishes to keep and raise the child on his own. When the baby was born, however, the mother failed to notify the father and instead gave the baby up for adoption.

By the time the father learned of the mother's actions, there was little he could do. Paternity laws in the state in which the man lives require fathers to apply for paternity status prior to a child's birth. In this case, the father failed to register for paternity. Complicating matters is the fact that the mother was still legally married to another man who the state legally considered the baby's father and who signed away his paternity rights, thereby allowing the adoption to proceed.

The father recently filed the lawsuit to seek justice and draw attention to the plight of many unwed fathers whose paternity and parental rights are often dismissed. New York fathers who are facing issues related to paternity, child custody or visitation would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney who will work to protect and preserve a father's rights.

Source: KSL News Radio, "Unwed father alleges racketeering in adoption lawsuit," Emily Morgan and Carole Mikita, Dec. 30, 2013

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