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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why this "Baby Larceny" couldn't have occurred in NYS

Terry Archane, a South Carolina-stationed father of a 22-month-old baby, has finally been reunited with his daughter after a knock down, drag out custody battle.  Not with the child’s mother, but with the adoptive family.  Huh?  That’s right, Archane's wife, the birth mother (and I use the term "mother" loosely) gave the child up for adoption, while Dad, a drill sergeant, was stationed in South Carolina.  In New York State, an incredibly stringent waiver of rights is required by both the birth mother and father before an adoption can even be contemplated.  In New York, a judge would have had to hear directly from Birth Dad that he consented before the child could be placed for adoption.  The Mother was living in Texas.  Dad was stationed in South Carolina and, although the couple was reportedly estranged, they were not divorced.  Dad apparently expected to come home to find his wife and new daughter, born March of 2011.  However, the Mother had delivered Baby Teleah in Utah, and was able to give her up for adoption to a Utah family (who reportedly already had children in their family) just two (2) days later. In his ruling, Judge Darold McDade said he was "astonished and deeply troubled" by the actions of the Adoption Agency calling their treatment of Dad "utterly indefensible."   Say what you want about New York State, our laws would never have allowed that to happen.  As any of my clients who have gone through domestic adoptions know, the hoops you have to jump through are unbelievable.   I've had cases where the biological father was deceased and it still took a lot of hoop jumping to get the adoption to go through. As soon as Dad found out his daughter had been placed for adoption, he sued for her return and, almost two years later, he and his daughter have been reunited.  I don’t know who I’m more disgusted with, the Mother, the adoptive family, the Utah adoption laws, or a combination thereof.  In any event, congratulations, Sergeant Archane, enjoy your beautiful daughter!   All of a sudden, New York State's incredibly stringent adoption laws aren't looking so bad.  That kind of "baby larceny" simply couldn't occur here.  (Photo of Baby Teleah)
Juliana LoBiondo
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