Army soldier Terry Achane was married to his daughter's mother. While she was pregnant, he was reassigned by the military to another state. He followed orders and relocated under the assumption that his wife and child would eventually join him. This is not what happened. Instead, his wife traveled to Utah and arranged to place their child for adoption. The adoption agency involved and the couple who took the child knew that the infant girl's father was married to the mother and had not consented. And they proceeded on anyway to the point that couple who took the child (I will not say adopted because she has never been legally available for adoption) has been fighting Achane in court. It has taken close to two years but Achane was finally reunited with his daughter on January 24, 2013.
Of course, this sort of complete disregard for fathers' rights is nothing new in the good ol' state of Utah. We've heard this story many times before. What makes this one stand out, however, is that the natural mother, the adoption agency, the couple who took the child and the state of Utah managed to completely disregard the rights of a father who was married to the mother of his child. Terry Achane was and is both the biological and legal father of his daughter. And yet, the couple who took her from him was allowed to drag out their illegal adoption for close to two years.
Apparently, no man is safe from Utah's legal system when it comes to his right to parent his own child. Not even men who are married to their child's mother. It is certainly my hope that this case might just be the thing to shake the tree of legal inequity enough in Utah that changes are finally made.
For more information:
Father reunited with daughter who was adopted at birth by Utah couple
Support Terry Achane
Thanks to the couple who took his child, Achane has incurred a large sum in legal bills. These bills will continue to pile up if the couple continues the appeal process. Donations of financial assistance are being accepted through the law firm representing him:
The Law Office of Wiser & Wiser
|Terry Achane and his daughter Taleah|
Photo courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune
I am also pleased to be involved in several writing and advocacy projects outside of the office. As an adoptee, my advocacy work is focused on changing the common, societal discourse on adoption practices and encouraging reform that would place the emotional needs and legal rights of the children involved first. www.juliegmstromberg.com