John Wyatt has been unsuccessfully fighting to overturn the adoption of his daughter, "Baby Emma." He opposed the adoption, which took place in Virginia, and had hoped to raise the child either by himself or with the birth mother. On Tuesday, the Utah Supreme Court rejected his appeal.
The difficulty lies in the details – "Baby Emma" was adopted by a couple in Utah, which has a strict timeframe for an unmarried biological father to assert his parental rights. Wyatt claims he never received proper notice of the birth mother's plan to put their daughter up for adoption. Even worse, Wyatt is unable to appeal under the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which would require Utah to follow a Virginia judge's order to give him custody of his daughter, because he didn't raise that argument in a lower court.
Wyatt wasn't surprised: "This is what Utah does. They steal people's babies. It is like a big game to these people." He vows to continue fighting for his daughter and indicated that a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court is likely.
Wyatt is not the only unmarried dad who has wrestled with this issue – at least half a dozen unmarried biological fathers have unsuccessfully attempted to stop adoptions in Utah.
Should the rights of unmarried biological fathers trump those of adoptive parents?
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