Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Good Bye"

Hailey Graham
How do you say, “Good Bye” to someone you’ve never met? How do you know you miss someone, when you’ve never seen them? How do I love you, when I’ve never seen you, hugged you, laughed with you, when I may not see you become the amazing person you will become.
I have loved you since I found out about you
I have missed you every moment that we miss
I don’t know how to say, ‘Good Bye’ to you
Because we are not done fighting for you, fighting to have you in our lives, to meet you
Because I miss you, we miss you
Because I want to be in your life, whether it’s tomorrow or in 18 years
Because I love you
I love you my handsome nephew and I cannot wait to meet you and say, “Hi Jack. I’m your Aunt Hailey.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

97.1 ZHT Morning Zoo: Interview with Wes Hutchins and Heidi Strickland

Here is the podcast from the radio station 97.1 ZHT morning zoo today. The interview starts at minute 95. This interview discusses the unethical adoption laws in Utah and the Civil Lawsuit suing the state of Utah.

Morning Zoo

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Civil Rights Lawsuit against Utah Attorney General

Complaint Document and Exhibits.... view here!

On Wednesday, January 22nd 2014, daddy Jake Strickland's birthday, Wesley Hutchins, our attorney, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the prior Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and up and coming Attorney General John Swallow on behalf of 12 birthfathers who have been defrauded from their biological children due to Utah's unethical and unconstitional laws.

Since 2010, the Utah Attorney General's office has been aware of numerous complaints calling the Utah Adoption Act unconstitutional and they have turned a blind eye to the fraud and deception that has been going on. There were many instances where the Attorney General Mark Shurtleff could have made recommendations to the legislature about changes that were needed in order to provide father's equal rights, but they did nothing.

In August 2011, on a dateline episode regarding John Wyatt, Cody O'Dea, Ramsey Shaud, and other father's who have been defrauded by Utah's unethical adoption laws, Attorney Mark Shurtleff at the time was intereviewed and asked what he thought of Utah's laws regarding birthfathers? He said he was unaware of issues, but he would look into it and make recommendations to the legislature. Nothing has come from this.  Directly following the airing of this episode, we had emailed the Attorney General's Office to informa them of Jake's case and they emailed us and said this was not a matter that was regarding Utah, but more a civil matter.

In September 2012, John Swallow was talked to in a private meeting off the record during upcoming election meetings about a proposed bill that was being presented by Democrat Christine Watkins about providing mandatory notice to fathers that an adoption would be taking place. Swallow acknowledged that he supported the bill, but he said "We backed the wrong horse to sponsor the bill" meaning it wouldn't pass because it was supported by a democrat.

By law any time their is a challenge to a constitionality issue of a law, you are required to send a certified copy of the complaint to the Attorney General's office. Our attorney Wes Hutchins, has been doing that since 2010, and has notified the Utah Attorney General's Office at least 5 times in the past 4 years, with no response whatsoever.

The purpose of this lawsuit is to get the Utah Adoption Act overturned and deemed unconstiutional to STOP babyselling in Utah, and depriving willing, able men from raising their children. This lawsuit will hopefully deter birthmothers, agencies, attorneys and others from consipring to defraud men from having their relationship severed from their biological children.

We will not stop until the laws are changed and men have an equal opportunity and say to raise their children.

The wheels are turning and things will be happening. Stay tuned people, things are going to get interesting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

12 fathers sue Utah over adoption laws

12 fathers sue Utah over adoption laws
January 23, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — Twelve biological fathers are suing the state of Utah, claiming its adoption laws amount to legalized fraud and kidnapping.
All of them had children put up for adoption without their consent.
Attorney Wes Hutchins, who has worked in adoption law for more than two decades, believes this lawsuit could be the first of its kind in the country, and could eventually become a class-action case.
Hutchins said the case originated with what he describes as the broken promise of a former attorney general, during a network TV program about a Utah adoption case where the biological father was denied custody when the baby was adopted without his knowledge.
"He would investigate the issues and if there was a need for change, he would work with the Legislature to bring about change," Hutchins said the state's top cop promised.
Hutchins, who headed the Utah Adoption Council at the time, said he went undercover with a woman (his wife) posing as a birth mother seeking to give birth in Utah. He said they presented that attorney general and his successor with evidence birth mothers were being coached to lie.
"Statements like, ‘We'll just go home and tell the birth father that the baby died,' or 'Come to Utah, but don't tell the birth father where you're coming,'" Hutchins said. "'Don't tell him anything.'"
Hutchins claims Utah law permits birth mothers or people representing them to commit fraud, encouraging out-of-state women to give birth here because the laws exclude the rights of birth fathers.
"A birth mother, or anyone working with a birth mother, can commit fraud in placing the child for adoption," Hutchins explained, "but that is not a basis to overturn the adoptive placement."
In other words, a birth father can sue for damages, but not to get the child back.
All of the fathers in the lawsuit to date have fought to stop the adoptions of their children. A couple of them were able to gain custody, but not all have been successful.
The lawsuit seeks both monetary damages and to strike down the Utah Adoption Act.

Group of fathers file class action lawsuit, claim Utah adoption laws are unjust

Group of fathers file class action lawsuit, claim Utah adoption laws are unjust

Posted on: 8:07 pm, January 22, 2014, by  and 
SALT LAKE CITY – Two former Utah Attorneys General are named in a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of biological fathers who said their children were taken from them via adoption without their consent.
The class action lawsuit alleges Utah’s adoption laws make it “nearly impossible” for biological fathers to gain custody of their children before the child’s mother gives the child up for adoption.
Rob Manzaneres said he was living in Colorado with his pregnant girlfriend when she traveled to Utah to visit a sick family member. He said his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter prematurely while in Utah, and when she came back the woman had allegedly given the child up for adoption without Manzanares’ consent.
Manzaneres said he had already filed a paternity action in Colorado months before his daughter was born, but he said he had to come to Utah to fight for paternity.
“I want this to stop, I mean, what I’ve gone through, no other father should go through, and more importantly, no other child,” He told FOX 13 News over the phone. “We’re at a point now where, in my case, my daughter knows who I am, she knows I’m her real dad, she knows I want custody of her, but she’s only known one family that’s raised her in Utah. This is devastating to her.”
Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told FOX 13 News he had not yet been served with the lawsuit, but he said he doesn’t believe the fathers are pursuing the correct legal route. He said they would be better served by focusing their efforts on the getting the legislature to change the laws as opposed to going after the Attorney General, who enforces the laws.
“If there is an issue these biological fathers want to resolve, they have a disagreement with Utah laws, then they ought to take that to the Utah legislature, certainly not by filing a frivolous lawsuit, in particular naming the wrong defendants—which is what they apparently have done, again, making clear that I have not yet seen the complaint,” he told FOX 13 News over the phone.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adoption and Putative Father Lawsuits: By Brooke Adams

Suit: Utah adoption laws permit ‘legalized fraud and kidnapping'

Adoption • 12 biological fathers from across the country want Utah’s adoption law declared unconstitutional.
(Courtesy Dayna Smith) John Wyatt, of Dumfries, Va., is trying to get custody of his daughter, Emma, who was given up for adoption to a Utah couple by the girl's mother without his consent. His mother, Jeri Wyatt, is helping her son try to gain custody.
Twelve biological fathers whose children were placed for adoption in Utah without their knowledge or consent have filed a federal lawsuit against the state, alleging Utah laws permit “legalized fraud and kidnapping.”
The fathers, represented by West Jordan attorney Wes Hutchins, allege that despite knowing about the “gross adoption infirmities” of Utah’s laws, two former attorneys general “did nothing for more than a decade to correct the fraud and deception” that led to their children being placed with adoptive families in Utah.
What happened to their sons and daughters was essentially “kidnapping and highly unethical and disruptive placement into adoptive homes without the knowledge or consent of their biological fathers,” the lawsuit states.
Utah’s laws have created a “confusing labyrinth of virtually incomprehensible legal mandates and nearly impossible deadlines” that amount to unconstitutional violations of the rights of unwed fathers, it states.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a finding that the Utah Adoption Act is unconstitutional.
All of the fathers in the lawsuit have fought, with mixed results, to stop adoptions of their children. The men are: Robert B. Manzanares; Christopher D. Carlton; Jake M. Strickland; Jacob D. Brooks; Michael D. Hunter; Frank L. Martin; Samuel G. Dye; Bobby L. Nevares; William E. Bolden; John M. Wyatt III; Cody M. O’Dea; and Scottie Wallace.
Martin successfully fought adoption of his daughter, born in 2012, and now has custody of her. Dye also recently succeeded in regaining custody of his son, who was about 18 months old when his mother brought him to Utah and placed him for adoption.
The lawsuit says the dads represent a much larger group of an estimated 300 fathers whose constitutional rights have been violated by Utah’s adoption laws, and Hutchins later may seek to certify the case as a class-action lawsuit.
The defendants are the Utah attorney general’s office, former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, and unnamed state officials, though Hutchins said he may amend it to add current Attorney General Sean Reyes.
A spokeswoman for Reyes said Wednesday afternoon that the attorney general was reviewing the case but did not immediately have a comment.
At least one adoption attorney said the lawsuit’s odds of success may be limited.
“I have not seen the lawsuit, but Utah’s appellate courts have repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of the Utah Adoption Act,” said David Hardy, who is not a party to the lawsuit and has not yet reviewed it, though he was involved in some of the cases referenced in it. “I don’t have any reason to believe there is a basis to overturn the act.”
Biological mothers, adoption agencies and adoption attorneys have been able to exploit Utah’s laws, particularly a fraud immunity statute, in a way that was never intended, the lawsuit states. “An adoption may be accomplished through fraud, misdirection, misrepresentation, and lies, however, fraud expressly may not be a basis to undo an otherwise fraudulent adoption.”
In Manzanares’ case, for example, a former girlfriend asserted in a paternity proceeding in Colorado that she had no plan to pursue an adoption. She told Manzanares in a January 2008 email she planned to go to Utah in February to visit a sick relative. In fact, she gave birth to a daughter while in Utah and placed the infant with a relative.
Carlton, a former military veteran who lives in Pennsylvania, was told by a former girlfriend that their daughter had died shortly after birth in 2010. He learned months later, after a judge ordered the woman to disclose where the child was buried, that she had given birth and placed the infant for adoption in Utah.
Utah’s adoption laws encourage biological mothers to “secretly flee their home state” to give birth in Utah without any meaningful notice to or awareness on the part of biological fathers, the lawsuit states.
The mothers “return to their home state, seemingly unaccountable for their immoral, unethical, and fraudulent conduct,” the lawsuit states.
In his case, O’Dea told his former girlfriend he objected to her plan to place their child for adoption and signed with putative father registries in his home state of Wyoming, as well as Montana, where the biological mother had at one time lived. In June 2006, the woman called O’Dea from a blocked telephone number and said she was in Utah. She told O’Dea that he “will not father this child. You will pay child support until the child is in college.”
“You will never see this baby,” she told O’Dea, according to the lawsuit, and then asked if he understood what she meant.
After O’Dea tried to ask if that meant she no longer planned to place the infant for adoption, the woman responded, “If you understand what I have told you, that is all I have to say,” and hung up.
O’Dea’s child was born that same day and placed for adoption. O’Dea eventually learned the adoption had taken place in Utah; he fought the adoption in a case that ended up before the Utah Supreme Court, where he lost.
The lawsuit states that one of the “express” roles of the state’s attorney general is to protect against deception, fraud and misrepresentation. Another role is to protect children from abuse and neglect.
But the state’s top law enforcement officers have “utterly failed” to protect minor children of the biological fathers and to safeguard their rights and best interests, despite being personally contacted about the situations involving at least five fathers.
“Neither Shurtleff nor his successors have done anything as promised, and, in the meantime, biological fathers, and others, have been again and again unlawfully and continuously deprived of their constitutionally protected paternity rights,” the lawsuit states.
The attorneys general “knew of the fraud and kidnapping that was taking place in Utah, under the guise of Utah’s adoption laws, and turned a blind eye to such practices, in direct contradiction to their personal promises, their oath of office, their statutory mandates, and their stated priorities, and also their oaths as licensed attorneys in Utah,” that lawsuit adds.
The lawsuit says some adoption agencies, as shown in secretly recorded telephone conversations, encourage biological mothers to come to Utah and take steps so that a birth father would “never have a shot in hell in ever getting his child back,” as one agency worker put it.