In April 2010, Jake Strickland received some of the most wonderful news... He was going to be a father. Although, Jake and the mother of his child Whitney Pettersson Rathjen were not able to make their physical relationship work, they decided to raise their future son jointly. Jake was involved with Whitney throughout her entire pregnancy, emotionally, physically, and financially. He attended doctor's appointments, paid for medical expenses, as well as other expenses for Whitney Pettersson, bought groceries, went out on dates, and bonded with his son Jackson Michael Strickland. Whitney also bonded not only with Jake, but with his entire family. She attended many family events such as baby showers, Fourth of July events, and Christmas Parties.
Since Jake and Whitney had decided on raising the baby seperately but jointly, Jake had purchased all of his own baby items. He had a beautifully decorated nursery fit with a crib, clothing, diapers, carseat and all of the other baby essentials. Jake and his family were so excited to have this child come into their home and lives. If they only knew what would be coming in the next few weeks and months.
On Janaury 5th, 2011 Jake Strickland's world was crushed before him. He received a phone call from Whitney. She told him that she had had their baby on the 29th of December, 2010 at 9:19 PM at Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake, Utah and had given him up for adoption, WITHOUT his consent. She put on the adoption papers, unknown father, but in reality actually did. She was with Jake the night before looking at Christmas lights downtown SLC. She was hanging all over Jake acting like a happy couple.
Jake was in communication with Whitney every single day from December 29th through January 5th via text or phone. On the 3rd of January Jake was not able to attend a so called doctor's appointment with Whitney and asked via text "How did the doctor's appointment go?" Whitney responded, "Good. No change." Jake replied by, "Great. We are still scheduled for a C-section on the 12th of January?" Whitney responded "Yep." Jake ecstatically replied, "I am so excited to meet our son." Whitney fradulently led Jake on for 8 days after the birth of their child. She knew how Utah Law was wrote(with the help of coaching by social workers at LDS Family Services) and knew that Jake's parental rights would be termintated within 24 hours of relinqushment if he did not take the necessary actions with the legal system.
Jake had no way to know that adoption was even being considered and was not able to fully protect his rights to parent his child under Utah Law. Thus, having his constitutional rights violated to parent his son as well as lose his only son he had been longing for.
Jake is FIGHTING 100% to get his son rightfully back. Baby Jackson was essentially STOLEN from his father. He had no say in what happened with his child. He was deceived, manipulated and lied to.
Now, we have a heartbreaking situation for two families. Jake is devastated that he doesn't have his son to hold in his arms right now.
Jake and his family have already endured a very long and heartbreaking journey through the court system and have begun to help work on changing the adoption laws, and provide more rights and notice to unwed father's rights in Utah. This blog has been a great platform to help seek change with the broken laws, that allow FRAUD wrote into the law. We need to stand up and fight for justice to prevail.
We thank you for your support in following Jake and Jackson's story. God Bless you!