' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: After 6 years, a hollow victory in Utah adoption fight
Join Jane at the CUB retreat in October. For more, see sidebar.

Monday, March 10, 2014

After 6 years, a hollow victory in Utah adoption fight

Lorraine
 Six years. That's how long Robert Manzanares has been fighting for custody of his daughter--a fight that began before she was born. A few days ago, a court decided that he, the father, would have joint custody of his daughter, Kaia, but the adoptive parents will have primary custody and the girl will continue to live with them. The length of time involved in getting to this decision is why Manzanares will not be able to raise his own daughter. How did we get here? Six years? 

This legal battle began in 2008, shortly after the girl was conceived and the girl's mother and Manzanares broke up. Aware that the mother did not want to raise the child, he took all the right steps, filing for his parental rights to be recognized...in Colorado where he and the mother had been living. He made it clear that he did not want his daughter given up for adoption. But the woman fled to Utah before the girl was born. She had Mormon relatives in that state who wanted to adopt the child. And in Utah, that is pretty much all you need: Mormons who want to adopt.



LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO IN UTAH ADOPTION LAW
What happens in Colorado stays in Colorado, according to Utah law regarding adoption. In 2008 Utah's regulations for fathers made it nearly impossible for a man to retain his rights as a father unless he and the mother were married. The regulations were an outgrowth of the rules and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints. The legal stipulations have been made less opaque since then, but still adoption--yes! pretty much rules in that state. 

So the girl born in 2008 went to Mormon relatives of the mother. But Manzanares never gave up, and continued to fight for his daughter in the courts. The case went back to Colorado after a Utah judge called the adoption "a fraud." After five years, Manzanares won visitation rights--and the adoptive couple were ordered to tell the girl she was adopted, which they had not gotten around to.  


What do these conversations go like?  Well, ah, ah, honey, you actually have another mommy and daddy but we loved you sooo much that we didn't want to tell you, and you were so special and we love you so much...but that "other man" actually wants to meet you....Cough, cough....You don't have to like him...we love you,  you are our daughter and will always be....don't you see how much we love you and how much better we are than that man?  


Okay, I get it. At five the child is just learning that babies come from mommies' tummies and don't have a clue as to how they get there. Certainly that first conversation is difficult, but the adoptive parents in this case made it that way by not even broaching the subject until a court ordered them to do so. Now they have to add that the "other daddy" has been fighting for you. No matter how the wording goes, the kid automatically senses that in some unknowable way, that man, is her real daddy and that these people have been lying to her. But I digress. 


Manzanares knew that visitation was not enough. To ensure that he would remain a part of Kaia's life 

Opposing Viewpoints 
life, he wanted custody, and the other day, that is what he won. Sort of. He will have summer vacations and some holidays and regular visitations with his daughter. There is no longer any confusion that he is her biological father. Manzanares has said that the girl has told him that she wants to live with him. In a 47-page decision, the judge referred to the "psychological parents," and the "legal parents," and cited the opinion of a child psychologist who said the girl was too young to understand and make her own decisions, and that she had a strong bond with the adoptive mother. The adopting parents will retain primary custody. Kaia will live with them. Adoptions like this one turn the purpose of adoption itself on its head: adoption is supposed to be for children who need homes, not adults who want a child, especially when a real parent is available. But market forces have turned that concept upside down, most noticeably in Utah. 

Yet Rob Manzanares is the legal father. His name is on the birth certificate. "I felt stripped of what should have never been taken away from me in the first place," Manzanares told KSL TV. But says he is not bitter towards the adoptive parents, though the six years it took to get to this decision is ridiculous. Six years in a six year old child's lifetime is a lifetime. 

A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT  
Perhaps this case will peel back the layers of of pro-adoption law and legal maneuvering that make Utah our least favorite state of all. "This decision is dangerous for other biological fathers fighting for their parental rights," Utah lawyer Wes Hutchins said. He is representing Manzanares and a group of more than a dozen other biological fathers who are suing the Utah Attorney General's Office, accusing it of allowing adoption agencies to use practices that were not ethical--even criminal. Hutchins, a Mormon himself, is the lawyer bringing the law suit. We applaud his courage. 

Decisions like this one, coming after six years, that allow adoptive parents to keep their ill gotten gains--children that they took under unethical and often illegal circumstances--are what is rotten in the court system. Six years. Even if "god was on their side" the adopters who took Manzanares's daughter from her rightful and true father are immoral lowlifes. There must be a special tier in hell reserved for these people--they can hang out with the Capobiancos and all the other couples who have fought fathers who want to raise their own children, and lost. And remember, karma's a bitch.--lorraine
__________________________
SOURCES
Painful decision in 6 year custody fight
Father Spends Six Years, $200,000 Fighting For Custody Of Daughter Given Up For Adoption
Adoptive parents ordered to share custody of girl with biological father


FROM FMF
At last: LDS Family Services and fellow travelers sued in adoption scams
Utah adoption laws becoming more hostile to birth fathers?At last: LDS Family Services and fellow travelers sued in adoption scam
Utah Supreme Court delays return of Baby Teleah to her father
Unwed Fathers Can't Win Against the Mormons in Utah
Utah rules against natural father. Again. And again. Adoption is big business there.
Adoption in Utah: No place for birth fathers

RECOMMENDED READING
Child Custody (Opposing Viewpoints)'
One of the highly acclaimed series that presents opposite viewpoints on topics of general interest today. A leading source for libraries and classrooms, presenting a wide diversity of opinions from experts, policy makers, and concerned citizens. Lorraine is a contributor to this volume. 

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH THE PORTALS OF FMF. 

36 comments :

  1. This is a travesty. The birth mothers Brother and Sister In Law are kidnappers. They knew early on that the father wanted his daughter and denied contact- in fact they failed to tell her about him until they were ordered to do so. This decision rewards them for their deception. This child belongs with her father

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lorraine,

    I honestly do not believe the adoption was finalized which is why they are only "psychological parents" not adoptive parents. I am only going on what previous media has reported.

    "A birth father's four-year battle for custody of his daughter will now move to a Colorado court after a Utah judge agreed Wednesday to dismiss the child's adoption.

    Third District Judge Paul Maughan said he wants to review the landmark Utah Supreme Court ruling that sent Colorado resident Rob Manzanares' case back to the lower court but, barring any obstacles, will sign an order dismissing the adoption, which had not been finalized. That will allow a Colorado court to fully take over the dispute. Maughan also ordered that Manzanares' name be added to his daughter's birth certificate."

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20228911/colorado-fathers-custody-fight-moves-back-his-home

    If that is the case it makes this ruling terrifying because it sets a precedent. No where have I seen it reported that they legally completed the adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Theadoptedones: I think the article you quoted is already 2 years old, according to the date at the top. This father has been fighting now for 6 years, and I wonder if the adoption was ever finalized since that particular article was written?

    This is a disgrace.

    What eats away at me, when reading about cases like this, is the "expert" opinions, and then the opinions of the general public posting comments all over the place.

    The Capo's stole Veronica and all the experts are saying how happy and well-adjusted she is. People everywhere are saying how she is lucky to have a two-parent adoptive family. Same with this recent case. I have read comments where people say this child is happy and loves her adoptive parents, and isn't she lucky to have the two of them, even though her father wanted to raise her. Even though her mother lied, ran away, fully intended to deceive the father....isn't she lucky?

    OK. Flashback to the first 4 years of my own life, when my adoption was still not finalized. Caseworkers would come to our apartment from time to time. And they would, of course, see a happy, well adjusted, smiling child. What else could I be? I was a CHILD.

    As an adult, the whole scenario eats away at me, every day of my life. And I was not in the middle of any custody battles or media circuses. What are these poor children involved in these cases going to think when they realize what really happened to them? When they are old enough to understand the lies that were told, the money that changed hands, the fathers who fought for them but didn't have a chance in hell. The damage is going to be impossible to repair.

    But the adopters got what they wanted, a cute, smiling, well-adjusted little baby.

    This has to stop. Why can't we get people to see how none of this is ever in the best interest of the child? Adoption is the most corrupt industry I know, fueled by greed, selfishness, entitlement, and big money. It is sickening.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Julia Emily wrote:"The Capo's stole Veronica and all the experts are saying how happy and well-adjusted she is. People everywhere are saying how she is lucky to have a two-parent adoptive family."

    The fact of the matter is that Veronica had a two-parent home, she had her natural father and a stepmother. Dusten was not going to be raising Ronnie alone, but with his loving wife. If you saw any of the pics of Robin Brown with Veronica or the picture of Robin after Veronica was stolen, you will see plain as day how very much Robin loved Veronica and how strongly she was attached to her. Veronica not only had her father and stepmother but loving bio-grandparents, a half-sister and other extended family.

    Who in their right mind, who had been raised in a good bio-family, would have preferred to be adopted? The only people who would say such a thing are people who are not adopted and don't have an inkling of the damage an unnecessary adoption can do to a child.

    And as for Ronnie seeming so happy and well-adjusted, well, of course, she does on the surface. She doesn't understand yet what happened to her and she is now wholly dependent on the Crapos. A child at her age will only know 'to go along to get along'.

    All these cases really prove is that possession IS nine tenths of the law, even when the so-called 'possession' is an actual human being. And money talks.

    I hope karma comes around, sooner rather than later, and bites these baby stealers in the a$$. I'm gonna throw a party when that happens.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is simply legalized kidnapping. The father never ok'd the adoption. No reputable adoption agency would have placed the child without explicit written consent from the father, but leave it to squirrely Utah and their messed up laws to skirt silly laws and give the baby to some more deserving couple (ie, married).

    This couple is sickening. They haven't even told the child she is adopted at the age of 6? Of course they haven't. Kidnappers generally try to pass themselves off as the bio parents, so it fits their MO.

    I'm feeling especially bitter about these Utah cases. As an adoptive mother, it really burns my toast to have adoption used as justification for kidnapping. Adoption, for all it's many (MANY) flaws, is not the same as kidnapping children, but this ruling equates it as such. There was no consent from the father, there were immediate legal attempts to stop the process once it was found out, there was no finalization... this was NOT adoption.

    Apparently, I can go and take a baby, and if I keep her for six years, I can claim we have bonded and I am the only mother she knows, so the bio parents have no right to her. Sarcasm, of course, as in that case, I would be charged with kidnapping and everyone would be appalled by my actions. The child would be immediately returned to her parents, the ones she had no memories of. With therapy and counseling, they would eventually work through it. BUT, if I go to Utah and do this with an adoption agency, suddenly, it's all good. Then, of course they couldn't return the baby to the bio father as she's bonded with me and it's in her best interests to stay with me.

    It's so messed up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tiffany wrote:"Apparently, I can go and take a baby, and if I keep her for six years, I can claim we have bonded and I am the only mother she knows, so the bio parents have no right to her."

    That's what all these cases are about; claiming squatter's rights to someone else's child.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As an AP, I have often been offended at adoptive parents being called kidnappers. However, in this case, the APs ARE kidnappers. I don't understand how something like this could even happen. It's very sad.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Robin says:

    "And as for Ronnie seeming so happy and well-adjusted, well, of course, she does on the surface. She doesn't understand yet what happened to her and she is now wholly dependent on the Crapos. A child at her age will only know 'to go along to get along'."

    How true! Exactly what I was saying regarding myself as a child. Of course I was happy and appeared well-adjusted. A child that young doesn't know any better, and certainly can't understand what is going on around them, beyond their own little world.

    And I had somehow forgotten about Ronnie having a stepmother. I knew she had a grandmother, as well as her father, but I had forgotten about her stepmother and sibling. To think she was handed over to strangers makes me sick to my stomach. We have not heard the end of this, I am sure.

    Tiffany writes:
    "This couple is sickening. They haven't even told the child she is adopted at the age of 6?"

    This piece of information about the most recent case really sickened me. The amount of lies told here boggles the mind. Why would any judge anywhere let these people keep this child? I know 6 years have gone by, and this is not easy, but to allow the child to remain with kidnappers who have proven than the child does NOT come first is just unbelievable. The bio-mother in this case and the AP's have proven their selfishness. This is all about them, certainly not about this little girl.

    Adoption is extremely messed up. And the lawyers, judges and other experts who all chime in regarding adoption cases are a waste of space. Obviously none of them are adopted, because they don't have a clue. But they're making a ton of money. Getting lots of publicity. Who cares where the child ends up? It's not about the child.

    Sick.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Someone asked when things will change. I so sympathize with that question. I've asked myself the same one more than a few times and I'm imagining two scenarios that would wake the public up to it's self-righteous idiocy over cases like this. They'll never happen, of course, for obvious reasons (and God help us all if they did) but here they are:

    #1. A married woman decides she doesn't want to be a mom and runs across State lines, hands her baby over to strangers in Utah to raise and Utah won't give the baby back. No matter how hard the Federal courts demand they do because Utah decides there must've been problems in the marriage that work against the baby's "best interests". Enter more deserving parents.

    #2. A law is passed that divorced parents must surrender their young children to the State for adoption based solely on the twin legal assumptions that a) single parents aren't capable of being parents in the first place and b.) that if you can't handle your marriage how can you handle raising kids?

    ***Of course there'd be a codicil that the above laws only apply to babies and toddlers. Older kids will be their own.

    Pardon the acid cynicism and complete lack of respect for a person's humanity, but I've been a first parent for a while now and I've learned with both.



    Anonymous in the North

    ReplyDelete
  10. One thing that puzzles me in this post and in the comments given that this is first mothers forum is the absence of comments regarding the first mom. She started this entire mess by lying and personally driving across state lines to personally give her baby to this couple when she knew the first dad wanted to raise the baby. Is she the baby stealer or kidnapper in this case? She was the one who took the baby away from the dad not the APS. Why didn't she want her baby's dad to raise the baby. Why did she initiate this situation for her baby? Does the first mom have the right to decide where her baby goes? Does the child have any independent rights or is she just to be passed between people? Why aren't you questioning the first mom's behavior? The APs would never have the baby if she did not lie and cross into Utah to give them her baby. Who is the so-called baby stealer in this case ?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tiffany - they did not go and take a baby! The first mom took her baby, lied about her true plans and intent, and knowing the dad wanted her, drove across state lines to give her baby to this couple.

    Who are you going to call names now?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anon's scenarios about government over reach are something we need to guard against. In upholding the rights of natural parents, judges have pointed out the dangers in the "best interests" analysis.

    They are on FMF's Favorite Adoption Quotes page under Family Preservation. http://www.firstmotherforum.com/p/favorite-adoption-quotes.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Anon at 6:44 am

    No question, the behavior of the first mother in this case--and all the Utah cases where the father was cheated out of his right to nurture his child-- is deplorable. The first mothers were helped, or in some manipulated, by a sleazy adoption agency and equally sleazy prospective adoptive parents.

    We don't know why the mothers acted in the way they did -- perhaps to spite the father. The records are clear in all the cases that the father would have made an excellent parent so the reason could not have been to benefit the child.

    When the adoptive parents go to the special place in hell, the first mom and the adoption agency staff should be there to great them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anon asked a number of questions about the first mom:

    Is she the baby stealer or kidnapper in this case?

    In my opinion, yes.

    She was the one who took the baby away from the dad not the APS. Why didn't she want her baby's dad to raise the baby. Why did she initiate this situation for her baby?

    That would be pure speculation as I have seen nothing indicating her reasons, personally. Maybe someone else has? There are a myriad of possible reasons. She might not have wanted the child to be around her at all, and if with the father, she might end up running into them in their town. She might have feared paying child support. She might have felt a two-parent home was best for her child. She might have done it for spite. Only she knows, but honestly, reasons only matter if the father was a potential danger, and in that case, she should have sought legal assistance.

    Does the first mom have the right to decide where her baby goes?

    Yes, as long as the father has been consulted as well. If the father wants to keep the child, then no, the mother doesn't have a right to still choose adoption. A child is involved at this point, and the child has rights, too.

    If it's a potentially bad situation with the father, then the mother should seek legal counsel. I do understand there may be times when the father is abusive, etc. I think these cases are probably few and far between and aren't the ones we are seeing in the news. In those cases, the mother really should seek help from a women's shelter or the police. I think in those cases, there are exceptions to the rule that fathers should always have rights, but I don't think the mother alone should be able to decide this.

    Does the child have any independent rights or is she just to be passed between people?

    Yes, children have a certain degree of rights in a general sense. In a legal sense, children have very few rights. Older children are consulted in cases of custody decisions, but judges do not always rule along those lines. Children are typically seen more as property of their parents. In the cases of adoption, children have pretty much no rights, and I say this as an adoptive parent.

    Why aren't you questioning the first mom's behavior?

    I suppose that as an adoptive parent, I am personally offended by their actions. The moms don't hit as close to home as me. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's why my focus is on the adoptive parents.

    I also wonder the state of mind of the mother and if the APs, as her family, really preyed on her in a compromising situation.

    The APs would never have the baby if she did not lie and cross into Utah to give them her baby. Who is the so-called baby stealer in this case?

    The APs. The mother is also culpable, but the APs are the ones who have legally fought for 6 years rather than make the right choice. They could have done right by the child, and they have blatantly and purposely chosen to be selfish. They are not parents, and they do not love her, and as an adoptive parent, they sicken me. A true parent would crawl through hell for their child. In their shoes, I would have given the child back to the father immediately, even if it crushed my heart and broke me. Because real love does what is right for the child, not what the parent wants.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anon: in my first post on this thread I said the bio-mother had lied, she ran away, she fully intended to deceive the child's father. The adoptive parents are members of her family. From what I am reading about this case, they took this baby knowing full well what the mother was doing. They, in my opinion, all worked together to get the child's father forced out of the picture.

    Any mother who would deceive her child's father like that is despicable. Any couple who would take the child, knowing what the situation was, and raise her for 6years without ever getting around to telling her she was adopted is just as bad if not worse.

    This whole thing is disgusting. The child should be with her father. There has to be a way to correct this. The child and her father are owed that much.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Tiffany - they did not go and take a baby! The first mom took her baby, lied about her true plans and intent, and knowing the dad wanted her, drove across state lines to give her baby to this couple.

    Who are you going to call names now?"

    First off, I'm not calling names. To take a child against the father's will IS kidnapping, and just because the courts decided otherwise doesn't change my personal opinion. But I did NOT call names.

    Second, I never said the mother wasn't culpable. Your comment, however, seems to imply the couple, who are related to the first mother, are "off the hook" because the mother is the one who took the baby for them. Based on everything I read, there was full knowledge by all three persons that the father had no agreed. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong in this as I certainly might be.

    In any event, the mother is to blame. The "adoptive" couple is to blame. My view as an adoptive parents makes me extremely sensitive to the couple, that's all. I never said the mother isn't also responsible, but the couple are the ones who are claiming attachment to the child, not the mother. They are wrong in my view, as a parent, because they are not making the best decision for the child, but for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a mother here in Utah. Let's be honest, when the mothers in this culture, the LDS culture, are told that it is best/best interest for the baby to have a married couple raise the baby. That the mothers themselves are not going to be enough to raise the baby, then how does a father stand a chance at raising the baby?

    This is what happened to me. I was 19 years old!!!!! The AP's had at least 10 years on me in age. I was told/ coerced by my parents and my religion(it was ENCOURAGEMENT)that my baby would have a better life with a married couple raising my son.
    I trusted that the adults in my life knew wth. I did not want to marry the father because I knew it would end up in divorce. While I was pregnant he was doing drugs, so that scared the living daylights out of me. So I was scared for my son. But when everyone around you says that your son "needs to be protected" from the drugs and that adoption is the best way to protect him and is UNSELFISH, what do you think a young, pregnant girl is going to start thinking??????? NOT ONE person said that I could have kept my child and I protect him. And if I did want to be his mother that was equal to selfishness.

    Besides that I was judging my son's father and not allowing him to change. My son's father now has another child and he is a great father.

    So where is the logic????????

    I was/am not on drugs, I was/am not harmful. Ok so I didn't have my college degree....yet. I wanted to be his mother and not one adult, besides the father of the baby told me that I could do it.

    The AP's were blinded or indifferent because they wanted a baby! But couldn't they have seen that I would've been fine? They didn't want to give me support because then they wouldn't have 'their forever family'.

    The father of my son wanted me to keep my son. He tried to fight and lost the court system because I was told to keep his name off the birth certificate, that it would be another road block for him to stop the adoption. It was SHAMEFUL!!!!!

    Judge me if you will. It is deplorable what I did!!!! I don't know if I will ever recover from it. My son's father has forgiven me. I don't know if my son ever will.

    Needless to say, I am now a VOICE for father's rights.

    Adoption should always be the last option. FAMILY PRESERVATION first and foremost. In fact, dare I say get rid of adoption. Go to guardianship so as not to erase the child's ancestry.

    I do hold a lot of blame and anger towards the adults in my life.....including the AP"S and this story shows so many reasons why the system needs to change.

    ReplyDelete
  18. BJane:

    We can all think of things that we did "wrong" when we gave up our children. Every first mother who writes here can. Me, Jane, Maryanne--all of us.

    But the pressure to conform (and pressure is pressure) is often so huge that it becomes nearly impossible to break out of that.

    The hope is that the next generation will learn from that, but then we read about recent relinquishments and feel hardly any progress has been made.

    But it does no good now to beat yourself up.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BTW, I am curious what religion the mother and her family is in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The child's natural mother was raised Mormon and wanted her child raised by a Mormon family in Utah.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Manzanares himself has said his ex-girldfriend's Mormon bishop put pressure on them to give up parental rights and place their daughter with a Mormon family.
    I don't like the LDS but I also don't like for the mother to be wished to hell because she has internalized her religion.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think it is really unfair that Manzanares did not get full custody of his daughter. It does appear that the swaying factor was time - the length of time the little girl had been with her illegally adoptive parents before the decision was reached. In essence, with these types of decisions, we are sanctioning kidnapping and encouraging PAPs to continue with the legal maneuvers so they can maximize their chances of keeping the child. I could see granting visitation to the adoptive parents, for the sake of the child, but Manzanares should have got sole custody.

    I am flabbergasted by how many PAPs, guardians, foster parents, etc. engage in court battles with natural parents/families, in a bid to hold on to someone else's child. It is atrocious! I agree with the decisions reached in the Anna Mae He and Sonya Hodgin cases. While it is sad that both these girls were 8-9 years old before they were reunited with their natural families, courts should not condone tactics aimed at stealing a child away from his/her natural family. Out of concern for the child's emotional well-being, I would say it might be good to allow contact with the family they are raised in for the first few years of their life, but absolutely the right thing to do is to rectify the wrongful termination of a natural parent's fundamental right to raise their child.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anon wrote:

    "Manzanares himself has said his ex-girlfriend's Mormon bishop put pressure on them to give up parental rights and place their daughter with a Mormon family.
    I don't like the LDS but I also don't like for the mother to be wished to hell because she has internalized her religion."

    So her religious beliefs led her to think it was okay to lie and cheat to strip Manzanares of his rights as a father? I know Mormons and I never heard that the Church taught lying and cheating was okay. Au contraire, I understand Mormons believe they have free agency and are accountable for everything they do.

    If the bishop told her to lie and cheat, he ought to join the crowd in hell.

    ReplyDelete
  24. And it was the adoptive parents that I would send to the special tier in hell--for continuing the fight to keep the child, and not tell her she was adopted until court ordered.

    The mother--did what she did. I don't like what she did, I am critical of it, but I don't condemn her. The child was being adopted by a family member, her brother, and that must have seemed right to her. But the child's father always had first moral and ethical rights that she ignored. I have a history of this in my own family, as regular readers know.

    ReplyDelete
  25. @ Jane

    Spoken like a True Believer.

    ReplyDelete
  26. " I understand Mormons believe they have free agency and are accountable for everything they do."

    As I understand it, what "free agency" here really means is that Mormons can choose between what the *church* defines as "good" (children born and raised in marriage) and what the church defines as "evil" (children born and raised outside of marriage) .
    This puts pregnant unmarried Mormon women such as Robert Manazares's ex in a double-bind situation.
    Unless the father is willing to marry her (and she him), and if he isn't already LDS, willing to convert to that belief, she's put in the position of having to choose between giving up her child or being consigned to Mormon hell, which is probably far more real and frightening to her than the hell you are wishing on her. Perhaps lying and cheating would seem minor by comparison.
    Although I know there are some unmarried Mormon women who have kept their children. It sounds as though a lot depends on how dogmatic their bishop is as well as how sympathetic their family.
    The church, the agencies and the people who want to get their hand on the child are a bunch of scarily misguided zealots who have thrown moral scruples and the law to the wind because they are so convinced of their own rightness.

    Thank goodness for attorney Wesley Hutchins and all the fathers, including Robert Manzanares, who are fighting for justice and their children. But the State of Utah is feeling the pressure and the pushback is underway:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/12/three-utah-bills-to-change-rights-biological-fathers-in-adoption-cases/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Although it is currently the LDS that is known for the out-of-wedlock taboo, it wasn't too long ago that it was Protestants and Catholics who consigned pregnant, unmarried women to hell. And that still happens in conservative Christian churches and circles. Children of unmarried mothers have been subjected to intense social ostracization for many, many years. This was one of the reasons adoption was encouraged during the BSE not just in the US, but in Australia, England, Ireland... it's a major reason it is encouraged in Korea- the shame of having a child outside a marriage.

    This is a powerful force for a young woman in crisis to overcome. I do think a small amount of compassion is in order, even if the mother is still ultimately responsible for her actions.

    Having grown up in a family where a teen pregnancy would have been considered a grave sin, I have a lot of sympathy for these women. I'm not excusing what they do, but frankly, I think so many first moms end up living with such regret and guilt that they don't need my pile on. Someday, this woman will have more than her fair share of guilt and regrets to manage, and the added complication of her brother and sister in law will probably only add to this burden.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous March 14, 2014

    "Unless the father is willing to marry her (and she him), and if he isn't already LDS, willing to convert to that belief, she's put in the position of having to choose between giving up her child or being consigned to Mormon hell, which is probably far more real and frightening to her than the hell you are wishing on her. "


    From what I learned from The LDS better known as Mormons, they don't believe in the fiery eternal tormenting hell of The Bible. They have a tier system, and in either of them a person can still end up being forgiven, and enter into paradise. So I doubt any fear of an LDS/Mormon "hell", has anything to do with her decision. I think there may have been many factors, such as her religious conditioning, spite towards the father for whatever reasons, and perhaps she wanted to *bless* her relatives with a child.

    What the mother and her relatives, and all the other corrupted people who supported them, did, in the corrupt court system, was and is wrong. That is fact, not just opinion.

    They stole a daughter from her father, she was coveted and held her hostage from him, they were alienated from each other, they have perverted her mind, and are now guilty of war, over treating her like property with non preferable shared rights, when the father would more than likely, and rightly so, prefer to just have his daughter given to him, and be left to raise her alone, as a single parent, which he became, the moment her mother rejected her, giving her away to her relatives.
    The new arrangement will only serve to further pervert the mind of this daughter, a child, unequipped to properly handle such insane injustice, and cause her further emotional harm, because eventually, she will wonder why she has another man known also as daddy, whom she will likely be made to feel forced, to share her life with.

    As a Christian, I believe in a literal, hell of eternal, fiery, torment, and believe it highly likely it is where the mother and her relatives, and all the other corrupt people involved, are headed, based on this injustice they have done.

    As a mother of a son, both of us dealt our own, similar form of cruel injustice, it adds to the disgust I feel, and concern over the well being of another child, surrounded by evil, selfish, corrupted people who have confused lust with love, because where love is self less, sacrificing, giving, to the point of death, to save another, lust is selfish, self serving, and takes, to satisfy self, and will do anything to accomplish that, including murder.

    Some people are more deserving of hell than others. The people who covet another person's child, steal another person's child, unjustly deny another person their child, hold another person's child hostage, tell lies, alienate the child and parent, poison the child's mind and heart against a parent, and otherwise do wrong in this regard, definitely deserve hell, in all its eternal fiery torment.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank Anon,
    You're right. The hell Mormons get for not having their children reared by a married couple in the church would be far worse than the hell for committing fraud against their child's father.

    "The Book of Mormon" has a clever song/skit about Mormon hell. It is indeed a terrible place.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I too live in Utah..there are so many stories in the media and community. Today's Salt Lake Tribune has a couple adoption stories one more promising than the other. I may be confusing adoption horror stories, but it seems to me that I read ir heard that Rob's daughter's birth was induced at a home birth . Does anyone know if this is true? Also children who are in crisis will appear to adjust to the family caring for them. When my cousin died her daughter was calling the foster family " mommy" and. "daddy" and spouting off about them being related to the " true prophet Joesph Smith" . Now at age 17 she will tell how wacked out they really were..and how she feels bad that she went along with them. She was only with these people three months.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Here's the facts according to the Utah Supreme Court:

    In the summer of 2007, Manzanares and Carie Terry conceived a child in Colorado where both resided. The expected due date was late March, 2008. Soon after the child was conceived, Terry terminated her relationship with Manzanares. Despite the split, he attempted to maintain contacted with Terry by email and provided some support. Terry insisted she wanted to place the child for adoption and began referring to Manzanares as the “chromosone donor.” Manzanares opposed the adoption, repeatedly telling her that he wanted to raise the child and would do so alone if necessary.

    In January, 2008, Terry emailed Manzanares that she was going to Utah to visit her sick father, but would return to continue discussions regarding adoption. In reality she visited Utah to make preparations for a return in late March to deliver the child. Five days later, Manzanares filed a paternity action in Colorado seeking to stop any adoption proceedings. He feared that Terry planned to surrender the baby for adoption in Utah. She came from a Mormon family and he believed she wanted the baby raised in Utah with a Mormon family. Terry denied she was planning to put the baby up for adoption in Utah. The Colorado court set a hearing date of February 20.

    Terry gave birth prematurely in Utah on February 17, 2008. On February 19, her brother and sister-in-law, the Byingtons, filed a petition to adopt the baby. Terry called the Colorado court, asking for it to postpone the hearing because she was still in Utah visiting her sick father. She did not tell the court that she had given birth. On February 20, Terry gave her consent to the adoption in a Utah court without telling the judge about the Colorado action.

    Terry returned to Colorado and Manzanares became aware that she was no longer pregnant. Manzanares then called the Byingtons who did not tell him about the adoption petition. Meanwhile the Colorado court granted Manzanares’ petition for paternity and ordered that his name be put on the child’s birth certificate.

    The Utah Supreme Court denied the adoption because of fraud. The case then went to Colorado and as Lorraine, wrote, the court approved the adoption while giving Manzanares visitation.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "I do think a small amount of compassion is in order, even if the mother is still ultimately responsible for her actions."
    "This is a powerful force for a young woman in crisis to overcome."

    THANK you for "getting " it, Tiffany. That is exactly what I was trying to say.

    ------------------------

    Utah lawmakers make move to stop adoption ‘forum shopping’
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57682530-78/adoption-utah-birth-child.html.csp

    ReplyDelete
  33. what would you do if your sister came to you and asked you to adopt her child because she did not want her ex boyfriend to raise the baby.

    what would you really do?

    does a birth mom have a right to decide where her child goes if she decides to give the baby up?

    I will join all of the big assumption makers here and assume the birth mom is in contact with her family and if the little girl did not know she was adopted, it was probably at the birth mom's wishes. I am sure she has been involved in this from day one. it is her sibling who she gave the baby to, going to great extremes.

    we don't even know if her family knew she was lying to the Colorado court; if she was willing to lie to the court. to her ex, not a great leap that she'd lie to some others.

    this is a family tragedy all around as it played out in the media, but hopefully the little girl is being raised by a loving set of parents (her bio relatives to boot) and will now build a relationship with her biological father and will go on to have a life filled with people who love her.

    someday will the first mom be posting here?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Robert Manzanares has said that Terry started changing after a Mormon bishop told her she wouldn’t reach the highest level of heaven unless she adopted her child to a Mormon family.
    If one believes that - and I do - it's hardly a "big assumption" to recognize that fear and shaming inducing religious pressure (with redemption offered as a reward for submission to church authority) and dogma played a large part in persuading Terry to break off with Manzanares and surrender their daughter for adoption.

    https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/09/guidance-for-unwed-parents?lang=eng&country=ca

    https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies/21.4#214

    Plus, as Torquemada said to the thumbscrew operator, 'You gotta be careful to distinguish between pressure and force.' Apply enough pressure and it becomes force. Terry comes from an LDS family. There is no way of assessing familial pressure on an unmarried pregnant woman from a very religious family, but there are ways to exploit it. That's where the agencies come in.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous, based on what I read, that's not really how it played out. The brother and sister in law were well aware of the situation with the father wanting to raise the child from the beginning. Furthermore, they knew once the adoption proceedings started and hit a snag and then fought FOR 6 YEARS. It was wholly and completely due to their legal wrangling that the judge determined in their favor as the adoption was never finalized, but the judge felt they had had the child so long that it was best she stay with them. I strongly disagree with rewarding kidnappers, and I believe that given time and support, the child could have been transitioned to her father.

    I have a lot of respect for different religious beliefs up to the point that they begin to infringe on the rights of others, in this case, a father and daughter's rights to be together as the family that they are. I can understand that things might have been difficult for the mother; we cannot know her exact reasons for not wanting the father to raise the child. But no, I do not believe that was her call to make. We are not talking about allegations of abuse or a criminal record- she simply didn't want him to raise the baby. That leads me to assume it was indeed related to beliefs within the LDS faith regarding single parent households or being raised outside the faith.

    It seems everyone is forgetting there is a child involved, a child who will one day be an adult capable of understanding everything that happened. And when that time comes, you could not pay me any amount of money to be standing in her "adoptive parents" shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The LDS culture believes and teaches that a child's birth right is to be raised in a home with two married people that can offer a temple blessings to the child and to be sealed for eternity.

    I honestly think the LDS culture doesn't understand how destructive adoption is for the child. I KNOW they don't.

    Most LDS mothers that I know who relinquished would have been and are now wonderful mothers.

    For me, it was never about ME going to hell but about me believing what I was told, in that my son will be better with two parents than with me....he will have the temple blessings. It was my son's birth right to have these things.

    Coercion is very real.....and subtle.

    Funny, my sons father told me recently in regards to the adoption, "I thought you were smarter." I could only reply, "apparently not."

    ReplyDelete

We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish or not. Anonymous comments from the same individual are more likely to be NOT POSTED. Select the NAME/URL selection, add a name. You do not need a URL. Fine to use a nom de plume.

COMMENTS AT POSTS OVER 30 DAYS OLD LESS LIKELY TO BE PUBLISHED.

We aim to be timely but we do have other lives.

For those coming here from Networked Blogs on Facebook, if it does not allow you to make a comment, click the "x" on the gray "Networked Blogs" tool bar to exit out of that frame and it should then let you comment.

We are unlikely to post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.