' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Utah judge voids adoption, orders girl returned to her father

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Utah judge voids adoption, orders girl returned to her father

Utah keeps calling us back--this time with a SECOND good decision where a father is fighting for the right to raise his own daughter. One of our readers noted that a judge in the notoriously conservative 4th district (think BYU) overturned an illegal adoption and is giving the adoptive family 60 days to return the child to her biological father. The agency, Adoption Center of Choice, broke Utah's own law requiring the consent and relinquishment of the legal father, Terry Achane, since he and the girl's mother were married at the time. In every state, married fathers have the right to raise their own children.

The Provo judge, while noting the birth mother had deceived her husband, the adoption agency and the prospective parents, has given the adoptive couple 60 days to give the child back. According to Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake Tribune:

"In a 48-page ruling, Judge Darold McDade said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane once he learned what had happened to his baby is 'utterly indefensible.'
"Salt Lake City attorneys Mark and Scott Wiser, the father/son team that represented Achane, used even stronger language for what occurred. 'This is a case of human trafficking,' said Mark Wiser. "Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child."
Jared and Kristi Frei, the adoptive parents, have vowed to fight the return of the girl. At their blog, they describe the arrival of Achane’s daughter in their lives "a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God," and that they wanted to provide their adopted son, James, who is African-American, with "with a close, similar sibling." They have five other children, at least two who are adopted, according to blog.

The decision of the Provo judge comes on the heels of Utah's highest court determining in late November that a glitch in the Utah system for letting unmarried fathers register their intentions unfairly prevented Ramsey Shaud, 26, of Florida from stopping the adoption of his daughter in 2010. By a split decision (3-2), the lower court has been ordered to reconsider his petition.

In the current case, the biological parents, Tira Bland and Achane, were living in Texas when the child was conceived. Their marriage was troubled, and they had gone for counseling when Achane, who is in the Army, accepted a job as a drill instructor at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Although they had made plans for his wife and her other child to move to South Carolina, Bland said she wanted to stay in Texas to give birth, where she has family. Achane had arranged for a leave to return to Texas when the baby was born. Bland had mentioned adoption to Achane, but he said he was against it. He sent her money for utility bills and mortgage payments for their Texas home, but by mid-February, 2011, only weeks after he left for South Carolina, he was unable to reach her. He asked someone from his family to go by their home and find out what was going on. She was gone. 

She was in Utah. Two days after the birth on March 1, Bland relinquished parental rights and the infant was placed with the Freis. According to the ruling, Bland had claimed her husband had abandoned her and was not interested in raising the child. The Freis took the baby home, even though, the agency claims that they were told that the father did not know his daughter had been placed for adoption in Utah and it was likely he would contest the placement if he found out. The Freis, the judge noted in his ruling, "acknowledged this risk but decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway." Here is an agency outright admitting that they did not have the permission of legal father of the permission to have his daughter be adopted, yet they placed the child with a couple who wanted six, not five, children.

In June 2011, Bland for the first time informed her husband she had given birth in Utah and placed the child through another of Utah's grab-and-go agencies, the Adoption Center of Choice. "I was like, ‘Utah? Where is Utah?’ I’d never been to Utah, she’s never been to Utah," Achane said. "Adoption? Who does that? ... I believe she felt guilty at that point because she just made a call out of the blue."

But as is almost always the case is these stories, the adoptive parents are fighting to keep the child, whom they have named Leah. "We have not lost our conviction that we are in the right!!!!!!" Kristi Frei wrote at the blog after McDade’s Nov. 20 ruling dismissed their adoption petition. "We have only ever wanted to do right by Leah, and have always felt we have been acting in her best interest to keep her with our family and raise her as our own. Our hearts have demanded it — there has never been any question to us that she is OURS!!!"  Obviously, ownership is all in the minds of these despicable people. They took the child knowing that there might be a legal challenge, but felt in the pro-adoption culture that exists in the United States of America, and most especially Utah, that the law there would side with them. This is another example of white, wealthier people believing that it is their god-given right to take another man's child because they have more advantages. They would keep the baby, the father be damned. With this mindset, one could simply go to the local mall and pick out babies whose parents are less well-dressed, and bring them home.

Achane, who is ready for a future with his daughter, implored the family to drop new legal action. “If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter,” Achane told The Salt Lake City Tribune. “There are precious moments I can’t get back. ... There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case," he said. "I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter,” whom he calls Teleah. He has been able to see her a couple of times.

Dead-beat dads used to make news, but these days it is fathers who want to raise their daughters that we read about, as in the Ramsey Shaud case we wrote about a few days ago. One must blame the pro-adoption bent in today's culture for these adoptions that are so questionable, but appear to be perceived by some mothers as the "right" thing to do. These stories of unnecessary separation break my heart.

George Will and all those conservatives who write about irresponsible black fathers blame them for black poverty. Yet here is an African American man who is serving his country and wants to raise his kid, and, until a judge stepped in, was about to be screwed by the adoption-centric machinery in a state where the rule of the land often reflects and codifies into secular law Mormon policy. The actions of both the people who work at the agency, their attorney Larry Jenkins, and Kristi and Jared Frei themselves, can only be called deplorable.

At their blog, the righteous, God-fearing Freis (why do so many people in the wrong call on God?) have already raised more than $20,000 to help cover their legal fees. At their blog, the Freis  have left an address where you can email them and we encourage you to do so: freiadoption@gmail.com. --lorraine
To support Terry Achane, contact his lawyers to donate--maybe this is your holiday charitable giving.

Law Offices of Wiser and Wiser
2825 E Cottonwood Pkwy
Salt Lake City, UT 84121

To Be A Single Father  From the author: This book explores many of the problems, adventures, lessons, obstacles, life-learning processes, life-healing processes, and lifelong achievements and successes of raising a child as a single parent from a male's point of view. It also explores some of the major challenges and heartwarming experiences of raising a child in life today, only in my case I raised my child as a only parent due to my wife passing from breast cancer. It also embraces the successes of giving your children knowledge, support, and an undeniable belief in themselves that will prepare them to have strong self-esteem. This strong self -esteem will allow them to succeed over all life's obstacles and achieve the success they want to, no matter how high their aspirations may be. 

The author, Charles Jones, marched in one of Dr. Martin L. King's freedom marches for civil rights, and became one of the first and youngest African American television technicians in South Carolina. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and holds two college degrees. 


  1. Email I sent the Freis:
    Hello! I am an adoptee and I read your story and the news articles with interest. If you truly have Leah's best interest at heart, you will cease fighting her father and return his child to him.

    The judge stated plainly that you knew the risks when you entered the adoption; the mother was married and the agency did not have the father's consent. He didn't even know that she had left her home and had gone to Utah to deliver her baby.(He had proof of utility bill payment and mortgage payments- how is that abandoning her?)

    Utah is notorious in adoption circles as being against father's rights(ridiculous limitations on notice of paternity that many adoption agencies use to encourage birth moms to come to Utah to make a contested adoption from another state legal. It appears that the tide is turning.
    Family preservation should always be first choice for the best interest of a child. In this country alone- adoption is a money making industry- babies are commodities and agencies prey on both prospective adoptive families and birth families. The laws must change. Already many countries are acknowledging their fault in stealing babies from their mothers; in our country it continues through coercion and pitting birth mom's against birth dad rights. The fact that you can't see beyond your own heart strings makes it clear that the Judge made the right ruling.

    I pray that you do the right thing and cease all legal action- its in the best interest of Leah.

  2. Can you help contact Terry Achane? Can we take up a collection for him for his legal expenses? The adopters are busy begging for $$$, surely one of our brave soldiers deserves some justice!

  3. I'm unaware at this point how to contact him. If anybody knows, please leave it here.

  4. The adoption industry is out of control. Thank goodness the court made the right decision here. As for the Freis: How would they like it if this happens to one of their sons one day?

  5. I'm glad the child was returned to her father, however it's not just the adoption agency's fault. It's the MOTHER'S fault as well.

  6. Hi - Mr. Achane's's attorney Mark Wiser left this comment on the article on the Salt Lake Tribune for anyone interested in donating.

    MarkWiser27 minutes ago: If you contact his attorney they will accept donations 801-990-1230.  They are not soliciting them as the adoptive parents did but will need any assistance to fight off their appeal.

  7. I am surprised there needed to be a trial. This case could have been decided by summary judgement. Because the biological father was married to the bio mother, he is the legal father and his consent is indisputably required along with the mothers for the adoption to proceed. Since no one was claiming that he consented, there should be no trial needed to determine either the facts or the best interests of the child.

  8. My email to the greedy "xians":

    I am a first mother - what you call a birthmother. I honestly feel for your inability to overpopulate the earth with yet another infant. After all it is important to build a family. However, I have to wonder how you can claim this little girl. A child that is clearly and without a doubt the child of a loving father that wants her. Your quest to keep this one child that is truly not your property, and the money you are pouring into it, well, it seems to me that if God had wanted you to have her, her father would have never found out what happened and the courts would have never overturned it. If you truly want to grow your family, please, attempt to love your current children (those not the child of a parent that wants them) and know that there is another child out there that needs you and has no one else.

    Please, stop begging for money and start being the Christians you claim you are.....

    Thank you...

  9. I suggest contacting each of the companies involved with fund-raising efforts for the potential adoptive family as well. Those companies and individual proprietors need to know that what they're doing is wrong, immoral, and unethical. I suggest we draw attention to them as well as the potential adoptive family.

  10. People can contact Terry Achanes lawyer to donate.

    Law Offices of Wiser and Wiser
    2825 E Cottonwood Pkwy
    Salt Lake City, UT 84121

  11. Oh fer pete's sakes, it's the Evan Scott crap all over again. What selfish Paps--they will lose, but drag it out to the detriment of Leah's emotional well-being.

    Sometimes I really hate people.

  12. Thanks Kendra, I will put the address is the post proper.


  13. I called and made a donation this morning. It seems like a small law office. Talked to the attorney directly and he sounded like a nice guy, seemed compassionate and concerned and was grateful.

    I am going to donate every month, give as I can.

    Taleah deserves her daddy! Thanks for all you do.

  14. Have any of you taken a look at the video in the sidebar? It's a snapshot of life in the Fifites when a girl got pregnant outside of marriage.
    It is funny, but the attitudes are so horribly true to life.

  15. How do i message the freis? Id like to send this to them but dont know how! who on earth would donate to them! it is so messed up what they are doing!! to the freis!: Please give that father Back his child. Put yourself in his shoes! Imagine being able to finally get pregnant and then hypothetically you are in a coma & while you are youre husband gives your baby away for adoption!! Then you wake up from coma & are powerless to get your child back! How would you feel! How could you be so heartless especially when you have 5 other kids! Adopt another baby & get over it, you have no right & I can't believe anyone would actually do what you have done its baffling. You knew you were stealing that child & you did it anyway and I don't think a father should lose his child bc he was WORKING to provide for his family! You know darn well he was stationed away & are acting like he's at fault for not being there! He was not able to be!! He'd of been AWOL! He's Risking his own life to protect even you & your family & this is the thanks he gets! Give him his baby back. You should have been gracious & done so on your own WITHOUT the court, you may have even been able to strike a deal like be the god parents or something. I saw your comment you wanted a sibling for the other adoptive baby? Seriously you sound so racist like that, it's crazy. I too can not have children bc or endometriosis so I know the pain, atleast you were blessed with some tho, I have none & never will. Could you imagine someone taking away one of your own children? Bc that is what you are doing to this man you are causing him the same pain you yourself would feel. Please do the right thing bc many fathers wouldn't care & you want to take from one who does! There are plenty of babies needing adoption please find one who you don't need to steal

  16. Lori, the PAPs are not Christians, they are Mormons.

  17. lynette,

    Here's the Freis' email address from their website freiadoption@gmail.com.

    Check out their website; it will make you gag. http://frei-adoption.com/Frei/Leah.html

  18. The Freis address is also listed at the end of the blog, in the story proper, and you can link to it directly from there.

  19. Brooke Adams has a follow-up article on the story that really doesn't pull any punches.

    Bet the agency isn't happy...


  20. the birth father,Terry Achane, attorneys can be reached at: http://wiserandwiser.com/contact.shtml
    and emailed at: mark.wiser@wiserandwiser.com

  21. Anon 7:09 Terry Achane is NOT a "birth" father. He is THE FATHER. Period. He has never terminated his parental rights and therefore has never earned the dubious qualifier of "birth" anything.

  22. Anonymous,
    Mormons ARE Christians that's why the name of their church is the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. You can talk about this family not acting like true Christians and their horrid behavior without being bringing up bigoted falsehoods against their religion.

  23. Lisa, the Mormons may call themselves Christians but that doesn't mean that they are. They believe and practice many things that "true" christians would find heretical (e.g multiple gods, the planet Kolob, baptizing dead people). Since you brought up bigotry, it should also be noted that African Americans males were not allowed to hold the "priesthood" until 1978.

    Also while there are plenty of "true" Christians who have behaved as reprehensibly as the couple in question, there is a reason this case was heard in Utah. The Mormon run state of Utah has a history of denying birth fathers their rights and has become a popular place for women who both do not wish to raise their child but also wish to deny the father of their children his right to do so.

    For the record I am neither Christian or Mormon. I do not follow any religion.

  24. In the future, let us not discuss aspects of any religion other than how it relates to adoption. Thank you.

  25. I know this post is from a couple of months ago, however I just wanted to note for anyone following this story that there is a Facebook page to stay informed....'Support Terry Achane' Definitely worth checking out :)

  26. I know this is older, but thank goodness that a REAL MAN has stepped up for HIS child. Personally, I think the Frei's are selfish for wanting to keep Leah from her father, and the mother should be ashamed of herself as well!

  27. This is the part of the story that makes me absolutely crazy:

    "When Achane contacted the adoption agency that had facilitated the baby's placement with the couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, he was stonewalled, denied information and ignored when he told them he had not consented to the adoption, according to his lawyer."

    So much for the holier-than-thou NON FRIGGEN PROFIT ADOPTION AGENCIES. There are a lot of agencies out only for babies, screw the rest, they make their money with transactions of flesh, and a great many of them are in the state of Utah.



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