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December 7th, 2012
11:17 PM ET

'She just made the decision not to let me be a father'

The father of a baby girl who is nearly 2 years old now, and did not even know she existed until last year is battling her adoptive parents for custody.

Army Staff Sergeant Terry Achane's wife put her up for adoption while he was away on duty and did not tell him about it until six months after he returned home.

A Utah judge has ruled the adoptive parents must hand the child over to him within 60 days. But the couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, is filing an appeal, hoping to keep their daughter.

Randi Kaye reports.

Watch an AC360 interview with Terry Achane

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Filed under: Adoption
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Jilian

    Hmm...the headline reads 'She just made the decision not to let me be a father'....I understand in this instance a child being put up for adoption without the knowledge or consent of the biological father is the issue at hand. If this is getting recognition as a problem, shouldn't also an instance where a man wants to be a father to his biological unborn child whose mother plans to abort it? I agree with many who have commented that it is time to give men equal parenting rights with women.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  2. danbrew

    This is astounding. Had a man given a child up for adoption, claiming the mother was deceased or had abandoned the family, and the woman later shows up? Everybody on the planet would be clamoring for the mother to be reunited with her child. The adoptive parents sound like real gems – "let's keep her – she's mine!", "think of the child", "we're the only parents she's ever known", etc., etc. Yeah, because you effectively participating in child trafficking and kidnapping. The biological father has all the rights – God given and otherwise – to his daughter. The adoptive parents none.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  3. Mahogani

    The child should be with her biological father END OF STORY. There are so many children who have fathers who don't want to be there for them....and this man isn't allowed to because his wife made a choice for the both of them?

    2 years is NOTHING compared to the LIFETIME she deserves with a biological parent who WANTS her. '
    I don't even understand why there's an argument. These adoptive parents need to have a seat and find a child where BOTH parents have signed over their rights.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  4. Michele

    PLEASE! Give this child back to her father, at this point everyone involved has committed some type of criminal act. A lot of comments that people have made are just mind blowing it’s okay for this man to go fight for our country but it's not okay for him to fight to get his daughter back. Hell, I'm confused! These people adopted his daughter illegally and are trying their best to make this seem right she was 6 months when he contact the adoption agency and told them he wanted her return. If they would have returned her then she would not have bonding issue. And one thing that is always true you will forever have a bond with you “TRUE” parent/parents because you are a part of them DNA/Genes/Blood Type.

    December 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  5. Griselda

    The father has done nothing wrong he is fighting for what is baby..the mother was very selfish for choosing to set her daughter up for adoption and not telling her husband..The child is still small and I doubt that she will have any long term psychological effects from this..she probably will not even remember that this happened once she is grown..it is sad for the adoptive parents but the child belongs with her dad..now for a person to say that the child belongs in a 2 parent household is just wrong..because there is no guarantee that the couple will stay together forever..things do happen..so they should stop wasting time and return her to her Dad immediately..

    December 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  6. Mei

    It sounds like the couple knew about the dad a year ago. A year ago would have made a huge difference for that baby. A child at 1 years old is attached but can easily become bonded to the parent if given back. At two years old, that makes it a lot harder for everyone involved. It would have been better if the baby girl was given to her father at 1 years old. The longer it drags out, the worst for the baby and the adoptive parents. But the father is her real parent and if he wants to be a dad-taking care of her, he should have all the legal right to get her back.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  7. STEPHANIE

    This should not even be going to court, thisis a clear case if the facts stated are true.The biological mother should get into the most trouble for taking a child away that doesn't just belong to her..takes two..and a child is not a pon..shame on her...he wasnt there oh yea thats right he was fighting for america....really!

    December 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  8. Bruce

    As the only father of my non-biological son, I am surprised at the blame being directed at the adoptive couple. In my case, we tried every available legal avenue to determine the name and location of the birth father, prior to a judge finalizing the adoption. This soldier should be thanked for his service...as should all service men and women; however, time has passed and he needs to think of what is best for "his" child. Maybe, it is best if he be a part of her life rather than breaking the bond and imprinting of two years. All I am saying is that he needs to think of her needs before any others.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Mei

      I disagree. The father did not know about the adoption and has every right to try to get back his own child. Yes, it is sad for the adoptive parents but it is extremely selfish of them to withhold the baby from their biological father if that father truly wants to be her parent. Even if the adoptive parents are the best in the world, that baby girl will grow up to want to know her biological parents. And here is her father, wanting to be a part of her life now–when she is little. That should be commended and the father's biological connection not be broken.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Lucas Shaffer

      Even if he wasn't in the Military and didn't find out till later that he had a kid he gets rights to it now matter what. I really feel sorry for the adoptive parents but it is his child.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Jennifer

      The father did not know this child existed. He never had a chance to prove that he can provide this child a good home. There are far too many parents out there who do not take responsibility for their children and this father does. It's rare and he should be given every opportunity to have custody of his child. Yes, this family has had this child for 2 years, but if he gaines custody of her now, he has the opportunity to raise her without her evening knowing what happened. The only thing she will remember when she gets older is her biological father. Children don't begin to maintain long term memory until about the age of 4. She won't ever remember the ordeal. Why should he be denied his rights as a father because of the massive mistake of the mother? The only reason he should not have custody is if a judge determines he would be an unfit father, otherwise he and his daughter both deserve the chance to grow together.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Kate

      Children are not chattel. They belong with their birth parents if the parents want them. And, that's what this is about. The adoptive parents knew what was brewing and chose to fight, postponing the child's rightful reunion with the parent, and their own pain. They have other children and are extremely selfish.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Sueb

      This couple and the biological mother in effect kidnapped this child. They knew the father would not consent to the adoption, the adoption agency knew the father wouldn't consent; as soon as he found out about the child the father did everything he could to find the child–he was stone-walled by the agency. People need to go to jail here and this father should get his little girl. You don't get to callously break the law and then reap the rewards as this couple wants to do.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Meagan

      I completely understand what you're saying. However I worked in social services specifically adoptions and something strikes me as odd in this case. You have to notify the birth father and/or mother that the child is being placed for adoption, i.e. the news papers. last known address, etc. I'm wondering if the mother acted as if she didn't know who the bio father was and indicated on the documents. Which very well could be the case. I find it odd that none of the wife's family members inquired about the baby or let her husband even know she was pregnant. There are lot of missing questions and answers in this one here. I understand the place of the adoptive parents and I understand the place of the bio father. Legally he has right to that child. I'm praying that this situation doesn't turn ugly and that they can all be apart of the child's life no matter who has custody. Is there a such thing as too much love for a child?

      December 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  9. Roxanne

    This just strikes a nerve. I am also adopted and my biological mother did not tell my biological father that she was pregnant. He was also in the military (eerie, isn't it). The only difference is that they were not married at the time. Now, as an adult, I cannot find out who he was (or even she) because at the time of the adoption (in CA) all the records were sealed and could not be opened even after I turned 18 (without the consent of the biological parents). It saddens me that he does not know he had a child. I do not think it was my biological mother's decision to not tell him. So, this whole story strikes a cord. I love my adoptive parents and they are my parents in every way. However, if I ever learned that they had remotely thwarted my biological father, I would have some serious issues with it. I also feel that it was not right for the agency (it was government) to not investigate and obtain the consent of the father (if they were able to do so – which they were). I'm all for women's rights but this seems to go too far.

    December 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Damon Michaels

      I agree with you fully Roxanne. This is totally unfair for someone to have a child and not be told about that child before they are given up for adoption. What about the child and how they will feel in later years about this whole situation. The most important thing is how will this child feel. It's not about how the adoptive parents will feel. I'm sorry, but they didn't have any biological input in this whole matter. Imagine how the birth father feels about not knowing his own child. I have a daughter and I would rather die than not to know my little angel.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Mei

      I agree with you Roxanne. The father should have the rights to KNOW that he has a child. The same should be true regarding abortion. If a woman wants to abort, the father needs to have a legal right to know about the baby. It is extremely selfish and wrong to withhold that information from the father. It takes both the mom and dad to produce a baby–and both should have rights in that regard.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. Roxanne

    I don't understand what "fundamental" errors the court could have made that warrant an appeal. I think the adoptive parents are being extremely selfish. Its not their decision to decide what's in the best interest of the child. In fact, I also agree that they are "legal strangers" and have no say whatsoever. The biological mother is being words. It was not her decision to make and she made it! How do the adoptive parents think their daughter would feel years from now, knowing that her biological dad had tried to fight for her, tried to see her and was thwarted??? Sure, maybe there's more to the story but the basics are clear.

    And this agency should definitely be investigated. Its highly suspect that they could not track down a government employee. They took the word of a disgruntled wife without any further actions. And, once the biological father did contact them, he was not helped and dismissed. I hope there is a thorough investigation on this "agency".

    December 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Mei

      I agree with you-the adoptive parents are "legal strangers" and the father should be able to raise his daughter. Most men don't want to take care of their children these days-so if this man wants to be a proper father–then he should have every legal right to do so. Shame on those trying to separate this baby girl from her father.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Cindy

      I think the father is being selfish because this child appears to have been placed in a loving home. So in order to heal his own heart he has to rip apart the hearts of these adoptive parents and take a child away from the parents it has known. It would kill me to know I had a child out there, but I would hope I had the right kind of character to let that child be. The fact he cannot makes me wonder if the birth mother was not VERY RIGHT in not allowing this selfish man to be a father!!!!

      December 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  11. Roxanne

    What happened so that an adoption agency could place a child without the father's consent? I really hope this went AGAINST protocol because its not right and should not be the norm. If I were the father, I would be suing the agency. Its sad all around because the adoptive parents have now bonded with the child. Yet, legally and morally the child belongs with the non-consenting biological father. But, really? What happened with the adoption agency to create such a mess??? Can someone explain if this could be a legal adoption?

    December 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Christy M.

      Um... she checked "Father Unknown". Simple. What is an agency suppose to do?

      December 18, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Cindy

      Morally a real man would allow this child to stay with the parents she knows.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  12. Becky

    As someone who was adopted at 18 mos I have to say I understand the father's viewpoint, but it is not in the best interest of the child to remove her from the parents she has known all her life. I was with my natural mother until I was adopted, and I have spent my entire life wondering what is wrong with me, why I don't trust people, why I don't make close connections.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Sueb

      Your case may not be the universal. This man has a right to his child. I'm sorry you feel a disconnect; but, perhaps it's the way it was handled. Hopefully this child will bond with her father; but, keeping them apart illegally is not the answer.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Michele

      Becky,

      The reason you have such a disconnect is because you have a bond with your biological mother. This child will have a bond also because this is her biological father, when she looks in his eyes the bond is there and will always be there. It's important that she be reunited with her father so that she can make that connnection. My grandmother is adopted and she was able to locate her real mother and although her adoptive mother was a great mother, she has a stronger bond with her real mother. I aksed her why, she explained that when she looks at her real mother she knows why she has brown eyes, and why she has curly hair. She able to see her true self.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  13. bobby

    this is so sad i think that the Freis should give the baby back. sorry Freis but its just the right thing to do. i no its hard but maybe you can visit her from time to time. its just a really nice thing to do and will make the father really happy.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Joyce

      " its just a really nice thing to do and will make the father really happy."

      A "really nice thing to do" is return the puppy you found to it's rightful owner. But a child is not a puppy, and the adoptive parents are the only parents the child has known. And there are two parents. Who is to say whether the child would be better off with the father who's wife gave the baby up. Seriously, it might 'make the father really happy', but a decision like this should involve more than the court. The father should spend time with the child, and see how they bond. the father should have a plan around how to take care of the child. The article doesn't even mention if the wife is still around, but if she is, could this really be a good situation – where mom gave up the baby rather than tell dad the truth.

      Think a little more deeply about this next time you say " its just a really nice thing to do and will make the father really happy."

      December 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  14. Susan Kelly

    A child is not a possession to be given away without the knowledge of both biological parents. This biological mother is only 1/2 of this babies genetics/parental desire, so the father clearly should get custody. My heart breaks for the adoptive parents, but this is a lesson to adoptive parents that if both parents do not sign the necessary paperwork with legal representation than prepare for the possibility of losing custody. The desire to adopt does not relinquish the biological parent's rights to have a voice in the adoption process. Dot i's and cross t's or the future could present so much anguish for the adoptive children. Bless these adoptive and biological parents, and do what's best for this child.

    December 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  15. Jeff

    Let's put blame where it should be, and that is on the courts. No one even bothered to try and track down the father before the adoption began, let alone tell him he was a father. That is why children are assigned law guardians. How dare anyone say that he shouldnt have a connection to his child. I would say to you to try it yourself, see how you would feel. There should be a gradual connection back to dad, for the mindset of the child, but she should be given back. Dad is a hero in my book. Too many fathers today dont even get the chance he is fighting for.

    December 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  16. Abe

    This bio mother may have been suffering from post-partum depression and gave up the baby for adoption. Mental Illness is rising in this country exponentially.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  17. Kelly

    It's a terribly sad situation. One none of these people would have been in if the mother hadn't put them in it, AND if the adoptive parents hadn't gone ahead w/an adoption they KNEW wasn't right since they KNEW the married father hadn't agreed to it. My question is this... if the situation was one where a father had taken his child from it's mother, and put her up for adoption against the mothers wishes and the mother was the one fighting to get her baby back from this illegal adoption, would so many people still be siding w/ the adoptive parents?

    December 16, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  18. jane

    If they get to keep the girl then anyone could just take a child and argue years later that theyare the only parents it knows. The adoption is not even legal if he didn't consent! Kids are resiliant. She'll be fine if he's a good Dad.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  19. Angela

    This is so unfair to the adoptive parents. They obviously love and cherish the child and it uproot her from that environment is just wrong.

    December 15, 2012 at 4:31 am |
  20. Ellen

    I don't understand why the adoptive parents are being given 60 days before they have to turn the child over to her father. If they had given her back when they were first notified that the father had made contact regarding his child, this would have been over long ago, and everyone would have been less attached. The adoptive parents have done wrong to this child that they say they love, by keeping her from her father. Just because you have managed to get away with something for almost two years, it does not make it right. If I were the father, I would not allow them to have any contact with my daughter, given all the hardship they have caused by refusing to honor the parent-child relationship of this man with his daughter. The Utah couple are the villans in this story, from the point that they were notified that the father had contacted the agency and wanted his daughter returned to him.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Karen

      I agree with you Ellen. The adoptive parents know they can't win this, why put the child through it. I feel very sad for the adoptive parents. There is nothing indicating they new the fathers rights were being denied when the first adopted the child. It sounds like they acted in good faith at the beginning. So that's got to be horrible for them to now loss this child. But the child's father deserves his child. They can't win this fight so why put the child and the father through this?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • Che

        I don't know why the Freis got themselves in this mess. They knew the father did not know about the adoption. What they did was t heft plain and simple. It would make more sense for them to negotiate to be part of the child's life than to try to stall and fight the case, if as they say, they are interested in the welfare of the child. As for the adoption agency they should be facing a hefty fine and civil and criminal charges of some sort.

        Give the man back his child.

        December 18, 2012 at 6:41 am |
      • Tom

        Karen.....the article does say that the adoptive parents knew that it was a chance the biological father could come and object to the adoption because they could not reach him and the Fries signed a letter of consent acknowledging that. What the adoptive parents should do is imagine if a relative of theirs one day came by and picked up their (adoptive baby) and dropped them off at an agency to be adopted, no warning, no court hearings...nothing. How would they feel? Probably the way they feel right now.....well, that is how the biological father has been feeling this whole ordeal and its a shame that they don't see that. I definitely understand that attahchment and love they have developed for this baby but you received this baby under "false means"...almost criminal behavior by the biological mother. I would like to see two things happen.......I would like to see the agency investigated, we don't know how many times this sort of thing has happened with them and I would also like to see the biological mother fined or some type of jail time. This is border line to kidnapping and don't think for a moment that she should have a say of where the little girl goes, because she gave up this baby for adoption (which is her god-given right), but after you gave up this baby, you have relinquished all rights and say so to this child's life. She is out the picture and should not even be interviewed or spoken to.

        December 18, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • Lucas Shaffer

        You are looking at it as they are not the real parents they are looking at it as they are the real parents. You have to put yourselves in there shoes. If you adopted a child and 2 years later the father comes along you would everything possible to keep that kid.

        December 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • belinda

      I agree. But I hope that the father has some compassion. Children need all the support they can get.These people love this child, they are her whole world. I hope he does the wise thing and slowly works with a counselor to do the right thing for this child. There are psychological consequences for this child, if they move this too fast .These parents, have worked extremely hard to care for that baby.How can you not be grateful for that ?

      December 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
      • Damon Michaels

        Did the Freis not ask about the father? What about the child's feelings when they become an adult? Is the child going to feel unwanted because no natural parent was in their life. I'm sorry but my child is my child. It's not the father's fault that he was done wrong and then not to have any rights to his child. I'm sorry for the adoptive parents but you had no doing in bringing this child into the world. Give up the child.

        December 18, 2012 at 1:48 am |
      • Tom

        Belinda....your statement is completely true and it looks like they have done a wonderful job in raising her so far. But her biological father never consented to giving her up for adoption and she was literally "stolen" from him. The biological mother had no right to put that baby up for adoption so her illegal (that's what I call it) trumps everything else that happens after that. That is his baby, his daughter.....if he wants to raise her, he should have that right, just as the rest of us have the right to raise our children.

        December 18, 2012 at 11:53 am |
      • Meagan

        I totally agree with you. I eluded to this in my post to Bruce ealier. I feel that they shouldn't drag this out for the sake of the child. I'm hoping they can come to an agreement that they could still remain in the child's life. The bio father never had a chance to claim his child who is rightfully and legally his. I've seen cases like this before, where the bio father is never notified and then it comes back to bite the adoptive parents in the arse; I feel for them I really do because they love this little girl, however this was an illegal adoption and the wife of the soldier should be ashamed of herself.

        December 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Teri

      Well said. I completely agree.

      December 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Samantha

      Slow down. There are very crucial and critical psychological and sociological issues that must be considered. This child knows only that the adoptive parents are her parents, she is right smack in the middle of whats known as "primary socialization". Disrupting this process now, regardless of the reason or the right, can and will have devastating consequences for this childs development and relationships for the rest of her life. I agree that the number one concern should be the childs best interest and in my opinion the right thing to do is to let the adoptive parents keep her and raise her and let the biological father have a role in her life. I was adopted when I was 3 after being bounced around between family members. I am now 36 and the long term damage is affecting my daily life even still. Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Olivia

      Really? What kind of parent would instantly hand their child over to some random man they don't know? How could they be sure he really wanted or even thought of the responsibility? Wouldn't you wonder why the mother gave up the child without informing her husband? Wouldn't you think that perhaps some shared custody agreement could be worked out to the benefit of all parties? I disagree that these people are selfish. Is it not equally as selfish for the father to insist upon full custody instead of a shared arrangement with people his daughter loves? My heart goes out to all of them, and I really hope that they can all find a way to work together for the child's sake.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mabel

      You said it all, Ellen. I agree, too.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Not only should the child go back to the biological father, but the mother should be liable for child support till the child is 18 or out of college, whichever is later. She gave up her rights because she didn't want to be burdened with a child, and tried to sneak out of her responsibility. Her motivation in not telling him was that, you can bet on it.

    December 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Sueb

      You're more charitable than I am. I think the mother should be in jail, the adoptive couple should not be allowed to adopt any more children as they apparently don't know right from wrong and the agency should be closed down!

      December 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  22. Erica

    I feel sorry for these people but they should be ashamed of themselves for fighting him for custody. Yes what happened to them sucks, but he seems to be a good person so there's absolutely no reason he shouldn't be able to get his daughter.

    December 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  23. Max

    Was i not reading just a little while ago, that if a rapist impregnates his victim he has the right to be in that child life? How do some people think that this father should be given less access to a child than a rapist.

    December 14, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  24. Renee

    Did she hide her pregnancy from people who knew him?

    December 14, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Ben

      Renee, I believe she told him that she miscarried while he was deployed (correct me if I'm wrong). I imagine that it would be fairly easy not to hang out with his friends for a month or 2 (especially since I believe they got divorced, again, please correct me if I'm wrong)

      December 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Sueb

      He knew she was pregnant. She told him that she was going to have an abortion. He tried to dissuade her from that. When he was transferred to South Carolina, she refused to go with him. He thought she had the abortion. He found out about the child from her (after he tried to get in touch with her doctors to no avail) that she had given birth and given the child up for adoption.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  25. Pam

    This child's father is a soldier. If he can't claim his own child, what in the hell is he doing in the service of the United States? It is a basic right for everyone to claim your own child without undue interference. The mother's actions are despicable. Men should have equal rights to their children. He is a staff sergeant because he is a responsible man.

    December 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Liz Arg

      Absolutely agree! If he shows himself to be a competent person (which he is), he has every right as any single mother would. The Freis need to stop being so selfish and try to cooperate and give this father back his baby!

      December 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Michael

      And you think the parents who LEGALLY adopted this child, went through all the paperwork, the extensive costs, bonding with the child, etc. should be deprived of their daughter just because she shares this guy's DNA? *They* had nothing to do with the mother's actions, so why should they be punished?

      It's an unfortunate situation, but put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you'd feel to have someone come in out of the blue and try to claim your daughter for themselves when they didn't even know she existed until a few days ago. If they adopt ANOTHER kid after having this one pretty much taken from them, how can they have any assurance that the same thing won't happen to them with the next child?

      December 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • Sarah

        Michael, for the simple reason that the adoptive parents retained a child to which they had no right, legally or morally (especially once the father exerted his claim and desire to parent, which were never legally taken away). Should the adoptive parents feel harmed, it is their own fault for seeking to retain a child which is by no means theirs. Emotions aside, the child was essentially stolen (i.e. somewhat quasi-legally kidnapped) and as such needs to be returned to her father. The judge was kind to allow the "adoptive" family 60 days to say their goodbyes. If the "adoptive" family truly believed in the best interest of the child, they would have sought to use those 60 days to help the little girl rebond with her dad, instead of using the time to fight an unnecessarily stressful battle they should not win.

        December 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
        • Jennifer

          I first want to say that this is a very sad case, number 1 I feel very sad for the adoptive parents. They have probably tried for years to have a child of there own and have been unsuccessful at there attempts. Now they have went to adoption to have this child taken from them as well. If you have never had this struggle please do not say how you would react! You have no idea what that feels like. #2 I feel bad for this dad and I feel that if both LOVE this baby then come to some kind of compromise dont just take the child from either party! I am sure that these adoptive parents did nothing illegal as I have seen some say on here, if that was the case they would have had to return the child right this moment. DONT judge you do not know how that feels on either side!

          December 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Kee

        Well, that's not entirely true. The adoptive parents were told from the beginning that there was a possibility that there could be trouble down the road with the biological father because they did not have his consent. They made the decision to go through with the adoption anyway. They rolled the dice, They gambled. They lost. They should have given the baby back to its father as soon as he came in the picture. Yes, his DNA means everything!! Its a basic right! Remember Elian? If he had to go back to his father in Cuba, then this baby should go to her father..end of story!

        December 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
      • Amber

        The Freis family was informed that the father had not given consent for the adoption and there was a risk that he would come forward and claim his child. According to Judge Darold McDad, The Freis knew that Achane had never even been consulted about the possibility of his baby being put up for adoption and that they (the Freis) "acknowledged this risk but decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway."

        If they truly love this little girl and want what's best for her, they need to work with her father to ease her transition into her new life with her rightful parent. If the Freis were less selfish,and acted in the best interests of this little girl, they wouldn't be burning bridges and I imagine could have possibly stayed in her life as god-parents or adopted extended family.

        December 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Jennifer

        Michael, these parents are the the adoptive parents. They were the prospective adoptive parents, and she is not legally theirs, because the father still has his parental rights intact.

        They have no legal right to her, they never did. Their never was an adoption.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • Kat

        They adopted knowing the father could still take the child back. His rights as a parent were never terminated. They knew the father could come forward to claim the child. They need to turn the child over. Shame on the mother.

        December 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Tom

        Michael....imagine someone finding out their wife is pregnant with their child right before they get deployed and then later finding out that the mother gave the child up for adoption without their consent....oh wait, we don't have to imagine because that is exactly what happened. The Friers will feel bad and it is unfortunate, but that is not the seargant's fault, if they want to find someone to blame, it is plenty enought of that to go around, start with the biological mother then move on to the adoption agency. Although my heart goes out to to them and I see them fighting for someone they have adopted.....then they surely must understand this father's fight for his bioligical daughter, which he never consented to giving her up......put yourself in his shoes and tell me how he feels. And for the individuals who thinks she should stay with the adoptive parents, this is the sole core of what's wrong with America.....the right thing to do is not the "norm" anymore. Our courts and judicial systems are up to their neck in red tape and politics that the "right thing" is not being done anymore. I will admit that a lot of areas are "grey" and it difficult to determine the "right" thing to do, but in this case, it is clear as day, she should go back with her bioligical father, whom she was "stolen" from.

        December 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Kate

        This father is not just a DNA donor. He's the biological father of a child conceived during a marriage. It actually doesn't even matter if the child shares his DNA, as the law says any child conceived during the marriage is HIS child and his responsibility. It's not about DNA at all.

        December 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • Sueb

        They did not legally adopt her. They knew the father wouldn't consent; they decided to go ahead anyway hoping that he wouldn't find out.....great example for parents to set for their children, huh?

        December 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • Jenn

        Michael-
        He is the biological father, not as you put it, "share DNA" He was not aware that he had a child! He has every right to fight for his daughter and she should be given back to him. The adopted parents, are just that adopted parents, someone that spent a load of money to have a child in their lives. So many children are adopted that were either kidnapped and sold to the black market of the adoption industry and these industries know how to cover up the illegal steps that they take. This is a man that wants HIS child back..the family has no biological ties to these child! I think it is shameful that this couple thinks they still have a right to her!!!!!!!!!! So many adoptive parents think that their rights are more important than the biological parents. Blood is blood! Just imagine if the father is not given back his child! I will bet you when the child is all grown up...their will be a lot of therapy in her future.

        December 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  26. Bob

    Put mom in jail for fraud. Disbar attorney. Baby back with father. Adoptive parents should by compensated in some way by the father.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Kelly

      Bob – I am curious to know why you feel that the adoptive parents should be compensated by the Father. He is the victim in this instance.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Mike

      Exactly what sort of compensation would be appropriate for losing their child?

      December 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Milah Raymond

      Adoptive parents should be compensated by father? Why in the world would there be any reasoning for this? The mother should face legal and criminal actions the father is just a victim as the adoptive parents...

      December 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ana

      Why on earth would the father be forced to compensate them? He, like the adoptive parents, was victimized
      in this. The burden of compensation doesn't fall on him, that's absurd.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Mary

      I agree, except I'd say the compensation should come from the mother, not the father. She was the one who got them all into this predicament. Had she just been honest with everyone, it all could have been avoided.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Mike

      I agree on all points, except I feel the mother (and if proven to be complicit, the attorney(s) and/or the judge involved) should provide the compensation to the adoptive parents.

      December 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Mike M

      The adoptive parents should pay the FATHER's legal fees because they knew going in he didn't give them permission to adopt his daughter, and are doing everything AGAINST what is right, including a judge's order. He shouldn't have to fight them in court for his daughter! The mother was being selfish AND vindictive. Too often black men are portrayed as dead-beat dads when the reality is the mothers keep them from having a relationship with their children because they are bitter, possessive and jealous! If they can't have the man, the man can't have a decent relationship with his child!

      December 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Tom

        Say that again Mike M.....good point!

        December 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  27. Mary H

    That birth mother should be ashamed of herself. Those adoptive parents are no different in my eyes.

    December 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Norien

      What a bunch of hypocrites! The mother could have exercised her CHOICE and had the baby aborted -Are you aware that it is now legal up to the day of delivery- full term? The father would not have any recourse. The dad knew she was pregnant, so what did he think happened? If the mom really were selfish she would have had an abortion. Instead, she went through the pain and inconvenience of giving birth and giving the child up for adoption- a brave and selfless thing to do. Wake up people- abortion kills babies and that's true whether you believe in God or are an atheist.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Edwin

      The adoptive parents are "no different" from what? No different from any other loving parents that desperately want to keep their child, even though a judge ruled they cannot?

      I'm not saying the judge was wrong, mind you - I'm just saying they ARE parents, and they love this girl (their daughter) with all their hearts. Would you give your daughter without trying to keep her?

      December 17, 2012 at 1:39 am |
      • Tom

        Edwin....you are right, I don't think anyone on this blog would'nt fight for their daughter and that is exactly what the staff sergeant is doing, fighting for his daughter who was basically kidnapped and stolen from him. And if see one more sentence about "the court needs to decide the best interest for the little girl"....are you serious? Does the court step in and tell your kids what time to go to bed? What chores to do? How long they can watch tv? No, that is your parental rights as the parents to tell them to do those things as you see fit. It is his parental right to have his daughter and raise her as he see fit, so why should the courts decide on whether or not a father can get back his "stolen" daughter.

        December 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  28. chris

    Hey bio-dad! Biology isn't all its cracked up to be. Children are not possessions. Very simple: you want children born of a woman? Put a ring on it!! No ring: you have no say. Period. Children are at least as sensitive as plants: plants don't do well uprooted and replanted and neither do children. Leave the child where she's doing well. You missed your chance, too bad for you, but it's about her now, not you, mister. She can decide when she's grown whether she wants to have you in her life, and your proper attitude would be to support her parents and thank them for being good parents. If you really cared about her, you'd stop treating her like a possession. She's got good parents, she's doing well, you need to back off.

    December 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Renee

      Also, do you realize that the father did NOT even know he had a child – he obviously would have never let her be adopted if he had. Therefore its not that he is considering her a possession, but instead, he is fighting for his right to KEEP HIS DAUGHTER. HE didn't do anything wrong – the wife did!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:42 am |
      • Tina

        He did know he had a child and was actively involved in preparations for her birth. He always wanted his daughter.

        December 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Ella

      He had "put a ring on it". They were married at least a year before she got pregnant, and were still legally married when she put the kid up for adoption while he was on transfer orders to a new duty station in another state. Please learn about the case at hand, or read the article above where it says "his WIFE".

      December 14, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Mark

      The article says "Army Staff Sergeant Terry Achane's wife", so there was a ring on the finger.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Cathy

      It states pretty clearly that the man's WIFE gave the baby up.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Kee

        Thank you Cathy!! The fact that she is his 'WIFE' has been stated consistenty!! They we're having marital problems..no reason to try to get back at him by giving his kid away!

        December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Mary

      They were married. He is the bio AND legal father.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Amanda

      In case you didn't notice, the story said that his WIFE gave the baby up.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • seanna

      He did put a ring on it. He probably wishes he hadn't.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Shauna

      Perhaps you didn't fully read the article, but it was the Staff Sergeants Wife that put the baby up for adoption. He already did the right thing. It was the wife who lied....read the whole story before judging!!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • susan

      this is now, his ex wife he did put a ring on it. then was off at war, thats why did not know about the child

      December 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Patty

      Chris–take a minute to listen to video or read article and learn facts–he DID put a ring on it–bio parents were married

      December 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Holly

      Did you miss the part that said "Army Staff Sergeant Terry Achane's wife put her up for adoption"

      December 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Michele

      The article said "His Wife" duh – he did put a ring on it so what in the world are spouting about? He has the right attitude – he wants his daughter back. It's very sad all around but she is HIS child who was given away without his consent while he was away. He didn't abandon her or his wife he was serving in the military. Why should he have to wait until she is grown to have a relationship with his child? It's a tragic situation for the adoptive family and the father but he isn't wrong to want his daughter not a possession but his family.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • mary

      it was his WIFE....he did put a ring on it. Read the story again. He has every right to his child. Why was his signature not required for the adoption to go thru?

      December 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • logicgrl

      Perhaps you missed the part in the article where it said Army Staff Sergeant Terry Achane's wife.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Alex

      They were married. And your argument that uprooting a child would be harmful would mean that no kidnapped child would ever be restored to their parents.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Mike

      @Chris: Wow. You are right that kids are not possessions, but a father has a right to have custody of his child. Period. Being married – or not – has nothing to do with this. Besides, who would want to marry a person who essentially gives away his child when he is off defending the rest of us back home? Until he proves otherwise, he has a RIGHT to raise his own child. I feel for the adoptive parents as they are victims also, but in this case their parental rights are trumped by the bioloical father's rights, and ther should recognize that and accept the judge's decision.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • ChoChi75

      They were married; at the time of the baby's birth, though he was deployed, and before that, too. The mother in this case was being selfish! 'He wasn't there for me'. The man's in the frickin' ARMY!! This is what kills me with some of these women that marry service members: with everything going on, it's inevitable that they're gonna get deployed! They have NO choice!

      December 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Ana

      It's such an unfortunate situation, but I have to agree with you. It's about her now, and she belongs with the
      people she knows as parents. She's already gone through the trauma and shock of being displaced once
      when her mother gave her up, doing it twice is unthinkable.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Ellen

      The "bio-dad" was married to the biological mother, who gave up their daughter for adoption, without the father's consent. The "bio-mom" told the adoption agency he had not given consent, and the agency told the adoptive parents there could be an issue with the adoption because the father had not given consent. Someone has else has suggested that the father be gradually introduced to the little girl – she needs to be returned to her father as soon as possible. If the adoptive parents had returned the child when they first knew that he wanted her, the father and daughter would have spent a great deal of time together by now. The adoptive parents should not be allowed further contact with the little girl, and this will also now be hard on the little girl. She is not theirs, she belongs with her father. Someone might think my child could do better in their home, because they are a more wealthy family than ours, but they can't have my child just because they want him. This military man had a right to have his daughter with him, and this should be corrected quickly. Perhaps a restraining order against the adoptive parents, or allow them to possibly visit the little girl twice in a supervised setting, which is all her father has gotten so far. I imagine they are attached to the child, but she is not theirs.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Dee

      You do realize that they were married??

      December 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • brenda

      Backing off would be wrong – the child needs her father, not her substitute one. Full and open communication however it is done for this child is the only way to help her and her biological father.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Samantha

      No one made an effort to find the father. Once it was known that he was in the Miltary they could have contacted the Red Cross to find his duty station. I don't totally feel sorry for the Freis because they could have saved themselves a lot of pain and found the father to see if he would sign away his rights before becoming attached to her. For the people who feel that the father should is wrong for wanting his child has lost their minds. He was robbed of a year of his childs life and visitation should have been ordered immediately for 60-days and after 60-days full custody should be given. The adoption Agency should be fined and ordered to compensate both the father and the Freis and shut down.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Tom

      Please read the article....then comment.

      Thank you.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  29. Jeff

    Men have no reproductive rights in the country. What is half our child, we have no say in its birth yet must take full financial responsibility even if we do not want to be fathers. I wouldn't blame young men for not wanting to be fathers, not get married and not be husbands. Very sad...

    December 13, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • James

      We do have reproductive rights, Jeff – we don't have to have sex unless we are prepared for the potential consequences. No one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to have sex with anyone. If I do, the risk is getting her pregnant – and she has to deal with far more of the consequences of that than I do. My financial support is the least I could offer.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  30. Riles

    It’s a terrible situation – and I’d hope a very unusual one – but of course the child should go back with the father.
    Fortunately the kid is only two – there’s no reason why Archane and the Frei’s couldn’t work together to make the transition as smooth as possible.

    December 13, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • seanna

      Tell that to the Freis.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Mea

      Take her from the only parents she knows? It's a bad thing that happened to this man, but you have to see it through the child's syes. She does not know this man. She has a mother and a father that has fed her and held her and comforted her and taught her how to eat and walk and talk. To give her back to the bio father like she's a thing would be unspeakably cruel. Would you rip her from her mothers arms while she screams and doesn't understand why? If you cared for this child, would you have her go through separation and nightmares and pure horror, because that is what it is for a child to be taken from the parents shes bonded to. Love doesn't care about genes.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • brenda

        The child will bounce back when given back to her father – it is better than the alternative. It is far from noble for the adoptive parents to stand in the way.

        December 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
      • Tina

        Yep. According to the judge, the Freis and the adoption agency willfully kept Teleah from her father. They've adopted before and they know what the law is and were advised Teleah's father would object–they also knew that as a married father, they needed his consent and when he said no, the law said they needed to return Teleah–they disregarded this. They acknowledged in court they were willing to the risk that SSGT. Achane would contest the adoption. They could have returned the child when she was three months old (hard, but not so much on Teleah), but they decided to fight her anyway. The judge was appalled at their behavior and said rightly so. How do they explain to Teleah that her father that he wanted her and they broke the law to keep her?

        December 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  31. ginger

    He should get his child back in a kind process where she gets to know him first. Best for everyone. Then, he should leave the military if there is any chance he can be deployed...or, she is better off with her adoptive parents than being left behind.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Liz Arg

      Yes, he's going to have to get a desk job and a good daycare to keep it going, but I think he sounds capable.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  32. questions

    father is military. he was away on duty, in the usa, and the mother knew this. she was pregnant when he left and she knew how much he wanted to be a father. he anticipated the birth of the child and attempted to contact her family members. he was told she no longer looked pregnant and there was no baby in sight. an implication that there was a miscarriage/termination/? she is now 21 months. he never knew she existed. he left pregnant wife. 10 days after he leaves she calls adoption center in different state. when she gave birth the new family got the baby as arrangementw were already made by agency, dad never knew. she gave fake addresses. she said he never cared. (is military duty abandonment?) father paid bills and the likes up until the divorce. the adoptive family knew that the father was unaware of adoption. he found out when she was 6months old. he calls agency to find his baby. the agency turns around and asks him to sign over his rights. his relationship with child was deliberately tampered with. the best interest of the child is the father. fundamental errors with decisions by many courts, agencies, money-handlers, etc. This is a sad case. Everyone needs to be accountable for this little girl and what she has endured. As for the mother.. why? does she hate him so much? why? was he abusive mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, socially? give me something. the putative father registry is nice but the kid was already adopted out, and how many guys actually know about that? apparently attorneys are not letting them all in on that tedious money maker. the sad fact is that this couple once must have loved each other. what caused the rift in such a short period of time? and then to have her turn her back and give away the baby she said he ingored, when it was in her belly. this is sad. that poor babygirl. she lost out on her real mommy and daddy, and now these strangers she grew to love are no longer her parents. The sad part is that no single person wins here really. perhaps the attorneys or news outlets, but not the families. now this mother is going to be skewered for her ill fated decisions. how much was she compensated? there is more to this story. has to be

    December 13, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  33. Sara

    This is really sad. It's hard to say what is really the best thing to do at this point because this family has the child they've always wanted, but this man was never given a chance to be a father. This woman is truly selfish. My heart always goes out to fathers who are mistreated by the mother of their children. At least they want to be there for their kids. My daughter's father decided after she was born he didn't want to sign her birth certificate. He made a decision then and there to not be a part of her life, that's fine, we've done just fine without him...but guys like this poor man in Utah were never given a choice. That's not right.

    December 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  34. Caroline

    Whatever the birth mother's motivation, the Freis new this wasn't kosher and went ahead with it anyway. To those of you suggesting the child stay with the would-be adoptive family because they've had her for two years, I couldn't disagree more. That this has gone on as long as it has is completely their fault. Had they given her back when he first found out about it, the child wouldn't have been traumatized in the least. If this child is traumatized by the upheaval in her home life, it's their fault, not the father's. And children that young are very resilient. She'll be fine. Frankly I think they should file criminal charges against the Freis for knowingly engaging in human trafficking. Countless children in need of a home and they spend time and resources fighting to keep a child who has a parent that wants her? That's just ego. Shame on them.

    December 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Liz Arg

      Totally agree. The fact that they are not working with the biological Dad to be a part of the child's life together is just wrong. As long as he proves himself to be as competent as any single mother would be, he has my vote. I think the Frei's need to check themselves and become more cooperative if they want to be in this little girl's life.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • ms

      Totally agree that if the ADOPTIVE parents knew about the father, said nothing and went ahead as PLANNED, SHAME ON THEM and they should get on their knees and pray for FORGIVENESS as they are totally wrong here. As a previous commentator stated, there are way TOO MANY fathers in this world who would not step up to the plate and do this and here you have 1 that is WANTING to be a father and serving in the military ( I have a nephew in the Airforce and uncle served in Vietnam- GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY). Adoptive parents, please give the man HIS child!

      December 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  35. Lizzy10

    Why on earth does the adoptive couple have 60 days to give this child back to her father? He never signed his parental rights away. If the father took the child from her mother and gave her up for adoption, would it take this long to restore the child to her? I'm not against adoption, but this is child snatching. The adoptive parents are just wrong.

    December 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Aaron

      Yeah, laws must be different there. Here I would simply call the sheriff, he would verify my claim and promptly retrieve my daughter for me. Most probably arresting anyone and everyone involved in criminally usurping my parental rights.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  36. Rosalie Medert-Hoover

    I wish the Utah judge would consider the best interest of the child above all. This family has had the little one for two years! She doesn't even know her biological father. And that biological father should also be thinking about the best interest of the child he wants to rip from the only parents she has ever known.

    December 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • AC Summers

      He is thinking about the best interest of his child. He is a parent whose child was illegally adopted. He wants to love, nurture, and raise his child and has the natural right to do that. She was taken away without him even knowing it and he has been fighting for her ever since he found her. It is in the best interest of the child to be raised by a biological parent who loves that child.

      December 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Marie

      The judge will consider the rights of someone that no even gave enough consideration to tell him he was a father and the precious baby he is fighting to be reunited with. The adoptive parents shouldn't have any rights to a child that was given to them in a an illegal way. Everyone always complains that many father's don't care about their kids and won't help take care of them. This man wants to take care of his daughter, he should have that right.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Gshell

      ANd the child will get a lifetime to know her biological father and family. And this may help later down the line if medical issues also arise that only a bio parent can answer.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Travis

      You must not ever known a father that cares about their children. It's HIS DAUGHTER. He didn't do anything wrong.

      December 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Ms Shantrice

        Travis- totally agree that this BIOLOGICAL father should have HIS child, unless he is DETERMINED to be an unfit parent....................PREIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        December 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Elizabeth M.

      This is a tragic situation. The adoptive parents were aware there was a chance the biological father would want the baby, and they chose to go through with the process without insisting on contact with the father for consent. For goodness sake, he is U.S. military. He would not have been hard to find! No matter how much false information the mother passed along. One phone call would have located him. They should never have adopted this child without his consent. What did they expect! They and the adoption agency/attorneys are at fault. The mother is an immature, selfish young woman, who admittedly was probably in a lot of emotional pain. This is sad and unbelievable, but it probably happens all the time. The father should get his child back. The adoptive parents need to let go and be thankful for the time they had with her. In a best case scenario, they would be allowed to maintain a relationship with the little girl.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • Liz Arg

        Absolutely agree – couldn't say it better myself!!

        December 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Seth

      two years is nothing compared to giving up the rest of the child's lifetime. The whole stranger argument could easily be solved by just involving him in her life more going forward and gradually easing into things, eventually having her be with him when she starts to feel and really understand their special bond.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Hope

      Absolutely shocked that anyone would suggest this solution. And when she gets old enough to find that she was adopted? She is angry and resentful of her own father? No. That is not the answer.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bob

      Two year old kid will forget all about her adoptive parents and could grow up with her REAL dad.

      Wonder how much your opinion would change if it was the biological mother, instead of the biological father, overseas when the father gave the child up for adoption without her consent?

      December 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • Rosalie

        It would be the same. I know the father did nothing wrong and I think the mother deserves punishment, but a child who has been with people for two years is going to be terrified if she has to go with someone she doesn't know. The child's interests come first. Maybe the judge should use a Solomon-like approach and ask of the baby should be physically divided and see what the adoptive parents and and the biological parents say.

        December 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
        • Deborah

          So, are you saying that since they are the only parents she's known she should stay with them even though it's not legal? Is that the same response you'd have in the case of someone who kidnapped a child only to have been found raising him/her years later? After all, that's the "only parent that child knows"? You are defending something that was not done legally.

          December 18, 2012 at 3:16 am |
        • LJ

          The adoptive parents in this case had the oppertunity to introduce this baby to her biological father when she was 6 months old and they were informed that the father was not going to consent to the adoption. They could have continued to fight the legal battle as they chose to do and at the same time prepared this child for either outcome. This father did not wait years after finding he had a child to pursue gaining custody and the court system has completely failed this baby by not putting her best interest first. Had the adoptive parents considered the fact that they might lose custody (and should since this father never gave up his rights, and they were aware of that) they could have developed a good relationship with the father and possibly remained in this childs life.

          December 18, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Tom

        Great point Bob....I can't imagine the uproar and outcry from America if the father had given the child up for adoption while the mother was away? People would be protesting in front of the agency,his home, the government branch he works for, the father would literally be a "monster" in the eyes of the public, it would be national news, Nancy Grace would literally "crucify" him for "ripping" this child away from her mother. The courts would move more swiftly than 60 days, criminal charges would be filed for kidnapping, false statements....etc. However, for the mother, a simple interview as to why she should stay with the adoptive parents....however, there is no such thing as a double standard in America.....not!

        December 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Lesley

      That is absolutely ridiculous to say that he is not thinking of the best interest of HIS daughter, because that is what she is, his daughter above else. It is not his fault that his wife chose not to tell him, and he did not have any say in her being put up for adoption. Why should this father be penalized for the faults of the mother? Yes, it will be hard on the adoptive parents as they consider her to be theirs, but that is ultimately not the case, the adoption agency should have handled this better and done more investigating, and if they didn't use an agency and went private adoption then it is their own fault for not making sure everything was in order.

      This girl deserves to know her father, and her biological father deserves the chance to raise her if that is what he wants to do, he never consented to this adoption and should get his daughter back.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  37. Stef

    I am wondering why his attorney did not check every state's Putative Father Registry. The birth had to be on it and then this entire mess would not have happened. Horrible attorney!

    My heart breaks for the adoptive family, the child and the birth father.

    December 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Jason

      because the system is skewed towards mothers. Ask anyone that has ever dealt with the Child support office.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Tina

      SSGT. Achane didn't have to register, since he was married to Teleah's mother, who told the agency she was married. As a married father, he's presumed to be the legal father. The agency knows the law; it just disregarded it.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  38. Elizabeth

    I don't feel sorry for the Frei's actually. The reason is that they could do the right thing right now and hand the baby back to her father. Instead they are drawing it out and on their website posting absolute lies about the case to get people to donate to their legal fund. If they had given her back without having to go to court once the truth came out I would have felt bad for them. The fact they are fighting the legal parent who was deprived of his right to raise his daughter, well I view them on the same plane as the mother. Very selfish and self serving. You want more kids, great. You already have a few, he has none. This is his only child.

    December 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • AC Summers

      Its sad but the Frei's are emotionally involved. The person I want to see go to jail and sued is the mother. The agency for trying to get the father to sign his rights away. Last the Frei's they were informed by the adoption agency and the judge has ruled but they are fighting against a biological military parent.

      December 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • LISA

      thank you, i completely agree, the adoptive parents are no better than the bio mother

      December 18, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  39. Rob

    The system is skewed to demonize fathers who want their children. Mothers get a cart blanche opportunity to inflict emotional and/or financial hardship on a man simply because they were stupid enough to make love. Women can terminate a pregnancy, put a child up for adoption, lie on a birth certificate, alienate a father from his own family by abusing the power of visitation, all with impunity thanks to the lack of understanding in this country. And of course the father is made to feel badly in any and all instances.

    December 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jen

      If men and women were not stupid enough to "make love" without a some form of contraception, there sure would be a lot less problems, wouldn't there? Yes, women AND men need to take responsibility for their own bodies. Also, here in California, no woman can just add some mans name to the baby's birth certificate. The father MUST sign the birth certificate, but can be contested later if there is an issue through DNA testing.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Chris

      Man you nailed it.I live in N.C and they could give a crap less that i cant see my kids.They just want money.The mother demonizes the children and Im the BAD parent cause im not around.She has NEVER wanted me to have a life with my children.Dads are totaly overlooked in our court systems.I have NEVER missed a child support payment and provide Top-notch insurance even though they are on MEDICAID....Screwed up system for sure!

      December 13, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Billy Z

      Rob nailed it. As the lawyer told the dad in Kramer vs Kramer, "it's Mom and Apple Pie" all the way. My daughter's mom said *nothing* about giving birth, the only way I found out is the state looking for child support.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Erik

      I totally Agree!!

      December 13, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • R Player

      Truer words have never been spoken. Fathers who want to be involved are side lined by the system at every turn. If a Father had done this there would be a Salem witch buring. This is kidnapping plain and simple.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  40. Tryel

    The adoptive parents should not fight this and need to give this father his child. It will cause them pain, but its not their call to make. And I agree, so after the lawyers and case workers on this!

    December 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  41. Walter

    Whoah, having just adopted a little girl I feel for the Frei's but it sounds like the adoption was never finalized and the father got his appeal in within the appropriate period before his rights were terminated. The Frei's should have turned the child over as heartbreaking as that would have been when the father stepped forward and proved his claim. This is just a sad story for all involved.

    December 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Walter

      Let me also be clear that if the Frei's acted in good faith and if the process was at a point where the biological fathers rights are normally terminated and the period for appeals is normally over then I much more sympathetic to the Frei's position But I don't know how Utah law works and I would presume the judge would have taken that into consideration. On the other hand the Frei's obviously feel they have grounds for appeal.

      December 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • Neenee

        The father's right was not terminated. The Freis knew that the father knew nothing of the adoption because this was acknowledge during the adoption process. Yes they are hurting but this little girl deserves to be with her dad, if he didn't want her then everyone would be saying he was a deadbeat dad. They should hand the child over and not fight it.

        December 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
      • denhunter

        It's simple. They lied to the court. They told the court that the father had been notified (at the two bogus addresses) and the court believed them. Now they are trying to claim 'oh, we didn't know' but it's clear from the adoptive records that they knew the husband had not been notified, and they decided to go for it anyway. Who in this day and age adopts a child without clear, unequivocal proof that the father is also giving up his rights? It was THEIR fault, assisted by the mother, and the court made the right ruling. THEY are the strangers who have someone else's baby.

        December 13, 2012 at 4:32 am |
      • R Player

        If the father wasn't notified or had signed an agreement this is child theft. I sell you a stolen car and the cops show up to return the car to its owner there is no appeal or questions asked. The mother should be jailed and the child returned to the father.

        December 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  42. John

    Men have no parental rights when it comes to the child (except possibly for the right to pay child support). I'm not surprised the woman was able to give the child up for adoption without his knowledge or consent.

    December 12, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Tina

      Not true. Even in Utah, married fathers have the same parental rights as their wives and the law requires their consent to adoption. The adoption petition was overturned because the would-be adoptive parents didn't get Achane's consent–ihe told them no and the judge said (rightly) that the matter should have been over then. Teleah was just a few months old and it wouldn't have been so difficult to return her. The Freis made it difficult by trying to cherry-pick law to support their position.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  43. jeffision

    This is a sad situation, but is taking the child from the only parents the child knows and giving her to a stranger, at such an impressionable age, really in the best interest of the child? Better, I think, for the biological father to set aside his ego and do what is best for the child...which is to not disturb the vitally important bonding that has and is taking place between the child and her parents...a bonding that is critically important to psychological well-being. When the child is 18, then tell her. She can then choose to have a relationship with her biological father or not.

    December 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Marie

      What if you were the child? If they wait to tell her when she is 18 she will hate and despise them for be immoral and letting her live a lifetime of lies.Just so they could be happy and not suffer any loss while she suffers all the loss and heartache later on.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Avis

      Yeah lie to the child for 18 years makes you a great parents.

      December 13, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • denhunter

      So kidnapped babies should remain with the people that snatched them, as long as they have grown attached to them? This was a kidnapping by a couple with the help of a mother from the father's point of view. How much money did she get? You think rich people should be able to snatch kids from Walmart, because living with them would be in the 'best interest of the child'?

      December 13, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Stefan

      Is it really in the best interest of the father? I get that you must think of the child, but that man is also likely going some severe mental and emotional distress right now. You can't just ignore that. This isn't "a" child. It's his child that shares his DNA. There's a bond there too. Some people opt to give that up, but you can't force someone to when they haven't done anything wrong.

      December 13, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Allison Young

      Come on now!!! How many of us remember what we were doing a 2 years old!!!!! Kids are resilient !!! Everyone involved in the adoption has dirty hands!!!! How dare they screw over that man when he was on active duty!!!! If he was on active duty, they could have contacted him, but they chose not to do so!!! As my sister says, you can never have joy based on someone else's misery!!! They should have turned over the child last year and gotten it over with!!!!

      December 13, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • R Player

      When a kidnapper takes a child at age 1 and the child is found at age 4 the child goes back to the parents and is not left with the kidnapper to transition. Ignorance of the law does not make you less of a criminal. This is an illegal adoption aka a criminal act, which the couple from Utah continues to participate in.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bob

      The child is TWO. She will not remember ANYTHING of this time of her life.

      She belongs with her real father and the Frei family should be ashamed for dragging this process out.

      I wonder if you'd flip your opinion if the father had given the child up for adoption without consent of the mother and the mother wanted her child back?

      December 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • PrincessBride

      I agree with the posters who say she should be with her father. She was stolen from him, and he is her biological parent and wants to raise her. Bear in mind it is the adoptive family that is dragging this process out in the courts – maybe they're hoping that the longer they have her the higher the likelihood they get to keep her? Adoption by eminent domain? They should have done the right thing when the father first showed up, rather than spending who knows how much money fighting for a child illegally taken from her parent. As some posters have said, would you make the same argument if this was the mother? Imagine a mother told her child died at birth, and then 6 months later finds out the child is with an adoptive family. Would you say to that mother – oh, just give her up, she's better off where she is? Why is it different when it's the dad?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • brenda

      Selfishness on the part of the adoptive parents is not the answer.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  44. Hope

    I would be willing to bet that she did not want to pay child support for the baby. Her last statement said it all. "I would rather see her with me struggling than with him." She never accused him of abuse or any other mistreatment. Poor kid. What a horrible start to life. On the bright side, she has three people possibly four who love her very much.

    December 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  45. Angela Birch

    Sad for the adoptive parents. But what adoption agancy placed a child without the fathers signature especially since it was a child born within a marriage, this wasn't a case of an unknown father for pete's sake this was a married man.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • David Peterzell

      Agree

      December 13, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  46. DeeDee75

    Why would they even fight the dad on this? Poor guy.
    And how was the adoption legal without the dad giving up rights?

    December 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • A.W

      Seriously? They have loved this child for almost 2 years – raised her as their own and some stranger (yes, to the little girl he is a STRANGER) wants to come and take their child. What parent WOULDN'T fight to keep her?

      December 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • AC Summers

        By law they are legal strangers to the child with 60 days the give her back. There is some bonding but to wait 18 years then explain to her is not going to happen. I dont know of any parent who loves their child would give up getting their child back when they finally found the child illegally adopted without the parents knowledge.
        They have to give the biological father his own child. He never gave up his rights because fraud was committed by the ex-wife.

        December 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
      • Marie

        They shouldn't fight him plain and simple because they are wrong. They wanted a child so bad that they don't care that they are causing this child's actual biological family to go through the same exact pain they went through trying to get her. They are selfish and awful people, for continuing this to go on. The are in fact not her parents any longer. They have no legal recourse and this child will be reunited with her true family. It will in the end solve her a lifetime of pain and suffering. The judge got it right.

        December 13, 2012 at 12:33 am |
        • Tyler Durden

          The judge ALMOST got it right. He should have had the child transferred to the biological father IMMEDIATELY.

          December 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
      • Kay

        Moral of the story, his child was taken away from him when he was in the military. Who gives a crap if they have been raising her for 2 years, the poor father is going to live with guit for the rest of his life if he didn't fight this battle. The mom didn't want the baby is bad enough to begin with, alright!

        December 13, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • Devin

        I couldn't imagine having someone else raising my kids. You're right though, what parent wouldn't fight? Just like this case, the little girls father is fighting to get his little girl back.

        December 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
        • Mea

          if you found out your child was not your biological child, but had been accidentally switched for another at the hospital, would you give your child back to the biological parents? How would your child feel about that? Would they be fine about just leaving, living with some other family because of genetic connection? You know your children, how would they react?

          December 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
          • Marcia

            As much as I would love the child I thought was mine, if I found out she was not the child I gave birth to, I would still want my biological child. A child is not a thing you just swap and trade.

            Anyway, this child was not switched at birth. This child was deliberately stolen from the father.

            December 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
      • Teine

        I think the birth mother and her lawyer should be prosecuted.

        December 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
        • Mea

          Yes. I think it was criminal what this woman did. But the child should still stay with the only parenst she knows. Two wrongs don't make a right.

          December 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
          • brenda

            The child "knows" in he cells her own father – it will take a few months for the bonding and similarities to come together for them but they will and far stronger than it can ever be after this fight with the adoptive parents. The father has right to make the plans for this child.

            December 15, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • Mag

        He is not a stranger what is wrong with you its her DAD
        He was away working just like LOTS of Dads have to do to feed their children.
        He never consented to the adoption and it should not have gone through in the first place.
        Give this Dad who wants his OWN CHILD BACK his kid.
        If this was done to a women she would have the child back already and ....I don't think they could ever do it.
        Do the right thing and give back this mans child that was STOLEN from him!!!!!!!!!!!

        December 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
        • Mea

          But to the child he iS a stranger. She does not know him. She has never seen him. And no, 2 year olds don't forget, separation from parents causes psychological damage that doesn't go away just because you don't have clear memories of it. The adoptive parents are the only mother and father she knows.

          December 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
          • Vidia

            Smells like child trafficking to me. What if no lawyers or money were involved? What if she were just taken as a baby from her parents as raised by some strange folks for a couple of years. Just because they had a few bucks to spare and an opportunity, given Dad's deployment, does not change the fact that they knew he never consented and never did due diligence to make sure this was the right thing to do. Disgraceful.

            December 17, 2012 at 12:51 am |
          • Shannon Winchester

            How many of you who are suggesting that the child be left with the adoptive parents actually have any experience with this. I would give anything to know who my father is and know more about him. My mom says he didn't want to be a father, but I will never know the truth because my family worked to keep the truth from me. I feel that I have a right to at least know the truth.

            This man and his daughter deserve to be together. She would have not been one whit the wiser if these people who adopted her "illegally" had just done the right thing and given her back to her father who so obviously loves her.

            December 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
      • Tina

        They were informed in June 2011 (Teleah was born in May 2011) that SSGT. Achane had contacted the agency and wanted his child. At that point, the law required them to give her back. They willfully prolonged giving her back, even though they knew from the gate that Utah law requires married parents to both consent; they acknowledged they knew Bland was married and that her husband would object. They were not dupes; they just wanted Teleah and willfully tried to keep Teleah from her legal father. This is why their petition to adopt was denied.

        December 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Lizzy10

      It seems that it wasn't legal. The dad was serving our country and wanted to be a father. It astounds me that anyone would not want the dad to regain custody of his daughter, especially as it seems the adoptive parents knew there was a chance it wasn't legal and they disregarded that fact. I understand loving a child, but to let that blind you to the reality that the child has a parent who wants her is unfathomable.

      December 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  47. Chris

    This story sounds very similar to the baby Veronica case, yet baby Veronica's biological father was demonized by the media. Maybe because he was not married to the mother?? I don't know. Either way, I believe both fathers should be able to keep their daughters since they never agreed to adopt them out in the first place. There should also be more checks in place before children are placed for adoption to be sure that things like this don't happen. It is not very hard to track down biological fathers and ask them if they're ok with these adoptions. Why do they make it seem so complicated? its not like they're hiding out trying not to be found. They probably would have loved it if someone had tried to talk to them first before everything happened.

    December 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Nope

      You clearly have no idea how adoption works. Also to some of the other posters – let's not villify all women who put their children up for adoption. The decietful actions of this woman are not indicative of how the adoption process works or a shortcoming in the system. If a person is set to lie about the facts – marriage, father, signatures – then cases like this do in fact happen. It is not a systemic flaw within the adoption system.

      December 13, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • PrincessBride

        The fault is not in the system originally approving the adoption – yes, this mother knowingly lied and deceived the courts. The fault in the system is not immediately correcting the problem when the father presented himself to claim custody of the biological child stolen from him. Most parents who put their children up for adoption do so with the best interest of the child in mind. In this case, the mother deliberately deprived the father of the chance to take custody of a child she did not want. That is wrong. And the adoptive parents, as painful as it must be, should have surrendered the child once the deception became clear.

        December 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  48. Tamara Dahl

    The couple was legally married and he wanted to be a dad. They atty. that handled this case, the placing agency and the Judge that authorized this as well as the bio. mother hurt this child. Playing dirty pool. Father had a legal right to raise his child. I am a former social worker and I have made "legal" adoptive placements. You do right by the child and those people who made the placement violated the right of the child. I hate that she will experience trauma due to their decisions but Daddy isn't doing anything wrong. That has already been done. The lawyer should lose his license. The adoptive couple should have backed off. Wanting a child is a painful void for a family to fill but lawyers to advantage of that void and can put families at terrible risk. They pay and the children pay. The lawyer never does. This lawyer should have to pay dearly. Perhaps other social workers (private and public) and lawyers will learn that children are not items to be traded or sold. As with children of American Indian heritage, care should be given to consult with the tribe. I am privy to adoptions of Native American children who were adopted by .Caucasian families but it was done with the approval of the tribe, knowing that the child had lived in the home for 9 years, knowing that the child wanted to stay with the Caucasian family, knowing that the family would raise the child .w.ith total knowledge and education of his Indian heritage. My apologies for the lengthy post but after 34 years in child welfare, I am frustrated that cases like this continue to occur. We need to stop ,putting these children in the middle. Thanks you for my moment to vent.

    December 8, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • Lyden

      The baby girl is the real loser in this case. The biological mother handled it poorly. The Utah couple is likely better equipped to give the girl a loving home (father & mother together, committing to adoption is a big one) but the bio father should have his daughter. Sad really, I don't disagree with 60 day time period (maybe a little less) but for the sake of the child both sides could do a lot to help the child make the transition better. Yanking her our of one and thrust into another would probably be too harsh for the child to handle well.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  49. Rocky

    Mother cared just about herself. The Freis knew better and should give the Father his daughter, pronto!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Mag

      I agree 100%

      December 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm |