Military life can be rough on family life and require great personal sacrifice for all involved. Sometimes, that personal sacrifice is more than some can take and families suffer as a result. In one former Texas based Sergeant’s case, that personal sacrifice led to great suffering, even greater joy, and unfortunately has also resulted in another family’s unintentional suffering as well.
The Army Sergeant was based in Texas when he received orders to transfer. He and his now estranged wife were having marital problems at the time and she was pregnant with their first daughter (although she had one from a previous relationship). While the Sgt. was away on transfer and awaiting the arrival of his estranged wife and daughter, she was in the process of putting her child up for adoption after her birth on March 1, 2011, to avoid becoming a single mother once again.
According to the Sgt., he tried to contact his estranged wife but she had vanished to Utah where she was giving birth and completing the adoption unbeknownst to the father. About three months following the birth and giving their daughter up for adoption, the Army Sgt. was contacted by his estranged wife and told what she had done, setting the stage for him to win his daughter back through the courts.
The father intervened to stop the adoption much to the dismay of the adopting couple. However, a judge granted custody back to the father and said that he was “astonished and deeply troubled” that the adoption agency circumvented the rights of the father. The adopting couple and the Sgt. are trying to negotiate an amicable transition period for the sake of his daughter so that they can remain a part of her life should they choose. The man is extremely thankful for the way in which the couple raised his daughter and the love that they showed her in his absence.
If you find yourself in a situation where your parental rights are being circumvented or you are struggling for child custody, a family law attorney can help. They will be able to help guide you through the often complex legal processes that lie ahead. If you are a military family, attorneys practiced in military divorce understand and are better equipped to handle the uniquely difficult circumstances which you face.
Source: NY Daily News, “‘I got my daughter back’: South Carolina military dad reunited with daughter who was put up for adoption without his consent,” Erik Ortiz, Jan. 27, 2013