Father fighting adoption laws to get son

Relates to:
Date: 2011-08-27
Source: abc4.com

by: Noah Bond

"My son is 7 and a half months old. I've never met him that picture right there is one of the only ones I have of him," -Jake Strickland
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A dad is fighting to get his son back. He claims his girlfriend secretly delivered the baby and gave him up for adoption.

"I want to see my son back," said Jake Strickland who has yet to see his own child.

Jake prepared a nursery for baby Jackson with his mothers help. "I spent three months decorating the nursery on the walls. Jake provided all the other necessities for the baby," said Jennifer Graham.

Jake says he lost the right to see his son because his girlfriend misled him.

"It's my fault for believing her and just going for it, but at the same time I thought I could trust the woman of my child," said Jake.

She delivered Jackson December 29. Jake texted her a few days later. "I asked her how did your doctors appointment go and she says good no change," she said.

Actually, she had already signed his baby up for adoption and by the time Jake found out it was too late to get his son back. "There's nothing worse than hearing your son sob and cry because he's so heartbroken his son was taken," said Jennifer.

Adoption attorney Wes Hutchins says Utah law supports deception. "She can lie. She can misrepresent. She can commit fraud. That's expressly what the state permits the woman to do," said Hutchins. He is also President of the Utah Adoption Council, but is speaking on behalf of himself and not the organization.

"Any adoption agency that's willing to stoop that low to destroy one family to create another should be should be shut down completely," said Jake.

Jake says he's upset his girlfriend would deceive him and outraged the system will protect deception. "My son is 7 and a half months old. I've never met him that picture right there is one of the only ones I have of him," said Jake.

He has spent $10,000 in legal fees to get his son back.

Utah's Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham wrote, " Utah risks becoming a magnet for those seeking to unfairly cut off opportunities for biological fathers to assert their rights to a connection with their children." The statement was part of a dissenting opinion in the O'Dea v. Olea case.

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