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Man Loses Son in Adoption Without His Consent


Man Loses Son in Adoption Without His Consent

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Man Loses Son in Adoption Without His Consent

Posted: Nov 6, 2008 11:28 PM
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Man Loses Son in Adoption Without His Consent

Imagine looking forward to the birth of your first child - then having that baby given to another family for adoption without your consent.
It happened to one local father, and he took his fight all the way to the Idaho State Supreme Court - and lost. Now, with no rights to the son he never knew, he's sharing his message with others so it won't happen again.
It's hard to imagine this can happen, and it's very frustrating to Tyson Sherwood, who says he and his fianceé were engaged with a baby on the way. Then, months before she gave birth, she broke off the engagement and all communication. He didn't know his baby was born - and adopted out - until it was too late.
Somewhere out there is a son Tyson Sherwood will never get to raise, because he didn't follow a law that few people know about.
Tyson Sherwood: "I feel pretty helpless and I think it's an unfair law and the whole point of this interview so other people don't get hurt by it so that other potential fathers know about the registry."
He's talking about the Putative Father's Registry. Tyson's attorney who worked on this case is Allen Browning.
Allen Browning: "The Putative Father's Registry is a list of people who claim to be the father of a particular child and that's the only way a father can protect his rights to be a father to a child to keep that child from being adopted without his consent."
Tyson says his pregnant ex-fianceé refused any contact after she broke it off. He says he called the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to know what to do. He says he was never told about the registry and informed he had to wait to assert his rights after the birth.
Allen Browning: "The problem he had was that he didn't know when the baby was going to be born or where the baby was going to be born, and hospitals were not about to tell him, so he was kind of stuck."
Tyson was shocked to learn, several weeks too late, that his son had been adopted and his rights were gone.
Tyson's ex-fiancee' spoke to NBC Newschannel 6 by phone. She did not want to be identified in this story. She said she had concerns about Tyson raising a child, and said it wasn't the best time for having a baby so she put him up for adoption because it was in the best interest of the child.
Allen Browning: "The mother didn't want to raise the child, but she didn't want Tyson to have any part of the child either, and it's sad that the system that we have right now allows that to happen."
Tyson took his case to the local courts and was denied. He even appealed to the Idaho State Supreme Court, with no success - just because his name was never on a state registry he didn't know about.
Tyson Sherwood: "When the supreme court told me that it ain't gonna happen, I just had to pick up and move on and put my life back together."
The baby was adopted through LDS Family Services. Claigh Jensen is the agency director.
Claigh Jensen: "He was not identified and we knew nothing of Tyson until after his court documents were filed."
Tyson and his attorney disagree. They say LDS Family Services was told by the mother she wanted Tyson left out of the process. Jensen says the law was followed.
Claigh Jensen: "A mother, according to Idaho law, has a right to privacy and therefore she can ask us not to contact any men, concerning the potential father of the child and we have to respect that."
There is hope that the adoptive family will at least come forward through LDS Family Services and share a picture of Tyson's son, and some basic information on the baby who is now about 19 months old.
The Putative Father's Registry can be reached at Idaho Vital Statistics at (208) 334-5980 or by logging on to www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.

2008 Nov 6