Judges reverse adoption completed while mother was out of state

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of an adoption petition by a child’s paternal grandparents, finding the matter was surrounded by irregular and fraudulent circumstances.

In In Re the Adoption of M.P.S., Jr.; A.S. v. M.P.S., Sr., M.S., and An.S., No. 88A01-1108-AD-387, mother A.S. appealed the grant of adoption of her son by M.S. and An. S., the mother and stepfather of M.P.S. Sr., who is the father of M.P.S. Jr. The boy was born out of wedlock to the young parents, who married and then lived in Virginia before moving to Indiana to live with the father’s mother and stepfather. At some point the parents moved back to Virginia with their son to live with M.P.S. Sr.’s father and stepmother, but eventually moved back to Indiana and lived with the grandparents.

M.S. and An. S. sought to adopt M.P.S. Jr. The parents met with the grandparents’ attorney, but did not have their own attorney. The parents signed consent for the adoption, which was notarized by the attorney, but her notary commission had recently expired. She also advised the parents the consents were revocable up until the adoption hearing.

The parents were to go to Virginia to take a sibling of M.P.S. Sr. so the sibling could live with his parent in Virginia. M.P.S. Sr. quickly moved up the trip so that he and his wife would be out of town during the adoption hearing. They had not received notice of the hearing. While in Virginia, M.P.S. Sr. left A.S. behind in the middle of the night. While she was gone, she learned her son had been adopted. M.P.S. Sr. continued to live with his mother and stepfather.

The COA reversed, finding numerous procedural errors, involuntariness and fraud upon the court. It appeared the trip was planned to keep the mother from withdrawing her consent. Also, at the hearing, the grandparents testified that the child had lived with them his whole life, which was incorrect.

In addition, A.S. signed her consent for adoption under the premise that her living conditions would not change and she would continue to live with her son.

The judges remanded with instructions to vacate the adoption decree and to comply with Indiana Code 31-14-13-1, which vests sole legal custody of a child born out of wedlock to the biological mother.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.