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Supreme Court: Father’s consent not needed in adoption

March 11, 2014

A father who had been incarcerated and failed to keep up with support payments wasn’t denied due process when the children’s mother remarried and her new husband adopted the children.

The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the adoption petition out of Allen Superior Court in In re Adoption of T.L. and T.L.; M.G. v. R.J. and E.J., 02S03-1308-AD-528. Justice Mark Massa wrote that the trial court findings and conclusions of law, and cited statute that provide a natural parent’s consent, is not required if the parent knowingly fails to provide care and support of his children.

“Based on Father’s history of payment (and non-payment), we cannot say the trial court’s finding that Father was able to pay … but chose not to do so was unsupported by the evidence. Therefore, it was not clearly erroneous,” Massa wrote for the unanimous court.

“That finding supports the trial court’s judgment that Father’s consent to the adoption was not required under Indiana law; thus, the judgment is also not clearly erroneous, and we must affirm.”


 

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