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Father’s consent not necessary for adoption to proceed

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Adoptive parents did not have to get the biological father’s consent to adopt his minor child, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

The adoptive parents filed a petition to adopt the child, L.H., and claimed the father’s consent was not necessary on three grounds: He had failed to communicate significantly with L.H. for one year, had failed to support L.H. for one year and was an unfit parent.

Evidence presented to the trial court showed that father J.H. has a long history of depression and substance abuse. He has been reluctant to follow treatment advice for his mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, he has attempted suicide and has cut himself. Also, he has been arrested, lost his license and has had difficulty maintaining employment and stable housing.

In 2008, the adoptive parents became concerned about their grandson M.L. and his half-brother L.H. They obtained guardianship over the children which the father did consent to because of his inability to care for his son at that time. M.L. is not the biological child of J.H.

Since then, L.H. and M.L. have remained the grandparent’s care.

In granting the grandparents’ petition, the trial court found that the couple had established the grounds for dispensing with the father’s consent and that the adoption was in L.H.’s best interest.

The father appealed, arguing the evidence is insufficient to prove that his consent was not required and that adoption was in L.H.’s best interests.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in the case, In Re Adoption of M.L., 29A02-1201-AD-54. The COA ruled that since it found sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that the father is not a fit parent, it did not need to address the court’s alternate ground for dispensing with the father’s consent.

The Court of Appeals affirmed that the evidence supported the conclusion that adoption is in L.H.’s best interest.

 

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  • Waste of time
    Why did the court people even waste their time considering the father's case. Everyone knows that fathers are irrelevant concerning the rearing of children. Our matriarchal society bears this out.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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