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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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