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Judges reverse adoption completed while mother was out of state

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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.

 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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