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Man’s attempts to establish paternity denied

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed denial of a mother’s two motions to dismiss her child’s father’s paternity actions instituted after her husband attempted to adopt the child.

Mother J.W. had G.W. while she was in a relationship with R.M. R.M. claims to be the child’s father, but he never signed G.W.’s birth certificate or paternity affidavit and didn’t register with the Putative Father Registry. He regularly saw G.W. for about eight months after the child’s birth until J.W. stopped all visitation. She married J.U. in July 2011 and he filed a petition to adopt G.W. in August 2011, to which J.W. consented.

R.M. did not receive notice of the proceedings. Just before the filing of the adoption petition, he signed a petition to establish paternity. The mother sought to dismiss R.M.’s paternity actions, which was denied.

In In the Matter of the Paternity of G.W., J.W. v. R.M.,22A01-1205-JP-234, the judges analyzed the statute establishing the state’s Putative Father Registry, Indiana Code 31-19-5-2, and ruled in favor of the mother.

“The evidence reflects that although Mother disclosed R.M.’s name to the attorney arranging the adoption of G.W. by her husband, she never divulged R.M.’s address. Because both the name and address have to be revealed to fall outside the application of the putative father registry, we find that the provisions of the registry are applicable to R.M,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote. “As R.M. acknowledges that he never registered, we must necessarily conclude that he is not entitled to the notice of the adoption proceeding, and has irrevocably and implicitly consented to the adoption of his minor child to J.U.

“Moreover, other jurisdictions have similarly concluded that a putative father who fails to register with the putative father’s registry has waived his right to notice of adoption proceedings and impliedly consents to the adoption.”

The judges also held that R.M. can’t serve as G.W.’s next of friend to establish paternity because he is barred from establishing paternity pursuant to I.C. 31-14-5-9.
 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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