Court holds order is not a final action

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal from a father, holding that an order regarding an adoption petition is not a final judgment.

In In Re the Adoption of S.J., R.W. v. G.C. and J.C., No. 04A03-1110-AD-449, R.W., the biological father of S.J., appealed an order that stated his consent was not required for his stepsister and her husband to adopt S.J.

S.J. was born out of wedlock to mother B.R.L. in May 2005. Although R.W. has not legally established paternity, mother and father agree that R.W. is S.J.’s biological father.

R.W.’s stepsister, J.C., and her husband, G.C., were appointed as S.J.’s legal guardians in 2008 and have had continued custody of S.J. since that time. J.C. and G.C. filed a petition to adopt S.J. on June 15, 2011. Father filed his “Motion to Contest Adoption” on July 8, 2011. On Sept. 2, 2011, the trial court held a hearing on the issue of whether R.W.’s consent to the adoption was required. On Sept. 2, 2011, the trial court issued an order concluding that R.W.’s consent to the adoption was not required. The court also indicated that if all other statutory requirements were met, the petition may proceed to a final hearing.

R.W. appealed, but the COA held that the order from which R.W. appealed is neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order and therefore dismissed the appeal sua sponte.


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