A child’s biological father with a long history of incarceration for crimes including burglary and forgery lost an appeal of the child’s stepfather’s adoption petition.
The Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed the trial court order in In Re the Adoption of E.A., M.A. v. D.B., 78A01-1504-AD-153. M.A. fathered E.A., now 6 years of age, but was convicted of burglary and sent to prison, and he has had virtually no contact with the child or his mother during the time he was incarcerated or after his release.
The trial court found that M.A.’s consent to the adoption of E.A. by stepfather D.B., who has raised E.A. with his mother for the past five years, was not required. In affirming, the Court of Appeals held that among numerous trial court findings, one determination was sufficient to find he lacked standing: E.A. had been in the custody of another person for at least a year during which M.A. failed without justifiable cause to communicate with the child when able to so.
“(A)lthough we sympathize with the situation Appellant faced, we cannot say that he displayed the requisite level of persistence demonstrating a continued interest in E.A., and the evidence shows he chose to end his efforts to do so,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel.