Utah Supreme Court denies stay in custody battle


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court has refused to stay a lower court's decision ordering the adoptive parents of a 2-year-old girl to give her to the biological father.

Attorneys for the father, Terry Achane of South Carolina, say Friday's ruling paves the way for him to soon take custody of his daughter.

The child was placed for adoption at birth without Achane's consent or knowledge by his now ex-wife, Tira Bland.

The Adoption Center of Choice gave custody of the child to Jared and Kristi Frei, who live in a Provo suburb and have raised her since she was born in 2011. The case went to court a year later, and in November 2012, 4th District Judge Darold McCade released a decision that admonished the adoption agency and ruled that the child should be returned to her biological father.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the high court on Friday also set an expedited hearing for the couple's appeal of Judge McCade's decision giving Achane custody of his daughter.

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