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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Cassie said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 6:59 PM

How can your article say they Frei's legally adopted the girl when they went through with the adopting knowing it was illegal?!

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K C said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:15 PM

The Frei's NEVER adopted Teleah. Their petition to adopt was denied.

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Pat said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:15 PM

The adoption was not legal. They did not have SSGT Achane's consent and they signed a form that if he came to claim the child, they would return her. Instead, he's had to jump through hoops for his own child!

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Stacy said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:15 PM

Legal adoption? They knew the father had not signed away his rights. They never adopted her. They are refusing to give this father his daughter. He never deserted her. Give his daughter back already

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Gwen said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:19 PM

Anyone interested in this story should read the salt lake tribune articles. I am from utah and it is shameful, but true that utah has adoption agencies that lie to steal babies from their father"s. Please help terry achane get his daughter home.

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Malaika Angel said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:30 PM

Thanks to those who are setting the record straight! Support Terry Achane!

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Phyllis said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:35 PM

As the above posters have said, not only did the Freis never adopt this child, they knew BEFORE they took her that he did not and would not consent. He found her when she was less than four months old and refused to consent to the adoption. Please hire a fact checker and rewrite your story, instead of trying to rewrite Sgt Achane's near two year battle to have his child returned to him.

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pat said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:43 PM

Facebook has a Support Terry Achane page.

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Jim said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 7:48 PM

The adoption was never approved. That was the lower court ruling. And the Freis know from the start the father had not agreed. Way to research this article ABC.

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Chandi said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 8:14 PM

The Frei's never legally adopted her!!!! Get your facts straight!!!!! They were trying to adopt her legally or otherwise!!!!!

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Gwen said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 8:38 PM

The wannabe parents have a blog asking for money. They seem to be mormon zealots and justify their own unngodly actions. While they judge this father for not contacting them even though at the birth they were notified that her father did not know the baby had been born and that he would contest any adoption. Donate instead to father, terry achane.

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Neya said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 9:22 PM

She was not legally adopted as she was not free to be adopted. Terry is her legal guardian. You should fact check.

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Ceridwen said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 10:12 PM

"The child was placed for adoption at birth without Achane's consent or knowledge by his now ex-wife, Tira Bland." - from the article Due to this, there was not, nor could there be, an adoption. If the Freis had returned Leah to her father when she was three or so months old and they first learned he had found out what had been done and was definitely contesting, none of this court business would be necessary.

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MelisaC said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 11:26 PM

Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering how ABC could have made such a grave mistake in saying that the child was "legally adopted". She was not and has not been adopted, but was being held illegally as the Freis were refusing to return her to her father ~ EVEN AFTER learning that he was desperate for her return and had never, ever abandoned her.

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shelli.king@utah.edu said on Sunday, Jan 20 at 11:41 PM

Oh good grief! How could you put together a story with so many factual errors! Do some research people. This is sloppy journalism.

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