SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A Utah couple ended its fight for an adopted girl and returned her to her biological father, saying the legal battle was not worth the damage to the child.
Jared and Kristi Frei Monday asked the Utah Supreme Court to voluntarily dismiss their appeal, their statement saying "it would be best for the child to drop their appeal now that she has been transferred into the custody" of Terry Achane, 31, an Army drill sergeant stationed at Fort Jackson, N.J.
Achane received custody of daughter Teleah Jan. 25. The court was to hear the Freis' appeal in March, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.
Archane, 31, and then-wife Tira Bland were living in Texas when Teleah was conceived. The child was born in Utah after Archane received a job transfer to South Carolina, and Bland put the girl up for adoption, claiming her husband had abandoned her, the newspaper said.
Utah's Adoption Center of Choice placed the baby, born March 1, 2011, with the Freis. Archane was unaware of the placement until June 2011. In November 2011, 4th District Judge Darold McDade ruled Archane's parental rights were violated, dismissed the adoption and ordered the child returned to her father, court records said.
At that point the Freis appealed the ruling, the newspaper said.
The Freis' statement said although they are convinced McDade made "serious errors" in giving Teleah to Archane, they are "committed to working with Mr. Archane to assist the child in making a successful transition."