Curbs on adoption fraud proposed in Utah

Feb. 19, 2013 at 6:17 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- After instances of fraudulent adoption practices, a Utah legislator says she will introduce a bill that would allow sanctions against adoption agencies.

Democratic state Sen. Luz Robles said she will offer to the Senate Judiciary Committee a bill, SB 183, which would allow the state Office of Licensing to deny, revoke or place conditions on licenses granted to adoption agencies that commit fraudulent acts when placing children for adoption.

The move comes after cases of deceptive tactics have been reported.

A birth mother told the father of a child she placed for adoption the child had died. Other birth mothers have falsely claimed a father is unknown or uninterested in the child. A Utah adoption attorney found instances of agencies offering cash and coaching birth mothers in ways to mislead biological fathers, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

The proposed bill also would direct courts to give more weight to due-process rights, as a judge did this month when he ordered a then-2-year-old girl, placed at birth with another family without the knowledge of the then-married father of the child, Terry Achane, returned to him, the newspaper said.

Scott Wiser, Achane's attorney, called the proposed bill "an excellent proposal to deter some of the deceptive tactics we've seen some birth mothers and private agencies resort to, in order to cut otherwise fir, loving fathers out of their children's lives."

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