Utah adoption suit moves forward

Feb. 26, 2014 at 2:31 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man's lawsuit over his daughter's adoption against his wishes has been returned to a lower court for further consideration after appeal.

Christopher Carlton, an Iraq war veteran, has sued the Utah adoption agency Adoption Center of Choice and his ex-girlfriend, Shalanda Brown, who gave birth to Carlton's daughter in June 2010, while he was serving in Iraq, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Brown at first tried to hide the pregnancy, then fled from Pennsylvania to Utah where she gave the baby up for adoption without telling Carlton, the suit contended.

Carlton tried amending a paternity petition in the state as a means to stop the adoption from taking place but a judge denied the request, the Tribune reported. Utah has some of the most lax adoption regulations in the country and Carlton's suit alleges women from other states travel there to put children up for adoption against the children's fathers' wishes.

An appeals court ruled on Carlton's side, agreeing the lower court erred in denying him an amended paternity petition. The matter has been returned to the lower court for further consideration.

Carlton's lawyer said it's possible the ruling will allow his client and the girl's adoptive parents to enter into talks aimed at providing Carlton with visitation rights, though Carlton has said he wants full custody of his daughter.

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