In another forum I normally go to, there's been a bit of a debate about a recent ruling in Canada
Biological father loses custody case
January 29, 2007
SASKATOON â€“ A baby boy at the centre of a case that pitted the rights of adoptive parents against those of a biological father will stay with the couple who have raised him since birth.
And the Saskatoon man who launched a legal battle to get his nine-month-old son returned to him will not be allowed to visit the child for one year unless all those involved agree.
In a Court of Queen's Bench ruling released today, Justice Shawn Smith said it was in the best interest of the boy to stay with the couple, who live in Prince Albert.
The decision, made public on the Law Society of Saskatchewan's website, said the biological father is "capable of providing a positive adult presence in the baby's life, but not in a parental role."
The judge also ordered a one-year period of "familial calm" to give the couple a chance to bond with the child. It is during that time that the biological father is not to visit his son. Such visits had been ordered by the court before the lawsuit went to trial last December.
Smith said in his ruling that the child's welfare must always be the most important consideration.
"While blood ties are one factor, they must be considered from the point of view of the significance to the child, rather than the significance to the biological parent," Smith wrote.
"The court must also consider the uncertainties associated with transferring a child from a known situation of security and stability to a situation with many unknowns. In the case of an infant, the court must consider the potential harm to a child in disrupting attachments (that) have developed or are almost formed."
The biological mother arranged for the couple, whom her family had known for 14 years, to take the child. But the father found out the woman was pregnant a few weeks before the baby was born.
The mother stated in guardianship documents that she didn't know who the father was, but a DNA test confirmed the paternity.
However, the contract between the mother and the couple was recognized as law. The guardians had already given the baby their surname and were seeking child-support payments from the father.
A publication ban was imposed on all names to protect the baby's identity.
During the trial, the biological mother testified she chose the couple to raise her son because she already knew them and they couldn't have children of their own.
The biological father pointed out he wasn't even aware he was the child's father and social services officials did nothing to help him once he found out. He testified he was willing and able to raise the boy.
His lawyer cautioned the judge to be wary of setting a precedent ``that deprives fathers of knowing and caring for their children."
But a lawyer for the couple urged Smith to put biology aside and consider the level of care his clients could provide. He pointed out the two are financially secure and educated, and could offer the baby better opportunities.
He also reminded the court about some of the negative aspects raised against the father and his fiancee during the trial. Both have experienced alcoholism, several failed relationships and unlawful conduct. The man also has other children by previous relationships, court heard.
The judge said at the time he would not give any weight to whether the child had bonded with the couple. He said determining when that happens "is an art as much as a science."
The father's lawyer also suggested during the trial that the agreement between the mother and the couple should be nullified because of the mother's "dishonesty."
But her lawyer disagreed, saying the mother made a difficult decision with a view to the best interest of the child.
The tl:dr version is this: Guy gets girl pregnant, guy doesn't know about it, girl puts child up for adoption, guy learns about it a few weeks before birth, guy sues to get child custody, guy fails to get it, as the baby was already with the adopted parents for months now. Apparently, the adoptive parents also intend to sue for child care payments, which according to the OP was a legal Canadian practice.
Save for that last bit, which nearly everyone had a problem with, there was a bit of a debate about the rights of the man in question, and in general regarding adoption. In other words, what rights does the man have pre-birth regarding a child's adoption, should he ethically be told about the pregnancy, and what legal actions can or should be taken if the woman doesn't reveal this information or puts the baby up for adoption without this awareness or consent.
Now, normally I wouldn't be interested in extending a debate like this to another forum entirely, but given the debate went from "spirited" to "another poster compared me to the guy posting rape fantasies," it understandably was starting to get to me. Granted, he is one of the worst posters on said forum, but still...rape fantasies. You don't just make claims like that.
Anyway, I was hoping to hear some opinions on the subject before posting my own to avoid any bias on the subject. But if that's too much to ask for an original post, I understand. I lurked here for a bit now, but I'm still relatively new, and this is an odd situation.
You know what? Nanowrimo's cancelled on account of the world is stupid.