A Utah judge is reportedly “astonished and deeply troubled” that an adoption agency deliberately circumvented the rights of a married U.S. Army drill instructor whose daughter was adopted at birth without his knowledge.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Judge Darold McDade, in a 48-page ruling, has given the adoptive couple 60 days to give the 21-month-old child back and said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane, 31, once he learned what happened to the girl whom he named Teleah is “utterly indefensible.”
"This is a case of human trafficking," attorney Mark Wiser told the newspaper. "Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child."
The girl’s adoptive parents, Jared and Kristi Frei, declined to comment, as did their former and current attorneys. James Webb, executive director of the Adoption Center of Choice, did not return a call from The Salt Lake Tribune and attempts by the newspaper to reach Tira Bland, the birth mother who is now divorced from Achane, was unsuccessful.
Achane, a drill instructor in South Carolina, said he just wants his baby girl back.
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"I am not a very religious person," he said in an interview last week. "But ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get back ... It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter."