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After unexpected adoption, man is reunited with daughter

A child custody case involving a member of the U.S. military has received international media attention. The 31-year-old soldier had been fighting for his daughter for nearly two years, much of it highlighting the complicated processes that can be involved in family law. Expecting parents in New Jersey may want to pay attention to this story that began in 2010 when the man and his wife discovered they were pregnant.

Marital problems were present during that time and the couple could not come to an agreement on what to do with the unborn child, adding to their strife. The 31-year-old man encouraged the birth, regardless of their problems, while the expecting mother suggested giving her up for adoption because she feared becoming a single mother.

Several months went by and the soldier was asked to move out of his state to another one for work. Reports indicate that less than two weeks after the man moved away, the expecting mother signed the child away to a couple seeking a baby to adopt. The adopting couple received the child and for nearly two years, the man's child lived with them.

When he discovered the news, the 31-year-old was angry and confused that something like this could have happened without his knowledge. An extensive custody battle crossing state lines and involving the father, as well as the adopting couple, was hashed out. On November 20, though, the courts ruled in favor of the biological father and decided that the adoption petition of the couple would be dismissed.

The next month, it was revealed that the center that had organized the adoption was under scrutiny from state officials and no longer possessed a renewed license due to a corrective action from the state. The adoptive parents are planning to appeal the decision because they believe it is unfair for the child to be given to a father she has never known. Still, the couple was forced to return the child in January. She will remain with her father until the case continues in March.

Source: Daily Mail, "Soldier wins 22-month custody battle and finally reunited with daughter, 2, who his wife gave up for adoption without telling him," Jan. 25, 2013

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