Terry Achane, a soldier on active duty, is still fighting to get his daughter, Teleah, back from LDS Church members who illegally "adopted" her. Judge Darold McDade of Utah issued a 48-page ruling declaring the actions of the Adoption Center of Choice’s actions "utterly indefensible.", and ordered the baby returned to her biological father. Still, however, the adoptive family, the Freis, continue to raise money to fight to keep baby Teleah, and she remains with them.
A 4th District Court judge says he is "astonished and deeply troubled" by a Utah adoption agency’s deliberate move to circumvent the rights of a married man whose daughter was adopted at birth without his knowledge.
The Provo judge, while noting the birth mother had deceived her husband, the adoption agency and the prospective parents, has given the adoptive couple 60 days to give the child back.
In a 48-page ruling, Judge Darold McDade said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane once he learned what had happened to his baby is "utterly indefensible."
Salt Lake City attorneys Mark and Scott Wiser, the father/son team that represented Achane, used even stronger language for what occurred.
"This is a case of human trafficking," said Mark Wiser. "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."
Jared and Kristi Frei, the adoptive parents, declined to comment, as did Kasey Wright, their former attorney, and Larry Jenkins, newly hired to represent the couple. James Webb, executive director of the Adoption Center of Choice, based in American Fork, did not return a call from The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune attempted to reach Tira Bland, the birth mother who is now divorced from Achane, but was unsuccessful.
This story is longer and more complex than the excerpt, so I will give a brief overview:
Terry Achane and his wife were married. Mr. Archane was an active duty soldier who financially provided for his wife and her child from a previous relationship. His wife became pregnant with his daughter, Teleah. However, they were having marriage problems. His wife wanted to have an abortion or give the child up for adoption, since she didn't feel she could handle 2 children if she and Achane were to eventually divorce. He wanted to keep the child and work on the marriage. They went to counseling. Before their marriage issues could be resolved, and before she gave birth, Mr. Achane was reassigned to another state. It seems that his wife took this opportunity to follow her "plan A" and give the child up for adoption.
Instead of preparing to move to the new state, as she agreed, his wife contacted an adoption agency in Utah, lied about her situation, and placed the child for adoption. She then went dark on her husband. Mr. Achane had difficulty even finding out if she had given his daughter to relatives or what had happened to the child. Finally he found out that she had been placed with the Freis. He demanded her back. The Freis said no, even though throughout the adoption process, they were aware that the biological father had not consented to the adoption and was asking for his daughter back.
So here we are nearly 2 years later.
The Freis, members of the LDS church which promotes having large families, already have 4 biological children, and an additional child that they adopted. They have started a blog for their supporters to help them "fight" for the baby that they stole from her father. How people can in good conscience can give money to people to keep a child that they illegally adopted scrambles my brains.
Achane is a solidier, laying his life on the line for our country, and how does he get repaid? By having his daughter stolen from him while he is transferred to another state. Soldiers frequently have to be apart from their children when they are reassigned or shipped out, many wives give birth without their military spouse by their side, it is part of the deal when you sign up. For this common situation to be taken advantage of by opportunists looking to buy children to fill their home is criminal on so many levels.
The Freis should return baby Teleah now. Not after they appeal, not in 60 days, now. That child's father has waited long enough.
Mr. Achane has a Facebook page where you can offer your support and donate to his attorneys to help him get us daughter back, visit it here.
The Freis also have a Facebook page. Maybe we should all go there and let them know that stealing other people's children is definitely not what Jesus would do.