California fathers may have heard that a South Carolina man was fighting for custody of his infant daughter after the mother put her up for adoption without his knowledge. According to news reports, the father had been intending to remain in the child’s life but the mother’s parents did not agree with the relationship.

The father stated that his child was born more than one week before he was notified. By then, she had already been placed with an adoptive family in another state. However, he refused to give up his parental rights. After confronting the child’s mother, he hired an attorney and contested the adoption. He argued that his child was essentially stolen from him and that he had his parental rights stripped even though he had not relinquished them.

The loophole that allowed the mother to put the baby up for adoption was the fact that the child is mixed race. An old South Carolina law allows children that are hard to place due to their race or mental or physical disabilities to be adopted across state lines. The mother reportedly wrote to the court and argued that she felt that the father could not provide for the child. After three months, the court finally granted the father custody of his daughter.

Child custody disputes can be difficult when young children are involved. If one parent wishes to give up their parental rights, the other parent may wish to seek sole legal and physical custody of the child. In some cases, an attorney may be needed to help protect the parent’s rights especially if the other parent wants to put the child up for adoption.

Source: ABC News, “A Father’s Fight to Win Back His Daughter Secretly Put Up for Adoption“, Juju Chang, James Wang, Katie Yu and Lauren Effron, Sept. 15, 2015