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Utah Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Florida Father in Adoption Case

The Utah Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Florida father who did not want his daughter put up for adoption here.  The Court found that Utah’s adoption law was "constitutionally defective" in this case.  

Ramsey Shaud has been waiting a long time to meet his daughter.  She was born in Utah almost 3 years ago, when she was put up for adoption by her mother.  A trial judge found that Shaud had acted too late to protect his parental rights under Utah’s adoption law.  When Shaud’s case came before the Utah Supreme Court more than a year ago, he argued that he filed his paternity papers on time, but that Utah "negligently delayed" entry of his petition in the state’s registry.  The Supreme Court finally decided that the earlier decision posed a risk of depriving a father of his rights.  

“It was like the first time I’ve ever actually had a tear of joy,” Shaud told KUER, “I guess I’m just really grateful that they ruled in my favor.  I can’t wait to see her, I just hope the process is a speedy one.”

But before Shaud can see his daughter, the case must first go to a lower Court for a hearing to determine if his paternity petition was received before the child’s mother placed her for adoption. Shaud’s lawyer Daniel Drage is confident that they’ll be successful.

“We’re excited about the opinion, excited about the fact that the Supreme Court looked at the Constitutional implications, and how due process can be violated through the Utah adoption code, in particular as it applies to this case,”  said Drage. 

Drage also said he suspects the legislature will have to change paternity notice requirements after this case.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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