Ohio Supreme Court Sides With Father In Difficult Case Involving Two-Year Old Adopted Child

Jul 18, 2017

The Ohio Supreme Court has decided a tough case that involving two young parents, which will likely mean a two-year-old child will be taken from the Tennessee family he’s lived with since birth.

The mother had been clear that the adoption would happen immediately after the child’s birth in Butler County. She and the father had had only sporadic contact and there was no financial support. The father sued for custody, but two lower courts said he had willfully abandoned the mother. The father’s attorney Michaela Stagnaro told the Ohio Supreme Court in June she understands how difficult this is for the adoptive family. “But we also understand that my child, as a parent, has a fundamental right to the care and support of the child.”

The Ohio Supreme Court said everyone in this case has the child’s best interests at heart and the options are imperfect. But the justices ruled that willful abandonment is more than a lack of financial support, so the father’s consent would be necessary for the adoption to proceed.