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Reply #22


Response to closeupready (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:31 PM

22. Stanley v. Illinois

held that a father cannot lose his custody rights without notice, hearing and adjudication of unfitness to be a parent. This was a Supreme Court case from 1972.

Early in my paralegal career, I handled adoptions. Because of the Stanley case, we obtained the consent of every POSSIBLE sperm donor. I remember one case where a man responded by saying that although he did not acknowledge paternity, he gave his consent to the adoption. In the event consent is not provided, there is a procedure for publishing notice in a legal publication in the area in which the absent parent lived. This was considered the notice required under Stanley (and in fact, notice by publication is allowed in other kinds of cases as well). A hearing was held before a judge, giving the particulars on why consent was not available, and the judge then decided whether or not the father (could also be mother) was deprived of parental rights and the adoption could proceed. There was another whole procedure if the absent parent was a member of an Indian tribe or in the military.

Since adoption files are closed, it is not possible to access information to determine if proper procedures of notice/hearing/adjudication were followed and if not, where was the error made.

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