Adoption Law & Court Cases
Navajo Nation Opposes Adoption
Contributing author, Erik L. Smith, gives us his analysis of a recent case involving the adoption of a child that belonged to the Navajo Nation.
Can a Parent Whose Rights Are Terminated Seek Custody Again?
Can a parent whose rights were terminated seek custody if the child hasn't been adopted yet? An Ohio court examines the limits of terminated parental rights.
Case Report: North Carolina - Putative Fathers and Adoption
Erik L. Smith brings us more commentary on adoption law and the putative father's registry. Read further for Mr. Smith's comments on this interesting case in adoption law.
Landmark Cases in Adoption
Eleven different court cases that have changed adoption law over the years. The following are the most persuasive adoption law cases that have affected courts across the nation.
Armstrong V. Manzo
Case of a step-parent adoption that violated a birth father's rights.
Stanley v. Illinois
A case involving an unwed father who had to apply for custody of his children after the death of their mother.
Quilloin v. Walcott
This case established the rule that where an unwed father lacks a custodial or legal relationship with the child, despite having had ample time to pursue one, the state can give him less authority to veto an adoption than it gives a man who fathered the child in a marriage.
Caban v Mohammed
This case established the rule that unwed mothers and unwed fathers must be treated the same where the father has a substantial relationship with the child.
Lehr v. Robertson
This case established the constitutionality of putative father registries generally.
Mississippi Choctoaw Indians v. Holyfield
This case established the rule that individual Indian tribal members domiciled on the reservation cannot avoid tribal jurisdiction simply by giving birth off the reservation and surrendering the child in state court.
Matter of Robert O. v. Russell K
It was the father's responsibility to inquire about the pregnancy and protect his rights, not the mother's duty to name the father to the court in the adoption proceeding.
In Interest of B.G.C.
The child's best interest standard was inapplicable where the parent had not abandoned the child or otherwise forfeited his parental rights under state law. In B.G.C., the unwed mother named her boyfriend as the father, when her ex-boyfriend was the true father. The mother and boyfriend consented to termination of their rights. Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend did not know about the child.
Smith v. Malouf
The unwed father could sue the unwed mother and her parents for intentional infliction of emotional distress and for conspiring to prevent the father from exercising his parental rights after the mother and her parents arranged a secret adoption.
Burr v. Stark City Bd. of Commrs.
The adoptive parents could sue the adoption agency for wrongful adoption where they were fraudulently misled to their detriment by the agency's misrepresentations about the child's background and condition.
Doe v. Sandquist
The constitutional right to privacy did not include a right to remain anonymous in adoption surrenders.