An unwed father whose child was adopted without his knowledge or consent can sue the mother and the adoptive parents for interfering with his parental rights, the Virginia Supreme Court recently decided.
Before the child was born, the father had accompanied the mother to doctors’ appointments, and the two had allegedly made plans to raise the child together. The mother had even apparently signed a form stating that the father wanted to keep the baby.
However, the mother didn’t tell the father when the baby was born. And without telling him, her parents arranged for the baby to be adopted. After the birth, the mother signed over custody rights to a couple in Utah.
The father then sued the mother, the adoptive parents and others for interfering with his parental rights.
The Virginia Supreme Court allowed the suit, saying that the relationship between a parent and a child is an important legal right.