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Fight continues for Cache County man to see his daughter after adoption dispute

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CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- A Cache County baby, put up for adoption, has been returned to her biological mother, while the biological father is left out of the picture.

“She gave the baby up and I fought for her the whole time and it’s not right that I can’t even see my daughter,” said father Colby Nielsen.

Nielsen, 20, doesn’t understand why he is being denied access to his daughter Kaylee, when it was the baby’s mother who put her up for adoption to begin with.

“Like, the whole time she felt like she was never her mom, like this isn’t my kid,” Nielsen said of Kaylee’s mother.

Kaylee was born on Nov. 4. The adopted parents took custody of her on Nov. 18. On Nov. 23 they returned her to Kaylee’s biological mother.

They issued this statement, “Had we known that all parties were not in agreement in these regards the adoption would have never taken place.”

However, Nielsen said the adoptive parents knew he wanted to keep his daughter, and he had been pleading with them over text messages not to take her from him.

“She said, ‘Well this is going to be OK Colby, you are going to be part of the family, we’ll kind of raise this child together,’” said Nielsen’s attorney Wes Hutchins, regarding texts received from the adoptive mother.

Nielsen said he and the birth mother met for 15 minutes following Kaylee’s return, but at this point his baby girl remains absent from his life.

“She wouldn’t work anything out, she wouldn’t even bring Kaylee so I could just see how she is doing,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen said for the first 13 days of Kaylee’s life he did everything for her, he wants the opportunity to do that again. He said the baby’s mother lost her chance.

“I was feeding her, I was changing her, and I was bathing her by myself,” Nielsen said. “All of a sudden it’s her daughter, and I don’t know what’s best for her.”

Under Utah law if a couple isn’t married the mother has the right to give a baby up for adoption without the father’s consent. This law has been challenged before, and it may be challenged again.

“If we continue to run up against a brick wall we have no other option than to seek the assistance of the court and making this right,” Hutchins said.

FOX 13 News made multiple attempts to contact the attorney for the biological mother but calls were not returned.

26 comments

  • rightasrainy

    This is so sad and wrong! How dare she alienate him from his daughter who he cared for by himself for two weeks. He was the only parent who wanted her, he was there when she was born, brought her home and cared for her. No the mother is cutting him out! It’s clear she’s punishing him and using the baby as a pawn. Shame, shame!

  • Finny Wiggen

    These individuals do not understand the teachings of the church. They used their faith as an excuse to kidnap a child from a living parent.

    How do you justify such cruel actions to yourself. Kaylee and her father have suffered enough.

    The Church teaches that two loving parents are better than one. This is true doctrine. But it does not teach to accomplish this by stealing. Doing so is a terrible and selfish distortion of the “right.”

    You made your decision when you made the baby. It is too late to alter that.

    You can’t fix this by making more poor choices. Give the man access to his precious little girl!

    • bob

      Until a couple of years ago the Church did this all the time, as a matter of policy. Several high-profile court battles over LDS Family Service’s kidnapping ring generated enough negative publicity that Church had to get out of the adoption business. That’s why they had their man Hillyard get the new law through the legislature, putting the State in the kidnapping business as their proxy.

      That family was doing as they were taught, and as as advised by their Church leaders, with Hillyard as their attorney.

      What the Church claims to teach and what it DOES are two different things. Dads are important as long as they wear the right underwear. Otherwise, they’re monsters from whom children must be rescued.

  • A.P.

    No matter what..even if the bio mom changed her mind. She should be Co parenting with the bio dad. Some may say she gave up her chance. And I agree she did. But from every thing I have read she has been pressured, shamed and guilted into not keeping her daughter by her parents. Keeping baby Kaylee away from her father is wrong. But maybe the birth mom is struggling too. Maybe she has PPD after dealing with all this. I know I would. Hopefully the birth mom gets away from her crazy parents and does what SHE feels is right in her heart. Colby seems like an awesome man that wants the best for his baby. I’m sure he doesn’t want hus daughters mother out of the picture completely. But getting that baby away from those guilt pushing grandparents seems to be the best move. Best of luck!!

    • Ed

      It’s true that birth mothers, especially young and/or unmarried ones are often victims of the aggressive adoption industry and even members of their own family, and are often subject to coercion. Regardless, the most ideal solution is for the father to have full custody and allow the mother into their child’s life as he sees fit.

      • Sister Chromatid

        Ad hominen much?

        The facts are clear. There needs to be a clearer separation between church and state in Utah. Those outside Mormonism do not want Mormon brand of “sharia” law just like you don’t want to be subject to an FLDS theocracy– or anyone else’s faith/cult/superstition when it comes to government. Nobody but fellow Mormons think that Mormons hold any moral high ground.

  • Kim

    I’m so sad for this young man and his family. It’s becoming harder and harder to have anything other than distain for the birth mom. Prayers and love to Colby. Praying she will be home soon.

  • bob

    Disgusting. Utah gave the child to a woman who has no parental rights, over the REAL rights of a loving dad who desperately wants his daughter.

    Utah has long been a haven for child trafficking. The LDS Church’s involvement finally ended with international outrage a couple of years ago over a father who took leave from his deployment in Iraq to see his baby born, only to discover that the mother had fled to Utah to give birth and turn the baby over to LDS Family Services. There had been many such cases of babies being taken from fathers by the Church to be given to LDS families, but that one caused enough of a stir that the Church had to back out of the kidnapping business.

    So what did they do? Talked to their man Hillyard, a state senator, who got a law passed putting the State in the same business.

    Why the anti-father hate campaign, Utah?

    • bob

      The legislation that created this is fairly new, rammed through by Lyle Hillyard, who just happens to be the attorney who represented the adoptive parents in this case.

      You really think they’ll pass legislation that goes against their religion?

  • bob

    The adoptive parents are liars without shame. They claim they didn’t know the dad wanted the baby? They took the baby directly from him as he BEGGED them not to, in tears.

    Disgusting, dishonest, evil people. They shouldn’t be allowed to adopt, and if they already have kids I’d say those children are in danger. At the very least there should be close monitoring.

      • Ed

        No it’s absolutely still wrong. “Legal” and “Right” aren’t the same thing. The conspirators in this unethical adoption being able to get away with it doesn’t magically make it okay to take someone else’s child, it just means the laws need to be changed, like every other time in history that a law has been unjust. Don’t be dense.

  • Mel

    He should absolutely have access to his daughter and it is tragically sad and unfair that this scenario seems to be at an impasse. But when he is saying things like “She gave up her chance” regarding the mother, I can see why she might be reluctant to leave the baby with him unsupervised. I have been a new, overwhelmed, sleep-deprived mother and even though I was married with a Master’s Degree when my oldest was born, I remember wondering through my exhausted, post-partum haze whether or not my poor, fussy baby wouldn’t be better off with someone more qualified than my husband and I. Clearly, it was the hormones and lack of sleep that influenced these thoughts and, of course my husband and I never followed through with any such plan. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never even spoke those words aloud. But if I were young, unmarried, overwhelmed by my own hormones and a new baby’s demands, not to mention facing lots of family pressure to give the child up; who knows what my decision would have been in those early weeks? This young, overwhelmed mother doesn’t deserve to be punished for her actions any more than the father deserves to lose his rights to his daughter. And when he and his family do nothing but talk to the media about how she doesn’t ‘deserve’ to raise the baby, I would be leery of granting them unsupervised visits too out of fear that they might take her and disappear. Neither of them need to lose that little girl twice. Hopefully they can work out a shared agreement that allows them both to raise the baby without either party questioning the other’s intentions. I think acknowledging each other’s rights with some compassion would go a lot further than lashing out at each other through the media.

    • Ed

      “And when he and his family do nothing but talk to the media about how she doesn’t ‘deserve’ to raise the baby,”

      She conspired to take the baby from her father for no reason. And, as sad as this is, without raising public awareness, this may very well have ended with the adoptive parents keeping the baby. That’s often the case with unethical adoptions. Until the laws are changed to fight child trafficking instead of facilitating it, PR is an important angle for any thwarted father or manipulated mother. And whatever influence this mother was under from other parties, the decision was still ultimately hers. I’m not saying she should be kept away from the baby, but it needs to be the father’s decision. If he doesn’t end up with full custody, justice will not have been served in this situation.

    • harmony

      Mel, what the BF is referring to is the birth mom signed away her rights, which is irrevocable in Utah. She no longer has any legal standing to the child. So, indeed, she had her chance to parent and she signed away her rights. He was not given that chance, and has not signed anything. Nothing remotely dark about his comment.

  • quin

    This is really sad for baby Kaylee who is truly the innocent one in this case. God bless her. I hope she grows up to do amazing things despite her difficult beginning being surrounded by such chaos.

  • Becca

    I’m sorry but the whole “her parents have been pressuring her to give the baby up” is B.S. I had my son at 16, moved out, and told family that said I had to give him up for adoption what they could do with their opinions. He was MINE and nobody was going to take that away from me. If she didn’t feel that way after having months of the pregnancy to think about it that she wasn’t even involved after the birth and gave the baby up for adoption then it sounds like she is not ready to be a parent no matter what her age is. The dad has already proven through his actions that he is not only willing but able to care for his baby.

  • Kay Springsteen

    Clearly, she really doesn’t want to raise her. I’m wondering if the prospective adoptive parents REALLY DID give the baby back or if it’s just a ruse to convince him to back off. They took her from HIM by court order and she should have been returned to HIM. But now suddenly they’re playing keep-away, and it makes me wonder if maybe the PAPs are just biding their time and will take her eventually after all. Kaylee deserves to know her real father, the only parent who never gave up on her or gave her away. And the other side of her family – the half that WANTS her, Colby and his siblings, Kaylee’s grandma, cousins… She deserves a chance to be in their lives. And not just as an adopted child of another couple, but as their loved and cherished child.

  • Ed

    “This law has been challenged before, and it may be challenged again.”

    “May be”? That’s pretty funny. It’s basically legalized child-trafficking, of course it’s going to be challenged for as long as the stupid law exists. There’s a class-action lawsuit being pushed by like 30+ thwarted fathers already. Can only get away with it so many times before the hand is overplayed and people catch wise. Everyone knows now.

  • Jo Anna

    Let’s be REAL CLEAR about what’s really going on. An adoption industry and prospective adoptive couples who are enabling women to put their children up for adoption WITHOUT the father’s knowledge or consent, simply because they can’t stand the thought of the father raising their child. They don’t want to raise their own child, but they don’t want the father to. You see, if they did the RIGHT thing, they’d be on the hook for child support, just as it is for fathers. This is vindictive, callous, cruel behavior to deny a child the right to be raised by the parent who WANTS them. Adoptive couples are being selfish and needy when they blind themselves to the reality of what’s going on. This sanctification of birth mothers who isolate and exclude the child’s father is inexcusable. There’s no other way to describe this enabling as child trafficking and legalized kidnapping. It’s shameful and despicable.

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