Penn. man claims his child was put up for adoption without his knowledge

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Pennsylvania man hopes to gain custody of his son who was put for adoption in Utah without his knowledge.

Jacob Brooks stood before the Utah Supreme Court Tuesday in a fight against a Utah adoption agency regarding his son. The 20-year-old man said the mother of his child drove cross-country without him knowing to give birth and give up their child.

“It`s hard not having my son in my arms knowing he is out there somewhere and I`m not able to see how he is or what`s going on with him,” Brooks said.

The boy is now 2 years old.

Brooks has never met his son and doesn’t know his name.

“I feel like it`s really unfair and it`s unjust and it`s unconstitutional,” Brooks said.

Brooks believes the birth mother of his son cherry-picked Utah to escape the paternity rights in Pennsylvania.

In 2010 Brooks started dating a girl but later found out she was a minor. He said she had lied about her age.

Brooks then cut ties with her but a month later he found out she was pregnant.

Brooks wanted to keep the baby.

Brooks later received adoption paperwork in the mail. For a child to be put up for adoption in Pennsylvania the father has to sign off on it.

“I looked at it and said ‘I`m not signing off on adoption there`s no way I`m signing my son off like that,’” Brooks said.

Brooks believes that’s why the mother fled to Utah.

Weeks before the baby’s due date the birth mother was induced early and gave birth to their son at a Utah hospital.

Brooks’ baby was then given up for adoption, without him knowing.

“What we really ought to have at the state line of Utah is a sign or maybe a statue that says ‘bring us your pregnant mothers and leave your birth fathers at home, because they don`t count for anything in Utah,’” said Brooks’ attorney, Wes Hutchins.

On Tuesday Hutchins argued how the adoption agency violated Brooks’ due process rights. The adoption agency left the courtroom immediately after Tuesday’s hearing without commenting.

Brooks and his family are hopeful.

“It`s very frustrating to have a grandson out there that you can`t hold, you can`t touch, you can`t teach him — it`s terrible it is absolutely terrible,” said Brooks’ step father, Chris Konieczny.

This is just one of several cases of its kind that have popped up in Utah.

Brooks said he plans to keep on fighting for his son.

13 comments

  • Sc

    I have a few problems here.
    The child is now two years old, I feel for the man, but he needs to think what is best for the child and not him. Is taking a two year old away from the only parents he knows the right thing to do?
    I don’t think so. I tears him up that he doesn’t know his child, so he is willing to tear up the hearts of three people? His decision now affects more people than just himself or his step-father.

    Speaking of someone who should understand the bonds of alternative families. How would it be is his step-father was told he could never see his step-son again after helping to raise him after two years?
    He would fight to keep his son, as should this child parents.
    Should this case be heard, sure, things like this should and could have been prevented because birth fathers do have rights and they need to be acknowledged, but at this juncture so do the real parents (not the adoptive parents, because they have been raising him) have rights too.
    This is case to set precedents to protect paternal rights, but the removal of this child to his custody would simply be morally wrong.

    I also have a problem that he was dating a minor (though he didn’t know) and made the choice to cut all ties with the birth mom.
    What steps did he take to reconcile with her after he found out she was pregnant? That point isn’t explained. All we look at in this story is his emotional response to this situation. All of the facts need to be presented. Not just the emotions unless the emotions of all the parties are examined.

    I want to be sympathetic to his situation, but find it hard to be. This story is one of the reasons why parents who adopt fear adopting children in the US. There is that constant fear that they could lose their child after a year, two years, and in some other stories up to five years later. When does it stop?

    • NJmama

      He shouldn’t have had to reconcile with the mother just because she was pregnant. When he found out she was pregnant, he made his desire to keep the child plainly clear by (allegedly) telling her that, as well as not signing the original adoption paperwork in the state of PA. What she did was wrong and the reason why she chose Utah was because Utah rarely enforces paternal rights, only maternal. All she had to do was say “he’s abusive!” and the state takes it at face value.

      It stops when Utah decides to stop allowing mothers to do this. It should require that both signatures be obtained to allow the adoption to continue. This is common occurrence here in Utah and it’s absolutely tragic that the biological mother will face no repercussions from this and now 4 lives are torn apart: the adoptive parents, the child and the biological father, while the biological mother goes about her day as normal.

      Look up the case of Chris Carlton, or Terry Achane. For a state that claims to be so incredibly family oriented, they sure seem bent on tearing families apart by not assuring they even have the RIGHT to allow the baby to be placed for adoption in this state.

  • Trish Ramirez

    I have to say that it is absolutely sickening how often this happens in Utah. I am a girl who grew up in this state and knew more than a few other teenage girls who got pregnant, gave the kid up and didn’t even have to disclose the name of the father on the birth certificate, let alone let the guy know what was going on.

    How is this just or right or promoting family?

    How can we be holding fathers accountable for child support to the extent that they are jailed if they don’t pay up but mothers can legally give away their children without father’s knowledge, let alone their consent?

  • JacksDad2004

    This is such a sad story! It seems like a very complicated case given the age of the birth mom. Praying for all involved.

  • Susan Harms

    We in Utah have to let our legislatures know how much we disapprove of this practice of stealing out of state mens children from them. This is totally not acceptable, give this man his child back and quit stealing other peoples children.

  • JacksDad2004

    I thought the attorney for the adoption agency said he has no parental rights since he was more than four years older than the 14 year old mother?

    • Trish Ramirez

      Does that sound right to you? How often does a teenaged girl get pregnant by an 18-25 year old dude. These guys are still on the hook financially – an attorney can’t strip someone of their paternal rights. A man can be held criminally responsible for s e x u a l acts with a minor, but that doesn’t cost him his parental right or responsibilities.

  • JacksDad2004

    Also, why is there a picture of a two year old child on your site related to a child custody hearing? Doesn’t seem right to me- this kid’s privacy should be honored!

  • Eric Anderson

    “Brooks believes the birth mother of his son cherry-picked Utah to escape the paternity rights in Pennsylvania.”

    Exactly. No other state disregards the parental rights of fathers. “Only in Utah”, as the saying goes.

    It’s a disgusting, evil practice and it has to stop.

  • Lauren Germany

    Is it legal to post pictures of children in the process of adoption. Where did this photo even come from? I’m sure the adoptive family did not give permission.

    • Danielle

      Its not legal. They just haven’t complied with the Solicitor General yet. Maybe they like fines and lawsuits.

  • Dell

    Not sure why my comments nor those of others aren’t making it on this thread….but please remove this picture. You do not have permission from his parents to post this.
    Besides, your story is a twist of the truth and you know it!

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