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Father gets hearing in custody case

Colorado residents may be interested in the developments of a case involving a father who is fighting for custody of his 6-year-old daughter. The ordeal started in Colorado when the birth mother was still pregnant with the girl. The father filed a paternity petition in Colorado, but the mother then traveled to Utah, where she gave birth to the girl and gave her up for adoption. The adopting parents are the birth mother's brother and sister-in-law.

The father has been fighting for custody since the child's birth while the girl has continued to live with the adoptive parents. Now the two sides will meet in a three-day child custody hearing in Denver in which a juvenile court judge will make a decision in the matter. The father is seeking full custody while the adoptive parents have offered him visitation rights while they retain custody.

The father currently visits the girl in Utah on a monthly basis, and she has also visited him at his current home in New Mexico. He was introduced to her as her father under the guidance of a Utah child psychologist who has recommended that it is in the child's best interest to remain in the adoptive parents' custody. Despite that recommendation, the birth father has continued his fight.

Child custody cases can be complicated as there are rarely clear-cut right answers, and this case could be difficult to decide. While the court will want to respect the father's rights, it will also focus heavily on what is best for the child. The girl is now old enough to be affected by a significant change in living arrangements. Attorneys for both sides will attempt to make the case that custody with their respective client is in the girl's best interest.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, "Father fighting for custody of daughter being raised by Utah couple ", Brooke Adams, December 10, 2013

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