This has got to be one of the most bizarre things to make media headlines in a long time. According to the Daily Mail, a Texas man by the name of Terry Achane is facing what could be one of the biggest fights of his life after his estranged wife put their infant daughter up for adoption without his consent or knowledge. Now, the child’s adopted family is refusing to give her back, even after a judge has ordered them to.
The first thing that would come to the minds of many when hearing a story of this nature is how does something like this even happen? Well, it seems in 2010, Achane, 31, and his then-wife, Tira Bland, were going through a few martial problems, as most married couples do at some point or another in their relationship. Unfortunately, these problems came around the time that the couple learned they would be expecting their first child. According to Achane, Tira suggested aborting the child or putting her up for adoption because she feared that she would become a single mother; however, Terry encouraged her to keep the baby. A few months later, in February 2011, Terry had to take a job out of state, but anticipated returning to Texas as a new father.
A mere ten days after his departure, his wife gave birth prematurely and placed the newborn with an adoptive family with the assistance of the Adoptive Center of Choice. The child, whom Terry wished to name Teleah, was adopted by Jarred and Kristi Frei, a White Utah family with six children, desperately seeking to expand to seven in an effort to give their youngest child a closer sibling.
Of course when he learned of Tira’s actions, Terry was outraged and sought custody of his daughter.
“I was like, “Utah? Where is Utah?” I’d never been to Utah. She’s never been to Utah,” Achane shared with the Salt Lake City Tribune.
The Freis’ named the child Leah, but were made aware by the Adoptive Center of Choice that the child’s father was unaware of the adoption and would most likely contest it if he found out. Although, a judge has ruled that the Freis return the child to her biological father within 60 days, they are seeking an appeal claiming that they have spent a lot of money for adopting the child, around $25,000.
“This is a case of human trafficking.’Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child,” Mr. Achane’s attorney told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “
Terry, who certainly does not wish to be involved in an extended legal battle, discussed how important it is that he be united with child immediately.
“If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get back. … It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter.”
The Freis are prepared for a fight, however.
“Since that eventful day, we have, as a family, come to know that this dream was a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God, and that Leah would be that child – and yet, little did we know the challenges and trials that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl,” the family shared on their blog, which they have been utilizing to raise money for their court battle.
This is wrong on so many levels. I’m not sure if God would “give” them a baby at the expense of a grieving father who wants his child. Hopefully Terry will be united with his daughter soon.
What do you think of this? Are the Freis’ justified in their fight for Leah?
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise