SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Colby Nielsen says watching his newborn daughter being taken away was the hardest thing he’s ever done.
After Kaylee was born on Nov. 4, Nielsen says she never left her side.
“My favorite moments is when she would just lay on my chest and we would watch TV and she just slept,” Nielsen told KSTU.
However, it seems that wasn’t enough.
Nielsen’s lawyer says the Utah Adoption Law allows biological mothers to put their babies up for adoption without notifying the biological father.
“They took this man’s daughter without his knowledge or consent. That is essentially, by definition, stealing,” said Wes Hutchins, Nielsen’s lawyer.
Officials say Nielsen needed to file a paternity action, an affidavit and a commencement notice with Utah’s vital records at least one day before the mother signed the adoption papers, which gave up her rights to Kaylee.
Nielsen says he never had the chance to file all those actions. He says Kaylee’s mother only gave him a few hours’ warning about what she had done.
“In this case, it’s a heartbreaking story, but a simple Google search would’ve told this father the steps he needed to take,” said Sen. Todd Weiler.
“A statute that allows this to happen is skewed against biological fathers,” Hutchins said.
Nielsen says he thought he had convinced Kaylee’s mother to allow him to raise the little girl on his own, but she ended up relinquishing her rights to friends of her parents.
“I would like her back,” Nielsen says through tears.