UTAH ADOPTION STOMPS ON FATHER’S RIGHTS
This is part of a screen shot of Ashley’s myspace profile. As you can see on the bottom of the image, she has changed her occupation to “babyseller.”
Cody wants nothing more than to be a father. He is currently in a legal battle with the Adoption Center of Choice in Orem Utah to protect that right.
Cody and Ashley conceived a child together in the fall of 2005. When Ashley told him of her pregnancy Cody made it very clear he wanted her to keep the child. (Cody was under the impression Ashley was contemplating abortion.)
Cody said he would take care of her financially and provide her with a place to live if her family kicked her out due to her pregnancy. Ashley had told him her family was going to “disown” her. Cody stressed at the time he was intent on raising the child.
THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
A few months later Ashley told Cody that the child had died - that she had a miscarriage. Cody then came up to Idaho to get his life in order. Cody kept the same email address and cell phone number, both of which Ashley knew. Ashley never called again.
When Ashley was 8 months pregnant Cody learned from a mutual friend that Ashley was still very pregnant and was giving the child up for adoption. Ashley already had the adoptive parents picked out and actively involved in the pregnancy.
Cody immediately called to see if this was true - leaving a message on Ashley’s voicemail.
LDS FAMILY SERVICES
Ashley returned the call saying she wanted Cody to talk with Adam Barnes of LDS Family Services. Adam then tried to talk Cody out of persuing his parental rights. Cody responded to Adam saying he had no intention of giving up his parental rights and that he was going to exercise his parental rights in raising his child.
Adam then tried to convince Cody to give up his parental rights and Cody informed Adam that it was not up for discussion. Adam informed Cody there was no putative father’s registry in Wyoming, but Cody already knew there was a putative father’s registry in the state of Wyoming. Cody registered with it.
(Click on the picture of the registry to enlarge)
The O’Dea family went higher speaking with Adam’s supervisor Cary Shelton - explaining that Cody demands to be in his child’s life and LDS Family Services had better follow the law. Dennis Ashton (Director of LDS Family Services in Utah) was also contacted and Cody sent a letter of intent to them.
(Click on the picture of the letter to enlarge)
LDS Family Services sent back a letter stating they were pulling out of the adoption of Cody’s child. This letter can be seen below. NOTE: The agency put the wrong date on the letter. It was written in 2006 and not 2005.
(Click on the picture to enlarge)
Everyone has always known and Cody has made it perfectly clear that he wants to be the father to his only child.
MOTHER TO MOTHER
Cody’s mother (Melinda) tried to reason with Ashley’s mother (Laura). Melinda told Laura that since Ashley has stated over and over she does not want the child, the O’Dea family is more than happy to help Cody raise his child. All Laura would say to Melinda was Ashley had to give the child up to a married Mormon couple and that the child needed both a married mother and a father. Laura said she would do everything she could to follow through with their beliefs.
Cody continued to call Ashley’s phone, leaving messages begging her to let him know when the baby will be born. Cody kept pressuring the Mormon church for information as to the whereabouts of Ashley and the baby because they had disappeared and were no longer in Buffalo Wyoming.
On June 15th 2006 at 12:03pm Cody received a call from a blocked number. It was from Ashley. The conversation went like this:
Ashley: You will listen and you will not speak. First of all I want you to stop harassing me and that includes your mother. I am in Utah. You will not father this child. You will pay child support until the child is in College. You will never see this baby. Do you understand?
Cody: No, I do not understand, does this mean you are planning to keep the child?
Ashley: Do you understand what I’m saying?
Cody: No, I don’t understand, does that mean you are keeping the child and not giving it up for adoption?
Ashley: If you understand what I have told you, that is all I have to say.
Ashley then hung up. At 4:09pm that same day Cody’s daughter was born. (This is what we have been told. We have yet to see a copy of the birth certificate.)
Ashley, her family, nor the Adoption Center of Choice ever contacted Cody to let him know the baby had been born or placed for adoption. Cody found out from a mutual friend who saw Ashley at a party no longer pregnant. Cody called the hospital in Sheridan and Buffalo Wyoming but was informed he could not get any information without a paternity test proving he was the father of the baby in question.
Cody sent the police over to do a welfare check on the baby. Officer Duncan then called Cody to let him know the baby was not with Ashley. Ashley told officer Duncan to tell Cody that she would call him that night. She also told the officer if Cody thinks hard and long enough Cody will know where the baby is. Cody called Ashley that night and left two messages. Ashley never returned Cody’s phone calls.
Cody was informed later that Ashley had the child in Utah and had given her up to the Adoption Center of Choice. Cody - once informed - sent a letter of intent to the Adoption Center of Choice.
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Cody received a reply from the agency lawyer Larry Jenkins stating Cody had not established his parental rights in the state of Utah - therefore had relinquished his parental rights.
(Click on picture to enlarge)
The Adoption Center of Choice accessed the Wyoming Putative Father’s registry the day the child was born. All the information in the Wyoming Putative father’s registry was given to the Adoption Center of Choice at that time - thus notifying the Adoption Center of Choice of Cody’s desire and unwavering interest in his child. The Adoption Center of Choice received the same information in regards to Cody’s interest in his child as LDS Family Services who withdrew from all adoption proceedings because of Cody’s desire to raise his child.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Cody lost his appeal with the Utah State Supreme Court In a 3-2 decision. This can be found here: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ut-supreme-court/1258689.html There were no additional funds to fight to the Supreme Court. Cody’s main goal at this time is to establish a relationship with his daughter, first by seeking a picture. A picture was denied to his mother on her death bed so we know this picture will most likely not be coming from the adoptive family themselves. We ask that anyone with any information on who is raising Cody’s daughter to please come forward. Thank you. Please write email@example.com
WE NEED YOUR HELP
We would like to ask everyone to take the time to sign the petition here and write the Utah Attorney Generals office and the US Department of Justice about Cody’s case. Their information can be found here. The more people start talking about baby brokering/human trafficking by people abusing Utah laws - the more the authorities are going to look into it.
We are also desperately in need of a NATIONAL putative father’s registry. This will stop all this state jumping and help to keep families from going through this painful process.
-The O’Dea Family