Jeremiah J. v. Dakota D.

Mother and Father, who were not married, had a relationship during which Mother became pregnant. Mother sought to place the child up for adoption. Father attempted to prevent the adoption proceedings by filing an amended petition to establish the necessity of his consent to the adoption. The county court granted summary judgment for Mother, determining that Father did not comply with Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-104.02 by objecting to the adoption within five business days of the child’s birth. The Supreme Court reversed. On remand, the county court held (1) Mother intentionally hid the child’s birth from Father and was therefore equitably estopped from relying on the five-day time limit for objections; and (2) Father’s consent to any proposed adoption of the child was required. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the county court did not err in finding (1) Mother failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that Father neglected or abandoned the child; (2) Mother did not prove parental unfitness by clear and convincing evidence; and (3) Mother’s conduct excused Father’s failure to provide reasonable financial support for Mother and the child and reasonable financial support during Mother’s pregnancy. View "Jeremiah J. v. Dakota D." on Justia Law