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This is disturbing to read. The US Supreme Court has ruled that fathers must give their consent for adoption unless their paternal rights have been relinquished or terminated by the state court.

In North Carolina, the putative father has to receive a notice of adoption proceeding. If he doesn't respond to this within 30 days, the court terminates his parental rights.

It sounds like Mr. Johns is saying he never received this notice and didn't learn that he was the father of this child until after adoption had been finalized.

Johns says that his last name was changed on the adoption agency's notarized form from "Johns" to "James" and that the adoption agency is claiming they tried to notify him. He appears to be claiming that his name was altered, perhaps deliberately, in an attempt to circumvent the legal notification requirement.

Therefore he hired an attorney to contest the adoption because he didn't legally consent. But the court rejected his claim.

By now this child is 18 months old and has bonded to his adoptive parents. I hate to even think how traumatic it would be for this little boy to be removed from the care of the only parents he's ever known.

In any case concerning custody of a minor, the prevailing consideration is what is in the best interests of the child. That should override any "ownership" claims a parent might have, even in a case such as this, when the father says he was never notified that there was an adoption pending and he could not assert his rights to contest the adoption in a timely fashion.

I do think Mr. Johns may have a valid claim against the adoption agency, though. He says that that the mother of his son completed papers listing him as the father, and that it appears that his name on those papers was crossed out/altered to another name. He suggests that this may have been done by someone at the adoption agency in an attempt to prevent him from being notified of the impending adoption and challenging it. It would be a costly undertaking to sue the agency, though, and he's already spent 100K in challenging this adoption.

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