396 Family Law Quarterly, Volume 53, Number 4, Winter 2020
misrepresentation of their intent to abide by the agreement’s visitation provisions.
Hawaii. W.N. v. S.M., 424 P.3d 483 (Haw. 2018). Both of the parties entered into
a relationship in 2009 and decided to bring one of their granddaughters into the
family and raise her as their own daughter. One of the parents legally adopted
the child, and both of them assumed joint custody of the child. Upon dissolution
of the relationship, the parent who legally adopted the child sought to take
full custody. The court held that an evidentiary hearing is required on remand,
statements by the child in visitation reports were not hearsay, and the exclusion
of the psychologist’s progress notes about the former partner constituted abuse.
Indiana. E.B.F. v. D.F., 93 N.E.3d 759 (Ind. 2018). Mother’s consent was required
for Stepmother to adopt a minor child. Mother had shared legal custody of her
child, who primarily lived with his father and stepmother. (Child grew up with
Mother but moved to Father’s after Mother became unemployed, drug dependent,
and in an abusive relationship.) During year where Mother recovered from drug
abuse, gained employment, and found housing, she had no contact with her child.
of the child without Mother’s consent due to a prerequisite year of no-contact
requirement. The court found that while the prerequisite was met, Mother’s
consent was required because her willingness to distance herself while recovering
communicate, and because Father and Stepmother blocked Mother’s attempts to
communicate with her son.
Kansas. In re Adoption of C.L., 427 P.3d 395 (Kan. 2018). In 2016, Mother found
out she was pregnant and gave birth on the same day. Mother opted to put the
her parental rights to the baby. The baby was placed with prospective adoptive
parents, and a social work supervisor called the man believed to be the father of
the baby to convince him to relinquish his parental rights as well. Father asked
to meet the baby and was told by the social work supervisor that any meetings
adoption petition and requested termination of Father’s parental rights one day
action. The court asked Father to take a paternity test, and Father was determined
to be the father. Father was then asked why he had not attempted to support or
contact his child despite not knowing about the pregnancy, not knowing the
identity of the prospective adoptive parents, and not being informed of any way
he could support or contact the child through the adoption agency. The lower
court ultimately decided Father’s rights should be terminated because he failed
to support or communicate with his child, and the adoption was processed. The
Kansas Supreme Court reversed and remanded the decision because Father asked
the social work supervisor about seeing the baby and prepared at home to support
Published in Family Law Quarterly, Volume 53, Number 4, Winter 2020. © 2020 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
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