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Kansas Supreme Court ruling takes boy away from adoptive parents

Posted at 11:23 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 17:46:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A ruling Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court took a boy away from his adoptive parents in Johnson County, Kansas and gave the boy to his natural father.

In the 24-page ruling, the court overturned a ruling by a lower court.

According to court documents, the boy’s mother gave birth to him at a hospital in Topeka in 2016. The mother told doctors she didn’t know she was pregnant until the morning of the day she gave birth.

Further, the mother wasn’t entirely sure who the father was.

The mom told the hospital she wanted to put the baby up for adoption with the Kansas Children’s Service League and relinquished her rights to the boy.

A representative with the KCSL worked to identify the father and finally reached out to him the night the boy was born.

The father told the representative he was shocked to find out about the pregnancy and eventually requested a paternity test to confirm he was the father.

But before the courts granted the paternity test, the KCSL placed the child with adoptive parents, who in turn filed a case in Wyandotte County District Court claiming the child’s father did not demonstrate an effort to care for the child.

The Wyandotte County District Court eventually ruled in favor of the adoptive parents.

In the Kansas Supreme Court ruling overturning the lower court’s ruling, justices wrote that the father wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate an ability to care for a child he hadn’t even known was his until after it was born.

As a result, the court ruled the boy, now 2 years old, should be returned to the custody of his natural father.

Pantaleon Florez, Jr., the attorney representing the father, said in a phone interview Friday he and his client were “very pleased” with the court’s ruling.

“My client has been trying to get this result for the past two years,” Florez said.

Florez says he and the father are still working out the reintegration of the boy with his father, but are hopeful the boy will be home by the holidays.

A message left to the attorney representing the parents wasn't immediately returned Friday.