UPDATE: The family who adopted baby Kaylee has returned the baby to her biological mother following the protests of her biological dad, Colby Nielsen.
In a statement, the adoptive family says: “Sadly, misinformation has caused immense pain and suffering by all parties involved. Our hearts go out to both biological parents.” The family says that they are “formally relinquishing all custodial rights” and that the newborn never spent a 24-hour period away from one of her biological parents.
“Our intent was always to have a completely open adoption, as discussed with both biological parents prior to birth. We have always wanted what is best for Kaylee,” the statement, released to the local Fox13 news station, goes on. “Had we known that all parties were not in agreement in these regards, the adoption never would have taken place. We have hope that this may yet be a happy story for Kaylee and her biological parents.“
Nielsen’s attorney says he hopes Kaylee is soon in the custody of her biological father. If the biological parents are unable to work out a custody agreement, the courts will get involved next, the lawyer, Wes Hutchins, says.
Colby Nielsen thought he did everything right.
When the 20-year-old’s girlfriend welcomed their daughter Kaylee — and the unmarried couple of two years were divided on whether to put the baby up for adoption — they discussed it while caring for the newborn in his parents’ home, in Lewiston, Utah. Yet a week later, the mother decided she was going to sign the adoption papers, so Nielsen filed for paternity and got the birth certificate amended, naming him as the biological father in order to raise Kaylee himself. Only trouble was, that wasn’t enough to guarantee him parental rights.
(Photo: Facebook/Get Baby Kaylee Home to her Daddy)
Despite his wishes, hopes, and heartache, 13-day-old Kaylee was taken from Nielsen and placed with adoptive parents on Nov. 18. "I would like her back,” the new dad told KSTU, breaking down into tears about how he’s kicked off a legal battle to get his little girl back. Nielsen’s lawyer, Wes Hutchins calls the whole ordeal a “gross miscarriage of justice” and blasted, “They took this man’s daughter without his knowledge or consent…That is essentially, by definition, stealing.“ Calling Utah’s paternal rights laws “statutorily skewed against biological fathers,” Hutchins added, “You can do these things without any notice or consent from the biological father.”
Colby Nielsen (Photo: ABC4)
To claim parental rights and block the adoption, Nielsen would have had to file “a paternity action, an affidavit, and a commencement notice with Utah’s vital records,” at least one day before the mother gave up her parental rights, KFOR reports. Yet Hutchins (who didn’t respond to Yahoo Parenting’s request for comment) said that the mom only gave Nielsen a few hours notice of her decision. She “was being pushed very strongly to adopt the baby out because the two were not yet married,” Nielsen’s older sister Jamie Nielsen writes on a GoFundMe page, “Get baby Kaylee home to her Daddy,” detailing how her brother had been raising Kaylee himself for nearly all of the two weeks pre-adoption because his girlfriend’s parents “demanded“ that she return to her home and she left Kaylee with him. “Colby loves his little girl with all his heart,” she adds. “He has gone through absolute hell fighting to keep her and then losing her. He has pleaded with [the adoptive couple] to quit fighting him and just let him keep his baby. My whole family has been so involved and we are heartbroken.”
"My favorite moments [were] when she would just lay on my chest and we would watch TV and she just slept,” Colby Nielsen told KSTU. (Photo: Facebook/Wesley D. Hutchins)
But they aren’t giving up. To bring more attention to the family’s saga, they’ve started a Facebook Community page — also entitled: “Get Baby Kaylee Home to her Daddy,” which has been “liked” by more than 36,000 people — and attorney Hutchins has vowed to take Nielsen’s case as far as the Supreme Court if need be. “We are going to do anything and everything we can within the bounds of the law, and within the bounds of fairness, equity, and the constitutionally-guaranteed protections of Colby’s fundamental rights,” he wrote on Facebook Saturday, “in order to see that Kaylee is brought home as soon as possible to her father, her grandparents … and all other family members.”
As Nielsen’s own mother Teresa Nielsen told ABC 4, “This little girl doesn’t need a home, she has a home. She has a family. She has a father that will move mountains he will do anything that it takes for her.“
(Top photo: Facebook/Get Baby Kaylee Home to her Daddy)