It took more than a year for Brown to fulfill his obligations to our country, completing his service honorably and admirably. Only upon his return could the adoption hearing occur. When the South Carolina Family Court finally heard the case, it denied Adoptive Couple's petition to adopt. More importantly, the court found that Brown "did not voluntarily consent to the termination of his parental rights or the adoption; and [that Adoptive Couple] failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Father's parental rights should be terminated or that granting custody of Baby Girl to Father would likely result in serious emotional or physical damage to Baby Girl."When these are the facts, why have they been seldom mentioned? This winter, as I followed the case of another military father embroiled in a custody case that closely paralleled the one involving Brown, I often wondered this. In the case, Terry Achane, a U.S. Army drill instructor, won custody of his daughter from a Utah couple after it was revealed that his estranged wife cut off all communication with him while he was deployed and gave the child up for adoption without his consent.
NICWA's Terry Cross: In Defense Of Dusten Brown
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