MI Supreme Court to hear challenge to law allowing one birth parent to anonymously surrender newborn
The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the state law that allows a lone birth parent to anonymously drop off a newborn at a hospital, fire department, or other safe space.
A birth mother made arrangements to anonymously leave her infant at the hospital without telling her then-husband under the state’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act. An adoption agency then placed the now-three-year-old child with a couple.
Michael Villar is the ex-husband’s attorney. He says the process has not been fair to his client or the adoptive family.
“Those are both terrible human tragedies and from our perspective, they could have been overcome had reasonable efforts been made to find my client and allow him to have his day in court about his parental rights with his child," Villar said. “We’re all entitled to due process and having a child and raising a child is a fundamental constitutional right".
Liisa Speaker is the adoption family’s attorney. She says the wrong decision in this case would break apart the only family the child knows.
“Part of the reason it’s fairly complex is because an adoption has already happened," Speaker said. "Usually if there is going to be litigation, that’s all going to be happening before an adoption occurs. Here it happened after the fact. We have two adoptive parents who legally have adopted this child and are the only family this child has ever known".
Briefs are due in late April with oral arguments before the court scheduled for April 27th.