A man in Utah has filed a lawsuit and is seeking $130 million in damages after his son was given up for adoption without his permission.
Jake Strickland claims that immediately after his then-girlfriend Whitney Pettersson gave birth to their baby in December of 2010, the infant was given up for adoption. In the lawsuit, Strickland claims he later discovered that Pettersson had been secretly conspiring with attorneys, the adoption agency, and the perspective parents without giving him a chance to seek custody, calling it an "illegal, deceit-ridden infant adoption.”
Strickland and Pettersson had been in a relationship from 2009 until before the child’s birth. Pettersson was married when she began the relationship with Strickland and found out she was pregnant with his baby.
According to reports, Strickland didn’t find out that Pettersson had given birth put the baby up for adoption until weeks after it actually happened. The pair had called it quits months before the birth, and despite Strickland’s intention to file for rights to raise the baby, Pettersson blocked that from happening. At the time he found out about the birth, Strickland also found out that Pettersson was legally married to another man and not divorced as she apparently had told him. Strickland has been denied various attempts at appeals to gain custody of his son.
Now, Strickland is suing Pettersson, the adoptive parents, the adoption agency LDS Family Services, and attorneys David J. Hardy and Larry Jenkins. He is seeking $30 million for the loss of the parent-child relationship and $100 million as a deterrent to help prevent the same thing from happening to another father.
In the lawsuit, Strickland also goes up against Utah’s parenting laws, calling them “pro-adoption and anti-father.”