Posted in: Parenting

Soldier’s Wife Gives Baby Up For Adoption While Dad Is Gone, Takes Nearly Two Years To Get Her Back

Terry Achane was expecting to return to Texas for the birth of his daughter. Instead, his wife gave their baby up for adoption.

Salt Lake City, UT — Terry Achane, an Army drill instructor in South Carolina, was preparing a home for his wife and new baby girl. His wife, pregnant and with family in Texas, was supposed to let him know when she was ready to have the baby, and Achane was excited to be with her when she gave birth to their little girl. He had already picked out the name “Teleah” and had leave approved by his commanding officers.

But when Teleah was born on March 1, 2011, more than two weeks premature, Achane wasn’t there.

Teleah’s mother didn’t tell Achane that she was in labor. She also didn’t tell him that she had left Texas to have the baby in Utah.

And that she was giving Teleah up for adoption.

It has taken 21 months for Achane to get his daughter back. He has seen her twice.

The 4th District Court judge says he is “astonished and deeply troubled” by the entire situation, which involved a Utah adoption agency working with Teleah’s mother to put the baby up for adoption by deliberately circumventing the rights of a married father. The girl was put up for adoption completely without the father’s knowledge, but the Utah adoption agency did know that the married man had not signed his rights to the child away. Teleah was immediately adopted by the Frei's who knew that the baby's father had not approved the adoption.

While the judge noted that the birth mother had deceived her husband, the adoption agency, and the prospective adoptive parents, he gave the adoptive parents 60 days to give the child back to her biological father.

Terry Achane has been trying to get his daughter back since he heard news of her birth. Achane and now-ex wife, Tira Bland, married in Texas in February of 2009. In late June 2010, he learned that Bland was pregnant with their fist child. Achane reportedly accompanied his wife to prenatal visits and learned via ultrasounds that their baby was a girl. Achane chose the name “Teleah.” They shared a joint bank account, and Bland was covered under Achane’s military insurance. When Achane was requested to report for duty in South Carolina on February 1, 2011, he received permission from his commanding officers to return to Texas for the birth of the baby. Though they were reportedly having marital problems, Achane refused to consider Bland’s suggestions of either an abortion or adoption. Bland was allegedly afraid that she would be left alone as a single mother. Bland then agreed that she would stay in Texas near family until the baby was born but then she and the baby would join Achane in South Carolina.

Ten days after Achane left Texas, she began the adoption process.

As the time came for Bland to deliver, she cut off contact with Achane. She moved to Utah, working with an adoption agency there to put their child up for adoption. Bland led the agency to believe that, while she was married, her husband was not supporting her and had no interest in being a father. The Adoption Center of Choice went ahead and set up the adoption.

When Teleah, re-named “Leah” by her adoptive parents, was born, Achane was not notified.

Kristi and husband Jared were unable to have more children, after finding out that Kristi has endometriosis.Achane heard nothing from Bland until June and feared that she had an abortion. Finally, she called him, notifying him that she had given birth in Utah and given the baby up for adoption.

“I was like, ‘Utah? Where is Utah?’ I’d never been to Utah, she’s never been to Utah,” he said. “Adoption? Who does that? … I believe she felt guilty at that point because she just made a call out of the blue,” said Achane.

Immediately, Achane called the adoption agency, demanding to know where his daughter was. Although as a married father, he had complete legal rights to the information on his daughter, the agency refused to give him any information on Teleah’s whereabouts. She was 3 months old, and her father had never met her.

At this point, the adoption was in process, and Jared and Kristi Frei were contacted by an attorney who informed them that Teleah’s father wanted her back. They ignored the attorney, and proceeded to legally adopt Achane’s daughter.

The adoption agency told the couple that it was likely that, should the man find out about the adoption, he would contest the placement. The couple, the judge noted, “acknowledged this risk but decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway.”

Even now, after the ruling, the Frei’s believe that Teleah is rightfully theirs. “We have not lost our conviction that we are in the right!!!!!!” Kristi Frei wrote after the ruling. “We have only ever wanted to do right by Leah, and have always felt we have been acting in her best interest to keep her with our family and raise her as our own. Our hearts have demanded it — there has never been any question to us that she is OURS!!!”

The family’s website also states that Teleah’s birth father had left Bland alone and helpless: “She was trying to hold her marriage together, but in her seventh month of pregnancy, her husband left her without any money, a car, or details of his whereabouts.”

Reports confirm that Achane had made Bland a dependent of his military status, and the two shared a joint bank account. He had also made plans with Bland to meet him in South Carolina.

Achane, 31, still finds the position he is in hard to believe and just wants the baby girl he has met just twice and calls Teleah, the name he picked out before her birth, back.

“I am not a very religious person,” he said in an interview Friday, “but ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get back. … It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter.”Achane has only met Teleah a few times, in court.

Achane intervened in the case, and, in October, more than a year later, a two-day hearing finally took place. Achane had still not seen his baby girl, who is now nearly 2 years old.

“Much of the pain and anguish in this case could have been avoided or at least substantially mitigated if the adoption agency had responded to Mr. Achane’s initial requests for information concerning his daughter, and [his] request to have her returned to him back in July or August 2011,” Judge Darold McDade said, adding that he hoped the case would “serve as a cautionary tale and prompt the Adoption Center to change its policies so situations like this never happen again.”

Do you think the adoptive parents should have to give Teleah back?

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Comments

13 Responses to “Soldier’s Wife Gives Baby Up For Adoption While Dad Is Gone, Takes Nearly Two Years To Get Her Back”

  1. Deb Berg

    NO MARRIED MOTHER CAN HAVE THE CHILD UP FOR ADOPTION WITHOUT THE FATHER KNOWING! SHE AND THE ADOPTION AGENCY NEEDS TO PAY FOR THIS CRAIP! AND HE CAN SUE THEM AND HIS NOW "EX-WIFE" FOR LOTS OF MONEY! AND THE JUDGE NEEDS TO BE MORE AWARE OF A FATHER'S RIGHTS ALSO! AND HE CAN ALSO SUE THE JUDGE! FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE TRUTH!

  2. Dionna Butterfli Per-Will

    Those parents are as guilty as the mother. All things point to her deceiving the husband. The abandonment claim just isn't true. At this point they should be ashamed of themselves and just give the man his child. The wife deserves jail time.

  3. Steve Irish King

    typical military wife to do something stupid while her husband is gone!

  4. Cyn Bucks

    adoptive parents should hve to go where the rightful father lives and ween baby from them over to him,– them, adoption agency, lawyers for them and mother have caused enough damage to that innocent baby already.

  5. Ashleigh Stanton

    They have no right to that little girl. Yes it's sad that they were put into that predicament but its not the fault of the father. He seems to love that girl alot to fight for her. I hope they have a great life together

  6. Kelly Nelson

    The Frei's should be ashamed of themselves! If this were one of their birth children and one of the parents decided to do what Ms Bland did, they would see where Mr Achane is coming from. Unfortunately, they are narrowminded and only see what they want and/or believe instead of what is right. At the end of the day, karma will get the best of them. Yes I understand that they lost money, but they need to deal with the adoption agency. Last but not least, if money is their big thing (they stated that they paid over 25k for the adoption)…maybe they need to sit back down and really think about why they wanted to expand their family in the first place…worry about your 5 children that need a mom and dad and not the child that already has a willing and able parent that is dying to be there for his child…lets be real people.

  7. Megan for The Inquisitr

    Please do not lump all military wives in the same boat. I am an Air Force wife and have a wonderful relationship with my husband and children. I understand that military wives often get a bad rap, because there are a lot of cheating and unfaithful military wives out there. But there are also military wives who stand by their husbands, often doing the work of two parents, to make sure that our country has a healthy and productive military. This woman did a terrible thing, but my bet is she would have behaved the same way whether she was married to man in the military or not.