Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who Are Rylan's Real Parents? Part I

Foreword: Any real names in this article have been published previously online in Facebook, the Courthouse Forum, or other public sites. Names marked with an asterisk are aliases to protect the identity of those who have not yet been named publicly. Further, this two-part article is based on moral principals and contains a moral conclusion. If you have no use for morals, moral thinking, or ethics based on such, please do not read further.

We were recently contacted by Roger Scott, an employee of the University of North Alabama. Mr. Scott and his ex-wife are the parents of Andrew Scott, a 2007 graduate of Brooks High School and currently a nursing student at UNA.

In July 2007, Andrew, then 17, had unprotected sex with a 16 year-old girl. According to Andrew it was his only encounter with the young woman who was known to be actively engaging in physical relations with at least two other young men during the same period. When Sandra* realized she was pregnant, she assumed a lover other than Andrew was the child's biological father.

Wisely not wishing to be a teenage parent, Sandra made plans to place her unborn child with her brother and sister-in-law, a childless couple in a stable marriage. After Sandra gave birth, Art and Denise Smith* took Rylan Kade home with them and initiated legal adoption proceedings. At this point, the Alabama Putative Father Registry Law comes into play.

The Putative Father Law states:
(i) Any person who claims to be the natural father of a child and fails to file his notice of intent to claim paternity pursuant to subsection (a) prior to or within 30 days of the birth of a child born out of wedlock, shall be deemed to have given an irrevocable implied consent in any adoption proceeding.

This law is not unique to Alabama; the majority of states have similar laws in order to finalize adoption proceedings and place unwanted infants in permanent homes as soon as possible.

For whatever reason (possibly because such tests in utero can endanger the fetus), DNA testing was not done until the child's birth in March 2008. Both of Sandra's long-time lovers agreed to provide a DNA sample; however, neither lover proved to be the child's biological father.

By now, the Smiths' adoption proceedings had reached Judge Jimmy Sandlin's Family Court. Approximately 45 to 60 days from the birth had passed when Andrew Scott came forward asking to be tested for the paternity of Rylan Kade Smith.

To be continued tomorrow...