Court No. 20164013
Weber, for appellant.
L. Smith, for appellees.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
1} Appellant, C.P., appeals the September 28, 2016
judgment of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas, Probate
Division, in which the court found his consent was not
required for the adoption of A.S., his daughter. Finding no
error, we affirm.
2} Appellant sets forth the following assignments of
1. The trial court abused its discretion by ruling that
[C.P.], who is presumed to be the biological father by
acknowledgement of paternity has failed without justifiable
cause to provide more than de minimis contact with the minor
child, [A.S.] pursuant to R.C. 3107.07, for a period of at
least one year immediately preceding the filing of the
Adoption when the biological mother intentionally lied to the
presumed father that he was not the father as the result of
an at home DNA test and whether this was a justifiable reason
for the presumed father to stop consistent contact with the
2. The trial court abused its discretion by denying the
presumed father-appellant's motion for D.N.A. testing to
determine if he is or is not the biological father of the
3. The trial court abused its discretion in determining that
although the biological mother's conduct was
reprehensible in lying to [C.P.] about the DNA test results
it was justified under R.C. 3107.07(A) when in fact the
biological mother unduly influenced and defrauded [C.P.] by
repeatedly stating he was not the father through an at home
DNA test and any lack of contact was a direct result of her
conduct or statements regarding the test.
3} On July 21, 2016, appellees, T.S. and R.S.,
petitioned the trial court for the adoption of their
4} A.S. was born October 2014. Appellees are the
maternal grandparents of A.S., and their daughter, R.S., is
the biological mother of A.S ("mother").
5} On July 21, 2016, the mother voluntarily
consented to and waived notice to the adoption and hearing of
A.S. A hearing was set for September 19, 2016. Notice of this
hearing was sent to appellant at the Lebanon Correctional
Institute, where he was incarcerated as of September 2015.
6} The notice to appellant stated that appellees
were alleging that his consent was not required due to his
unjustifiable failure to provide more than de minimis contact
from July 21, 2015, to July 21, 2016, which was for one year
preceding the petition for adoption. The notice further
informed appellant he would lose his parental rights,
"including the right to contact the minor" and the
"legal relationship" between him and the minor,
"so that the minor thereafter is a stranger to [him] and
the minor's former relatives for all purposes."
Appellant was given 14 days beyond service to file objection.
7} The record reflects that service was perfected,
at the Lebanon Correctional Institute, on July 28, 2016.
However, there is no evidence ...