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In re Adoption of M.A.D.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 3, 2014

IN RE: C.E.B. APPLYING FOR THE ADOPTION OF M.A.D., II

Page 812

APPEAL FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF CALCASIEU, NO. 6931. HONORABLE LILYNN A. CUTRER, DISTRICT JUDGE.

David C. Hesser, Hesser & Flynn, A Limited Liability Partnership, Alexandria, Louisiana, Counsel for Appellant: L.H. (father).

Henry R. Liles, Liles & Guillory, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Counsel for Appellee: C.E.B. (stepfather).

Leslie Musso, Attorney at Law, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Counsel for Appellee: M.A.D., II (child).

Court composed of J. David Painter, James T. Genovese, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.

OPINION

Page 813

[14-428 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] KEATY, Judge.

Biological father appeals a judgment terminating his parental rights to his biological son. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY[1]

On October 26, 2009, T.D.[2] was artificially inseminated with the sperm of L.H., a man with whom she had had an on-again/off-again sexual relationship since 2005.[3] T.D. gave birth to a son, M.A.D., II, on July 15, 2010. Prior to M.A.D.'s birth, T.D. began dating, and eventually living with, C.E.B. T.D. and C.E.B. were married on March 6, 2013, and soon afterward, C.E.B. filed a Petition for Stepparent Adoption in the Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of Calcasieu (14th JDC), seeking to adopt M.A.D. In the petition, C.E.B. alleged that:

[L.H.] is the biological father of the child, but has never acknowledged the child, is not on the child's birth certificate as the father, and has failed to support the child, failed to visit the child, failed to communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child since his birth without just cause. Therefore, his consent may be dispensed with in accordance with the provisions of Ch.C. Art. 1245.

L.H. responded to the petition by filing numerous exceptions, including that of no cause of action, no right of action, and prematurity, coupled with an answer/opposition to intrafamily adoption, a motion to appoint an attorney for the [14-428 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] minor child in accordance with La.Ch.Code art. 1244.1(B),[4] and a request to stay the proceedings until the conclusion of Texas proceedings.[5] Following a hearing on September

Page 814

4, 2013,[6] the trial court denied L.H.'s exceptions of no right of action, no cause of action, and prematurity.[7] The trial court also denied L.H.'s request for a stay.

In the meantime, on May 15, 2013, L.H. filed a Petition to Establish Paternity in a separate proceeding in the 14th JDC.[8] He later filed a supplemental and amending petition and rule for custody and visitation. On May 17, 2013, the trial court ordered paternity testing, ...


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