Nebraska Supreme Court reverses Court of Appeals decision that gave father of a child who was in his wife's words a "trick's baby" a second chance to keep parental rights. African-American Husband and his white wife were separated when wife gave birth to a baby who was white, blue eyed and had red hair. Husband was living in Kentucky and wife was in California when she gave birth. Wife was a drug addict and prostitute, so Husband had his suspicions. Nebraska Supreme Court upholds Douglas County Juvenile Court ruling however terminating black father's parental rights based on abandonment. In re Interest of Chance J., S-08-962, 279 Neb. 81 (12-31-2009) reversing In re Interest of Chance J.17 Neb. App. 645 - Neb: Court of Appeals, 2009 - Google Scholar. "Based on our de novo review of the record, that Andrew has intentionally withheld from Chance, without just cause or excuse, his presence, care, love, protection, maintenance, and opportunity for the display of parental affection. Furthermore, the physical appearance of a child or suspicions of infidelity are not just cause or excuse for abandoning a child born into wedlock. The Court of Appeals erred in concluding that Andrew did not abandon Chance. Because we have concluded that Andrew abandoned Chance within the meaning of § 43-292(1), we need not address Andrew’s conduct under § 43-292(9).Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify a family are required when the State seeks to terminate parental rights under § 43-292(6). But in IN INTEREST OF HOPE278 Neb. 869 - Neb: Supreme Court, 2009 - Google Scholar L. et al., we recently reaffirmed our holding that reasonable efforts to reunify the family are required under the juvenile code only when termination is sought under § 43-292(6), not when termination is based on other grounds. Here, termination was not sought under § 43-292(6); it was sought under § 43-292(1), (2), and (9), and we have affirmed the court’s finding of abandonment under § 43-292(1). Therefore, after a proper finding of abandonment, it was not necessary for the State to make reasonable efforts to reunify this father and child."
Observations of the legal scene from the Cornhusker State, home of Roscoe Pound and Justice Clarence Thomas' in-laws, and beyond.