Utah Custody Battle: Judge Orders Girl Returned to Father

The father who didn't know his daughter had been put up for adoption was given custody.
2:35 | 12/06/12

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Transcript for Utah Custody Battle: Judge Orders Girl Returned to Father
Now, to the latest twist in the controversial utah custody battle. A baby girl was put up for adoption without her soldier father's knowledge or consent. A judge ordered the girl returned to her father. And now, the mother is speaking out in an abc news exclusive. Amy robach is here with the latest on this controversial story. Reporter: Good morning to you. This bitter battle over a 21-month-old little girl, between her adoptive parents and the biological father, has grown more complicated. The girl's birth mother is speaking out to abc news. Tira bland says no matter who has custody of her daughter, she is still her mother. And she still loves her. Her well-being is all that matters to me. I want to see her successful. I want to see her in a home, a good home. Reporter: But the question of just who provides that home is now at the center of a contentious custody battle. Bland's ex-husband, terry achane, a sergeant in the army, said bland put his daughter up for adoption without his knowledge in 2010. When he learned that the child was being raised by jared and kristi frei in utah, he asked a court to give him custody. Last month, a judge did just that. I'm hurt for the freis. They're great people. Reporter: Bland says the freis took her in. He knew bland was pregnant and had to move for work. She says the couple discussed adoption. But in the end, he abandoned her. And that's why she turned to the freis. They cared about me about the well-being of leah, when he wasn't there, when he didn't care. He showed no interest in me being pregnant. When he left me, he didn't leave me with an address. I didn't have a home address on him. Reporter: Achane's lawyers deny that. They say he was paying bland's bills and wanted to take care of their unborn daughter. Telling abc news, the judge heard her story and completely ruled against her. He did not find that her story was credible. My heart was comfortable with leah being with the freis. I would rather see her with me struggling first before she goes with him. Reporter: And the freis are not giving up. Their attorney says they have grounds for appeal and will vow to fight to keep their little girl. It's time for a check on the weather with sam champion. Hey, sam. Good morning, elizabeth.

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