Transcript for Utah Dad Files Lawsuit Over Son Given Up at Birth
We have a bitter custody case in utah to bring you this morning. The biological father, suing to get his son back and $130 million in damages, claiming he was defrauded and his baby given up for adoption out his knowledge. Aditi roy has the story. My son doesn't deserve to go through this. I don't deserve to go through this. Reporter: Jay strickland says his son was placed for adoption at birth, without his knowledge or consent. And he's fighting for custody of a 3-year-old son he's never met. He filed a $130 million federal lawsuit, claiming the boy's mother, whitney patterson dempsey lied to him. She put him up for adoption the next day. Reporter: The unmarried pair broke up before the child was born. But they remained friendly and agreed to share custody. I helped her as much as i could. I gave her money when she needed it. Reporter: Strickland said they picked a game together, jack. One day after jack's birth, strickland said pettersson put the baby up for adoption and didn't tell him until one week later. The moment I found out, i filed for paternity, which was already too late. I know I should have filed earlier but I trusted her. Reporter: One legal barrier, he thought pettersson was divorced. But she was actually still married to her estranged husband, who, under utah law, was the presumed father, and had the right to give away custody. Under current utah law, if you're a biological father and have not filed every paper that's required, you could permanently lose your child. Reporter: Strickland says that pettersson confessed him, she had been planning on putting him up for adoption since the beginning. Abc news reached out to pettersson and co-defendant, lds family services, which facilitated the adoption and has not heard back. Strickland continues to send messages to his son. Hoping someday, he will deliver them in person. For "good morning america," aditi roy, abc news, los angeles.
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