(WKBN) – An Ohio father who lost his Ohio Supreme Court battle to overturn the adoption of his child has also been prevented from gaining visitation rights based on another ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court.
In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court blocked the Logan County Family Court from considering whether Kaidan Whitrock should have parenting time with an infant that is being adopted by a Van Wert County family selected by the birth mother.
The case initially came before the Ohio Supreme Court when Whitrock tried to block the adoption. The court ruled in December 2022 that he waited too long to establish himself as the father of the child prior to the probate court approving the adoption. His case was sent back down to the Appeals Court and then to the Van Wert Probate Court to consider whether Whitrock could claim his right to object to the adoption as the biological father.
After the Supreme Court ruling, Whitrock filed the case to get visitation in Logan County while the Van Wert Probate Court considers the case.
The issue, in this case, is the filings in multiple courts. The Supreme Court had to decide if the Logan County court is empowered to make decisions without interfering with the Van Wert court’s authority.
In the end, the Court ruled that the Van Wert court had the sole power in the case and therefore is the only one that can grant visitation and that Whitrock should address his objections through the probate court, and any rights he has to appeal that court’s decisions.
Under Ohio law, there is a putative father registry, and the law says unless registered, a father’s consent is not required for the adoption of a child. A putative father is one that does not necessarily have a legal relationship with the child. In this case, the mother and father were not married. The father was 18 years old, and the mother was 17.