IN RE: THE ADOPTION OF L.G.K.
G.C., Appellee-Petitioner. J.K., Appellant-Respondent,
from the Lawrence Circuit Court The Honorable Andrea K.
McCord, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 47C01-1702-AD-5
Attorney for Appellant Darlene R. Seymour Ciyou& Dixon,
P.C. Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorney for Appellee Meredith L. Mclntyre Mclntyre &
Smith Bedford, Indiana
of the Case
G.C. ("Putative Father") filed a motion to set
aside the adoption of the minor child L.G.K.
("Child") by J.K., her maternal grandfather
("Maternal Grandfather"). Maternal Grandfather
appeals, raising one issue for our review, which we restate
as whether the trial court properly granted Putative
Father's motion for relief from judgment. We conclude
that because Maternal Grandfather presented an adoption
petition to the trial court in which E.K.
("Mother") fraudulently claimed that she did not
know the identity of Child's father, the trial court did
not err in granting Putative Father's motion for relief
from judgment and setting aside the adoption.
the trial court properly granted Putative Father's motion
for relief from judgment.
The facts in the light most favorable to Putative Father are
that Mother and Putative Father dated and had an intimate
relationship from December 2013 through October 2014. In
December 2014, Mother told Putative Father that she was
pregnant. Putative Father saw Mother one time during the
pregnancy and did not provide support. Putative Father's
parents ("Paternal Grandparents"), however,
maintained contact with Mother throughout the pregnancy.
Child was born on August 20, 2015. Putative Father was not
present at the birth, but Paternal Grandparents visited
Mother at the hospital shortly after Child was born, and
Putative Father's mother informed him that Child had been
born. Putative Father's name was not listed on
Child's birth certificate, and Putative Father did not
establish paternity or register with the Putative Father
Registry. Putative Father testified that he and Mother took a
DNA test using a product obtained from a drugstore, and that
the test showed that he was Child's biological father.
Mother disputes this.
After Child was born, Mother and Putative Father lived
together for approximately six months and acted as parents to
Child. Both Putative Father and Paternal Grandparents
established a relationship with Child. Child calls Putative
Father "dad" and calls Paternal Grandparents
"granny" and "poppy." Mother and Putative
Father eventually separated, but Putative Father continued to
visit regularly with Child. Mother and Putative Father
jointly hosted a birthday party for Child when Child turned
one year old. Maternal Grandfather attended the party.
Mother led Putative Father to believe that he was the
biological father of Child. At some point, Mother told
Putative Father that she was going to the prosecutor's
office to establish child support but did not do so. She
requested child support from Putative Father of $400.00 per
month, which Putative Father paid at times and Mother
accepted. Mother threatened to take Putative Father to court
and deny him visitation unless he paid her child support.
Mother and Putative Father discussed going to the Indiana
Department of Health to have Putative Father listed on
Child's birth ...