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In the Matter of the Adoption of Sdl, Ajl and Gasl, Minor Children v. Cad

June 4, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF SDL, AJL AND GASL, MINOR CHILDREN: SL, APPELLANT (RESPONDENT),
v.
CAD, APPELLEE (PETITIONER).



Appeal from the District Court of Uinta County The Honorable Dennis L. Sanderson, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burke, Justice.

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] Father, SL, resisted the petition by Stepfather, CAD, to adopt SL's three youngest children. The district court approved the adoption over SL's objections, and SL appeals. We will affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Father, who appears pro se in this appeal as he did in the district court, lists several issues. We summarize and reorganize them as follows:

1. Did the district court err in calculating the arrearages in Father's child support payments?

2. Did the district court misapply Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-2-304(e) (LexisNexis 2011) by failing to give Father credit for social security payments made directly to Mother as child support?

3. Did the district court err in finding Stepfather "fit and competent" to adopt the children?

4. Did the district court err in failing to consider information contained in Father's answer to the petition for adoption, in Father's proposed findings of fact following the hearing in this matter, and in a letter sent to the court by Stepfather's attorney after the hearing?

5. Did the district court err in denying Father's motions for visitation with the children?

Stepfather presents this statement of the issue: Did the district court abuse its discretion when it granted the petition for adoption?

FACTS

[¶3] Father and Mother were divorced in Colorado in 2008. Six children had been born of the marriage. Mother was granted custody of the children, and Father was ordered to pay $686.00 per month for child support. Mother married Stepfather in 2009, and the couple moved to Wyoming with the three youngest children. By that time, the oldest child had joined the military. The second child remained in Colorado, living with the family of a friend. The third child moved into Father's home.

[¶4] In 2011, Stepfather filed a petition with the district court to adopt the three youngest children. Mother consented to the adoption. The petition alleged that Father's consent was not required because he had willfully failed to satisfy his child support obligations. Father responded to the petition for adoption, disputing that he was in arrears with his child support payments, and raising several other issues.

[ΒΆ5] The district court held a hearing on the matter on September 22, 2011. It heard testimony from Stepfather, Mother, Father, Father's brother, and the third child. The district court later issued an order granting Stepfather's ...


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