12.11.2012

The Story of Tira Bland

Tira Bland
A Texas man is battling for custody of his first-born daughter after his wife successfully gave her up for adoption without telling him – to a family who now refuses to return the girl.

Terry Achane, 31, a drill instructor in South Carolina, says it was just days after he left his pregnant wife for his new job out of state that she quietly signed over their unborn baby to a family of seven in Utah.

His newborn baby, whom he had wanted to name Teleah, was given to Jared and Kristi Frei, who now say the girl is theirs and won’t give her back without a fight.


Mr Achane says that he and his wife, Tira Bland, were having marital problems not long after learning she was pregnant in 2010, leading to her decision and his now spiraling struggle today despite a judge ordering the girl returned to him last October.

The now ex-husband says Ms Bland had suggested having an abortion or giving their child up for adoption – fearing she would end up as a single mother – but he said no, encouraging their daughter’s birth.

It was just months later in February of 2011 that Mr Achane found himself sent to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for work, believing he’d leave and come back a new dad.

Ten days after his move, however, his wife went gave birth to a premature baby and signed away their child before cutting all contact with her husband.

‘I was like, “Utah? Where is Utah?” I’d never been to Utah. She’s never been to Utah,’” Mr Achane told the Salt Lake City Tribune of the moment he first heard the bizarre and horrifying news.

Sent to live with Jared and Kristi Frei, who had spent the last few years struggling to naturally expand their family of five children, the baby found herself in the city of Spanish Fork.

‘We knew that we were not done having children, but after years of sudden infertility and several miscarriages … we discovered somewhere down the line that Kristi had advanced endometriosis, and would not likely conceive or carry another child again,’ the Frei family write of their struggle in a blog aimed at raising money for their court battle.

Turning to adoption, in early 2009 the Frei family grew their family by one more with a baby boy named James.

Desiring to add one more child – ‘a close, similar sibling’ for James as they write – they found Mr Achane’s daughter, whom they named Leah.

‘Since that eventful day, we have, as a family, come to know that this dream was a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God, and that Leah would be that child – and yet, little did we know the challenges and trials that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl,’ they write.

The adoption agency Adoption Center of Choice told the new family that Mr Achane wasn’t aware of his daughter’s placement with them and he would most likely contest it if he had found out.

The Tribune reports that Ms Bland had given the adoption agency Mr Achene’s former address in Texas for contact, knowing full well at the time that he was not living there.

With the judge’s recent ruling he noted the Freis family acknowledging the risk of the father’s upset but ‘decided they wanted to proceed forward with the adoptive placement anyway.’

Kept in the dark throughout this with months of being unable to reach his wife, Mr Achane asked a friend to visit her home in Texas who reported that the house appeared vacant.

Feverishly calling anyone who may know where his wife could be, while fearing she may have carried out the abortion she once threatened to do, he learned from a family doctor that his wife was no longer pregnant but they could not legally disclose what had happened to the baby.

An ounce of relief only came to the horrified man when his wife finally called him in June, telling him she had signed away their baby to the Frei family.

‘I believe she felt guilty at that point because she just made a call out of the blue,’ he said of his ex-wife’s phone call.

Once he learned of his daughter’s fate, he immediately tried to track his little girl down but upon contact with the adoption center they refused to disclose any information on her whereabouts.

The agency told the court in October that it was standard procedure to not share any information with a father of a potential adoptive child when asked.

‘I am not a very religious person,’ Mr Achane has since told the Tribune, ‘but thou shalt not steal.’

Speaking of the drawn out legal battle, he said: ‘If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can’t get back. … It has been a year and a half now. There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I just won the case. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter,’ he said.

Judge Darold McDade berated the Adoption Center of Choice’s handling as ‘utterly indefensible.’

‘This is a case of human trafficking,’ Mr Achane’s attorney Mark Wiser told the Tribune.

‘Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child.’

When an attorney for the Frei family contacted Mr Achane, asking him to consent to the adoption, he said no and demanded his little girl returned to him – to the Frei family’s complete surprise.

‘Over the last 19 months, despite the law requiring that a father show interest in his child and at least attempt regular communication to establish a bond, the father has never shown any interest in Leah other than to hire an attorney,’ the family writes in their blog.

Despite a judge’s order to return the child within 60 days, the family now asks that his parental rights granting him custody of her be terminated.

They accuse him of abandoning both the mother and baby during her pregnancy and therefore demonstrating no capability for raising the girl.

‘The right of a fit, competent parent to raise the parent’s child without undue government interference is a fundamental liberty interest that has long been protected by the laws and constitution of this state of the United States, and is a fundamental public policy of this state,’ said Judge McDade.

He added that there is no law requiring the father to ‘prove himself’ as fit to father his own child.

‘Once Mr Achane contacted the Adoption Center of Choice … to let them know he opposed the adoption and wanted his daughter back, that should have been the end of this case,’ said Mr McDade.

Not going down without a fight, the Freis vow to appeal the judge’s decision, asking friends and family to support their case financially through their blog.

They note having paid for ‘two already expensive adoptions (each costing around $25,000),’ with a continuing fight only requiring more money.

Their online petition has since raised more than $20,000.

A hearing has been set for January 16 of next year on the child’s transition back to her father.
(Source)
Before I start, let me state that what Ms. Bland did was unequivocally wrong.  The child needs to be returned to her father, and Tira's parental rights should be permanently terminated.

And let me add to that we as a people need to pay close attention to this part right here:
The now ex-husband says Ms Bland had suggested having an abortion or giving their child up for adoption – fearing she would end up as a single mother – but he said no, encouraging their daughter’s birth.
This really stuck out to me because - as someone who doesn't even want kids - I can understand Tira's fear.  I don't think she should've let it possess her to the point she sold her daughter to some random white family in Utah, but I get her fear.  And I think we really need to start discussing this fear because up until now, when it comes to Black motherhood - single motherhood in particular - I feel as though we've talked around the issue of fear.

Tira should've handled her fear like a grown woman, but I think that with this vile act, she said something Black women have wanted to say for a long while: I'm not eager to be a single mother.  It's not my goal in life.  You say you want this baby now, but overwhelming statistics tell me you may not want it tomorrow.

14 comments:

  1. I don't think it was a fear of her being a single mother. I think by her effectively selling this child to that Utah family, she did it to get back at her husband for leaving her. The way she disappeared and didn't tell him anything smacks of petty spite.

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    1. There's that too - I'm not denying that. But that spite stemmed from being told, "I don't want you, but I still want you to be my incubator and have my kid...which isn't what you want."

      Rule #1 in marriage - if it's on the skids, don't have any kids.

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    2. I so agree with you Ankhesen, so many black men treat black women, even their own wives as if they are property. He obviously made no serious plans as to how the situation should be handled, she gave to options and he didn't take her seriously. He should have made plans as to what she would do, she had the baby premature which says alot about the stress she was under and she went forward with her plans. Why wasn't he a part of the pregnancy I can't see a doctor not calling a father who is an ACTIVE part of her pregnancy and telling him she gave birth. This man waited too long to find out what was happening with his pregnant wife and child. They both to me need counseling, this is not how married people should act.

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  2. Last I heard, he was able to get custody of his daughter. Ms. Bland should learn from this and have her tubes tied. A man can want a woman to have his kid, but that don't mean she has to do it, married or not.

    What I'm gonna need for folks to understand is that babies are a side effect of fucking. If it was a legitimate fear of hers, or if she felt the need to be spiteful...then why get pregnant? Why even go through that if she knew he didn't want her? If this is even a question, what was getting pregnant supposed to solve?

    I wish folks would quit trying to use kids as marital glue.

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    1. Oh! I didn' realize that Mr. Bland got his daughter back until I read your post.By then I have already submitted by post. While Im happy that he was able to get his child, I also feel bad for the adoptive family. Like you said kids shouldn't be used for marital glue. Tira was just evil in doing that. She just make it bad for people who want to adopt kids.

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  3. If Tira was to ask the average person if they want to be single parents, most of them would not raise their hands in compliance,but things may happen where were cannot always be in control of the situation that may make them that way.

    Im not saying that she shouldn't be upset over her ex's abandoning her,but wouldn't have been simple if she would have approached the father and asking him if he want to raise the baby? What she did was very selfish and hurtful,not only for the ex-husband,but for the adoptive family.

    It was'nt right for what the courts did as well. I don't know about the State of Utah or the place of origin that the baby is from,but I have always thought that before a child can be adopted, the biological father( if alive) must be found and get permission from him and the mom for the child to be adopted. They also give you a certain amount of days to reconsider your decision. Recently, I had to 2 cousins to formally adopt their kids.the state of GA wanted the father to be found, they both come to a joint decision about their decision on the biological parents wanting to give the child up for adoption and giving them 10 days to do so.

    This situation is getting ugly...because of Tira. She didn't have to go there. If she didn't want kids, why didnt she get her tubes temporaily tied, use birth control( or maybe the guy get a temporary vasectomy) or just should have never married in the first place? When you have sex, people should expected the unexpected. That is the chance sexually active people take when it comes to the issue.If she didn't want her daughter, she should have just straight up gave it to the father or if he wouldn't have want it to another family member. Just imagine if that child learned about what her mom did to her? She may end up hating her mom for it. I just feel bad for the biological dad and the adoptive parents going through this.

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  4. Tira wanted revenge for whatever the heck happened between herself and her husband. Either way, this was one hell of way to do it.

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  5. It's a shame that Tira handled it this way. Kids are not martial glue or pieces in a revenge play. She knew she wasn't ready for kids and shouldn't have had any. But she did and should have handled her husband's departure like an adult.

    With that said, the husband should not have used her as a breeder like that. But he still has the right to be a father, even if he was not with her.

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  6. Anonymous had a comment on here a moment ago which touched on original my point.

    I'm always warning dudes not to set women off. Hell hath no fury and all that. I'd rather have a man angry at me than a woman, because a woman will move heaven and earth to make someone suffer.

    Their marriage was over. They knew it. While Archane had a right to be a father, nothing entitled him to Ms. Bland's womb in particular. When she suggested an abortion, he should've hopped on the A-train.

    Telling a woman you don't want her but then expecting her to give birth and then take care of your kid for the eighteen years is going to set her off - period. Especially a black woman. One reason men are more likely to remarry than women is that their not the ones who get stuck with the kids.

    That all being said, Tira was wrong. Tira was wrong, wrong, wrong.

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    1. I 100% and I also think people need to realize she didn't have an abortion, which the baby came PRE-TERM and he was not around she went forward with her intended plan and gave her to a family who could afford to take care of her and wanted her. SMDH, she didn't put this baby in a foster system, she made sure the child had a family. While her actions of not providing the right information for the agency to get a hold of him, the Agency was dead wrong for knowing he might protest and still moving forward. I think people need to stop marrying out of lust and take time to get to know your partner, especially their character, the fact that he up and left her and she did what she did, says volumes about them as people and I doubt this is new for the people who knew them!

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    1. *blink*

      You did read the repeated statements of how Tira was wrong right?

      And don't post as Anonymous.

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Uh....what part of "Don't post as Anonymous" are people not getting?

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