U.S. Drill Instructor, Terry Archane Fights For Daughter’s Return

baby Leah

A Utah judge is reportedly “astonished and deeply troubled” that an adoption agency deliberately circumvented the rights of a married U.S. Army drill instructor whose daughter was adopted at birth without his knowledge.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Judge Darold McDade, in a 48-page ruling, has given the adoptive couple 60 days to give the 21-month-old child back and said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane, 31, once he learned what happened to the girl whom he named Teleah is “utterly indefensible.”

Achane said 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.

The military man said 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 despite a judge ordering the girl returned to him last October.

Tira Bland

Archane says 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 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 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 Tribune of the moment he first heard the bizarre and horrifying news.

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.

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.

“This is a case of human trafficking,” attorney Mark Wiser told the newspaper. “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.”

The girl’s adoptive parents, Jared and Kristi Frei, declined to comment, but they did write this on a blog about the case.

Frei Family

‘We have not lost our conviction that we are in the right!!!!!!’ Kristi Frei wrote. ‘We have only ever wanted to do right by Leah, and have always felt we have been acting in her best interest to keep her with our family and raise her as our own. Our hearts have demanded it — there has never been any question to us that she is OURS!!!’

James Webb, executive director of the Adoption Center of Choice, did not return a call from The Salt Lake Tribune and attempts by the newspaper to reach Tira Bland, the birth mother who is now divorced from Achane, was unsuccessful.

Achane, a drill instructor in South Carolina, said he just wants his baby girl back.


“I am not a very religious person,” he said in an interview last week. “But ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ 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.”

I have so much anger over this story, beginning with the birth mother.  In essence this woman just sold the child without the father’s consent and this adoption agency should be shut down.  They knew the father was not aware that his daughter was being put up for adoption and they had no problem with moving forward with the adoption.  The same thing with The Frei Family… the adoption agency told them that the father was not aware and he may come looking for his child and they still decided to go forward with the adoption.  I find all of this to be disgusting and the fact that the Freis keep using the court to delay this man’s child being returned to him, while proclaiming they’re “In The Right”…please have a seat.  That is not your child and you are wrong.  Give it up and give back Teleah to her father!! What say you? Share your thoughts on this adoption gone wrong?

Thanks to TiffaniP for the tip.

[source] [source]

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16 Responses to “U.S. Drill Instructor, Terry Archane Fights For Daughter’s Return”

  1. oh this is awful! breaks my heart! i cant believe they are fighting this. common sense and the law should tell them that’s not their baby and she belongs with her father if he’s wanting to raise her. oh this is awful. cant believe he’s having a hard time getting her back. beyond shady and unethical of the adoption agency.
    hmm, it is utah though. i’m sure the family has some strong resources at their disposal to fight him. please keep us updated on this story. it deserves more attention.

  2. I sure will g. It’s just a travesty.

  3. This is a sad story. It rings close to home with me. It almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s a shame that they allow common sense to leave when dealing with children and their natural parents. Please keep us posted

  4. I read this before. It made me mad that a mother would do this. That man wanted this baby, if she didn’t she could have just gave him the baby. She was being spiteful. The family that has the baby is out of control. I mean really, you were the ones that got involved in an illegal adoption. Give that man his baby! They are just making it harder on the baby. If they truly love her they would stop prolonging this. The judge should have told them they have 24 hours to return this baby. I say lock them all up, the adoption agency, the ex-wife, and the Frei’s if they don’t return this baby.

  5. I don’t see how this can be legal given that the father didn’t sign the adoption papers. I believe the father should get his daughter back.
    I don’t know what an adoption application looks like but I’m almost sure that if the birth mother of the child decides to go forward, she needs her husband’s consent as well. If she lied and said she wasn’t married then that’s a voided contract.

  6. This story burns my soul. That girl knew what she was doing when she did that illegal adoption. That family knew they were wrong as well when the agency disclosed that the father never knew. Looking at the pic of them with children, something about that pic is not right to me at all!!!! The little boy beside the man looks scared out of his mind, but putting on a fake smile. I just dont know about this story. This aint right at all. She aint right and they need to lock her ass up for doing something so illegal. She knew what she was doing and she knew that would have been the way to rip her ex-husbands heart out and thats what she did. I hope he gets full custody and then sue her azz for taking away his child, emotional distress, child support, alimony an anything else he can sue her for. Plus he should be able to get the money back that she received for selling her baby. He should also be able to sue the adoption agency for illegally selling off that little girl and the Frei family for illegally adopting, not wanting to return and holding up the return of the little girl as said by the courts. I wonder if the rest of those kids in that pic are adopted or all theirs. They looking kinda uncomfortable in that pic as well. Did they illegally adopt all those kids. I wish him all the best and pray he is able to get custody of his daughter back.

  7. Why is that beautiful black baby with a white family anyways? Is it to make them look like they doing charity ror work for the lord?to make them look good you dont go to heaven forstealing and give the other lil boy back too give us back our heritageheritage youre not helping us u making it worse sad story..sorry thats how i feel we have great AA fathers out there

  8. Your heart from the lord shouldnt do things like that now u all in love with the baby and now asking to give the baby back whose fault is that? Neglect on moms part that poor baby one day has to face that and i work with neglected children no matter how old they are they will sense or know what happen even as babies u will notice emotional behaviors later

  9. Completely f’ed up on all sides. The girl snd the adopted family entered into this knowing it was wrong.

  10. Everybody knew, including the adoption agency that it was fraud. No one cared. Yet, that man still stuck in cause these people still filing motions to keep his child from him. I think everybody involved should be sued/ and or prosecuted. This mess seems criminal

  11. *court*

  12. @Sam, the two black kids are adopted. They wanted Leah so James would have someone similar to him

  13. Thanks for commenting Kisha. I have no sympathy for the Freis. They got attached to a baby that was never theirs to have and it’s not like they went in blind. They knew they were adopting a child without the consent or knowledge of the married father.

  14. Terry has been fighting for almost 2 years to get his daughter back. He was supposed to get her back this past Wednesday, but the Utah Supreme Court issued a provisional stay. Terry was in Dallas on layover heading to pick her up when he was given the news. He had to turn around and fly straight back to South Carolina. The UTS as of Friday lifted the stay and there should be a custody transfer in the next 10 days. The appeal will be heard March 26-28 at the Supreme Court.
    Terry has huge legal bills because of this. If anyone is interested in donating, please go to this Facebook page. The donation link is on there and all donations go directly into a trust managed by Terry’s lawyers.

  15. I have been following this case for a few weeks and I find it both infuriating and horrifying. I have the utmost sympathy for Terry and Teleah and disgust for everyone else involved. I’ve read quite a few articles that gloss over the fact that this woman tried to play poor abandoned wife when her husband was a good man who did everything he could to take care of her and HER daughter from a previous relationship as well as the fact that the couple knew he would not consent and would fight them before Teleah was even born. To me, as soon as Terry was able to locate Teleah and state that he did not consent to the adoption, it should have been game over. No dragging this out in court, no insane legal fees… GIVE HER BACK. These people thought because they were affluent and “religious,” they could drive him off, make him give up. God bless him for fighting the good fight and to everyone that helped him as well. Can’t wait to finally read an article that Teleah is back where she belongs.

  16. SO many thoughts…

    The baby girl has NO adoptive parents. The Freis are not adoptive parents, they have custody of her, and have a Petition to Adopt in the works. No adoption is an adoption until the Final Order of Adoption is signed by a court judge and filed, ordering the severance of both genetic parents as legal parents, ordering the child’s birth certificate to be sealed, ordering a new and falsified birth certificate to be created lsiting the new name of the child and the new (adoptive) parents as the parents of birth.

    Yes, this is a child given up by her married mother. Even if she were not married, fathers are routinely ignored by adoption agencies and wnna-be adoptive parents. This happens all the time. A crime? Yes.

    But society still sides with prospective adoptive parents.

    If I’m wrong and am missing something about this case, please tell me. If hte adoption papers were signed by the judge, then the judge has to overturn the adoption, overturn the child’s sealed birth certificate, overturn the amended and false birth certificate. That would be a first.

    And if this adoption has already been signed and finalized, these white adoptive parents will be listed on this black girl’s amended and falsified birth certificate as having given birth to a black child.

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