KK and DN began dating in June of 2012. DN was unemployed with no permanent
address. He stayed at friends’ homes, his grandmother’s house
or even in KK’s car parked on the street. KK worked as a dental
receptionist and lived with her parents. In February of 2013, they decided
to have a child together. KK began asking DN to get a job, but DN failed to do so.
Sometime in May of 2013, KK discovered she was pregnant, but by then the
relationship between her and DN had ended. They attempted to reconcile
many times, but since DN still did not have a job, among other things,
the attempts failed.
DN finally did get a job as a car salesman, but still did not support KK
during her pregnancy. He put $200 in a joint account for the baby, but
withdrew $160 of it to pay to have his teeth cleaned. He used KK’s
credit card to pay for a credit history to rent a room, but failed to
cancel the contract costing KK $90 until she cancelled it. He borrowed
from others to pay some of his living expenses, but he paid for none of
KK’s pregnancy expenses. (During the trial court proceedings he
said that he had paid some of KK’s pregnancy expenses, and provided
his check register as “proof.” However, his actual bank statements
showed his cancelled checks were used for other purposes than what was
stated on his check register.)
KK decided to give her unborn child up for adoption, but DN decided he
wanted custody, and petitioned the court for status as the unwed father
of the child.
Beginning while they were together, and escalating after they separated,
DN cyber-spied, cyber-stalked, and just plain stalked KK. He hacked into
her cyber accounts and tracked her whereabouts. Among other examples,
he discovered the name of her adoption attorney, and e-mailed him at the
same time KK had an appointment with the attorney. He learned the name
and e-mail address of a couple wishing to adopt the baby, and advised
them that he would fight the adoption. (They bowed out of the adoption
process.) He contacted another potential adoptive couple and told them
KK used drugs and alcohol. He showed up in the parking lot of one of KK’s
maternity appointments, and later at the hospital when her labor was being
induced, even though the procedure had been kept a secret.
To be provided unwed-father status of a child with the same rights of any
other parent, a man must show a full commitment to his to his parental
responsibilities. Under the
Kelsey S. case, there are at least two elements to show a full commitment: “…
(1) [A] demonstration of a willingness to financially support the child,
and (2) a willingness – at least to the extent she makes possible
- to emotionally support the unwed mother during her pregnancy…”
The trial court found that DN made no showing of financial support for
the child because of his failure to pay any maternity expenses for KK.
Further, DN did not emotionally support KK during her pregnancy as shown
by his cyberstalking.
The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court