Father launches $130m lawsuit to get his son back after his ex-girlfriend puts their baby up for adoption without telling him

  • Jake Strickland met Whitney Pettersson in 2009 and she fell pregnant
  • Mr Strickland claims he assured her he wanted to be involved in the baby's life and went about organizing things for the birth
  • Baby Jackson was born in December 2010 - weeks later Mr Strickland found he had been given up for adoption
  • The father has now filed a federal lawsuit seeking $130m in damages, claiming Utah's parenting laws are pro-adoption and anti-birth father

By Daily Mail Reporter


A Utah father has filed a lawsuit seeking $130million in damages after his baby boy was given up for adoption without his knowledge.

Jake Strickland's ex-girlfriend Whitney Pettersson gave birth to their son Jackson in 2010 and soon afterwards put him up for adoption. Mr Strickland claims he was not given the chance to seek custody.

Mr Strickland, 27, says he wanted to be fully involved in his son's life and that Miss Pettersson, conspired with the adoptive parents' adoption agency, LDS Family Services, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to give up his son.

Jake Strickland his son Jackson, born in December 2010, was given up for adoption without his knowledge, and is now seeking $130 million in damages

Jake Strickland prepared for the birth of his son in December 2010, showing off a stroller that was bought for the boy

Mr Strickland and Miss Pettersson met in 2009 while working at a restaurant. She was married but told Mr Strickland that she was getting a divorce and they began a relationship. Three months later, Miss Pettersson was pregnant.

Mr Strickland says he assured her that he wanted to be involved in his son’s life and provided emotional and financial support, even after their own relationship began to break down.

However in early 2011, Mr Strickland found out that Miss Pettersson had given birth to a boy a week earlier without his knowledge.

It also emerged that she was still legally married to another man and that under Utah state law, he would be considered Jack's father.

The most devastating part of the discovery however was that Miss Pettersson had given Jack up for adoption.

Mr Strickland began a paternity claim to get his son back but was hindered because he had not registered for paternal rights.

Despite his attempts to get his son back, the father learned in November 2011 that Jack had been given up for adoption.

His battle for paternity rights is currently under review by the state.

According to NBC: 'Strickland’s federal lawsuit is seeking $30 million for the loss of the parent-child relationship caused by the adoption and $100 million as a deterrent to ensure another dad doesn't suffer his fate.'

This is the third year of Mr Strickland's fight to have his son returned to him. Each year he and his family gather around a lone birthday candle to sing Happy Birthday to his absent son.

Mr Strickland's lawsuit challenges the restrictions on a biological father's rights in Utah.

Video Source www.Getbabyjackback.com

A mural on the footpath outside Jake Strickland's home in Utah

The lawsuit, filed last Friday in U.S. District Court, claims the entire process of custody and adoption was illegal and done 'through gross misdirection and … clandestine conduct'.

The suit claims that parenting laws in Utah, which have prevented Mr Strickland and his family from seeing his son, are 'pro-adoption and anti-birth father'.

Attorney Wes Hutchins says the emotional battle is 'pulling [Jake] apart … They still think about Jack even though they don't have contact'.

Pictures provided by Jake Strickland show the measures he went to in preparation for the birth of his son, whom he had with a girlfriend he had dated for about three months