Fighting for Fatherhood: The Battle for Parental Rights in the Shadows

The Brandon Marteliz's Story:  Heart of Adoptions agency in Florida Took His Baby After Mother Lied That The Baby Died.

In the heart of Hillsborough County, Florida, a father, Brandon Marteliz, fights a relentless battle for the custody of his two-year-old daughter, a child he has never met. This heart-wrenching tale begins with anticipation and joy but spirals into a nightmarish ordeal of deception, denial of rights, and the looming threat of losing a precious bond between father and child.

Two days before the birth of his daughter, Brandon Marteliz stood with the mother of his child, hands on her stomach, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their little one. They had a name picked out and plans for the future. Little did Marteliz know that this joyful anticipation would soon turn into a desperate fight for paternal rights.

The day before their daughter's birth, communication between the parents took a dark turn. Marteliz, eager to be present for the birth, received no response to his inquiries. Then, the unimaginable happened – he was informed that his daughter had passed away, allegedly due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This marked the beginning of a tumultuous journey for Marteliz, who couldn't accept the news and embarked on a desperate search for the truth.

Despite being told that his daughter had died, Marteliz refused to accept this heartbreaking fate. His quest led him to hospitals, where security was called on him as he frantically searched for any trace of his child. Almost three weeks after the birth, a text from the mother shattered Marteliz's world anew – "I have her" and "I got the baby." The child was alive, and a new nightmare began.

The child, now in the care of prospective adoptive parents through the Heart of Adoptions agency, became the center of a legal battle. Shockingly, court documents revealed that just one day after the birth, the mother had consented to adoption without Marteliz's knowledge. The adoption agency argued that Marteliz's parental rights could be terminated because they were not married, he wasn't listed on the birth certificate, and he had not paid certain expenses related to the pregnancy.

Undeterred, Marteliz filed a petition to determine paternity and joined a little-known state registry for fathers to claim paternity. He expressed his willingness to do whatever it takes to prove his fatherhood and secure custody of his daughter. Despite his efforts, the legal system seemed to favor the adoption agency, leaving Marteliz in a seemingly impossible situation.

Marteliz's attorney, David Hurvitz, acknowledged the uphill battle fathers face against a legal system that often favors adoption agencies. He emphasized the need for reform, highlighting the difficulties fathers encounter in navigating a system seemingly stacked against them.

Marteliz's story is not an isolated case. Ulysess Carwise, another father, shares a similar struggle for parental rights. The I-Team's investigation reveals that many fathers face an uphill battle to establish their rights in adoption cases. The fight transcends individual stories; it's a systemic issue that demands attention and reform.

In a poignant report by ABC Action News aired on December 14, 2023, investigative journalist Kylie McGivern delves into the heart-wrenching story of Brandon Marteliz, an unmarried father fighting for custody of his daughter against private adoption agencies. This analysis aims to dissect the key elements of the story and shed light on the systemic challenges faced by fathers in similar situations.

The story begins with a powerful scene, capturing Marteliz standing in his daughter's room, emotionally grappling with the reality that he has never met her. McGivern skillfully paints a vivid picture of Marteliz's anticipation, contrasting it with the painful acknowledgment that he may soon have to part with the belongings he had gathered for his daughter.

McGivern swiftly connects Marteliz's plight to a broader issue faced by unmarried fathers, referencing a previous interview with Ulysess Carwise, who continues to fight for his daughter's custody five years after her adoption without his consent. This framing sets the stage for the overarching theme of fathers navigating an uphill battle within a system that seems stacked against them.

The report incorporates interviews with legal experts and concerned fathers, amplifying the urgency of the issue. The statement, "There's a real problem, and good fathers are losing rights and time," encapsulates the collective sentiment of fathers entangled in custody battles against adoption agencies.

McGivern skillfully narrates the shocking sequence of events, from Marteliz initially being told of his daughter's demise to the abrupt revelation that she was alive and in the care of prospective adoptive parents. The journalist highlights Marteliz's desperate attempts to prove his paternity, showcasing text messages and legal documents to underscore his fight for custody.

The report sheds light on the legal complexities faced by Marteliz, emphasizing the adoption agency's argument for the termination of his parental rights. McGivern skillfully weaves in Marteliz's perspective, challenging the agency's claims and expressing his unwavering determination to be a part of his daughter's life.

Through interviews with Marteliz's attorney, David Hurvitz, the report skillfully navigates the complexities of the legal system, suggesting a need for reform. The statement, "It's a fight with a law that favors adoption agencies," encapsulates the overarching theme of systemic challenges that fathers encounter in custody battles.

The report concludes by highlighting the emotional plea of Marteliz and his refusal to give up the fight for his daughter. The closing statements emphasize the collective struggle of fathers and the need for intervention, creating a call to action within the community.

ABC Action News delivers a compelling and empathetic narrative, effectively combining personal stories, legal analysis, and interviews to bring attention to the systemic challenges faced by fathers seeking custody. McGivern's storytelling prowess and the inclusion of diverse voices contribute to a powerful call for reform and justice.

Justice For Fathers - Giving Fathers a Fighting Chance.


ABC Action News report by Kylie McGivern, aired on December 14, 2023: Father fights for baby girl, placed for adoption without his knowledge or consent


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