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Georgia Supreme Court rules biological father forfeited his rights when he offered to pay for an abortion

by | May 20, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maya T. Prabhu reported on Monday that the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that Lance and Ashley Hall can proceed with the adoption of a 3-year-old boy, finding “that the biological father forfeited his rights when he, among other things, offered to pay to abort the child.”

On a 6-3 vote, the justices determined that Joshua Brumbelow had abandoned his interest in his biological son.

“He did not support the mother financially or emotionally, he denied that he was the father, he attended only one doctor’s appointment and that was to determine the pregnancy timeline to determine if he was the father,” said Justin Young Hester, the attorney for the Halls and Jeannie Mathenia, the biological mother.

Hester added, according to Prabhu, that Brumbelow “made no offers at any time other than the offer to pay for an abortion and he showed no interest in parenting the child.”

Chief Justice Harold D. Melton wrote that offering to pay for an abortion was one example of how Brumbelow abandoned his opportunity to develop a relationship with his biological son.

“The offer indicated that Brumbelow wanted no relationship at all with (the child), as an abortion would have ensured that no relationship could ever develop,” Melton wrote. “Brumbelow showed no interest in becoming a father in a true relational sense throughout Mathenia’s pregnancy, and seemingly expressed an interest only upon discovering that the child would be placed for adoption.”

Justice Charles Bethel wrote, in a separate concurring opinion, that “offering to pay for an abortion is not the sole reason that a father’s parental rights should be denied,” Prabhu reported.

Dennis Cathey, one of Brumbelow’s attorneys, “said they have not yet decided whether they will ask the court to reconsider the ruling or appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to the Journal-Constitution.

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