A 20-year-old Utah father claims his baby daughter is being put up for adoption against his will. “It was the hardest thing I could do,” a tearful Colby Nielsen said, according to KUTV, when describing having to give his 2-week-old daughter, Kaylee, to prospective adoptive parents. “I couldn’t even get her out of the car seat.”

Colby, along with his family, wanted to keep Kaylee, but his 19-year-old girlfriend, the child’s mother, began the adoption process with little or no notice to him.

Colby claims he and his girlfriend had agreed to raise the baby together, KSL reports. A week later, she said she wanted to place Kaylee up for adoption, even though Colby told her he would raise the baby with help from his family. “Are you capable of taking care of the baby girl?” KUTV asked Colby.

“Yes, I’d do anything I could for her,” he replied.

Colby is currently enrolled in school and has already received firefighter training.
“[It] makes me really proud to see him stand up and be a father and be nourishing,” Teresa Nielsen, Colby’s mother, said, according to KSL.
Attorney Wes Hutchins, who was once the president of the Utah Adoption Council, according to KUTV, has been hired by Colby’s family to fight the adoption.

“They took this man’s daughter without his knowledge or consent,” Hutchins said, KUTV reports. “That is by definition, stealing.”
Hutchins claims the adoption may not be prohibited “statutorily” but insists it was unconstitutional.

“To take his child away from him after raising her for two weeks, or any significant period of time, is reprehensible — and it is contrary to the most basic notions that we hold dear as Americans,” Hutchins said, KSL reports.

“[I thought] if you put your name on the birth certificate and you have the paternity established, you are the father,” Colby said, “and I didn’t know about anything else.” Hutchins has called on the prospective adoptive parents to return Kaylee to her father.