SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah father is heartbroken after his infant daughter was taken out of his home.
The baby's mother allowed her to be adopted without his consent.
Utah law says biological fathers do not have to give permission before adoptions take place.
Breaking into tears, Colby Nielsen says watching his baby girl being taken away was the hardest thing he's ever had to do.
"I couldn`t even get her out of her car seat."
Kaylee was born on November 4 and since then, the 20-year-old father never left her side.
Until he was forced to give her to adoptive parents this week, after Kaylee's mother decided to put her up for adoption.
"My favorite moment is when she would just lay on my chest and we would watch TV and she just slept."
Colby's lawyer says a technical reading of the Utah adoption law allows biological mothers to put their babies up for adoption without notifying the biological father.
"They took this man`s daughter without his knowledge or consent. That is essentially by definition stealing."
In order to keep Kaylee, Colby needed to file paternity action, an affidavit, and a commencement notice with Utah’s vital records a day before the mother signed the adoption papers, relinquishing her rights. But in Colby’s case, the mother only gave him a few hours notice of what she was going to do.
Senator Todd Weiler calls this an unfortunate situation, but says this is the way it has been for unmarried fathers in Utah for decades.
"In this case it`s a heartbreaking story but a simple google search would`ve told this father the steps he needed to take."
But Colby’s lawyer says the law is unconstitutional.
"A statute that allows this to happen is skewed against biological fathers."
Colby says his girlfriend has been influenced by her religious parents who were upset that the child had been born out of wedlock.
Even though Colby thought he had convinced her to let him raise Kaylee on his own, she ended up signing the adoption papers, relinquishing her rights to a couple that is friends with her parents.AlertMe