Help bring Baby Rico home

Campaign Created by: Mischelle Millwee

The funds from this campaign will be received by April Rico.

Goal: USD $5,000
Raised: USD $ 2,020

We are coming to you today in desperate need! For those of you that don’t know, my nephew, Israel Rico, has been in an ugly custody battle for his unborn child due October 30. Today, October 26, we were informed that the baby was actually born last Saturday, and instead of informing him, the mother has officially put the baby up for adoption claiming she does not know who the father is. There was a court order for a paternity test to be completed, and as of tomorrow at 4:00 MST if that has not been completed, she will be in contempt of court for that. 


Unfortunately the custody lawyer that he has had on retainer is no longer able to assist them, as this is now an adoption battle per the email that was received. So we are asking for any help you can give to help with hiring a new lawyer so he can continue to fight for the rights to his child. 



UPDATES

Update #3
November 4, 2023
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This update will be longer as I want to get as much of this week’s info shared as possible. 

Through information gained from the attorney, the baby is confirmed to be a boy. The mother chose not to name him, so Israel will be giving baby the name “Joseph”. 

The week started off with little hope. The DNA test to prove Israel Rico as the biological father was finally completed, and results confirming he is the father were back Thursday, November 2.

The mother has filed to have the whole case dismissed, on the grounds that Israel—a minor—has not personally signed documents regarding this case, which has caused our temporary custody hearing on November 21 to be cancelled. They have also successfully pushed back their court ordered mediation until after Christmas. This all means that we have little to no hope of seeing Joseph until after the new year. 

The adoption lawyers we had hired last week decided the case was too complicated for them to handle and have backed out. We spent two days begging a lawyer to file the motion to stop the current adoption.

A new attorney accepted the case on Thursday, but is waiting until Monday to file anything, as Israel turns 18 this weekend so he can legally hire his own attorney at that point. This was probably the best news we’ve received since finding out Joseph was born last week. 

The retainer fee we need for this lawyer is $4,500, however with all of the generous donations we have received so far, Israel Rico is only short a small $1,300!!!! This attorney is willing to get this ball rolling on Monday after Israel turns 18, so that there will be no argument about Israel not pursuing this PERSONALLY.

We continue to ask for any help you are willing or able to give. Sharing our story, and praying for the best outcome for this innocent little life. (It is important to note that Israel has already spent nearly $15,000 of his own money over the last 7 or 8 months, paying legal fees and purchasing necessities for the baby)

We are so grateful for all of your help and prayers, we know we couldn’t have done any of this without support. God has provided for us, through all of you. Please continue to share, and get our story heard.

Update #2
October 30, 2023
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Over the last 7-8 months, my 17 year old nephew has been fighting with every ounce of strength he has to get custody of his child. The baby was finally born last weekend on October 21. While disobeying court orders; claiming he is only an “alleged” father, the 18 year old mother has terminated her own parental rights and put the baby up for adoption without informing him, his lawyer, or the court system involved in the custody case.

This is a completely illegal adoption unfortunately, as there was an ongoing custody case. This case was pending a paternity test ordered to put the accusation of “alleged father” to rest. She deliberately disobeyed the court order for paternity test to be completed at the child’s birth, and is now attempting to have the custody/paternity case dismissed. 

In the mother’s argument to dismiss the case she has stated that the paternity test will confirm my nephew as the father. She is claiming that because his mother has been signing legal documents on his behalf, he has no rights. She states this while ignoring, or denying, the fact that as a minor, his legal guardian must sign on his behalf for anything to be legally binding. 

If the mother wins in this case, and the adoption she has started goes through, this will not only affect my family, and the life of this baby, but it will also affect any case involving underage parents, and their legal parental rights, going forward. Essentially, legally stating that no parent under the age of 18, in the state of Utah, has any say in the outcome of their child’s life. 

We have already raised about half of the needed funds to help this 17 year old father continue to fight this battle! We are asking for help in spreading the word on this case. It has unfortunately escalated from a civil paternity suit, to something that could affect all minor parents in the state of Utah from this point forward. 

Any help you are willing or able to give is greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read our story. ❤️

Update #1
October 27, 2023
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Thank you so much to those who have already helped. There is still so much to do. This money has already gone to help secure the $5000 dollar retainer needed to secure a lawyer who specializes in these types of situations. 

We are fighting so hard to bring what we now believe is our new grandson home to meet his loving father and adoring family. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers and thank you so much for your help!

Love April Rico

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