Court: Facebook Wrong Way to Tell Ex He'll Be a Dad

Man in Oklahoma didn't find out until his baby had been adopted
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2014 1:56 PM CDT
Court: Facebook Is Wrong Way to Tell Your Ex He'll Be a Dad
This May 16, 2012 file photo shows the Facebook logo displayed on an iPad.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Oklahoma's Supreme Court has ruled that when it comes to informing a man that he is about to become a father, a Facebook post doesn't cut it, legally speaking. In this case, a woman had a three-month fling with a man named Billy McCall in 2011, then realized she was pregnant after they broke things off, reports the Oklahoman. She sent him a Facebook message informing of the big news, gave birth in 2012, then immediately put the baby up for adoption. McCall says he never saw the Facebook post and learned about the baby only after it was born, explains Courthouse News Service. Lower courts declared that McCall's parental rights had been terminated, but the state Supreme Court disagreed.

"This court is unwilling to declare notice via Facebook alone sufficient to meet the requirements of the due processes clauses of the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions," wrote a justice in the majority opinion, according to the Wall Street Journal. A dissenting justice wondered why Facebook should be considered different than other forms of communication—"letters can remain unopened; and faxes can be lost"—but no matter, the issue now goes back to the lower courts to determine whether McCall still has fatherly rights to the child. The toddler is now 2 years old and has been living with the same adoptive parents since birth. (In other Facebook legal news, parents might be responsible for their kids' posts.)

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