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Yopp v. Batt

467 N.W.2d 868 (1991)

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Yopp v. Batt

Nebraska Supreme Court

467 N.W.2d 868 (1991)

Facts

In 1989, 15-year-old Heather C. Yopp (plaintiff) became pregnant. Yopp informed her mother, Connie Howat, that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. Yopp and Howat met with Dr. LaBenz for an abortion. LaBenz informed Yopp that she was too far along to terminate. Yopp later told LaBenz that she wanted to pursue adoption. LaBenz suggested that she contact an attorney with whom he had previously worked, Lawrence I. Batt (defendant). Yopp and Howat met with Batt. Batt spoke to Yopp about her options. Yopp stated that she wanted to pursue a closed adoption. On January 3, 1990, Yopp gave birth. Two days later, Yopp told Batt that she had changed her mind and wanted an open adoption. Batt informed Yopp that it was too late to request an open adoption and met with her to obtain her signature on the relinquishment papers. At multiple times during this meeting, Batt confirmed with Yopp that she wanted to proceed with the adoption. Yopp stated that she fully intended to relinquish her parental rights and that she did not need to consult a counselor. The next day, Batt delivered the child to the prospective adoptive parents. Yopp then told Howat that she regretted pursuing adoption. On January 17, Yopp and her family met with Batt and requested the child be returned. Batt refused to provide assistance. Yopp filed a writ of habeas corpus for the return of the child on the ground that the relinquishment was invalid. The district court denied the application. The matter was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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