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Judge upholds decision in custody battle involving girl given away without father's knowledge

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge has refused to stay his decision ordering the adoptive parents of a 22-month-old girl to give her to the biological father.

Fourth District Judge Darold McDade on Friday also left intact a Jan. 16 deadline for the couple, Jared and Kristi Freis, to give the child up to her father, Terry Achane of South Carolina.

Attorney Lance Rich, who represents the Freis, told The Salt Lake Tribune that they'll ask the Utah Court of Appeals to issue a stay while they appeal McDade's rulings.

Achane, an Army drill sergeant stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, says his ex-wife placed his daughter for adoption without his knowledge or consent.

The Freis, who live in a Provo suburb, legally adopted her through an agency in 2010.

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