Terry Achane claims his pregnant wife signed over their unborn daughter just days after he left home to work away.
And now the family who adopted the little girl refuse to hand her back.
The astonishing story has unravelled in the US where Terry, 31, claims his newborn baby, whom he had wanted to name Teleah, was given to Jared and Kristi Frei.
He says he and his wife, Tira Bland, were having marital problems not long after learning she was pregnant in 2010, leading to her decision.
The now ex-husband says Tira had suggested having an abortion or giving their child up for adoption - fearing she would end up as a single mother - but he said no, encouraging their daughter's birth, in Texas.
It was just months later in February of 2011 that Terry found himself sent to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for work, believing he'd leave and come back a new dad.
Ten days after his move, however, his wife gave birth to a premature baby and signed away their child to the couple in Utah before cutting all contact with her husband.
A judge has since said the girl should be returned to her father but the adopting couple have no desire to give up the child they have named Leah. Kristi – who already has seven children – wanted another to be close in age to her youngest.
"Since that eventful day, we have, as a family, come to know that this dream was a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God, and that Leah would be that child - and yet, little did we know the challenges and trials that awaited us in finding and fighting for this little girl," she wrote on a blog.
Speaking of the drawn out legal battle, Terry said: "If they prolong it, that is more time away from my daughter. There are precious moments I can't get back. ... It has been a year and a half now.
"There is no court order saying they have the right to my child. I want to get my daughter and raise my daughter."
The Freis are now vowing to appeal the judge's decision, asking friends and family to support their case financially through their blog.
A hearing has been set for January 16 next year on the child's transition back to her father.