Rights and Responsibilities As the Child’s Birth Father
As the birth father, everything starts with your stance on the adoption. If you do not object to the adoption, you can move forward with the next steps. These may include the following:
- You Can Choose to Not Be Involved in the Case: Deciding to not be involved usually requires you to sign a Waiver of Notice or a Denial of Paternity.
- You Can Still Be Involved in the Plan: If you do not object to the adoption and want to be involved in the case, you and the Birth Mother can work together throughout your adoption plan. Usually, the plan will be set up with an adoption specialist, attorney, or social worker. You may sign the relinquishment document along with the child’s birth mother once the adoption process and plan are completed.
The birth mother retains more leverage when it comes to making decisions for the child. In order for you to have a stronger influence over the adoption decision, you must take specific legal steps in a timely fashion in order to both establish and preserve your parental rights. Typically, you may only block the adoption if you meet at least one of the following strict legal requirements, depending on state law and regulations:
- If you are married to the birth mother, or were married to her within 300 days of the child’s birth.
- You have publicly acknowledged the child as your own and have received him or her into your home.
- You and the Birth Mother have both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to have you listed as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate. Typically, this is signed at the time of the child’s birth, however it is not a requirement and should not be done if you are both planning to place the child for adoption.
- If you have done everything you can to take care of the child and the birth mother both financially and emotionally within the time of knowing about the pregnancy.