Does The Birth Father Have To Agree To Adoption?

Adoption can be a difficult process for anyone to go through. In addition, just because a birth mother has agreed to put her child up for adoption does not mean that the adoption might not be contested. The birth father has, legally, the same rights in terms of adoption that the birth mother has.

Of course, in real life, not all birth fathers even know that they are birth fathers. In addition, it is in some places rather easy for an unmarried woman who is pregnant to leave the birth father out of the process just by declaring that she is uncertain who the birth father is. At that point, the burden for establishing paternity and thus an interest in the child, rests on the birth father. This can be a lengthy and difficult process, during which the birth father may find that the baby has already been born and adopted.

If a birth father has any legal standing, he does have to agree to adoption for it to take place. In most states, if a woman is married, her husband has a legal right to agree to or to not agree to adoption. If the birth father is listed on the birth certificate, he also has legal standing. As has been said, if he has established paternity he also has legal standing as the birth father.

In a situation where a birth father does not agree to an adoption but a birth mother does, it is generally a situation in which the two birth parents are not on particularly amiable terms. If they are married, they are likely separated or in the process of getting a divorce. Thus, a birth father may be able to be granted custody of the child, and the birth mother may be able to voluntarily terminate her parental rights. Obviously, each situation is different, and each state and locality may have their own specific laws and rules as far as how this process would work out.


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