Often, articles about the adoption process focus on how the process affects and relates to the birth mother, but just as important in that process is the birth father’s role in adoption. If you are considering placing your baby for adoption, you may be wondering how the birth father factors into that decision. Depending on which state you live in, and the father’s perspective on placing the baby for adoption, the answer will vary from case to case.
The Consenting Birthfather’s Role in Adoption
Many birth fathers are supportive of placing their baby for adoption, and many often want to be directly involved in the process. When the birth father consents to the decision to place a baby for adoption and wishes to be involved in the process, the adoption largely follows the same process as it would were the birth mother the only parent involved in the process. The birth father can provide input for how open he would like the adoption to be, as well as provide input for which adoptive family is chosen. The birth father can provide input at every level. He will also be involved in the legal process of placing the baby for adoption.
The Non-Consenting Birthfather’s Role in Adoption
Whether the birth parents are involved in an ongoing relationship or not, the birth father’s consent is typically required for adoptions in Ohio. When the birth father does not consent to placing the baby for adoption and would like to take on the responsibility of raising the baby on his own, he will need to petition the court for custody. Doing so requires that he confirm his paternity of the baby and that he demonstrates his ability to provide a safe, loving, and healthy environment in which to raise the child. If he is found to be a fit parent and his paternity is confirmed, he will typically be awarded custody of the child. If the birth father does not consent to placing the baby for adoption and is instead pushing for the termination of the pregnancy, the birth mother ultimately will be in charge of making this decision. The birth father cannot force the birth mother to terminate the pregnancy against her will.
The Unknown Birthfather’s Role in Adoption
If the birth father is unknown, a routine search of the Ohio Putative Father Registry (OPFR) will need to be done to determine if the baby can be legally placed for adoption. If a man believes he may have fathered a child and wants to be informed if the child is placed for adoption, the OPFR allows him to register as a putative father. By providing his name and address as well as the mother’s name and the child’s age (or estimated due date), a putative father will be notified if the mother attempts to place a child with the correct age (or estimate due date) for adoption. From that point, once he’s verified paternity, his role in the adoption process will be determined by whether or not he consents to the adoption. At Building Blocks Adoption Service, we always recommend consulting our adoption agency to determine the best path forward in any adoption, especially those in which the birth father is unknown or does not consent to placing the baby for adoption.
We are here to help you navigate the process of adoption, walking beside you to find a path that is right for you.