For some women considering placing their babies for adoption in Ohio, they may find themselves dealing with a birth father who is either unknown, uninvolved or unsupportive. Many of these birthmothers wonder whether adoption is even possible without the birthfather’s consent. In the state of Ohio, the answer to that question depends on the specifics of each case. The birthfather’s role in the adoption process will vary greatly, depending on each situation, and his consent is typically required. However, there are specific circumstances under which a birthmother may be able to successfully place her baby for adoption without the birthfather’s consent.
Because each adoption is unique, Building Blocks Adoption Service always recommends you contact us or speak with an attorney who will be able to help determine whether consent to adoption will be required in your specific situation.
When Consent to Adoption Is Required
In order for a court in the state of Ohio to approve an adoption, consent is typically required by a few key people. These people include the birthmother, a person or agency having permanent custody of the child being placed for adoption, the child (if the child is older than 12), and the father. Consent is required by a known biological father, a known adoptive father, or a man who has registered with the Ohio Putative Father Registry (OPFR) within 15 days of the child’s birth (the putative father). If the birthfather is unknown, a routine search of the OPFR will need to be done to determine if any man has registered as the baby’s putative father. If a man believes he may have fathered a child and wants to be informed if the child is to be placed for adoption, the OPFR allows him to be notified of such an intent to adopt and, if his is found to be the child’s father, allows him the opportunity to provide or withhold consent of the adoption. A putative father must provide his name and address as well as the mother’s name and the child’s age (or the baby’s estimated due date). The routine search of this registry is typically handled by the adoption agency or attorney helping the birthmother with the adoption process.
When Consent to Adoption is Not Required
Under certain circumstances consent to adoption may not be required. Whether or not consent is required is determined by the court overseeing the adoption. Once the court rules that consent is not required, the adoption process can move forward, even if the party withholding consent does not agree to the adoption. The following are the most common situations in which consent to adoption is not required in the state of Ohio:
- When a parent (whether mother or father) who is married to the parent placing the child for adoption supports the adoption
- When a parent has been found to have abandoned the child being placed for adoption. Abandonment, in this case, means that in the year prior to the adoption, the parent has had minimal contact with the child or has failed to provide for the maintenance and support of the child (or the birthmother, if the pregnancy was known to the father)
- When a putative father fails to acknowledge his paternity of the child or has willfully abandoned the birthmother during her pregnancy
- When a putative father is not the father of the child
- When the court believes the parent is withholding consent unreasonably or when the parent’s consent is not given due to a prolonged, unexplained absence or unavailability
- When the child was conceived by rape
If you are considering placing your child for adoption, Building Blocks Adoption Service is here to help.
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