Do I have to tell the birthfather about my adoption plan?
If the father of your unborn child is not around, you may be wondering if you need to tell him about your plans to create an adoption plan. There are a lot of reasons why you might not want to contact the father of the baby while you’re thinking of placing the baby for adoption. It may be a difficult discussion to have.
If you are married to the father of the baby when you give birth, he will be considered the legal father. If you are not married, he is referred to as the “putative father”. The law varies from state to state, so you should check your state’s adoption laws or ask us to check for you. Depending on the state you live in, a legal father and a putative father have different custody rights to their children.
To avoid potential heartache in the future, we recommend talking to the biological father and discussing your plans to create an adoption plan. There have been cases of the putative father contesting an adoption after the baby has been placed with an adoptive family, which causes pain for all parties involved. This can potentially be avoided by having a difficult discussion now, before the baby is place with a family.
How Do I Tell Him I’m Pregnant? How Do I Talk to Him About Adoption?
We have compiled a list of suggestions to help you navigate the discussion of adoption with the biological father of the baby:
- Confirm you’re pregnant first. It’s better to have a blood test done with your doctor because this is the most reliable method. There are some over the counter pregnancy tests you can take at home that also have accurate readings within a few weeks of your first missed period.
- Prepare yourself mentally by remembering not to be too hard on yourself. It takes two people to become pregnant.
- This is a private conversation, so choose a time when the two of you can be alone either in person or on the phone. Tell him that your period was late so you took a pregnancy test, and it was positive.
- This is not the time to fight with each other, or place blame so try your best to resist the urge to be confrontational. Express yourself honestly and allow him to do the same. If he feels that his opinions are being heard, he will be more likely to be receptive to your point of view.
- Keep your expectations realistic. If he’s no longer in the picture, don’t expect him to want to keep the baby and raise it with you. He may want to, or he may not. For both of you, this is a big life change that you’re probably unprepared for that will come with financial burdens and unexpected commitments.
- Express yourself honestly, but keep in mind that no one can force you to have an abortion, create an adoption plan, or parent the child, not even the biological father. Research and consider all options so that you can make the best decision for the baby.
- Whatever decision you choose to make, explain to the biological father WHY you’ve made that decision. Let him know that you are not making this choice lightly. Listen to his opinion and let him feel like he’s a part of this decision as well, but make sure he understands that you expect him to support your choice as much as he can.
When asking if you can place your child for adoption without the father’s consent, the short answer is “sometimes”.
Legally, the biological father has the same rights to a child as the mother does. There are some things that will make it very difficult to get the father’s consent in the adoption, such as in cases of abuse or if the biological father has disappeared. In the future, if the father decides that he wants to parent the child, this may jeopardize an already established adoption. The biological father can decide to sue for custody of the child.
There are things you do to prevent this from happening:
- Locate the biological father
- Contact your local law enforcement agency if you feel you are in danger
- Don’t lie about your pregnancy
We at Building Blocks Adoption Service Inc. can help you if you aren’t sure who the baby’s father is, what his name is, where he lives, if he is in jail, refuses to cooperate with the adoption, or if you are married and your spouse is not the baby’s father.
Twenty-five states have established Putative Father Registries, which would entitle a putative father to notices of adoption proceedings, petitions to terminate parental rights, and petitions for adoptions. A legal father usually must consent to an adoption.
In most states, a legal father who would need to consent to an adoption would fit one or more of the following:
- If the man and the child’s mother are married when the child is born, or the child was born no more than 300 days after the end of the marriage
- If the birth father’s name is on the birth certificate, or
- If the man has acknowledged that he is the father in writing.
Even if the legal father won’t consent to the adoption, there may be other ways to terminate his rights. If the birth father has not met one of these criteria, he may still have parental rights if he has established himself as a putative father. It is important to disclose all of the information you have with your social worker and our legal team. If you have questions please do not hesitate to call our offices or text our birthmother hotline at 234-206-1859.