Birth Father rights are essentially the same as the birth motherís rights in the sense that both parents have equal claim or interest in the well being of the child. In adoption, every agency is responsible for locating and advising the birth father, as his signature is required for the relinquishment of parental rights in order for the adoption to proceed. Adoptions that proceed without this consent or signature are risky in that at any point the father can and may contest the placement and choose to raise the child on his own.
Most agencies and attorneys both welcome and invite the father to participate in the adoption process. If everyone can agree and adoption is the course that all parties have selected, then the rest falls into place and the proceedings can continue as smoothly as possible. Adoption is no easy road and comes with its own emotional railway of decisions. Selecting adoptive families can include location, religious preferences, do they have other adopted children for possible siblings?
Agencies and attorneys will advise the birthmother to contact the birth father so that they can explain the adoption procedures, needed signatures and what the termination of parental rights for an adoption will mean for them. In most cases, where the father is informed and in agreement, the adoption can proceed without complications. In the event the father would like to raise the child on his own, some disputes may arise. In any event, the father has every right to raise the child should the mother relinquish her rights, or at least is entitled to co-parent should the mother decide to keep the child and raise as a single parent.
If the mother of the child would like to pursue adoption for her baby, and the father does not agree, he must take the necessary steps in order to prove paternity. Most states have whatís called a Putative Father Registry. This registry is for men who may be the childís father, but were not married to the mother before the birth of the child. By establishing your paternity and asserting your rights you may assume certain responsibilities, including medical expenses incurred during the pregnancy and child support payments following the birth. Make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities and how this will impact your rights to parent, custody issues and financial obligations.
Hopefully, you can amicably discuss your intents and hopes for your unborn child with the birth mother openly. If not, in most cases there are adoptive counselors or mediators assigned that can advocate for both parties rights and concerns for the baby. Really search your heart and look at the situation for what it is. For some, adoption may be the best course for all, and others may choose a different route. If parenting is an option for either the birth mother or birth father, that option needs to be explored before an adoptive placement is considered. When both parents take the time to research and discuss their options, the best interest of the child will be better served.