As adoption professionals, we do not use the terms “give baby up” or “put baby up” for adoption. We believe they do not correctly represent the courage and love of a birth mother. However, because these are commonly used terms when researching adoption, we use them to make it easier for people to find the information they seek.
An expectant mother considering adoption for her child must make a tough decision. The process is complicated and emotionally draining. However, the birth mother and adoptive family aren’t the only parties involved. The father of the child is a factor that some neglect to consider, which can cause significant issues down the road. It is important that you know YOUR RIGHTS!
Suppose you live in Florida and plan to place your baby with an adoptive family. In that case, informing the male parent’s role in the process is essential. Educating yourself about Florida’s adoption laws can save you and your baby’s adoptive family much emotional stress.
What Rights Does a Biological Father Have?
Determining the rights of a biological father in an adoption can be legally complex. He must be notified of the adoption plan if his identity is known. This notification must be provided in a certain way by the adoption agency or attorney.
This article will cover the steps to involve your child’s father, no matter the situation.
Identify Fathers to the Adoption Agency or Attorney
You likely know the identity of the biological father. However, there are situations where there are two or more possible biological fathers. Identify all potential biological fathers to the agency or attorney if this is the situation. You must also tell the agency or attorney you are working with if you are married, even if your husband is not the biological father.
Tell Him You Are Pregnant
You should tell the biological father you are pregnant if it is safe. This way, he will not be able to say that you withhold his information. He has a responsibility to provide you with financial support during your pregnancy. If he does not but was made aware of your pregnancy and disagreed with your adoption plan, his failure to provide financial aid may be used against him in support of the adoption.
Getting His Consent
The easiest way to ensure the adoption process goes smoothly is by getting the father’s consent to the adoption. Of course, this starts with you being honest. You should continue to provide him with updates. Even if he doesn’t initially agree, he could change his mind. Consenting to an adoption is a legal process. The agency or attorney you are working with will facilitate the father signing the required documents.
—What if it is Not Safe to Tell Him?
In some cases, it may be unsafe to tell him you are pregnant. Perhaps he has a history of drug or alcohol abuse or even violence. Maybe you think he’ll react poorly to the news and take it out on you.
Suppose you believe it would place you and your baby in an unsafe situation. In that case, you must talk to the agency or attorney you are working with and share your concerns. They will help you come up with a plan to keep you safe.
—What If He Doesn’t Consent to the Adoption?
He must be served with the proper notification by the agency or attorney managing the adoption.
—What If I Don’t Know His Identity or Location?
It is essential to tell the agency or attorney you are working with all of the information you know about him. They will be able to conduct a search for him and will know what to do legally if he is not found.
Unfortunately, adoption without a father present comes with many gray areas. You might have questions that are specific to your circumstances. If you are pregnant and considering adoption, you may feel scared and confused. My staff and I can help you understand the adoption process and your options. We work with expectant mothers who are already matched with adoptive parents, those who want to be matched with adoptive parents, and those who are already working with an attorney or agency but would like their own legal representation. Tammi Driver Law can help you navigate this complex situation.
Call us any time at 727-800-6681 to ensure your plan goes as smoothly as possible.