What rights do birth fathers have?
If a birth mother is legally married, her husband is the presumed father and his rights are equal to hers. As the birth father, he must also agree to terminate his parental rights and proceed with the adoption. If the identified birth father is not married to the birth mother, he is known as the assumed father and his rights vary depending on state law. Madison works with birth fathers in making the adoption plan in the same way that we work with birth mothers. Madison will be sure that the birth father has an opportunity to meet with an adoption attorney or agency to advise him of his rights, the laws, and obtain his consent to the adoption. Time frames for the consent also depend on state law. If a birth father is not willing to consent to the adoption, Madison will work with him to determine his plan for the childs future. Often, birth fathers are reluctant to consent, but they are not ready to be a full-time parent.
IIn Florida, if able and aware of the pregnancy, a birth father that desires to establish and/or protect his rights is expected to pay a fair and reasonable amount of the expenses incurred in connection with the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s birth, in accordance with his financial ability, when not prevented from doing so by the birth mother. We attempt to locate and contact birth fathers to see if they will voluntarily cooperate with the adoption and sign a consent or affidavit of nonpaternity.
A married womans husband and a legal father must consent to an adoption plan. An unmarried biological fathers rights are contingent upon the actions that he has taken to provide for the pregnant mother and her child. Florida maintains a confidential paternity registry and registration is a condition precedent to the requirement that an unmarried biological father consent to an adoption plan.
If a woman is legally married her husband is the presumed father and his rights are equal to hers, and he must also agree to the adoption. If the identified birth father is not married to the birth mother he is called an assumed father and his rights will vary from state to state. The adoptive couple’s attorney may need to address this issue, since the birth father’s rights can vary from state to state. Birth fathers that are supportive of the adoption will meet with an adoption attorney in his state that will advise him of the laws and obtain his consent to the adoption. Timeframes for the consent will vary from state to state. If a birth father is not willing to sign papers and is not in agreement with the adoption it is important that he be contacted immediately by your attorney to determine if he wants to parent or if he is just being obstinate. If a birth father will not willingly consent to the adoption, but he is not going to fight it, there may be steps that can be taken to ter
Initially a birth father’s legal rights are slim. In fact, if you are single and elect to have an abortion before the birth of your baby, the birth father will have no say in how you decide to handle your pregnancy. However, if you are married and plan to have an abortion, your state may have laws that require you to notify and receive consent from your spouse before you can have an abortion. (see the article titled “Know The Law: Legal Restrictions on Having an Abortion” in this magazine.) If you plan to raise your child yourself, you will want to read “As Motherhood Comes” for more information about the birth father’s legal rights in single parenting. Many states now grant the birth mother and birth father equal parental rights regarding visitation once the baby has been born. If you plan to create an adoption plan for your child, you will want to read “Who Has to Sign and Can I Change My Mind?” as adoption laws pertaining to the birth father vary from state to state.