As a Birth Father, Do I Have a Say in the Adoption?

by | Feb 13, 2018 | Birth Parent Blog

birth father rights and choices in modern adoptionIs your girlfriend pregnant, and just told you she’s going to place your baby for adoption? Or maybe you’re married, struggling to make ends meet, and your wife has announced she’s making an adoption plan. No matter your situation, you’re probably wondering, “does the father have a say in adoption?”

The answer is a definite “yes”! Lifetime encourages birth fathers to get involved in the adoption planning process. Keep reading to learn the choices and rights you have as a birth father with modern adoption!

It’s just as important for you to know your rights during the adoption process as it is for the birth mother. (And if you’re wondering about the term “birth father,” it means a man whose child is being placed with an adoptive family.) You might be getting pressure from your family to “step up” and be a man by objecting to the adoption. 

Adoption Isn’t Giving Up

We’ve heard from many men who feel like choosing adoption is a “cop-out,” and like it’s admitting they’re not able to take care of their child. This is especially true if this is their first child. They’ve told us that they feel like adoption is “giving up,” and not really the best option.

Adoption is a choice that birth moms and birth dads choose not because they don’t love their child or want their child. They’re making an adoption plan because of love, and wanting a promising future for their child.

Adoption Isn’t Goodbye Forever

Through open adoption, you can see your child growing up and be a part of their lives. Adoption isn’t goodbye forever! Birth fathers can see the blessing that adoption is for their child, and they can feel pride in the decision. Some birth fathers have even said things to us like, “that is the best decision I could have made for my child…in providing parents that were ready and wanting to be parents right now.” Many birth fathers who were active in the adoption plan have shared that they’re happy they were able to put their child’s needs above theirs.

Your Rights As a Birth Father

In this recent Facebook live video, we talked about your involvement as a birth father in creating an adoption plan. As a birth father, you have every single option that the birth mother does. You’re able to fully participate in the adoption to the level that you’d like to and feel comfortable with. Just like your baby’s mother, you can speak with several adoptive couples and ask them questions, just as your baby’s mother can. You might want to ask them questions about their jobs, family structure, their lifestyle, parenting beliefs, and maybe even about things they like to do. You can talk with several adoptive families if you’d like to, and have the option of meeting with them too.

As a birth father, you have rights too, and they’re important to understand. Every state has different (and complex) laws and requirements about your adoption legal rights and responsibilities. So if you need, Lifetime can connect you with an adoption attorney at no cost to you.

Adoption Resources for Birth Fathers

Birth Father Rights
Learn more about your legal responsibilities& as a birth father.

Interview with Blaine, a Birth Father
He’s very honest about the fact that he didn’t want to choose adoption for his child. Adoption ended up being the best decision, and one he’s proud of it now.

4 Ways the Birth Father Can Support Your Adoption
Do you want to stay in your child’s life after the adoption happens? Learn more about you can support and participate in modern, open adoption!
It’s important to find answers to your adoption questions and become well-informed. That way, you’re able to make a decision that is best for you, your situation, and your baby. Find out the questions you should be asking yourself before you make any decisions.

What Are My Responsibilities as a Birth Father?
As a birth father, you play an important role in your child’s adoption journey. At this link, you can learn more about the choices that you have.


The adoption decision can be as hard for you as it is for the birth mother.

If you’d like to speak to an Adoption Coordinator about being involved in the adoption planning for your child, call Lifetime at
1-800-923-6784. And you can browse our available adoptive families here!

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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