Are you thinking about adoption, but your baby’s father isn’t down with the idea? Many times, a birth father’s lack of support for adoption stems from doubt and fear. He may not understand the process and the fact that he has rights in adoption too.
Many women have told us something like, “I want to make an adoption plan, but my baby’s father doesn’t.” If this sounds like your life right now, you’re not alone. While each woman’s situation is unique, an adoption attorney can help you find out whether you can still move forward with adoption. Keep reading to learn about five common birth father scenarios that Lifetime may be able to help you with!
Is he dead set against you making an adoption plan? Then, he might be required to show that he wants to become a father by providing child support and custody. In most states, the father is required to provide monetary support to the pregnant mother. If he doesn’t, he might be unable to stop an adoption from happening. It’s important that you’re truthful and upfront with him about your pregnancy and your adoption plans, so that an adoption can happen smoothly.
He’s Unknown or Not In the Picture
Lifetime has worked with many women who didn’t know where or who their baby’s birth father is. In cases like these, many states have a Putative Father Registry. To protect his parental rights, he must register on it. If he doesn’t register, an adoption attorney might not be required to provide him notice of the adoption. However, every state’s laws differ, and each situation is case-by-case, so an adoption attorney can determine if adoption can continue without the birth father’s consent.
You’re in an On-Again/Off-Again Relationship
Are you in an unstable relationship where he keeps coming into and going out of your life? You might be thinking about adoption after realizing that his behavior probably won’t stop once your baby is born.
If you’d like to see your child raised in a stable two-parent household, think about how his irregular behavior might play out in the future. An adoption attorney can evaluate the situation, speak with him about his rights, and try to continue your adoption plan.
Lifetime has worked with many women who are suffering from the effects of rape or abuse before and during pregnancy and don’t know what to do. At Lifetime, we provide pregnant women the opportunity for counseling and support. Our Adoption Coordinators are available 24/7 to help in any way they can, including referrals to a licensed third-party counselor. They can also provide you with resources in your area if you need help escaping an abusive relationship.
Some states factor an abuse or rape into whether a father’s consent is needed for an adoption to happen.
He’s in Jail
If your baby’s father is in jail, your attorney can explain the adoption process according to your state’s laws. If he’s supportive of your adoption plan, your Adoption Coordinator can also work with him. He’s able to get updates on his child through pictures and letters as he or she grows up, just like you can. If he’s not supportive of the adoption, your attorney can explain your rights, and how his incarceration might or might not play a role in the adoption process.
If you want to create an adoption plan but are facing one of these scenarios, you may be able to continue with adoption.
Contact Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784, and we can discuss your situation in more detail and whether you may still be able to make an adoption plan.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.