How Long Does a Father Have to Sign a Birth Certificate? He’s Not Participating in Adoption.

If the father of your baby is not participating and your considering adoption, you probably have a lot of questions. One of them might be “How long does a father have to sign a birth certificate?”

We understand, you want to move forward.

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The answer is that it varies by state. However, as you learn more about the birth father’s rights in adoption, here are some key questions you may need to answer:

Has the birth father expressed interest in parenting? Is he capable of supporting a family?

birth father not participating when woman shows him her pregnancy testBeing a dad is more than simply being listed on a birth certificate and showing up for birthdays and weekends. Children need a consistent father figure in their lives. If he has shown interest in parenting, speak with him about what that looks like, financially, emotionally, and from a commitment standpoint. Sometimes being a great dad is understanding that you cannot provide everything you want for your child and letting someone else do it through adoption.

Can the birth father be identified? Can he be located? If not, how long does a father have to sign a birth certificate?

If there is more than one potential father of the baby, that is an issue that will need to be addressed. Similarly, if he cannot be physically located, an attorney will need to follow the particular state’s laws to terminate the rights. State laws also address terminating the rights of an unknown birth father in the case where a woman does not know the possible identity of the father, in a case such as a one-night stand or rape. These may sound like complicated situations but Lifetime can help you find the answers you need in an easy and private way.

Will the father consent to an adoption?

This is an important question. If he will not, it may be because he feels like the situation is out of control or does not know that he can play an active role in adoption. Many times, like the story with Manny, a father just needs to be acknowledged and included in the choices. Remember it is his child too. If the situation is a violent or dangerous one, it may not be advisable to speak directly with him. Lifetime can help by providing an attorney who can speak with him directly.

Is he getting pressure from family members or friends?

Often a birth father’s mother will pressure him to “step up” and be a man by objecting to an adoption placement. Usually, the only people who have parental rights are the mother and the father of the baby. Working together for the best interest of the baby is the job of the child’s mother and father. Ultimately, grandparents, friends, aunts, and others are not going to be the ones who are there every day as parents. The two of you need to come to the best decision for the baby, completely free from outside influences. Especially because often the grandmothers of the baby or others offer a lot of help in parenting, but they are not able to follow through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week like children need.

Does he deny paternity?

Married men who fathered a baby with someone other than their wives may just deny that the baby is theirs. They don’t want their marriages disrupted. An attorney will handle this privately and confidentially, whether or not he is willing to sign the papers.

There are many questions about adoption in regards to birth fathers and their adoption legal rights. Lifetime Adoption is here to help you find the answers you need as you consider adoption. The best way to get answers is by calling or texting our 24 hour adoption answer line at 1-800-923-6784.

You may also start your adoption plan now by filling out basic information or just send us an email with your adoption question.

Remember, we are here to help you and any information you share with us is completely private and confidential.

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This form is intended for pregnant women or women wanting to place their child for adoption.
If you wish to adopt a child into your home, please click here. If you live outside of the U.S., please click here.


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Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency. (License #100084254)

National Council for Adoption seal

35 anniversary logo

Small Women Owned Business

Lifetime Adoption's BBB Accredited Business A+ rating

Lifetime Adoption Center is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating


Copyright © | Lifetime Adoption

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