There are a number of key people involved in the adoption process. Along with birth mothers, there are birth fathers, the children being adopted and the adoptive parents. Family members and friends, too, often play important parts.
Each birth father’s situation is different. Some relationships with birth fathers are good and they work well with the birth mother. Others are not so good. This is where the support of an agency like Agape can really help.
We work closely with all birth mothers to thoroughly understand the situation and to help each birth mother deal appropriately with the birth father. We can play a small part or a larger one, depending on your needs.
The following are some basic questions and answers regarding the role of birth fathers in adoption.
♦ Do birth fathers have any rights?
♦ What if I don't want the birth father involved in the adoption?
♦ What role can a cooperative birth father play in the adoption process?
♦ What if the birth father is uncooperative?
1. Do birth fathers have any rights?
As the legal process in adoptions is about transferring the legal rights of one set of parents to another, the rights of birth fathers must be understood and properly handled. Each state has laws regulating how fathers can assert their rights and how these rights can be severed/terminated with or without their cooperation. The ideal is to have an agreeable birth father who will voluntarily cooperate with the adoption process.
We know there are many other levels of cooperation and un-cooperation. There are also times when it may be best for a birth father to receive custody of a child. To discuss these situations, it would be best to give us a call.
2. What if I don't want the birth father involved in the adoption?
We understand there are many times when there is a strained relationship between the birth mother and the birth father. We also know there are many other reasons why a birth mother may wish for the father of the baby not to be involved. The reasons why will need to be better understood to answer this question fully. The laws about a father’s rights vary from state-to-state. We can help you understand the laws in your state and the options you can consider as you proceed further.
3. What role can a cooperative birth father play in the adoption process?
There are many times when the mother and father are in a cooperative relationship and want to work constructively together for the adoption of their child. This is the best of circumstances and something to celebrate. Being cooperative with the mother opens many doors of possibility for birth fathers. Under these conditions, they can be involved in every step of the process.
The problems come when the birth father is not cooperating with the plans of the birth mother. This can take many forms and is impossible to address in a short paragraph. Realize that we deal with this all the time and would be happy to talk with you about this further if this relates to your situation.
4. What if the birth father is uncooperative?
If you, as a birth mother, want to place your child for adoption and the birth father is unwilling to cooperate, this presents added challenges to the adoption process. Unfortunately, it is a fairly common occurrence. There are a variety of reasons why a birth father would be uncooperative along with a variety of ways he can act out his uncooperative stance. These must be taken into consideration to understand what they mean to the adoption process.
Sometimes, some level of intervention on our part can resolve the situation. At other times, it may require legal intervention. The outcome depends on many factors, including how reasonable, stable and self-sufficient the birth father is, what his financial situation is, what kind of support he has from his family, etc. All of this highlights how that each situation is different.