Can an Unmarried Father Stop an Adoption?

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deciding to put your child up for adoption
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When you decide to place your child for adoption, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. However, one hiccup that might arise is that the biological father wants to challenge the adoption.

Where Do Parental Rights Stand?

Unmarried fathers do not automatically have parental rights like mothers do. This means that simply claiming to be the father of a child is not enough for someone to block an adoption. Instead, a father must show a commitment to obtaining parental rights and dedication to caring for the child following birth.

Generally speaking, an unmarried man must do one of the following to even begin challenging an adoption:

  • File with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health
  • File for paternity with the courts
  • Acknowledge parental rights and responsibilities

Establishing paternity is necessary for someone to challenge an adoption. In addition, the court must be assured that the father intends to support and care for the child – financially, physically, and emotionally. In some cases, an unmarried father can successfully stop adoption and get custody of the child.

father with an adoption lawyer
Can an Unmarried Father Stop an Adoption? 6

What You Can Do

To prevent unexpected complications with a birth father, it is often wise to inform the father of the pregnancy and your intention to place the child for adoption. This can decrease the chances of surprise hiccups in your case and allow you to know the father’s intentions as early as possible in the process. Of course, there are exceptions to this suggestion, such as in cases of abuse or other violence.

It is also advisable to keep a record of contact with the father, regardless of the relationship. Keep notes of when you told him about the adoption, his reaction, and so on. Anytime the issue comes up in conversation, write it down. This can be beneficial later if he were to change his mind. If he asks you to marry him, contact us so we can better advise you.

Learn about Your Options from an Adoption Lawyer in Florida

The law firm of Juliana Gaita, P.A., helps birth mothers with every step of the adoption process, from making the initial decision to finalizing the adoption. Contact us if you are a birth mother considering adoption or if you are considering adoption to grow your family.