Rights of a Birth Father When a Child Is Adopted Out By Biological Mother
Child adoption remains a very sensitive matter in the family law that requires proper handling as well as sober legal guidance. The process should be carried out bearing in mind the rights of both biological parents (loc.gov, 2019). However, many successful adoptions that failed to seek consent of both biological parents have been faulted as an illegality. Therefore, for a child to be given out for adoption, both parent’s consent should be sought before such a decision is reached.
Consenting to an adoption process severs the biological parent’s legal relationship with the adopted child, thus giving adoptive parents full parental rights. Therefore, the adoption rules require that the birth mother must discuss the matter and obtain the consent of the birth father, once the consent has been sought the adoption process can continue (loc.gov, 2019). However, if the birth father is unwilling to offer the child for adoption, he may stop the adoption process or secure custody if the mother is unwilling to do so (loc.gov, 2019). In addition, the adoption agency also has a duty of ensuring births father consent is sought before the adoption process is initiated to avoid liability of their part.
The necessary steps in seeking consent from a birth father include contacting the father and information him of the intention to offer the child for adoption. At this stage, the mother should offer information showing connection between the father and the child (loc.gov, 2019). Afterward, the mother should then proceed to find out if the birth father has any objection to the adoption or whether he may be willing to take custody of the child (loc.gov, 2019). However, in most states, if the birth father is feared to be violent and unable to take custody of the child, the mother may have no obligation to inform the dad of the ongoing process.
In some circumstances, there may be complication, especially where the mother may be unsure of who the biological dad could be. Equally, under such circumstances the biological dad still has rights and their consent remains vital in adoption process (loc.gov, 2019). Therefore, the birth mother is expected to contact all the parties that could have been involved. If any of the individuals will be willing to take custody or be involved in the child’s life, then the adoption will be stopped (loc.gov, 2019). However, if no one is interested in being involved with the child, the birth mother will have the right of proceeding and finalizing the adopting with the adopting parents.
In summary, biological fathers have equal legal rights as the mother of the child. Therefore, knowing that parental rights are some of the most protected rights in the U.S the adoption agency must always undertake due diligence to ensure fathers’ rights are considered during adoption by seeking their consent. Equally the adoptive parents must ensure that birth fathers’ rights are observed to avoid future legal battles in the event biological father learn of the adoption. Also, a biological father may also have rights to be involved in the life of the child even after the adoption. However, that may depend on the ability of his legal team as well as he has to demonstrate that he is not violent and he is of sound mind.
loc.gov. (2019). Adoption Law: The United States | Law Library of Congress. Retrieved 26 September 2019, from https://www.loc.gov/law/help/adoption-law/unitedstates.php