Your adoptive parents will pay for an attorney. This is part of their overall adoption budget.
The rights of the baby’s father is dependent on several factors.
If You Are Married
In general, in California, if you are married to the father within 300 days of baby’s birth, and he objects, the only way the adoption can take place is if his parental rights are terminated. This is accomplished by filing a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights.
If You are NOT Married
If you are NOT married, you are still required to provide notice to them. However, the father will only be able to stop the adoption in one of these situations:
- The father has received the child into their home and have publicly acknowledged the child as their own.
- You and the birth father have both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to have them listed as the father on the baby’s birth certificate. (Hospital staff may present this form for you to sign at time of baby’s birth, but you are not required to do so, and should not sign if you are planning to place the baby for adoption.)
Unless they can meet at least one of the three requirements listed above, a biological father’s consent for adoption in California is not required.
If You Do Not Know Who the Father Is
If you do not know who the father is, or where he is – Don’t worry, this situation is common. Make sure you tell your attorney everything you know about who the possible father is so problems don’t arise in the future.
An open adoption is where you select the adoptive family for your baby. There will be no secrecy, and as your baby grows, he/she will learn about their biological history.
Before you choose your adoptive parents, you will learn about their values, their faith, and the type of home your baby will grow up in. You can decide what type of contact you will have – you can have texts, pictures, letters or visits. Or you can choose to have minimal contact. We can help you draft a written agreement for any future contact, if any, you will have with the adoptive parents.
A majority of private adoptions are now open.
In a semi-open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents have contact during her pregnancy, and may even meet in person. However, after the adoption, they may share information through an intermediary (agency or attorney). Photographs and letters are often exchanged, but little to no identifying information is disclosed. In an semi-open adoption, privacy may be protected.
In a closed adoption, no contact informtaion is shared between the birth mother and adoptive parents. A closed adoption is the most protective of birth mother’s privacy.
You will decide which type of adoption you want.
Yes. You alone choose who adopts your baby.
Here are questions you can ask:
- Are you married?
- How long have you been married?
- Do you have other children?
- Have you ever adopted a child?
- Why do you want to adopt my baby?
- Where do you live?
- What is your community like?
- Do you go to church? What is your faith?
- Do you practice your faith?
- Will I be able to contact you about the baby?
- What is your educational background?
- Where do you work? Will both of you work after you adopt?
- What do you do for fun?
- What sort of education will give your child?
- What will make you good parents?
- What kind of future do you see for your children?
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, no decision will be an easy one. Before you make ANY decision, it is important to arm yourself with an armour of resources so you can properly understand what each decision entails.
Raising child isone of the most wonderful things you can do. It is also one of the most expensive. In 2023, it is estimated that the minimum amount required to raise a kid to adulthood in New York City is $500,000
If you decide to raise the baby, you may have questions about how you will pay for medical care, and where you can get resources. Below are links to pregnancy resource centers where you can find help.
Adoption starts with loss. But sometimes it is the best option for your baby. Our offices can equip you with all the information you need if this is your option.
Abortion is also a choice. If you have already had an abortion, and you are feeling guilt and suffering, there are many support groups and pregnancy resource centers also offer counseling to help you cope with grief. You are not alone.
Generally no, under California law. The exceptions, where the father would have to be involved and where his consent would be required, are the following:
a. If you and the father are or have been married;
b. If the father has received the child into his home and has publicly acknowledged that the child is his child;
c. If the father and you have both, at the hospital, signed a California state form in which you both agree that he is the father of the child (this form is called a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity); or
d. If the father has done everything he could have done to take responsibility for the child, both emotionally and financially, during the pregnancy, starting within a short time after he knew or should have known of the pregnancy.
If the father has done one or more of these above, then his consent to the adoption is necessary. If he will not consent, the adoption will be very difficult to move forward.
In all other circumstances, the father’s consent is not required, and he does not have the legal power to override the adoption.
There are some exceptions and limitations to these rules, so be sure to discuss the specifics of your situation with us, so that we can make sure that you are properly advised.
Consent is different than notice. Even though we do not need father’s consent, the law requires us to notify him about the adoption. Father’s rights is frequently an issue, so please call us and discuss.