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.