Does the father of my baby have rights? adoption

Does the father of my baby have rights?

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.

See Rights of Unmarried Fathers.