Adopting a child.....

Can You Put A Child Up For Adoption Without The Father’s Consent?

This article will explore the question: Can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent? The short answer is sometimes.

Legally the father has the same rights to a child as the mother. There are circumstances, however, that make it very difficult to get the father’s consent in adoption. This is true in situations where the father is abusive or has disappeared. These circumstances leave a birth mother asking can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent?

It is possible to put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent. In the future, however, if the father decides that he wants his child, then this may place an already established adoption in jeopardy. The father at that point may have the right to sue for custody of his child.

There are things a mother can do if she wishes to put her child up for adoption. These things will help to mitigate any future legal challenges. They are:

➢ Locate the father
➢ Appeal to authorities if there is danger
➢ Don’t lie about the pregnancy

Can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent? There are circumstances when you can.

Locate The Father

The very best option is to inform the father that you are pregnant. Mothers who don’t know where the father can have difficulty with this step. Adoption officials will help you try to find the father. They may publish announcements in the newspaper in order to try to find him or check the putative father registry. If there is a legal challenge it is important to be able to demonstrate that every effort was made to locate and notify the father prior to the adoption.

Can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent? If you can’t locate the father, then Maybe.

Appeal To Authorities If There Is Danger

Sometimes a woman finds that she is pregnant after leaving an abusive relationship. A man may have told a woman that if she gets pregnant that he will hurt her. There are many reasons that a woman may not feel safe informing a man that she is carrying his child. Many states do not require that a woman who is afraid of a man inform him that she is carrying his child.

Adoption counselors can let you know what your rights are depending on the state where you live. If the mother is in danger, then the answer to: can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent, maybe yes.

Can you put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent? If the mother is in danger, then maybe.

Don't Lie About The Pregnancy

Even if your state does not require you to tell the father that you are pregnant if you lie you may put yourself in jeopardy. If the father asks if you are pregnant you must answer honestly. A frightened mother can get an adoption counselor or an attorney to answer for her.

If There Are Two Or More Possible Fathers

The mother should notify all possible fathers. They will then have the option to claim paternity. In order to claim paternity, they will have to submit to a paternity test. The rules for how this works vary depending on the state in which you live.

Father's Consent

It is best to get the father’s consent in writing. Some states only require verbal consent. The problem with verbal consent is that at a later time a person can deny that they gave verbal consent. Some states give the father a specific amount of time after being informed of the pregnancy to object to an adoption.

There are cases where an adoption can take place when the father refuses to give consent. This may be true if the father has a history of drug abuse or is a convicted violent felon. It may also be true if the father lacks adequate housing or has a history of not holding down gainful employment. If because of these kinds of circumstances or any other circumstances the father can be shown to be an unfit parent, then he may lose his paternal rights.

If a father is found in court to be unfit, then the answer to: Can you put up a child for adoption without the father’s consent is yes.

Putative Father Registry

The Putative Father Registry exists in some states. The registry is a way for men to protect their parental rights in case they unknowingly get a woman pregnant. Men register with a notary public and report every woman with whom they have sex. The man receives notification if she puts the resulting child up for adoption. Seventeen states do not have a Putative Father Registry.

Claiming Paternal Rights

There are three steps to claiming your rights as a father.These steps are as follows:

➢ Establish paternity
➢ Gain custody rights
➢ Pay child support

Establish Paternity

Until you legally establish that you are the father, you have absolutely no legal right to the child. Depending on your relationship with the mother the establishment of paternity can be easy or difficult. If the mother recognizes you as the father and allows you to sign the birth certificate, then this is an easy process. In some states, a father can complete a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. If the mother protests the man’s claim then he will have to go through the courts and probably take a paternity test to establish his rights as a father.

Background Checks

Criminal and child abuse records are required for all adoptions in every state. You will probably be asked to submit to fingerprinting. If there’s anything that may be found in your history, it is better to be honest and upfront with the social workers. If you demonstrate that you have moved beyond your past, you may still be considered to be an adoptive parent. However if you demonstrate any signs of dishonesty the social worker may immediately disqualify you.

Establish Paternity

An unwed father who has established paternity has the same rights as a married father. Generally courts more inclined to give custody to a mother. A father should probably employ a family court lawyer. Unless the mother is unfit he should file for joint custody. Ideally, before going to court the mother and father should sit down and put together a custodial plan. Mutually agreed-upon custodial plans are usually approved of by the court.

Child Support

The man establishes his paternal rights then he will also have paternal responsibilities. All non-custodial parents must pay child support. The only way to avoid paying child support is to sign over your paternal rights. In order to maintain paternal rights, a father must pay child support. If the father does not pay child support, then there is nothing blocking the mother from proceeding with the adoption.

If a man does not meet his paternal obligations or is declared unfit by the court, then the answer to: Can you put up a child for adoption without the father’s consent, is yes. However, if a man established paternity and fulfills his obligations the answer to: Can you put up a child for adoption without the father’s consent is NO.


Legally the father has the same rights to the child as the mother. However, the rules vary from state to state. A child can be put up for adoption without a father’s consent. In the future this could lead should legal complications for the adoptive family if the father is not notified and given the opportunity to contest the adoption

In order for another man to adopt your child either your paternal rights have to have been revoked or you have to have signed a consent. If you are a fit parent then no one can take your child away without your consent. This applies to both mothers and fathers.

After a child has been placed in a home it takes between 3 months in a year to finalize the adoption. Before the adoption can be finalized the rights of the birth parents have to be terminated and there has to have been at least one post placement visit from a social worker.


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