Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Biological fathers have rights in a California adoption

For many pregnant women, the adoption of their infant is the best way to ensure that the child will have a loving and caring childhood. While it is typically a difficult decision to make, mothers who consent to adoption are acting in the best interests of the child.

Once they decide to allow the adoption of their child, these mothers usually feel at peace about their decision. However, in some cases, their plans are interrupted when the child's father objects to the process. Even when a couple is not married, biological fathers in California (and all states) have the right to participate in decisions about their children.

Situations in which the father has such rights include the following.

  • The child was born during or shortly after the marriage of the two parents.
  • The father acknowledges his paternity of the baby in writing.
  • The father is responsible for paying child support voluntarily or by court orders.
  • The father agrees to be named on the baby's birth certificate.
  • The child lives with the father, who openly claims paternity of the child.

Those who feel strongly that the adoption of their child is the right thing to do can find help by talking with an attorney. In some cases, an attorney may even help you find a way to facilitate communication with your co-parent. Getting all parties on the same page for the good of the child is always the ultimate goal in any adoption scenario.

Issues involving the guardianship and adoption of a child are difficult emotionally for biological parents. It is wise for these parents to seek advice from qualified professionals such as a counselor and an attorney who has experience with adoption.

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