Father of the Baby
What if the Birth Father is Unsupportive?
Ideally, every birth father will be supportive of a pregnant woman’s decision to do what she feels is best for her unborn child. Many birth fathers are supportive and involved — choosing to help the expectant mother as she pursues an adoption plan for their baby.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. If the father of your baby is unsupportive of your adoption decision, you’re placed in a difficult situation. However, it may not mean that this is the end of your adoption journey.
An important note: The following is not a substitute for proper legal advice, and should not be taken as such. You should contact an adoption agency immediately — they can refer you to an attorney who will provide you with free legal counsel.
Here’s what you should know about moving forward with your plan to place your baby for adoption (with or without the birth father):
If the Birth Father is Unsupportive, Unknown or Uninvolved, You Should Contact an Adoption Agency Immediately
This is necessary for an extremely important reason: If the birth father is unsupportive of your adoption plan, it may affect your ability to choose adoption.
When you contact an adoption agency, they’ll be able to give you information and advice based on your specific situation. Because a woman’s relationship with the father of her baby is often complicated and nuanced, it’s hard for us to cover every potential situation in this one online guide.
Your first course of action should always be to contact an adoption agency for information that is specific to your situation. The longer you wait, the more limited your options may become.
Remember: Having a complicated relationship with the birth father (or not knowing who he is) is nothing to be embarrassed about. Every woman’s situation is different! We’ll do our best to cover as many scenarios as possible, so you can potentially see your own situation reflected below:
If You’re Getting a Divorce While Pregnant
As you know, having a baby doesn’t “fix” a relationship that is no longer working. Many women are still concerned about leaving a marriage when they are pregnant and often ask, “Can you get divorced while pregnant?” The answer is: Yes.
However, divorce when pregnant is stressful. Even if you feel this divorce is all for the best, your life is still about to change drastically. You may not feel able to raise this baby on your own during this complicated time.
So, this leads many women who are getting divorced while pregnant to wonder if they can (or should) choose to place the baby for adoption. They ask, “If I’m pregnant and divorcing my husband, is adoption the best thing for myself and for this child?” The answer is: Maybe. Follow your gut!
Some women who are pregnant and divorcing a spouse have discovered that they are pregnant by another man during divorce. This makes their situation even more overwhelming, so they often decide to place the baby for adoption with a loving family who is ready and willing to raise this child.
If you are pregnant and want a divorce, remember that adoption is always an option for you. Going through a divorce while pregnant is a lot for anyone to handle. When you contact an adoption agency about being pregnant and getting a divorce, you’ll have access to emotional support, as well as financial, legal and healthcare support — all of which is available to you for free.
If you are currently pregnant and going through a divorce, contact an adoption agency now to learn more about this pregnancy option.
If You’re in a Relationship with Someone Who is Not the Father of Your Baby
Women who have become pregnant by a man who was not their husband or boyfriend have asked tough questions like, “Can a baby be ‘given up’ for adoption if your spouse is not the father?” And, “Should I keep my baby by another man?”
Yes, you can choose adoption for this baby if you feel that’s what’s best, regardless of who the biological father is. But, only you can decide if you “should” parent this child or place him or her for adoption.
This is not an uncommon situation in adoption. Many women who are unexpectedly pregnant as a result of an affair or an encounter outside of their relationship find that placing the baby for adoption is the best way to heal and move forward with their partner.
If You’re Not in a Relationship with the Baby’s Father
If you’re not married to or in a relationship with the baby’s father, you may have questions about adoption consent, including:
- “If you give a baby up for adoption and you are not married, does the father have any choice in it?” Yes, he does have a right to consent to the adoption, but you are still in charge of the choices.
- “Is there still a stigma about adoption for unwed mothers?” Birth mothers can be in any type of relationship. All that matters is that you feel adoption is right in your situation.
- “If we’re not in a relationship, does the father have to agree to adoption if I want to place the baby?” Again, in most circumstances, the birth father will have the right to consent, even if you aren’t in a relationship.
- “I recently broke up with the man who got me pregnant. Do you need the father’s consent for adoption if you’re no longer in a relationship?” Regardless of your relationship status, adoption may be an option for you. However, the birth father will need to offer his consent in most situations.
If you have more questions about choosing adoption when you’re not in a relationship with the baby’s father, reach out to an adoption agency!
If You’re Not Sure Who the Father Is
Adoption when the father is unknown can always be an option. However, pregnant women often worry that adoption without knowing the father isn’t legally possible, so they ask questions like: “Is adoption possible without knowing who the father is?” Or, “Can you give a baby up for adoption if you don’t know who the father is?”
The answer is: Yes. You can pursue adoption, even if you aren’t sure who the father is.
When you’re not sure who the father is, or if you’re not sure how to contact the potential father, you might find yourself asking, “I don’t know who he is, so does the father have to give consent for adoption?” Generally, you’ll need to do your best to inform potential fathers of your adoption plan to the best of your ability. If you don’t have their contact information, you can work with an attorney to provide the legally required notice to any potential birth fathers, often through something like a putative father registry. In some cases, as long as every effort has been made to notify the birth father, his consent may not be required.
Contact an adoption agency if you have more questions about “giving baby up for adoption” without father’s consent in unknown father situations.
If the Baby’s Father is Uninterested
Some women have told the baby’s father that they are pregnant, and the father is not interested in raising the child or in helping to create an adoption plan. These women have asked questions like, “Can you give a baby up for adoption if the father isn’t around?” “Can I give my baby up for adoption if the father isn’t present in our lives?” “Can a mother put a baby up for adoption without the father’s participation?”
The answer is: Yes. You have the right to choose adoption if the baby’s father is uninterested in being a parent or in being involved in the adoption process. He’ll typically need to sign his consent, but there may be some situations in which you can place a baby up for adoption without father’s consent. Reach out to an adoption agency for more information.
If the Baby’s Father Disagrees with Your Adoption Plan
Some women have approached the baby’s father about placing the child for adoption, and the birth father was against the adoption plan. This puts the woman in a tough situation, and she may ask questions like:
- “I want to put my baby up for adoption, but the father doesn’t. What can I do?” Everyone’s situation is different, so you’ll need to contact an adoption agency for advice that is specific to your circumstances.
- “Can a birth father stop an adoption if I’ve already moved forward in the process?” Sometimes, but it depends on a number of factors. Contact an adoption agency immediately. They’ll help you receive the legal counsel you need to appropriately navigate this situation.
- “Can you give your child up for adoption even if the father doesn’t want to?” Again, this will often depend on your situation. Reach out to an adoption agency to ask some questions. They’ll be able to determine if adoption is an option in your circumstances.
- “I don’t want my baby, but the father does. Do I still have to support the child?” Fathers often have to prove in court that they are able and willing to be a parent and have taken steps to raise and support this child. If they haven’t done so, you may still be able to choose adoption if you don’t wish to raise this child (or to avoid the risk of raising the child and having the father fail to deliver on his promise for support).
The birth father may come around to your adoption plan with some time and information. If he doesn’t, your ability to choose adoption may become more limited. If the baby’s father disagrees with your adoption plan, you’ll need to reach out to an adoption agency as soon as possible.
Is Adoption Without Parental Consent an Option?
Sometimes. There are situations in which placing a baby for adoption without consent of the father may be an option, but this can depend on a number of variables. Some common questions that women ask about legal adoption without father’s consent include:
- “Do you need consent from the father to choose adoption?” Usually, but not always.
- “If I give my baby up for adoption, does the father have to consent, too?” Typically, yes. But there are some situations in which his consent may not be required. Contact an adoption professional for more information.
- “If I want to give my baby up for adoption, does the father have to sign over rights?” Both of the baby’s biological parents will need to relinquish their parental rights. This has to happen before the adoptive parents can assume the legal and permanent parental rights. However, this consent process is different in every state, so you’ll need to work with an experienced adoption agency.
- “If I give baby up for closed adoption, does father have to sign, as well?” Regardless of whether you choose an open or a closed adoption, both biologically parents usually need to issue their consent in accordance with state laws. Additionally, a closed adoption is rarely the ideal choice for birth parents or adoptees.
- “Can I give my baby up for adoption without the father’s consent or knowledge?” In most situations, you’ll need to make an effort to inform the father of your adoption plan in order to give him the chance to issue his consent to the adoption.
If you’re still wondering, “Can you give your baby up for adoption without the father,” you should contact an adoption agency for personalized advice. They’ll be able to answer your questions about unsupportive, uninvolved or unknown birth fathers and be able to give you advice based on your individual situation. Every woman’s relationship with the father of the baby is going to be different, so you should consult with an adoption agency now!
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.