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Father’s rights: Objecting to an adoption

Although much attention is given to so-called "dead beat" dads in the media, there are also those who never had the opportunity to establish a relationship with their children because they didn't know about them. It is possible for a single woman to get pregnant and give the child up for adoption without ever notifying the father, and by the time the man is aware that he has a child, it may be too late.

To protest an adoption, unwed fathers must first establish paternity. This should be done as soon as possible, as the courts may not look favorably on a man who waits to have a child declared legally his. It is even possible for a father to establish paternity before the child is born, which may be necessary if the mother wishes to place the child for adoption right after the birth.

Establishing a commitment to parenting is another important step. Unmarried fathers must show that they are financially, physically and emotionally prepared to take care of all of the child's needs and assume the parenting duties. This can include paying for the birth, being a source of support for the mother during pregnancy and maintaining a stable home environment.

If you are a father whose child may be given up for adoption, it's important to talk with an attorney about your rights as soon as possible. Establishing paternity and showing the courts that you are willing and capable of taking care of the child can take time, and it's important to get things in motion quickly.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Rights: Unmarried Fathers and Adoption," accessed July 23, 2015

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