Preventing an Infant from Being Adopted Without Consent

An unwed father must be proactive to prevent the involuntary adoption of his child because he has no absolute right to veto an adoption. In other words, the father must take action to preserve his right to veto an adoption. When the adoption is not an issue because of child neglect, a father can take steps to protect himself and his child.

Whether the mother is considering adoption or not, the father should, as soon as possible, preferably before the birth, formally acknowledge paternity by signing an acknowledgement of paternity.

He should give the mother reasonable and consistent economic support, which means paying her medical and child care bills and sending her money. He can reinforce his position by regularly visiting and communicating with the mother and the child.  And finally he can enroll in the appropriate putative father registries. Being present at the birth and signing the birth certificate also firms his claims to being an interested parent.

Before the birth, the father should consult an attorney, experienced in adoption, about preserving parental rights.  The attorney understands the importance of acknowledging paternity, bringing a paternity action, and getting a court order to keep the child out of the hands of a third party.

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