Moving forward with an adoption without a birth father’s consent can spell trouble down the road. Here is a guide to your baby's father's rights, and how to tell the baby’s father about the adoption.
He’s not around. Maybe you broke up shortly before you found out you were pregnant, or maybe you’re not sure who the father is. There are a lot of reasons why you might not want to contact the father of the baby while you’re considering adoption
If you are married to the father of your child at the time you give birth, he will be recognized as the legal father as well. If you are not married to the biological father of the child, he is referred to as a “putative father.” Depending on the state you live in, putative fathers and legal fathers have different custody rights to their children.
There have been cases of biological or “putative fathers” contesting an adoption after the child has been placed, causing a lot of pain for all parties involved. Both adoptive parents and birth parents take a big risk when deciding on adoption without telling the birth father. Doing the right thing now and informing everyone involved can save a lot of trouble and misfortunes down the road.
Here is a guide to talking to the father of your child about adoption in a way that makes him feel less excluded from the decision making process:
- Make sure you're pregnant. A blood test at a gynecologist is the most reliable form of pregnancy testing, but there are some over the counter pregnancy tests that you can take that will give accurate readings within a few weeks of your first missed period.
- Telling the father of the child that you’re pregnant is scary, especially if it’s an unplanned pregnancy First, don’t be too hard on yourself. It isn’t your fault; it takes two to get pregnant.
- Choose a time when you can be alone with your baby’s father, or a time when you can talk to him in privacy on the phone. Tell him your period was late and you took a test and it came out positive.
- Resist the urge to fight during this conversation, or place blame. Tell him how you feel, but also listen to his thoughts, too. He’ll likely be much more receptive if you show him you are considering his feelings, whatever they are.
- Don’t expect him to want to keep the baby and raise it with you. He might want to, or he might not. For the most part, many men, especially young men, are unprepared for the life changes, financial burdens, and commitments of having a child.
- Talk about your options, honestly. Remember, nobody can force you to have an abortion, place a baby with an adoptive family, or parent a child—not even your boyfriend. Consider all the possible choices before making a smart decision for you and the child.
- Whatever you decide—make sure he understands why you’ve chosen that solution, that he feels you’ve made him part of the decision-making process, and that you expect him to support your choice as best he can.
Want to learn more about being a birth mother from women who have been there? Read our birth mother blogs. Trying to find a loving adoptive home for your baby? Have a look at our waiting families.