This question gets asked a lot. The answer depends on the state in which the adoption will be filed and the relationship of the father to the birth mother or expectant mother. As an extreme example, states typically protect the rights of the birth mother’s husband more than the rights of a rapist. Most birth fathers do not fit in either of those categories. Usually, in adoptions, the birth father is not married to the birth or expectant mother. They are unwed fathers, sometimes referred to a “putative” fathers. A putative father is a man whom a woman has identified as the father or who claims to be the father of the child, but not a man who legally established his relationship with the child through marriage or a paternity affidavit or action. If the birth mother is married to the birth father, usually the birth father must be involved. If the man is a putative father – not legally the father, the adoption agency or adoption attorney must give him notice of the adoption, IF THE MOTHER IDENTIFIES HIM. However, some states, like Indiana, do NOT require the birth mother to identify a putative father. Likewise, in states like Indiana, if the expectant mother will identify the putative father, the adoption agency or attorney can give him notice of the adoption before the baby is born.
Birth fathers’ rights are complicated. A birth mother (expectant mother) should not decide about putting a baby for adoption without speaking to an experienced adoption professional. We, Adoption Attorneys Kirsh & Kirsh, P.C., have handled more than 3500 successful adoptions over the last 35+ years. You can call, text and or email us anytime. We answer our office phone, 317-575-5555, 24/7/365. We also promptly respond to text messages at 317-721-2030 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We try to respond to emails and text messages within minutes of receipt.