Many expectant mothers thinking about giving their babies up for adoption, or more correctly, making an adoption plan for their unborn babies, ask this question. Most importantly, if you are considering placing your child for adoption, it is critical that you consult with experienced adoption attorneys, like Kirsh & Kirsh, P.C. (“Kirsh & Kirsh”) about your specific circumstances before deciding whether or not to involve the father. Kirsh & Kirsh has handled numerous adoptions over the last 35 years. In fact, Adoption Attorney Steve Kirsh, wrote the preliminary drafts of much of Indiana’s adoption laws since the 1980’s and has testified in support of adoption legislation in the Indiana General Assembly on dozens of occasions. In 2006, the Indiana General Assembly passed a resolution in which it “[R]ecognizes Steven Kirsh for his dedication and contribution to the field of adoption both in Indiana and on a national and international level and congratulates him on his receipt of the Angels in Adoption award.”
In Indiana, an expectant or birth mother does not have to identify the father of the baby unless she is married to him or he has otherwise established paternity by a court proceeding or signing a paternity affidavit. In a 2013 Indiana appellate court case, the birth mother and father were in a relationship, the father attended prenatal doctor appointments and the birth of the child and saw the child regularly for almost a year. The mother married another man and the husband filed to adopt the child. The mother did not tell the father of the baby about the adoption nor did she disclose the father’s name and address to the attorney, representing her husband in the adoption. Because the father did not register with the Indiana Putative Father Registry, in a timely manner, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the father could not contest the adoption. G.W. v. R.M., 983 N.E.2d 1193 (Ind. App. 2013).
Generally, unwed fathers in adoptions do not have that level of involvement. But if the court would not protect the rights of an “involved” father, one can assume that the Indiana courts would not allow a man, who has not taken the statutory steps to protect his parental rights, to interfere with an adoption.
Again, consult an experienced adoption attorney before deciding on a course action. Pursuing other strategies might provide more predictable outcomes. As an example, giving pre-birth notice, which we address in another blog, would enable both the expectant mother and adoptive parents to know before birth whether the father will try to stop the adoption.
Kirsh & Kirsh has helped birth parents finding loving, secure, and happy homes for their precious babies for more than 35 years. We can help you, without cost or obligation on your part. We will always treat you will kindness and respect.
You can call, text and or email us anytime. To contact us—call: 317-575-5555, text: 317-721-2030, email: AdoptionSupport@kirsh.com, or Facebook message: https://www.facebook.com/KirshandKirsh/. We answer our office phone 24 hours a day, every single day. We try to respond to emails and text messages within minutes of receipt.