FAQ’s for Birth Fathers
1. What rights does a birth father have?
The birth father has the same rights as a birth mother. If the birth father chooses, he can also receive birth parent counseling through our agency. The birth mother is required by the court to provide as much information as possible about the identity of the birth father so that legal notice can be given to him prior to the Termination of Parental Rights hearing. The birth father does not have to be present at any point. However, he will need to be legally notified. If he does not appear at the court hearing, and he has not declared paternal interest before the hearing, his rights may be terminated by default.
2. Do I have to be notified of the baby, baby’s birth and the mother’s adoption plan?
Yes you should be aware of the impending birth and any adoption plan the birth mother may be considering.
3. Can I choose the adoptive parents?
Yes we want you to be involved in this process and you will have a chance to meet with the adoptive family, if you so choose. Deciding upon a family has to be mutually agreed upon by both you and the child’s birth mother.
4. What happens if I am unsure that I am the biological father?
Paternity testing is available to determine paternity of a child. Paternity testing cannot be performed until the child is born.
5. How can I give notice that I intend on parenting the child?
You can file a Declaration of Paternal Interest with the Department of Children and Families. This will guarantee that you are notified of any court proceedings regarding the child.
6. What if I am unsure of my decision in regards to parenting before the TPR hearing?
7. Can I still have contact with my child after he/she has been adopted?
You can be involved in the decision making process of selecting the family that would be open to your desired level of communication.
We know this is a challenging decision but also want you to be as realistic as possible. As a birth father you can ask yourself some questions (Am I Ready to Be A Father?) to see if you are truly ready for this journey. Please feel free to also contact us at anytime if you have questions or want to talk about your specific situation.