So you’ve told your baby’s father that you’re pregnant, and he seems disinterested in your situation. You tell him that you're considering adoption, and he gets upset. He is clear that he does not want to raise the baby, and he does not want to provide you with financial support. What are you supposed to do?
It feels unfair that the vast majority of the burden of pregnancy and making decisions for a growing child fall onto your shoulders. The baby’s father can essentially walk away at any time, and you could be stuck trying to make ends meet while also raising a baby. So, what should you do if the father of your child is unwilling to step up in any way? An adoption professional is the key to helping you understand your options.
Why Are Some Fathers Uninvolved?
Often, the father does not feel an emotional bond with his baby. As a pregnant mother, you feel the life growing inside you. You’re developing a bond with your baby as you read this. For the men involved, bonding does not always work the same way. They may not feel any connection to the baby.
In some cases, it's a matter of immaturity. A guy still in his teens may not have the maturity necessary to bond with a growing baby. You might notice that he has dreams of another life, which may involve going to school, spending money on a car, or playing video games. People are not always mature enough to raise a baby simply because they can take part in creating one.
As a mother, you have to make the decision to protect yourself and your baby. In thinking about your sweet baby, you might want to provide him or her with two parents who desperately want a little one. When you consider adoption, you are choosing to give your child an involved and loving father.
Does He Have to Agree to the Adoption?
If your baby's father is unsupportive of adoption, he may be required to show his desire to assume the role of a father. This means that in order to keep his parental rights, he'd need to provide support.
Most states require that the birth father provide financial support to the pregnant mother. If he doesn't, he may be unable to stop the adoption from happening. So we encourage you to be honest with him about your pregnancy and plans.
Typically, a birth father who doesn’t want to be involved in the life of his child won’t put up a fight against the adoption. Of course, this is not always the case. There are times when a birth father does not necessarily want to raise his child, but he also sees it as shameful or wrong for you to choose adoption.
In these cases, you may have to take your case to court to discuss possible termination of the father’s rights. If your case does go to court, the judge will likely require the baby’s father to prove they will support the child physically and financially. If the father is unwilling to do these things, the judge may terminate his rights on the spot. We are not legal experts, though, and so this information we share in this article isn't meant to replace advice from a legal professional. Lifetime works with adoption attorneys across the country who may be able to help you choose adoption for your baby even without the birth father's consent, depending on the facts of your situation. Every adoption is unique, and so your attorney will help you learn whether you can move forward with your adoption plan.
Can a Birth Father Be Part of an Open Adoption?
Even though many birth fathers may not want to be part of the child’s life emotionally or financially now, they may decide later on that they want to have a relationship with their child. A birth father can be part of an open adoption so long as the adoptive parents are comfortable with it. In fact, the birth father can establish his own relationship with the adoptive parents without your involvement.
If you have questions about the rights and responsibilities of your child’s father, you should speak with an adoption professional. There are many special circumstances involved, and you should always talk to an adoption professional to discuss cases in which you do not know the father or if the father has been abusive in the past. A special circumstance may apply to you, and you may have options you don’t yet know about.
Adoption Resources About Birth Fathers
Learn more about the legal responsibilities as a birth father.
Behind the Scenes of a Birth Father's Adoption Decision
Blaine is very honest about the fact that he didn’t want to choose adoption for his child. Adoption ended up being the best decision, and one he’s proud of it now.
Can a Birth Father Get Open Adoption Updates?
Does he want to stay in his child's life after the adoption happens? Learn more about his potential involvement in your baby's open adoption!
It's important to find answers to your adoption questions and become well-informed. That way, you're able to make a decision that is best for you, your situation, and your baby. Find out the questions you should be asking yourself before you make any decisions.