Fathers’ rights regarding adoption

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Fathers’ Rights on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

All parents have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to their child. One important right is the right to have a say in a child’s adoption. As a father, you have the right to consent to or object to the adoption of your child.

Missouri law typically requires the consent of both biological parents for a child to put up for adoption. By providing consent for an adoption, a birth parent is choosing to relinquish his or her parental rights. Once a court accepts a birth parent’s consent to the adoption, the parent cannot revoke the consent.

Consent is not required in all circumstances. If a birth parent objects to the adoption, the people who wish to adopt the child must prove one of the following:

  • That the birth parent’s rights were already terminated;
  • That the birth parent previously consented to the child’s future adoption;
  • That the identity of the birth parent is unknown and cannot be figured out;
  • That the man who is alleged to be the father denies paternity;
  • That the birth parent chose not to participate in the proceeding and is in default;
  • That the birth parent has a permanent medical condition which renders him or her unable to care for the child; or
  • That the birth parent has abandoned or neglected the child for a period of either six months if the child is one year or older or a period of 60 days if the child is less than one year old.

By law, birth parents are required to receive notice that a child is being put up for adoption. This notice gives the birth parents the opportunity to consent to or object to the adoption.

An unmarried biological father who wants to have a say in the adoption of his child should first establish paternity. Establishing paternity is an important step in being able to assert this and other parental rights. Another important step is demonstrating a commitment to parenting the child. This means that the father must show that he is committed to caring for the child, providing for the child’s maternal and emotional needs, and maintaining an ongoing relationship with the child. To learn more about your rights as a father, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney.

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