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The Effects of Birth Fathers on the Adoption Process

Birth Fathers generally are stereotyped as being uninvolved, unsupportive, aloof, uninterested, and unwilling to help the birth mother through the pregnancy. While in many cases this can be true, it is not always the case. Birth Fathers can often have an active role in the adoption process. Birth Fathers can have both positive and negative effects on the adoption process and often may have different roles and responsibilities throughout. Their involvement, or lack thereof, has a significant impact on the adoption process.

Before discussing different ways, a birth father can affect the process, it is important to know what a birth father’s rights are. The rights of a birth father vary by state. However, in general, unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as the father is abusive, it advisable to try and tell the father about the pregnancy and decision to  place the child for adoption. Regardless of their involvement, being honest and open is generally the best way to be because sometimes birth fathers can try to contest the adoption on grounds that they didn’t know about it. Therefore, while the birth mother doesn’t legally have to talk about her pregnancy, it is still best to be transparent about the decision to the birth father. It is the most effective way to ensure an easy process.

There are all types of situations and levels of birth father involvement. Because of this, there are different legal, financial, and communication that can impact the process. Below are a few situations and how the birth father’s role effects the process as a result of this.

Birth Parents are together and support adoption – in this case, the birth parents are either married or living together. Both parents would make the decision together and support each other through the process. The birth father would have an active role in all proceedings of during the process.

Birth Parents are together but Birth Father is against adoption – in this case, since the birth father is either married or living with the birth mother. He has the same rights regarding the decision to adopt and if he doesn’t want to, he can appeal for custody. However, this can lead to a stressful process.

The Birth Father is uninvolved – in this case, the birth father has made it evident that they want no part in the baby’s life. As a result, the birth mother has no obligation to talk to him about her decision. This could lead to a stressful process for the birth mother because she must go through it alone.

The Birth Father is not reliable – in this case, the birth father’s behavior might not change once the baby is born. Therefore, the mother must decide for herself if telling him is the best option. This will also make the process harder for the birth mother because she will probably go through it alone.

In all of these situations the adoption process is affected by the role the birth father may or may not play. As a result, it is evident that regardless of their presence, the birth father has an impact on the process. His involvement generally helps with the stress of the pregnancy and the decision to place your child for adoption.

Adoption Choices of Kansas & Missouri can help navigate your questions and concerns regarding the birth father. Additionally, if the birth father will not give his consent, or if you are unable to locate him, the attorney for the agency will attempt to terminate his parental rights.


Birth Fathers-Adoption With or Without His Consent. (2019). Retrieved May 8, 2019, from

Do I have to tell him about the adoption? (2019). Retrieved May 8, 2019, from

WebAdmin. (2017, December 08). The role of birth fathers in the adoption process. Retrieved May 8, 2019, from

Julianna McKenna is a college student at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana double majoring in English Writing and Psychology. She is passionate about adoption and foster care and is considering a career in adoption law or counseling. In January 2019, Julianna became an intern for Adoption Choices of Kansas, Inc. She is incredibly dedicated to promoting children’s rights and is excited to research and advocate for children.



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