Do I Have to Tell the Father About My Adoption Plan?

Talking to the father of your baby about your adoption plan can be difficult for any number of reasons, and you may even be wondering if you should tell him at all. Whether or not the father is involved in your life or your pregnancy, it’s important to remember that he has rights that must be recognized if you want to move forward with adoption. For this reason, talking to him is most often the best option.

Why You Should Tell Him

Your adoption decision affects you and your child, but it affects the father as well. As such, it’s important to the success of your adoption that his rights are respected if possible.

Just as you will need to terminate your parental rights when you place your child for adoption, the father must also terminate his rights. Adoption plans can quickly go off course if an uninformed birth father chooses to fight for his parental rights. The easiest way to gain his consent for the adoption is by talking to him and making sure he is informed of what is going on.

Telling the father about the adoption makes the process go much more smoothly, and it may save you added stress during your pregnancy. However, there are cases where talking to the father is not manageable or recommended.

Exceptions

There are instances in which the birth father’s rights can be terminated involuntarily. For instance, if he objects to the adoption but shows no intention of helping to raise the child, then his rights may still be terminated. Also, if he is not present and a reasonable effort has been made to locate him, then you may still be able to move forward in the adoption without his consent.

If you are in a situation where your relationship with the father is hostile, or if contacting him might be unsafe for any reason, speak to your adoption attorney or adoption specialist. They can assist you in the legal aspects of terminating the father’s rights without requiring you to see him.

How to Talk to the Father

The subject of your adoption can be sensitive regardless of the role the father plays in your life. When you talk to him about your adoption plan, keep some of the following suggestions in mind:

  • Tell him in person if possible – It’s best to bring up sensitive topics face-to-face, so if possible, meet up with the father in a neutral environment. In the event that you cannot meet him in person, call him on the phone and take some time to thoroughly explain your choice.
  • Let him know what adoption means for him – There is a chance that the father may feel left out or helpless during this time; make sure that he understands that he has legal rights as the birth father, and he can be involved in the child’s life if he wants to.
  • Focus on the facts – Unplanned pregnancy and adoption can get complicated, and when tensions are high, it may be easy to assign blame or say things you don’t mean. Instead, try to talk about the facts of your decision and the reasoning behind it.
  • Hold your ground, but let him have his feelings – Your pregnancy and adoption may be a complete surprise for him, and he may simply need time to process all of the information. Allow him the time to react to the situation, but let him know that you stand firmly by your decision.

As you plan to talk to the father of your child, keep in mind that your adoption decision is always your own. At the same time, keeping him informed and being considerate of his thoughts and feelings will go a long way to help you have a smooth, successful adoption.

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