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What Happens When the Birth Father Opposes Adoption?

“Adoption is the best for my baby, but the father said he won’t sign adoption papers.”

This situation is not an anomaly. There are many reasons for birth fathers to oppose “giving up my baby.”

They might not understand adoption.

They may not recognize that they can be part of choosing a family for the baby.

Birth fathers might not want to “give away my baby” and never see the child again.

They may not be aware of the open adoption options.

Educating the father about the child’s future often alleviates the concerns he might have.

Since birth father rights vary from state to state, Heart to Heart has adoption attorneys all across the country who understand the laws and the unique situations, which will help you determine if you can move forward with your adoption plan. We work closely with state attorneys to ensure the rights of everyone are adequately represented.

Recognize that the rights of birth fathers are complex and must be discussed on a case-by-case basis. So, until we understand your situation, it is impossible to make guarantees about exactly what advice we would give you.

Look closely, however, to some of the familiar birth father scenarios in which the birth father has very few rights.

Unknown Birth Father

If you don’t know who the birth father is, some states allow the adoption to occur without the birth father’s consent.

Some states have what is called the putative father registry. To protect their parental rights, birth fathers must sign up. If this “out of the picture” birth father hasn’t signed, the adoption attorney might not be mandated to give the father notice of placement.

Out of the Picture Birth Father

As a birth mother, you may be able to pursue an adoption plan without the birthfather’s consent if any of the following occur:

  • Father hasn’t provided financial support.

  • Father hasn’t legally established paternity.

  • Father can’t be located even after due diligence.

If the birth father is unsupportive, he may need to prove that he is willing and prepared to become a father figure to this child. This includes financial as well as emotional support. This support should be provided during the pregnancy and after the baby’s birth.


Unfortunately, Heart to Heart continues to see women who are the victims of physical and psychological abuse. This abuse often occurs before and after the pregnancy.

Many states will consider the history of abuse when deciding on the necessity for a birth father’s consent.


Like many in our society, birth fathers often view abortion as the easiest solution. The problem is, you will be left with the emotional and physical scars of the abortion—not him.

If abortion is his solution to this pregnancy, try to help him understand why you feel adoption is the better decision. Together you may want to communicate with an adoption specialist to help him better understand the adoption process.


State laws vary in regards to a birth father who is incarcerated. Talk with us at Heart to Heart, and we will explain what steps you need to take to make an adoption plan.

We can help coordinate getting the proper signatures. We can also make sure he will receive the same kind of pictures and letters of the child as you do.

If he is hindering the adoption, we will be able to help you understand your rights and whether or not his incarceration can impede the parenting plan you want.

Please, contact Heart to Heart if you want to talk specifically about your situation.