It takes two to make a baby, and for pregnant women considering adoption in Florida, the subject of the birth father can be stressful. There may be a lot of information out there about birth mothers, but not many people understand birth fathers, their role in adoption, and their rights. There are more than a few different narratives birth mothers may be dealing with concerning the birth father. It’s one of those things you don’t tend to think about until you have to. Knowing the birth father’s place in the adoption process is an essential bit of information that helps the process run smoothly. As a birth mother, you’re probably already aware of the misconceptions and misunderstandings of birth mothers. Most people assume the birth father isn’t in the picture, isn’t around, or against adoption. While that can be the case, it’s not a given in every situation. Adoption Choices of Florida is here to help clear up inaccuracies and myths about birth fathers in Florida. While we are big advocates for birth mothers, it’s vital that we properly represent every member in the adoption triad. Not all birth fathers are out of the picture or uncaring, and those who are supportive deserve to know they have someone in their corner. Part of creating a more positive light surrounding adoption is educating and debunking myths about birth fathers in Florida.
Whether or not the birth father is active in the Florida adoption process, he still has legal rights. Placing a baby up for adoption without the birth father’s permission can be a lengthy legal process in most states. There are many terms to define the relationship between birth fathers and babies, and they differ from state to state. Historically, unmarried men do have fewer rights.
Although the statistics for unmarried births have increased in the past few decades, that does not mean there is only one participating parent. Everyone’s situation is different, and some birth fathers are supportive or, at the very least, in agreement with the birth mother on adoption. Unplanned pregnancies occur in all types of situations. It’s not always a woman getting pregnant by an estranged man.
We understand that breaking the news of the pregnancy and adoption may be opening an old wound with someone you’re no longer with. Regardless if he is the legal or putative (non-married biological) father, you need to tell them. Although their rights differ depending on the state, if the father is putative, you don’t want a messy situation later if he decides to take legal action after the child is placed. If you can’t contact the father for logistical or safety reasons, your adoption advisor can help you determine other options.
Birth mothers are the primary focus in most adoption scenarios, but birth fathers also go through a range of emotions and want to be involved in the process. If the birth father does not protest the adoption but doesn’t want to be involved, he can file a Waiver of Notice or Denial of Paternity. If he doesn’t oppose the adoption and wants to be a part of the process, and you are comfortable with his involvement, that’s great! Birth fathers can support the birth mother throughout the adoption journey and make it a much more pleasant process.
One of the hardest parts of an unplanned pregnancy is telling the people around you that you’re pregnant. Not knowing how the father will react is one of the most significant sources of anxiety for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Take time to process everything first. Explain your reasons for considering adoption, and be prepared to hear any questions or objections he may have. It’s a lot of information to take in at once, so be patient and go easy on yourself. It can be scary, but Adoption Choices of Florida is always here to guide and support you.
It’s just as important for the birth father to understand adoption and his rights as it is for the birth mother and child. While the mother does tend to have more leverage in adoption, that doesn’t mean the father can’t or shouldn’t be informed or part of the process. Unfortunately, many birth fathers find out about the pregnancy and adoption after placement. It’s true; you don’t know how he will react, but being forthcoming with such significant information is wise. It takes two to make a pregnancy, and that fact shouldn’t be overlooked. We never suggest you put yourself in a dangerous situation, so talk with your adoption specialist if you need help informing the father. Birth fathers in Florida may feel like they aren’t part of the adoption journey, but they helped create the life that became the greatest gift to an adoptive family.
If you are a pregnant woman in Florida considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the adoption process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: (833) 352-3678
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