FAQ About Birth Fathers in Florida

June 23, 2022

By Adoption Choices of Florida

FAQ About Birth Fathers in Florida

By Connor Shelton

Let’s just say it now. There tends to be an almost exclusive focus on the birth mother when discussing adoption. This makes sense. You’re the one who has to go through nine months of carrying a child while planning out the adoption. Yet, you’re not the only figure involved in the adoption process. When adoption agencies in Florida talk about birth fathers, they usually make assumptions that sometimes aren’t true. We aren’t like those other agencies. We’re not here to judge or assume. Instead, we’re here to help, answering the questions you might have about the birth father. Whatever your relationship with them, we’re bound to have the answers, and because of how confusing this all is, we’re going to give them to you. Adoption Choices of Florida is here to answer ten of the most frequently asked questions surrounding birth fathers.

1. What Role Does the Birth Father Play in a Florida Adoption?

This is a question whose answer is entirely up to you and the birth father. That being said, here is our advice. Is the birth father a current part of your life and supportive of the adoption? If the answer is yes, we believe you should encourage him to participate in the adoption process. It’s important for you to have someone to lean on and help make decisions.

Now let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum. If the birth father is not in your life and not supportive of the adoption, he does not have to participate. So long as you are cleared to proceed without his consent, you can make every decision without his input.

2. Do Birth Fathers Have Parental Rights?

If a man is proven to be the biological father of your child, then he has parental rights. These rights are generally the same as yours, which means he has the right to involvement in the adoption. Additionally, he also has the right to contest an adoption in Florida, should he choose to do so. This can be a scary prospect for some mothers, but know that these rights are subject to the establishment of paternity. If the birth father doesn’t claim paternity, you don’t have to worry about his involvement.

3. When I give up my baby for adoption, do I have to tell the birth father?

Technically, you’re not required to tell the birth father about adoption. However, we do encourage you to inform him about the matter. It just makes things easier for everyone if he’s aware of your pregnancy before the adoption is finalized. And there’s a reason why. His knowledge of adoption early on prevents road bumps from cropping up late in the process. All that being said, we do realize that your relationship with the birth father might not be cordial. If this is the case, but you still want him to know about the adoption, don’t fret. Your local adoption agency can act as a neutral mediator and deliver the message for you.

4. Can Birth Fathers Halt My Adoption?

As already mentioned, a father is capable of blocking an adoption from going forward. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, though. Yes, you might go through a court process, but they’re not going to automatically give everything to the birth father. If you’re not married to the birth father, the courts will usually rule in favor of you and the adoptive parents.

The laws differ If you are married to the birth father. That’s because they have a better likelihood of stopping the adoption. We’ll get into how and why later in the piece, but here’s what you need to know. If you are placing a baby up for adoption and are married to the father, it’s important to contact a lawyer. If you can’t get one, we can offer an adoption counselor to help you determine what kind of leverage the father might have. Hopefully, we can prove to a judge why adoption is the best option, but It all varies depending on your situation.

5. Can Birth Fathers Pick Out the Adoptive Family for the Baby?

Technically, you’re in charge of who your baby goes to, but birth fathers can help with the choice. In fact, we encourage them to participate in this process, provided they support the adoption.

6. Should the Adoptive Parents Have Access to the Birth Father?

It’s completely up to you and the adoptive parents if the birth father is part of the adoption. Here’s what we have to say on the matter, though. If the birth father supports the adoption, we recommend giving the adoptive parents access to him. Why? It’s simple. He holds the same type of important information you do that might be needed to understand a child. Additionally, letting the father learn about the child as they grow up can help him move forward in life. It’ll prove to him that adoption was the right choice and validate his support.

7. Will the birth father’s name be on the birth certificate?

Assuming the birth father’s identity is known, his name will be on the certificate. However, when his and your parental rights are terminated, a new birth certificate will be issued. This one will have the adoptive parents’ names on it. The birth father’s name will not be.

8. Can I Choose Adoption in Florida Without the Birth Father’s Consent?

This is a difficult question to answer due to the various circumstances that need to be factored into for this question. That said, here’s the basic gist. If the father is in jail, not a part of your life, or does not have any adequate means to support a baby, then you don’t need their consent. Additionally, if you don’t know who the father is, you will not likely need his consent. This is true even if you’re married and your spouse is not your baby’s father.

9. I’m concerned for my and my baby’s safety. What should I do?

If the birth father presents any type of threat to you or your unborn child, get out immediately and contact us. We can help in finding protection for you and your unborn child during the pregnancy. Additionally, we can work to revoke the birth father’s rights, especially if you have evidence that he abused you. We realize how scary this might be, but know that you can get away from the birth father. We can keep him away if you have pictures, recordings, or other documents of abuse to present in court. All will aid in any legal action taken to revoke a father’s rights.

10. What do I need to do if I don’t know where the birth father is?

This one’s simple to answer. If the birth father is absent or disappears, you can simply go to a judge to get his rights revoked. Now, there is a process to all of this. You’re going to be asked to try and find him. This is done to ensure a birth father is given a chance to explain himself and present a case for his fatherhood. It also allows him to sign away his rights, should he want to, which is easier for everyone. Of course, if he’s proven to be unreachable or hostile toward the adoption process, then you won’t have to worry about him. You’ll likely gain sole parental rights. 

How Can Adoption Agencies in Florida Help?

Beyond what has already been stated, here’s how we can help. We know that a birth father might not be a part of your life, so we’ll do our best to provide what he can’t. We can help you receive financial aid from state programs, gather resources for counseling, and even provide housing if necessary. At Adoption Choices of Florida, our goal is to make your pregnancy and adoption process as smooth as possible. This includes helping you terminate the biological father’s involvement in the adoption process, should this be necessary. Above all, we want to provide the adoption options that will prove most beneficial for you during all of this, regardless of your relationship with the birth father.

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 or text us at 904-559-1251