Birth Father Roles and Responsibilities in Texas Adoption
By Katy Reagan
Relationships are always difficult, but facing an unplanned pregnancy puts extra strain on couples. Every birth parent’s relationship looks different. You and the birth father may still be together, or you might not be on speaking terms. You may not know who the birth father is. Whatever your situation is, Adoption Choices of Texas can help. We are a local, licensed private adoption agency. Local adoption agencies will walk you through the birth father’s role in the adoption process.
Birth Father Rights in the Texas Adoption Process
In Texas, if the birth mother and birth father are not married, he is not legally the child’s father. This means the birth mother does not need his consent to place the child for adoption. Even so, he has the right to contest the child’s adoption if he can establish paternity. He has 31 days after birth to do so, or his parental rights will be terminated. If the birth mother and father are married, the birth father’s consent is required. He must relinquish his parental rights to the adoptive parents, or the adoption will not finalize.
It is encouraged for birth fathers to be actively engaged in the adoption process. When this is the case, they get to make important adoption plan decisions alongside the birth mother. With the consent of the birth mother, birth fathers can be a part of an open adoption agreement. This means they could maintain a relationship with their child without being a parent. Every situation looks different, but you can be sure your child is growing up in a loving and supportive environment.
If a birth father appears or suddenly wants to be involved after the adoption, he has to contact us. Sometimes after adoptions are finalized, birth fathers want to know what happened to their child. Adoption Choices of Texas will only share information we have been given permission to. We are committed to protecting the people we work with.
What if the Birth Father is Unknown in Texas?
You can still pursue putting my child up for adoption if the birth father is unknown. There are plenty of situations where a birth father may be unknown. There is no shame in this, and Adoption Choices of Texas will help you with the adoption process.
Our local adoption agencies will do their due diligence to try to find the birth father. It’s important to give your adoption counselor any and all information you have about who he could be. It’s likely an unknown birth father will be unaware of the adoption. Because of this, we try our best to locate him to let him know. If he becomes known, it is then his choice of whether or not he will support the adoption. Whether he remains unknown or not, we have in-house counsel to answer all of your questions and provide guidance.
What if the Birth Father is Unsupportive or Uninvolved?
There are different possibilities for how a birth father will react to adoption. He may be supportive, unsupportive, or uninvolved. A supportive birth father is an ideal reaction because it is important for birth mothers to not feel alone. However, that is not a possibility for everyone.
An unsupportive birth father is someone who does not want the adoption to continue. They could feel as if they are “giving up my baby” and want you to carry out the pregnancy. It’s possible they want full custody of the child or to co-parent. An unsupportive birth father could also be unsupportive of the entire pregnancy. IAn uninvolved birth father does not want to have anything to do with the pregnancy or adoption. Our team will still try to reach out to him to see if he wants to be involved. We will let him know of any major changes in case he changes his mind.
How to be a Supportive and Involved Birth Father
Being a birth father puts a lot of pressure on a man. It’s likely you’re just as overwhelmed and unsure of what to do as the birth mother. There are no right answers when it comes to being a birth parent. You will have a lot of decisions to make. However, there are some things you can do to be a supportive and involved birth father.
Discuss the situation with the birth mother. Make decisions together, and support her in every way you can. It’s important to remember that she is not only going through this mentally and emotionally but physically as well. Carrying a child puts unimaginable stress on a woman’s body and mind. Let her know she is not alone. You are choosing to pursue adoption services together. You are both making selfless decisions and making dreams of parenthood come true for others.
Adoption Choices of Texas helps birth parents pursue adoption in San Antonio, TX, and all across the state. No matter your race, income, marital status, or language, we will support you. Podemos ayudarte a dar a mi bebe en adopcion. If you are a birth parent with questions about the role of birth fathers, contact us today.