Understanding Missouri Adoption Law, Father’s Rights and Choosing Adoption in Different Situations
Disclaimer: None of the following information is a substitute for legal advice from an attorney, and it should not be interpreted as such. You must always speak to an adoption professional and an experienced attorney as soon as possible and with complete honesty, so that they can offer you information that is specific to your circumstances.
Failure to do so can jeopardize your ability to choose adoption for your child and can even result in legal ramifications. Birth father rights in adoption are complex and should be handled by professionals. Again — please contact an adoption professional and consult an attorney.
People who choose to place a child for adoption can have many different types of relationships
with their child’s other biological parent:
- Sometimes birth parents are in relationships with one another, sometimes they’re not, and sometimes they’re in relationships but not with each other
- Some birth parents get along wonderfully regardless of their relationship status, while others have a contentious relationship with one another
- Some women don’t know or are unsure of who the baby’s father is
- Some birth parents agree about adoption and both participate in the process, while other times both agree but only one participates
- Sometimes birth parents disagree about whether or not to place a child for adoption
Every situation is unique. However, the relationship that expectant mothers and fathers have with one another will determine your ability to choose adoption and what that process may look like.
It’s very common to have a lot of questions if you’re considering adoption for your baby. Many of those questions will be about the baby’s biological father
. In this article, we’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Missouri adoption, father’s rights and how relationships may affect the adoption process.
Questions About Adoption Without Father’s Consent — Missouri Laws
Some of the most common questions about birth father rights in Missouri adoption are about his consent — and whether a prospective birth mother can pursue adoption without it. Whether you’re not sure who the birth father is or how to contact him, or you and the father disagree on adoption, there are many reasons why you might be asking these questions. Here are just a few examples:
“Can I Give My Child Up for Adoption Without the Father’s Consent in Missouri?”
Only in some specific situations. If it is determined that the father’s consent is unnecessary
(for example, situations of abandonment), or if you’re unable to obtain the father’s consent after every reasonable attempt to make contact has been made, then you may be able to choose adoption without parental consent of the father
. However, this varies on a case-by-case basis, and you will need to speak with an adoption professional to determine whether you can proceed with adoption without parental consent in MO.
“Does the Father Have to Agree to Adoption in Missouri?”
If you give your child up for adoption, does the dad have to agree? Most of the time, yes
— he’ll need to give his consent in order for the adoption to move forward.
There are some specific situations where consent is not needed
, but in general, the father will need to agree. If he disagrees
with the biological mother’s desire to place a child for adoption, this may become a “contested adoption.” Your adoption professional can help prepare you for what to expect if your adoption decision is contested.
Questions About Contested Adoptions
“I Want to Put My Baby Up for Adoption, But the Father Doesn’t — Now What?”
Biological mothers and fathers of a baby who are in disagreement
about placing the child for adoption are in a tough position.
Men who disagree with the mother’s decision to pursue adoption have asked, “Can a birth father stop an adoption in Missouri?” And women who want to pursue adoption have asked, “Do you need the father’s consent for adoption?”
The answer to both questions is: Sometimes. There are some situations in Missouri where a woman does not legally need the consent of the birth father
. However, typically, both parents must give their consent. If a birth father wishes to contest the mother’s decision to place their baby for adoption, there are legal processes he’ll need to follow
in order to do so.
Hopefully, you can all reach an agreement just by continuing to talk. However, if you’re in a situation where you and the other parent disagree about adoption, you’ll need to contact an experienced adoption attorney immediately.
Questions About “Unknown Father” Adoption in Missouri
“Is Adoption in Missouri Possible Without Knowing Who the Father Is?”
In Missouri, can you give a baby up for adoption without knowing who the father is? Yes, but typically only if you’ve made every attempt to establish paternity and contact any potential father(s) regarding your adoption plan.
An attorney will be able to guide you through the necessary steps you’ll need to take if you’re not sure who the baby’s father is or how to contact him.
Questions About Uninvolved or Uninterested Fathers
“Can I Give My Baby Up for Adoption if the Father Isn’t Present?”
In Missouri, can you give a baby up for adoption if the father isn’t around? For example, the baby’s father may be incarcerated
, he may travel too much to help raise a child, he may have abandoned the family or there may be other circumstances that led him to be absent.
Yes, it’s possible to choose adoption, but you’ll likely still need to try to contact the father
and obtain his consent, except in a few specific circumstances
“In Missouri, Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption if You Are Not Married and Know the Father?”
Yes. But the biological father will first need to be informed of the adoption plan
and will need to offer his legal consent. He may also choose to help the pregnant woman create an adoption plan
for their baby.
Questions About Consenting or Supportive Birth Fathers
“In Missouri, Can a Woman Give Her Baby Up for Adoption if the Father is Still in the Picture?”
Can a woman give up a baby for adoption if the father is around? If he gives his legal consent, then yes.
Ideally, the father is supportive and involved
in helping the mother throughout the adoption process.
“How Common Is Giving Your Baby Up for Adoption as a Married Couple in MO?”
Putting a child up for adoption when married is more common than you might think
. People who are in loving and committed relationships, including married couples, may decide that placing their baby for adoption is what’s best for their child and their family for any number of reasons.
If you and your spouse feel that you need to consider adoption for your baby, you can find more information here
. You can also read stories of married couples who placed a baby for adoption here
“Can a Father Give Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri?”
Can a father give a child up for adoption? If he is the sole legal parent of the child, then yes. Fathers can, and do, place babies for adoption
If, however, anyone else retains legal rights to the child, like a living biological mother, then that person would need to consent
to the adoption process, too. Birth fathers who are involved and supportive of adoption can absolutely work with the child’s mother to make an adoption plan, if that is what she chooses to do.
“How Does a Birth Father Consent to Adoption in Missouri?”
The biological father will need to talk with the biological mother and the adoption attorney. In Missouri, the biological mother must wait at least 48 hours
after giving birth before she can offer her consent to an adoption. However, the biological father can typically give his formal consent at any time. Consult the pregnant woman’s attorney to learn more.
Other Questions About Father’s Rights in Missouri Adoption
“In Missouri, Does the Father Have a Say in Adoption?”
Yes. Except in certain circumstances, the biological father of a child will typically need to offer his consent to an adoption.
“What Are the Birth Father Adoption Laws in Missouri?”
Consult a lawyer about the father’s role in Missouri adoption
, birth father rights and more.
They’ll be able to guide you through the birth father’s rights in adoption in Missouri, and they can help you to understand what is and isn’t legally possible in your specific situation based on Missouri adoption law
. Birth father rights will vary based on your specific circumstances, so you’ll need to contact a legal professional for advice tailored to your situation.
Have more questions regarding birth fathers? Contact an adoption professional to learn more and to discuss your individual situation.