Adoption When Your Spouse is Not Your Baby’s Father
Expectant mothers considering adoption come from all different walks of life. This may surprise some people because there is a stereotype of women who choose adoption. But this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.
Women from all different parts of the country, at all difference economic levels and all different relationship types choose adoption. This is a brave decision for anyone making it. It’s a selfless act, and it comes from a place of love. Even though it’s common to hear talk of “giving a baby up” for adoption, there’s nothing about choosing adoption that resembles “giving up.” It is giving life.
This is a hard decision for anyone to make. Some circumstances are particularly difficult, like if you are asking, “Should I keep my baby by another man?”
If you are married or in a relationship and pregnant, but your partner is not the father of your baby, you’re probably asking if you can choose adoption for your baby. First off, this is no doubt one of the most difficult situations you have ever faced. You don’t have to go through it alone. You can contact an adoption professional at any time for free guidance, non-judgmental counseling and support. While no one can tell you what to do, they’ll listen to you and offer the information you need to make the fully informed decision that’s best for you.
The answer to any question like this is complicated because it is ultimately a question about parental rights. Do you have a right to choose adoption when your spouse is not the father? Does your spouse have a say in the adoption? What about the biological father? Does he have a say in this, too? What if there is more than one possible father? These are all questions that should be asked to an adoption attorney who knows the specific details of your unique situation. Answers about parental rights in adoption are determined on a case-by-case basis.
That being said, there are some things that will be true in many cases involving questions like this. While this article shouldn’t be taken as legal advice, it can hopefully provide some answers to your questions and get you started down the right path.
Can a Baby Be Given Up for Adoption if Your Spouse is not the Father?
Each state has its own laws protecting birth father rights. These laws can differ from state to state, so where you live will have an impact on the answer to this question. So will your relationships with your spouse and with the father of your baby.
Depending on your circumstances, the father may have a right to either consent to the adoption or to attempt to establish and maintain his parental rights. He may be required to take specific legal actions if he wishes to contest the adoption. Similarly, your spouse may be presumed to have parental rights, even if he is not the biological father of the baby.
This doesn’t mean adoption is impossible for you, but it is something to take into consideration, as it will have to be addressed in a successful adoption process. Your adoption professionals are the only ones who can tell you what to expect in your specific circumstances.
There are different circumstances in which an expectant mother may be asking this question. If the relationship with the spouse is active and ongoing, he could have a stronger claim to his parental rights. If, on the other hand, a woman is still legally married to a man but has been separated for years, it may be harder for him to assert his parental rights. In any type of relationship, this will depend on your unique details, your adoption attorney and the judge hearing the case.
All of this information probably feels overwhelming, and it may not be what you were hoping to find. It’s important to know all the facts when you are considering adoption, even when those facts make potentially choosing adoption more difficult.
Here’s another fact about adoption: If you believe adoption is the best option for you and the baby, you should always consider it. Just because the road to a successful adoption looks daunting doesn’t mean it will be impossible. Speaking with an adoption professional is the best next step in any case.
You can contact an adoption professional at any time to learn more, for free and with no obligation.