Birth Father Rights in Adoption in Texas
Important Information about the Father of the Baby
If you find Texas birth father rights in adoption confusing, you should know that you’re not alone.
When you become pregnant unexpectedly, you may be overwhelmed with a range of emotions and the thoughts that are racing through your mind. The rights of your child’s father may be just one of them.
Maybe you’ve considered placing your baby for adoption. If so, you may have asked, “Does the father have a say in the adoption?” Or, maybe, “Can a child be adopted without the father’s consent in Texas?”
Every adoption scenario is unique, just like every relationship between a birth mother and birth father. There’s no single guide to birth father rights in adoption in Texas. In some cases, adoption without father’s consent in Texas is possible. However, you’ll need to speak with an attorney or adoption specialist to sort through Texas laws on father’s rights.
At American Adoptions, we’ve seen almost every adoption circumstance you can imagine over more than 30 years of working with birth mothers. Our adoption specialists help you learn your options for adoption regardless of the relationship you have with your child’s father. They’ll help you create an adoption plan and ensure you understand father’s rights in adoption in Texas.
This guide is merely a primer on birth father adoption laws in Texas. It shouldn’t be interpreted as legal advice. Birth parents should always seek counsel from an adoption attorney or an adoption professional. You can speak to one of our adoption specialists today by calling 1-800-ADOPTION. Or, you can get free info online here.
Types of Prospective Birth Fathers in Texas Adoption
Every birth father situation is different, just as every adoption is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating birth father rights in adoption in Texas. You should always speak with an attorney or your American Adoptions specialist about the particulars of your relationship with the father of your child.
Generally, birth fathers can be categorized in three ways that are distinguished by their feelings about your pregnancy and their desire to be involved in the adoption. Just as you get to decide the details of your adoption experience, every birth father must also determine the role he wants to play in the adoption.
Supportive Birth Fathers
Supportive birth fathers support the adoption plan and the birth mother’s decision. These birth fathers may be married to the birth mother and agree that placing the child in an adoptive home is best. Other supportive birth fathers can be unmarried but still embrace the birth mother’s choice.
A supportive birth father offers the birth mother her best odds of cooperation throughout the adoption. Since both parents have the child’s best interest at heart, you can work together to plan a bright future for your baby. When the birth father supports the adoption, adoption without consent in Texas isn’t a problem.
When birth fathers supports your adoption plan, you can cooperate selection of the perfect family for their child, as well as other components of the adoption experience like the post-adoption contact arrangement or the hospital birth plan.
Unsupportive Birth Fathers
Another category of birth fathers are those who don’t support the birth mother’s decision to carry the child and place their baby for adoption. When the father is unsupportive, it’s unfortunate for both the birth mother and the unborn child. Still, it doesn’t mean adoption without consent in Texas from an unsupportive father is impossible.
An unsupportive birth father may try to exert influence over the birth mother’s decision or pressure her to choose another path, even if adoption is her best option. Birth fathers who don’t support the birth mother’s choice sometimes contest the mother’s adoption plan.
Again, every situation is unique, and without professional consultation it’s impossible to know if you’ll be able to place your child for adoption without the consent of an unsupportive birth father. Talk to an attorney or adoption specialist to learn more about your rights and birth father rights in adoption in Texas.
Unknown or Absent Birth Fathers
It’s possible that you may not know who the father of your child is through no fault of your own. It happens, and it’s probably more common than you think. Or, you may know the father’s identity but have no contact with him and don’t know how to find him.
Birth father adoption law in Texas protects the father’s rights in adoption. However, there are circumstances in which you may still place your child for adoption without the father’s consent. An American Adoptions specialist can assist you in determining the best course of action.
Can you place a child for adoption without consent of the father in Texas?
Generally speaking, yes, it’s possible. But, there’s no definitive answer to this question because each adoption scenario is different. Adoption without parental consent is sometimes permissible. There are extenuating factors that can come into play, such as when the father is unknown, that make adoption without birth father consent allowable.
Texas birth father rights in adoption include a requirement to gain paternal consent if these conditions apply:
He is married to the mother of the child, and the child is born during the marriage.
He was married to the child’s mother, and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated.
He married the child’s mother before the birth of the child, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated.
He married the child’s mother after the birth of the child, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
The assertion is in a record filed with the Vital Statistics Unit.
He is voluntarily named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate.
He promised in a record to support the child as his own.
During the first 2 years of the child’s life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided, and he represented to others that the child was his own.
By law, birth father rights in adoption in Texas must be considered in the adoption process. Many birth fathers support birth mothers who want to place their children for adoption, though it’s not always the case. If the birth father doesn’t support the mother’s choice, adoption may sometimes still be possible.
Also, birth father adoption laws in Texas mandate that birth mothers or their attorneys make every reasonable effort to contact the birth father and notify him of the pregnancy and adoption plan. This even applies in cases in which the birth father may be unknown, or the birth father’s whereabouts are unknown.
The birth mother must demonstrate to a judge that all reasonable means of notifying the birth father were exhausted. Your adoption attorney or adoption specialist can help you understand the notification requirements and document your efforts to make contact with the birth father.
Texas also is one of 24 states that maintains a Putative Father Registry. This is a type of paternity registry through which a man can make a paternity claim regarding a child. If the expectant birth mother plans to place the child for adoption, the putative father will be notified of any proceedings regarding the child’s adoption.
Does the father have a say in the adoption of his child in Texas? It’s a complicated question with a complex answer. Speak with an adoption specialist with American Adoptions or adoption attorney to decide the best way to move forward in your situation regarding consent and birth father’s rights in adoption.
Find Help Today
Remember, this guide should be interpreted as legal advice and is intended only for informational purposes. Each pregnancy and adoption is different. Texas birth father adoption laws may be applied in different ways from one situation to another.
Giving baby up for adoption without father’s consent in Texas may be an option for you regardless of the relationship you have with the child’s father. However, it’s wise to speak to an adoption professional to determine what guidelines could impact your case.
If you’re a birth mother who wants to move forward with your adoption plan, speak with an adoption attorney or adoption professional about father’s rights in adoption. American Adoptions is staffed with knowledgeable, compassionate specialists who understand birth father’s rights in adoption in Texas. Contact us today at 1-800-ADOPTION or get free info online here.
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