Child put up for adoption without father's consent

Child custody issues can arise between married or unmarried people at any time. Unfortunately, sometimes fathers are slighted and may be disregarded when decisions are made which impact their relationship with their child. Florida residents presently in a child custody dispute or those interested in fathers' rights may find it interesting to learn that a 19-year-old man, who conceived a child with his high school sweetheart, is fighting for the right to parent his child after the mother unilaterally put the child up for adoption.

Despite the mother's claims to the contrary, according to the father he was engaged and supportive during the woman's pregnancy. Even though the couple's relationship did not last, the father claims he went to doctor's appointments with the mother during her pregnancy, purchased maternity clothes for her, and invested in furniture and other accessories for the soon-to-be-born baby. Nevertheless, the mother without his consent selected an adoptive couple and put their child up for adoption. The 19-year-old father was invited to meet the adoptive parents via a text message.

After learning of the adoption, the father immediately filed a petition in court to have paternity established, and to assert his rights as a father. Sadly, despite all the steps he took, he was not permitted to affirm his paternal connection to the child, and was even denied the right to have his name on the child's birth certificate. Presently, the father is still fighting to get a DNA test and exercise his parental rights.

Laws regarding a parent's right to object to an adoption vary from state to state. Where a father has not consented to an adoption, the issue of his rights can get complex. Thus, in order to protect the father's rights and the best interests of the child, the advice of an experienced family law attorney can be essential.

Source: National Post, "Barbara Kay: Yet more family law gender injustice," Barbara Kay, Dec. 10, 2013

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