Common Misconceptions About Birth Fathers in Colorado
By Quentin Steadman
Although birth fathers may possess certain rights when it comes to their child and the adoption process, each state incorporates various legal procedures that must be satisfied in order for birth fathers to exercise those rights. Along with certain legal procedures, each state may possess a different definition of what those specific rights are.
At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we firmly believe that birth fathers should be made aware of adoption as well as their rights. Thus, Adoption Choices of Colorado will always make an attempt to contact the birth father and dispel the common misconceptions about birth fathers in Colorado.
Who is the Birth Father?
First and foremost, a birth father must be the biological father of the child who will be put into adoption. At the time of the adoption in Colorado, the birth father may or may not be married to the child’s birth mother (by Colorado definition of marriage, this includes being married or were married within 300 days of the child’s birth). By being married to the birth mother at the time of the adoption process, a birth father can enjoy fewer legal restrictions as to what they can say or do regarding the adoption of their child.
By contrast, a birth father who is not married to the child’s birth mother (called a ‘putative father’) may have to join the Putative Father Registry in order to assert their parental rights. Doing so contributes to the court system in recognizing you as the birth father.
Common Birth Father Misconceptions
It is easy enough to assume that the birth father has little or no say regarding his child and its future. Although the birth mother may possess greater leeway in terms of the child and the adoption process, birth fathers also have the benefit of legal headway. This fact alone is one that many people, birth fathers and birth mothers, may not be aware of. Similarly, let’s take a look at a few more misinterpretations regarding birth fathers. Each of these ideas are, in the state of Colorado, false notions regarding birth fathers.
- The birth father has zero rights when it comes to the child
- The birth father has zero rights when it comes to the adoption process
- As the birth father, you must still be married to the birth mother in order to exert any legal right
- As the birth father, you must still be living with the birth mother and child in order to exert any legal right
- You cannot legally contest the birth mother’s decision of finding an adoptive home for your child
- Throughout and after the adoption process, the birth father is not allowed to communicate with the potential adoptive families
Regarding Adoption, What Can the Birth Father Do?
Your rights as a birth father depends upon your stance with the adoption itself. If you do not object to the child being adopted, you are free to choose to be involved or not involved with the adoption process. Deciding not to be involved requires you to sign a ‘Waiver of Notice or a Denial of Paternity.’
If you decide to remain involved in the adoption process, you and the birth mother will compromise, through an adoption plan established with our assistance at Adoption Choices of Colorado, how you wish the adoption process to proceed.
Objecting to the adoption depends on the existence of a few scenarios. By meeting one of the following legal requirements, you may be able to block the adoption process from advancement:
- If you are married to the birth mother, or were married to her within 300 days of the child’s birth.
- You have publicly acknowledged the child as your own and have received him or her into your home.
- You and the birth mother have both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to have you listed as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate. Typically, this is signed at the time of the child’s birth. However, it is not a requirement and should not be done if you are both planning to place the child for adoption.
- If you have done everything you can to take care of the child and the birth mother both financially and emotionally within the time of knowing about the pregnancy.
As the Birth Father, Your Rights Should Not Be Forgotten
Adoption Choices of Colorado stresses the importance for birth fathers to be aware and understand their specific rights for both their child and the adoption process. When you reach out to us, we will provide answers to all your questions, guide you through the necessary forms and legal proceedings, and to assist in cultivating an adoption plan that considers your interests as well.