The Role and Responsibilities of Birth Fathers in Colorado Adoptions
Most often, discussions about adoption focus on the birth mother and the child. But birth fathers are a key part of the conversation as well. It’s important to take the time to examine the role and responsibilities of birth fathers in the adoption process here in Colorado. Adoption Choices of Colorado has a staff of adoption professionals who can answer any questions you have about the options birth fathers have as well as their responsibilities in the adoption process.
Do Birth Fathers have Rights in the Adoption Process in Colorado?
In Colorado, birth fathers do have legal rights and protections under the law. That does not mean the birth father can force the birth mother to make a different decision that she wants to make, though. In the best-case scenario, the birth mother and birth father agree on a path forward and can participate in their adoption journey jointly, even if they aren’t together as a couple. But it doesn’t always work out that way.
For this blog, we will not be covering circumstances under which the birth mother wishes to place the baby for adoption and the birth father objects to the adoption plan. That scenario involves contacting an adoption attorney for legal advice. If this is your situation and you need an adoption attorney, Adoption Choices of Colorado can help you locate one. Larger cities like Denver and Colorado Springs have multiple options for attorneys specializing in adoption law.
What is the Birth Father’s Primary Responsibility?
Unplanned pregnancies are often stressful and difficult to deal with – especially in the case of an unplanned teen pregnancy. The biggest responsibility the birth father has is to provide support to the birth mother. That can mean a lot of different things.
Depending on the relationship, the birth father might show support by walking alongside the birth mother throughout the adoption experience. Some birth fathers will participate in creating the adoption plan and be an advocate for the birth mother. But many birth fathers do not want to be involved.
Some of the Important Adoption Process-Related Tasks a Birth Father Should Complete Even if He is not Involved
Some birth fathers do not want to participate in the adoption process or be involved in any way. There are still a few things an otherwise uninvolved birth father can and should take responsibility for to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
- Completing a medical history. It’s important for the child, and his or her adoptive family, to have a comprehensive medical history of the child’s biological family. Half of the baby’s genetic make-up comes from the birth father. That means his family medical history is just as important as the birth mother’s. Filling out a medical history is a basic thing a birth father can do to protect his child for years to come, even if he isn’t in the child’s life.
- Sign the paperwork to relinquish his parental rights when it’s time. After the baby has been born and before the adoptive parents can finalize the adoption, both birth parents need to sign the paperwork necessary to relinquish their parental rights. Sometimes this is a hard step. But it takes tremendous maturity and demonstrates love for your child to acknowledge when another family will likely be able to give him or her a better life.
- Get counseling. Birth fathers experience a lot of the same feelings of fear, guilt, and sometimes shame associated with placing a baby for adoption as birth mothers do. Adoption Choices of Colorado provides counseling for birth mothers. That kind of counseling is available for birth fathers as well. Taking care of your situation begins by taking care of yourself.
Can the Birth Father Participate in Making An Adoption Plan?
Absolutely! In an ideal adoption scenario, the birth father participates in making both a hospital plan and an open adoption plan. The Adoption Choices of Colorado caseworker can help create a plan for the hospital that includes the birth father and allows him time with the baby as well if that is something you both want.
In Colorado, private adoption plans have varying levels of openness. Depending on the adoption plan you’ve created with your caseworker, the birth father may have the option to develop a relationship with the adoptive family and maintain some kind of contact with his child as the baby grows up, just like the birth mother can. That contact might be facilitated through our ChildConnect service with occasional photos and updates, with a semi-open adoption, or it might mean building a relationship through direct contact with the adoptive family in an open adoption. With a closed adoption, there will be no contact with the child post-adoption for either birth parent.
A Positive Role for Colorado Birth Fathers in the Adoption Process
Birth fathers in Colorado have the opportunity to play a powerful role in the adoption process that makes the journey smoother for everyone. A birth father who takes responsibility, provides support to the birth mother, and participates in the adoption process helps create a positive adoption story that not only helps his own healing process post-adoption but also sets the tone for a healthy open adoption relationship in the future. Open communication is the first step towards a positive adoption journey.
Feeling a sense of loss is not uncommon. Both birth mothers and birth fathers often experience grief post-adoption. Adoption Choices of Colorado can help you find the counseling resources or support groups you need to process those feelings for both birth mothers and birth fathers. When the adoption process goes smoothly and the birth parents are able to respect and support one another, the healing process goes much more quickly as well.
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and have questions, Adoption Choices of Colorado has adoption professionals who would like to talk to you and answer your questions.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Education, majoring in English and Social Sciences, Brianne Davis has spent her adult life as an educator; first in the public schools, later through martial arts. Her ability to convey difficult concepts, navigate varied learning styles, and always keep it interesting defined her reputation as an impactful instructor. Many of her early published blogs centered on the goal of helping other instructors effectively teach children for whom learning is a struggle. Once an empty nester, she committed to sitting in traffic less and writing more. With those goals in mind, she, along with her husband and dogs, packed up, sold their family home and moved to the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington’s wine country, where the pace of life is slower and the sun shines brighter. Realizing in our modern age, more of us turn to the internet for information than ever before, Brianne, now dedicates her time to educating others through blog writing.
As a life-long information junkie, Brianne enjoys taking deep dives into new topics, then condensing them in an interesting way to convey valuable information in a relatively short amount of space. Once her career, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts remain hobbies, along with boating, reading, and traveling.