What About the Birth Father in Adoption?
By Kaitlyn Chrisemer
Often in discussions about adoption, there’s a strong focus on the birth mother. Of course, this makes sense, but it shouldn’t cause neglect of the birth father. The birth father must also be considered when placing a baby for adoption. He still needs to be informed whether the father wants to be involved in the adoption process.
Most of the time, when birth fathers want to be involved, they aren’t sure how to help. They worry about overstepping boundaries if they aren’t in a committed relationship with the adoptive mother. Sometimes birth fathers don’t know how much of a say in the adoption plan they’re entitled to. For example, do they get to decide if it should be a closed or open adoption? Is that too significant a decision for them to make if the birth mother doesn’t completely agree? Other times they want to support the birth mother but are unsure how.
Adoption Choices of Colorado wants to offer some input on what birth fathers can do during the adoption process. In addition, we want to give you the necessary information to make your adoption journey go smoothly.
If you need adoption help now, please call or text us at 303-670-4673 (HOPE) or visit us at Adoption Choices of Colorado.
Is the Birth Father’s Consent Required for Adoption in Colorado?
Yes, in Colorado, the birth father needs to consent to the adoption for the process to occur. Just like the birth mother, he must relinquish his rights to the child for the child to be given up for adoption. However, there are certain steps birth parents must both go through before relinquishing their rights. First, they must receive counseling through their Colorado adoption agency or social services. Then, they must submit a petition to the juvenile court with information about the baby and the adoption.
However, there are exceptions where the birth father doesn’t have to consent and voluntarily relinquish his rights. For example, if he’s deemed unfit to be a parent and his parental rights have been terminated, his consent is unnecessary.
If the birth parents aren’t married, paternity has to be verified or established. In Colorado, paternity can be established a few different ways. One way is simply if his name is on the birth certificate. Another is if he acknowledges paternity himself to the court. Paternity can also be established if he supports the child financially. Lastly, if a DNA test indicates he’s the father with a 97 percent or higher probability, paternity is considered verified.
What Can Birth Fathers Do to Support Birth Mothers?
Birth fathers can act as a rock for birth mothers during adoption. An unplanned pregnancy alone can be hard enough before adding adoption to the mix. He can support the birth mother and be the strongest, most involved point of her support network. Offering input about which type of adoption (closed or open adoption) and other decisions can help.
Having input from the birth father can make the birth mother feel less alone in this journey. It can be easier if she feels she has someone by her side as she makes these decisions. Sometimes birth fathers can offer a new perspective and positively impact choices. However, it’s important to remember that there should be a conversation about how much his opinion will be considered. It’s important to ensure the birth mother feels emotionally supported and physically cared for. Help from the birth father can make the process smoother in multiple ways.
What if the Birth Father Doesn’t Want to Be Involved?
If the birth father doesn’t want to be involved, that’s okay too. It may emotionally make things more difficult for the birth mother, but Adoption Choices of Colorado can help. After his parental rights are relinquished, the birth father doesn’t have to be involved in decision-making.
Our adoption agencies can help you as the birth mother through this journey. We can connect you with an adoption counselor who will tell you what you need to know. Our agencies can also offer counseling for support throughout the process if you need help emotionally. In addition, there are support groups we can connect you with, or we can offer one-on-one sessions.
We want you to be as comfortable as you can be throughout this process. We’ll be here for you every step along the way and can help support you if the birth father doesn’t want to be involved. Our adoption agencies are here to make sure your needs are met. Whether the birth father is in the picture or not, we can help with your Denver adoption.
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.