Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Birth Father

Did I totally just jinx myself here? On Monday I posted about birth fathers rights. The next day I was chatting online with our birth mom and she tells me that the father is getting out of jail in 2 months. Up until now he has denied the baby is his. Now all of a sudden, because the mom relinquished he wants a DNA test and wants to fight for her!

"Under Utah law, a biological father must file a paternity suit and register with the state before the birth mother relinquishes custody of the baby. The mother cannot relinquish until 24 hours after giving birth. Thus, by statute, biological mothers and fathers are both supposed to have some period of time following the birth of a child to assert or waive their parental rights." got into here

Now, I'm a little stressed, because I stress easily, but at the same time I'm not too worried.
1) They were not married
2) He went to jail 3 days before she found out she was pregnant
3) He has denied up until now that the child is his
4) He was NOT listed on the birth certificate as the father
5) He has not initiated any parental rights

Our case worker has reassured me in the past that IF he ever did come forward they will rule it as abandonment. He had the 9 months of pregnancy and now 9 months of her life and has not initiated any rights. Plus from the sounds of it, he is waiting until he gets out of jail in 2 months to start... That is less then 1 month before we finalize the adoption... Uggg, I have no idea what to think right now!

"When children are born out of wedlock paternity may be established if the father voluntarily signs a declaration stating they are the biological father or if they involve the court by filing a paternity case. In California, only after paternity is established will a father obtain rights and responsibilities involving their children.

"A putative father is defined as a man who may be the child’s biological father, but who is not married to the child’s mother on or before the date of the child’s birth and has not established his paternity through legal proceeding. In most states a putative father must be given notice of proceedings involving adoption plans or proceedings that can terminate his parental rights. States generally require a putative father to register (see father’s registry) or acknowledge paternity within a certain amount of time otherwise their right to notice is void.

"As noted above, parent rights unmarried can present some unique challenges especially for the father. Men who think they may be the father of a child should contact a family lawyer or the state to find out how to make a claim to their child and assert their rights as soon as possible in order to preserve their parental rights. " (source here)

I read this story and breath a hopeful sigh of relief , although I feel the man talking but I don't for Emma's biological father, "And due to Utah laws I had absolutely no rights to my child since I did not file a "Declaration of Paternity" prior to the child's birth."


Lauren said...

How terrifying!!! I will be hoping for the best, but this must be so difficult for you. You are right though in that the birth father had his chance and didn't take it. The odds are skewed seriously in your favor!

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

Birth fathers seem to only be upset when they hear that they are losing control of the situation. A lot of times they do not really want to parent the baby and saying they want to seek custody is just their way of trying to gain some control.

This is the exact situation we were in, and even though our birth father made a lot of noise, he did not file or put his name on the registry, so his rights were terminated. I think he has since realized that adoption was the best choice. He has even told our birth mom that he's glad that our son is "in a better atmosphere."

This whole birth father-seeking-custody-at-the-last-minute issue seems to be the case for a lot of adoptions. Consult with a local independent adoption attorney (like I did) for any questions that you have. I think you'll be ok. :)