Understanding Birth Father Rights in Pennsylvania

No two relationships are exactly alike. The relationship that a pregnant woman considering adoption in Pennsylvania has with the father of her baby is going to be unique. So some women have the wholehearted support of the birth father in creating their adoption plan, while others wonder if they’re able to move forward with adoption without consent or involvement of the birth father.

Some of the most common questions we hear about birth father rights in Pennsylvania have included:

  • “In Pennsylvania, can I still place my child for adoption when the father is unknown?”

  • “Can I give my baby up for adoption without the father’s consent in PA?”

  • “Does the birth father have to agree to adoption?”

The guide below may help answer some of your own questions about birth father rights in PA adoptions. But if you still have questions, you can contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION any time to receive free and confidential information with no obligation.

You Can Choose Adoption Regardless of Your Relationship Status

Women who have placed a child for adoption through American Adoptions have been:

  • Married to the father of the baby they placed for adoption, or in a committed relationship with the father

  • Mothers to older children, who may have the same father or separate fathers

  • First-time moms who aren’t ready to parent with the father, or don’t wish to parent on their own

  • On good terms with the baby’s father, even if they’re not in a relationship with each other

  • In a toxic relationship with the baby’s father, and they don’t want their baby to grow up with an unhealthy parental role model relationship

  • Not sure of the baby’s father’s identity

Regardless of the relationship you and your baby’s birth father have, you may still be able to pursue an adoption in Pennsylvania.

When Adoption without Parental Consent of the Father May be Possible in PA

Ideally, the biological father of your baby is supportive of your adoptive decision and helpful in the creation of your adoption plan. But some birth fathers are unsupportive, unknown or uninvolved during PA adoptions.

There are instances when you can move forward with an adoption without the birth father’s involvement. If you believe this needs to be an option for you, call 1-800-ADOPTION now. An adoption specialist will be able to talk to you about your circumstances to see what options are possible for you.

Adoption without parental consent in Pennsylvania is possible, but not in all circumstances. Contact us 24/7 at 1-800-ADOPTION to discuss your situation for free with no obligation to choose adoption, and get answers to your questions now.

Discussing Your Adoption Decision with the Birth Father

Before moving forward with a Pennsylvania adoption without consent of the father, you should always try to make every attempt possible to get the baby’s biological father on board with your adoption decision. This can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve had a complicated relationship.

Remember that your adoption specialist is always there to help counsel you through how to talk to your child’s birth father if you need some advice.

Talking together in person or via phone is ideal if it’s an option for you, but writing everything down clearly and concisely in an email or letter can be helpful, too. If you feel that communicating directly with the birth would escalate into an argument, then speaking through your adoption specialist or attorney may be the best option for you.

Have plenty of adoption information ready for him to read, and be prepared to listen calmly and answer any questions he may have. This can be an emotional time for everyone involved, so turning to your adoption specialist or someone you trust to practice what you want to say beforehand can help you express yourself clearly.

Know Your Rights as a Birth Father in Pennsylvania

If you are the biological father of a child being placed for adoption in Pennsylvania, you have legal rights if:

  • You were or are married to the mother of the child.

  • You claim the child as your own while providing housing as well as emotional and financial support for the child.

  • There is substantial evidence that you’re the father of the child, including a court determination of paternity.

  • You have filed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity with the mother’s consent to the Department of Public Welfare.

If you have parental rights, they’ll need to be legally terminated before an adoption may proceed in Pennsylvania.

If you consent to the adoption and would like to be involved in the adoption process, you may assist the birth mother in the creation of an adoption plan, or you can work with an adoption specialist to create a birth father adoption plan by calling 1-800-ADOPTION. Your involvement in the adoption process can mean working with the birth mother to select your child’s adoptive parents, establishing desired post-adoption communication and more.

If you disagree with the birth mother’s decision to place a child for adoption, you must legally establish paternity and demonstrate your commitment to parent your child in court. You will need to contact your own adoption attorney to understand your parental rights in your individual circumstances.

Each situation is unique, so to learn what may be possible in your situation and to learn more about birth father rights in Pennsylvania adoptions call 1-800-ADOPTION to receive free information now.





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