Birth Father Rights in Connecticut Adoptions
What if I want to put my baby up for adoption in Connecticut but the father doesn’t? Does the father have to give consent for adoption in Connecticut? Can a child be adopted without the father’s consent? Is adoption in Connecticut possible without knowing who the father is?
At American Adoptions, we field questions like this fairly often. It’s completely understandable; if you don’t know whether an unsupportive or unknown birth father is going to affect the possibility of pursuing adoption, it can be difficult to know whether to start the process or not. To help you understand some of the laws regarding this subject, we’ve gathered some information about the laws concerning adoption without parental consent in Connecticut.
You should know, however, that this article does not constitute legal advice. It does not take the place of a lawyer or a social worker, so any questions about a Connecticut adoption without parental consent of the birth father should be directed to a professional. Please call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist about your specific situation.
What is the legal definition of a father in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, a father is a man who acknowledges paternity in a binding acknowledgment or a man the state determines to be the father.
Does Connecticut have a putative father registry?
A putative father registry, or a paternity registry, is a system for men to use to claim paternity of children. Connecticut does have one, and anyone who claims to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may file a claim for paternity with the court in the district where either the mother or the child resides.
This claim will prohibit the man from later denying paternity of the child and indicates that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the child’s support and education, as well as for contribution to the mother’s pregnancy-related medical expenses.
If a man does not file with the paternity registry, has not been deemed the father by a court, has not contributed regularly to the support of the child, and his name does not appear on the birth certificate, he will not be a legal party in any proceeding regarding the child.
What information does a man have to provide for the paternity registry?
The alleged father must include his name and address, the name and last known address of the child’s mother, and the child’s birth date or expected birth date.
Is there a way to revoke a paternity claim?
Yes. The child’s mother and acknowledged father can rescind a claim in writing within 60 days of the claim or agreement to support the child. A father’s claim may be challenged in court or before a family support magistrate if the challenger can prove that it was made under fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.
So, in Connecticut, to put a baby up for adoption, does the dad need to agree?
If a man is legally considered the father of the child, then it’s important that his birth father’s rights in adoption are not ignored. If you aren’t sure your baby’s father will understand or support your adoption plan, then it’s important that you speak to your adoption specialist prior to speaking about adoption with the father. It’s important that you approach him with sensitivity, as an unplanned pregnancy may be a surprise to him in itself, let alone your plan to place the baby for adoption.
The best plan of action is always to discuss news like this either in person or over the phone, but that isn’t always realistic. It can also be an option to explain the situation via letter or email, as long as you explain in detail while you feel that adoption is the right choice and be understanding that he may not react the same way initially. If you feel unsafe around the father of your child, though, do not put yourself in harm’s way. Your American Adoptions adoption specialist can help you plan a safe, ethical and legal way to loop your baby’s father in on your decision.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s situation is different, and this article is in no way legal advice. To learn more about putting your child up for adoption without knowing the father in Connecticut, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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