Birth Father Rights in Georgia
Adoption With or Without Parental Consent in GA
In Georgia adoptions, birth fathers have rights too. Regardless of the situation, birth fathers’ rights need to be legally terminated to proceed with an adoption, whether that be voluntarily or involuntarily. Depending on your circumstances, the path you take with the birth father terminating his rights will be different. Make sure you discuss your specifics with your adoption professional, and especially an adoption attorney in Georgia. We will go through a few examples in this article of how a birth mother can proceed with terminating a birth father’s rights.
Please remember that this article is not intended as legal advice. You should always work with your adoption specialist and an attorney in Georgia to make sure your adoption is completed legally in your circumstances.
Birth Father Rights in Georgia
Adoption birth father rights in Georgia are very real. Birth fathers have legal rights to the child that they helped to create. This may not seem fair to the single mother who has had no help from him, but it is the law. When a birth father is married to the birth mother, the situation becomes even more complicated.
The law stipulates that paternity must be established and the birth father must have the opportunity to consent or not to consent to an adoption. The rights of biological father in Georgia adoptions cannot be ignored throughout the legal process of adoption.
Legal vs. Biological Father
A birth father is the man who impregnated the prospective birth mother. The legal father is the man whom the courts acknowledge as the father. The birth father must be notified of the potential adoption proceedings, yet there may be a different legal father.
The legal father is the man who has established paternity, is married to the birth mother, has adopted the child, or has otherwise been determined to be the legal father. Once paternity has been established, that father has legal rights to the child and can choose to consent or not to consent to an adoption. Legal adoption without the father’s consent in Georgia is a whole different story than an adoption with father consent.
Adoption Without Parental Consent in GA
“Does the father have to give consent for adoption in Georgia?” The most difficult situation for a prospective birth mother to be in is to have the desire to choose adoption but also to have a birth father who refuses to consent to the adoption decision. A birth father may want to help raise the baby and have good intentions, or he may be acting out of spite and pride and just not want the child to be in someone else’s care. Regardless of his reasons, the fact is that there are times in which a birth father will not want to choose to consent to an adoption.
There are some situations in which a potential birth mother wishes to choose adoption, and the birth father’s rights may be terminated without his consent. These are some of the situations in which the court may terminate a man’s parental rights without his consent:
“The parent abandoned the child
The parent cannot be found after a diligent search has been made
The parent is insane or incapacitated from surrendering such rights
The parent has failed to exercise proper prenatal care or control due to misconduct or inability
The parent has failed to communicate or make a bona fide attempt to communicate with the child in a meaningful, supportive, parental manner for a period of one year or longer prior to the filing of the adoption petition without justifiable cause
The parent has failed to provide for the care and support of the child as required by law and the court for one year or longer prior to the filing of the adoption petition, and the court determines that the adoption is in the best interests of the child”
In Georgia, adoption without consent may be granted by the court if any of the above are determined to be the case. However, there are many factors affecting a man’s parental rights in Georgia, and this may vary on a case-by-case basis. Make sure that you consult with an adoption attorney when it comes to giving baby up for adoption without father’s consent in GA.
Adoption When the Father is Unknown in GA
Can a mother put a baby up for adoption without the father in Georgia? Is adoption in GA possible without knowing who the father is? If a mother does not know who the birth father is, or has no idea where he might be, then she may wonder if she can choose adoption without knowing the father. Birth father rights in adoption in Georgia can only take establishing paternity so far. If the father cannot be found, or has not had communication with the birth mother, then the courts may determine that the adoption can proceed without the birth father’s consent.
Adoption with Consent
Perhaps a birth father also believes that adoption is the best decision for his child. Perhaps he knows that the adoption will give him and his child the best outcome for a potential future relationship. Perhaps the birth father is married to the birth mother, and they have decided that an open adoption is the best option for their family. Regardless of the reason for consenting, a consenting birth father will make the adoption process run much smoother for the birth mother and the child.
Georgia Putative Father Registry
Georgia has a state registry in which a birth father can choose to disclose who he is in case of adoption proceedings regarding the child. A man who believes he may be the father of a child who is up for adoption in Georgia may choose to file with the putative father registry before placement; this can help to protect his legal right to notice of any adoption proceedings.
Regardless of your specific situation, it is highly recommended to consult with an adoption attorney before proceeding with any adoption process. The rights of the biological father in an adoption in Georgia are very real and must be acknowledged and handled before an adoption can proceed.
To learn more about birth father rights in Georgia adoptions or to start making your adoption plan, call 1-800-ADOPTION now or request free information with no obligation.
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