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Understanding Birth Father Rights in Hawaii

Adoption With or Without Parental Consent in HI

Is adoption possible without knowing who the father is? Does the father have to give consent for adoption in Hawaii? Can a child be adopted in Hawaii without the father’s consent?

If you’re a pregnant woman wondering any of the above questions, you aren’t alone. We receive questions like this quite a bit as an adoption agency, and it makes sense. Many times, when women consider adoption in Hawaii for their babies, an unsupportive or unknown birth father is a factor in their decision. If this is the case for you, it’s important to know what state adoption laws have to say about adoption without parental consent in Hawaii.

Please know, however, that this article does not serve as legal advice. Nothing takes the place of a licensed attorney or social worker when it comes to helping you learn about Hawaii birth father rights as they apply to your specific situation. Please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more.

What is the legal definition of a father in Hawaii?

Adoption in Hawaii state laws dictate that a man is considered the natural father of a child if:

  • He and the child’s mother are or were married and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after its termination

  • He and the child’s mother attempted to marry each other before the child’s birth, even if the marriage could be declared invalid, and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after its termination or after cohabitation

  • He and the child’s mother were married or attempted to marry after the child’s birth and he has also acknowledged paternity with the Department of Health, been named as the child’s father on the original birth certificate, and is obligated to provide support for the child

  • He receives the child into his home and openly acknowledges the child as his

  • He submits to court-ordered genetic testing

  • He voluntarily acknowledges paternity with the Department of Health

Does Hawaii have a paternity registry?

Yes, Hawaii has a paternity registry. Otherwise known as a putative father registry, this serves to allow men to claim paternity to children born outside of a marriage. In Hawaii, each birthing hospital or center as well as the Department of Health will provide parents with the opportunity to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, either immediately before or after a child is born. This exists as a single form that will be signed under oath by both the natural mother and the natural father, as well as a witness.

Prior to signing the paternity form, the mother and the alleged father (if present) will be provided with:

  • Written material regarding the establishment of paternity

  • The necessary forms to voluntarily acknowledge paternity

  • Descriptions of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity, as well as alternatives and legal consequences

If a paternity acknowledgment is unchallenged, there will be no judicial or administrative proceedings required to ratify the claim.

Can a man revoke his paternity claim in Hawaii?

Yes. A man can revoke his claim to paternity by rescinding the acknowledgment within either 60 days of signing or before the date of a proceeding related to the child.

Are there other ways to establish paternity?

Yes. Hawaii birth father adoption laws allow the following people to file an action regarding a child’s alleged father:

  • A child or a child’s guardian ad litem

  • The child’s natural mother

  • A man alleged or alleging himself to be the child’s father

  • A presumed father

  • A child support enforcement agency

Evidence may be presented in these cases, including:

  • Evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at a time when conception could have been possible

  • An expert’s opinion about the probability of the alleged father’s paternity

  • Genetic test results

  • Medical or anthropological evidence

  • A voluntary written acknowledgement of paternity

  • Bills for pregnancy and childbirth as well as for insurance premiums during the period of genetic testing

In Hawaii, then, to put a baby up for adoption, does the dad need to agree?

Yes. If a man is considered to be the father of a child by law, he will likely have a birth father’s rights in adoption in Hawaii.

If your baby’s father is uninvolved, unknown or unsupportive of your adoption decision, you will need to work with your adoption specialist to ensure that all laws regarding adoption without consent in Hawaii are followed. Your adoption specialist will also help you to go about informing the father of your adoption plan respectfully while remaining safe in the process.

To learn more about completing a Hawaii adoption without knowing the father or with an unsupportive father, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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