Birth Father Rights in Michigan Adoptions
Adoption with or without Parental Consent in Michigan
Does the father have to give consent for adoption in Michigan? Can a child be adopted without the father’s consent? In Michigan, is adoption possible without knowing who the father is? What if I want to put my baby up for adoption but the father doesn’t?
At American Adoptions, we hear questions like this frequently. It’s hard to think about your adoption plan when you aren’t sure if an unsupportive or unknown birth father will affect your options. While this article does not serve as legal advice and does not take the place of a lawyer or social worker who understands your exact situation, we hope to answer a few of your questions about adoption without parental consent in Michigan.
What is the legal definition of a father in Michigan?
In Michigan, the father of the child is the man who signs an acknowledgment of parentage. If the man isn’t married to the mother, he is considered the child’s natural father if he and the mother both acknowledge that he is the father and complete a form that claims this.
A man claiming to be the father of the child may also claim paternity in the court in his county before the child is born. Unless the child’s mother denies this claim, the man will be presumed to be the child’s father. If this paternity claim is filed in a timely manner, the man will be entitled to receive notice of any hearings involving custody of the child.
How can a paternity claim be revoked in Michigan?
The mother, the man who has claimed paternity, a different man who claims to be the father, or an attorney may file to revoke an acknowledgment of paternity. This action must be filed within three years after the child is born or within one year after the original paternity claim was filed. This action must prove that the original paternity claim was filed:
Before evidence was discovered that proved someone else was the father
As a fraud
If the court agrees, they will order blood or tissue typing or DNA testing to prove who the father is.
So, to put a baby up for adoption, does the dad need to agree?
A Michigan birth father’s rights in adoption are not to be ignored. If a man is presumed to be the father, the best route is always to talk to your adoption professional before informing him of your adoption plan. This is very big news to anyone, so it’s best to be sensitive when discussing the adoption of your baby. If possible, you should tell him in person or over the phone. However, depending on your relationship with the baby’s father, it may be best to explain the situation in a letter or email. Remember to carefully explain why you think adoption is the best decision and to be understanding that this may come as a surprise to him.
If you feel unsafe around the father of your child, never put yourself in harm’s way. If this is the case, your adoption specialist at American Adoptions will help you determine the best way to contact your baby’s birth father.
Since every woman’s situation is different and birth father rights in adoption vary on a case-by-case basis, there won’t be a step-by-step, one-size-fits-all guide on how to adopt a child without the father’s consent in Michigan. For more information about how to pursue a Michigan adoption without knowing the father or without his support, contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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