Pursuing Adoption When the Father is Unknown

“Can I give my baby up for adoption without the father’s consent in Texas? Can I choose adoption when the father is unknown? Does the birth father have to agree to adoption? How will this affect my adoption plan?”

These are common questions that we hear from expectant mothers who are considering adoption in Texas. Depending on the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, a woman may have a supportive birth father, an unknown birth father, or a birth father who lies somewhere in the middle. Regardless of your relationship with your child’s birth father, Adoption Answers can still help you create an adoption plan for your child.

When the Father is Unknown

Sometimes, an expectant mother is unsure of who the biological father of her baby is, where he is or how to reach him.

In the state of Texas, a man is only assumed to be a child’s father if he is married to the child’s mother or if he’s listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate. If a man is unwed, he must assert his paternity before it is recognized by law. To do this, he must first register with the Putative Father Registry, which will ensure that he is informed of any adoption proceedings involving his possible child.

Your Adoption Answers specialist will likely ask you for any known information about the father so he or she can attempt to reach him. If the father cannot be found or does not respond to this contact in a timely manner, his rights will be terminated and the adoption can proceed as normal.

It is important that you remain entirely truthful with your adoption specialist about the location and identity of the child’s father. Withholding any information at this point could put the adoption in jeopardy.

When the Father is Uninvolved

When the father is uninvolved in the pregnancy, and has not expressed a desire to be involved in the adoption plan, we will possibly attempt to get his consents before proceeding. If he does not give consent at this time, he has 31 days after the child is born to assert his paternity via the Putative Father Registry, after which, his parental rights will be terminated. The adoption may still proceed during this period, but the prospective adoptive family will need to be informed that the father still has time to assert his rights.

When the Father is Unsupportive

In the event that your child’s father is unsupportive of the adoption and would like to parent the child on his own, he must first demonstrate his desire and ability to provide care to the child. If the father is deemed unfit to parent due to abuse allegations, mental instabilities, or incarceration, his parental rights will likely be terminated by the court, allowing the adoption to move forward.

When the Father is Supportive

Whether you’re married, in a relationship, or no longer together, if your child’s father is supportive of your adoption plan, the adoption can continue without any additional requirements. Together, the two of you can choose Christian adoptive parents for your child and determine what level of contact you would like to maintain with your child and his or her adoptive family.

Once the child is born, both you and the father will sign consent paperwork that will allow the adoption to take place. According to Texas adoption law, these consents cannot be signed until 48 hours after the birth.

Adoption without parental consent of the father is possible in some circumstances. Please call us now at 1-800-659-7541 to discuss your individual situation, and together we can assess how to best proceed with your adoption.