Birth Father Rights

Many pregnant women who are placing a child for adoption in Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia have the full support and involvement of the birth father in the creation of their adoption plan. Some birth fathers, however, may be absent, unsupportive, or unknown. This had led women to ask if they choose adoption without the father’s involvement in MD, DC or VA.

Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding birth fathers in DC, MD and VA include:

Receive answers to these questions and learn more about birth father rights in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland by contacting us online. Situations vary on a case-by-cases basis, so please call us now for legal questions and consultations.

In the meantime, the following information will give you a general understanding of birth father rights in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. While nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice, it may help you better understand your options for adoption when the father is unknown, uninvolved or unsupportive of your decision.

How Relationships Between Birth Mothers and Birth Fathers Can Affect Adoptions in VA, MD, and D.C.

You can have any type of relationship and still successfully place a child for adoption in Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. However, your relationship status and birth father rights in adoption can affect elements of the adoption process and how Jennifer and Catelyn will legally proceed with your adoption, so it’s important that you’re honest about the relationship that you share with your child’s birth father when contacting us about adoption for your baby.

We’ve successfully represented birth mothers who were:

  • Married to the father of the baby they placed for adoption.
  • In a committed relationship with the father of their baby.
  • Currently raising older children, who may or may not have shared the same father.
  • First-time moms.
  • On friendly terms with the baby’s birth father, although not currently in a relationship with him.
  • In an unhealthy or toxic relationship with the baby’s birth father, which may have been one of the reasons why they chose adoption for their child.
  • Unsure of the baby’s father’s identity or whereabouts.

Birth mothers and fathers can be in any type of relationship and choose adoption for their baby. What matters is that you want what’s best for your child.

If a Birth Father is Supportive and/or Involved in the Adoption Process…

As a birth father, you have an important role in the adoption process, and you can also choose to have an important role in your child’s life through an open adoption. The first step you can take is to join the birth mother in creating an adoption plan for your child.

An adoption plan involves choosing adoptive parents, deciding how much post-adoption contact you wish to have with your child and more. You can contact us online to learn how you and your baby’s birth mother can begin creating an adoption plan today.

If a Birth Father is Unsupportive or Uninvolved…

If you choose to not get involved in the adoption planning process as a birth father, you can simply offer your consent to the adoption, and that’s as much as you need to be involved.

Some birth fathers have asked, “Can a birth father stop an adoption in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C.?”

If you choose to not support the birth mother’s adoption decision, you’ll need to complete several legal steps in order to contest the adoption. These actions will vary depending on the state in which you reside, so please contact us now to learn what your next legal steps should be. If we’re unable to represent you in contesting an adoption decision, we can refer you to an attorney who can.

Adoption Without Parental Consent of the Father: When It’s Legally Possible and When It’s Not

There are some situations where a prospective birth mother is facing an adoption decision with a birth father who is uninvolved or unsupportive of her choice, or she’s unsure of identity or location of the birth father. This can be concerning for women who are considering adoption in DC, MD or VA and has led some women to ask, “Does the father have to give consent for adoption? Can I pursue an adoption without consent in D.C./Maryland/Virginia?”

If you think that pursuing adoption without the father’s involvement in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. might be necessary in your situation, then contact us now. Jennifer and Catelyn will be able to discuss what options are legally available to you based on your circumstances.

It’s possible to complete an adoption without parental consent in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia in some situations, but it depends on the details of your circumstances. So reach out now to talk about your situation, and we’ll review what we can do together.

We’re here to find the best solution for you in a way that’s legal, safe and ethical. Call us and explain what’s going on, and we can help you learn more about birth father rights in adoption in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

What rights do fathers have?

A married woman’s husband and a legal father must consent to an adoption plan or have his rights adjudicated. An unmarried biological father’s rights are the same as the biological mothers in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.  He must receive notice and consent to the adoption or if he is unknown or unable to be located you may be able to notice him by newspaper publication and posting on the DHMH website.   

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax