The legal rights of fathers whose babies are born out of wedlock has made the news again. One young father, who resides outside of Florida, is now taking his fight to court, after his 2-week-old daughter was removed from his care on Nov. 20, 2015.
While the baby was “legally taken from her father and placed with adoptive parents,” what continues to shock citizens throughout the nation is how can this happen to a father who had been involved with the birth process, but was completely blindsided by the adoption. In fact, the man thought he had done everything necessary to establish his parental rights, including filing for paternity and adding his name to the birth certificate.
Sadly, the additional steps that would have prevented the adoption were unknown by the father and would have had to have been filed the day before the mother of the child signed the adoption papers. According to the father, he was only given a few hours’ notice.
The 20-year-old father and his girlfriend had initially agreed to raise their daughter together. However, after allegedly receiving threats from her parents, the young mother changed her mind and signed away her parental rights to an adoptive couple who is friends with her parents. The father of the baby thought that he had convinced the child’s mother to allow him to raise their daughter on his own. He was mistaken.
While each state has their own laws surrounding a father’s rights as they pertain to adoption, this is no doubt an unfortunate result of the outdated laws that are skewed against unwed fathers. If you are preparing to be a father and you want to make sure that your rights are protected so that you are able to be involved in your child’s life, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to discuss your situation.
Source: KSL.com, “Father begins legal fight to get infant back from adoptive parents,” Sam Penrod, Nov. 20, 2015; Fox 13, “Utah father says newborn’s mother placed child with adoptive parents against his wishes,” Dora Scheidell, Nov. 20, 2015.