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What Are Father's Rights Regarding Adoption?

There are situations in which a mother decides it is in the best interest of the child to give the child up for adoption. It is an incredibly difficult decision, and if you are the father of the child, you may think that you don’t have a say in the decision. Not only do you have a say, you also have the right to contest an adoption proceeding.

In this blog, Family Matters Law Group wants to shed some light on what can be a very emotional and difficult legal struggle: how to fight for your rights as a father when your child is being considered for adoption.

Who Is Considered the Father

When it comes to Georgia father rights, there are two people to consider. One is the birth father, the actual biological father of the child. According to Georgia father rights rules, the birth father must be notified of any adoption proceedings.

One way to expedite this is to utilize the putative father registry in Georgia. This is a state registry that allows the birth father to disclose his identity; after doing so, the state will notify him of any pending adoption proceeding.

The other consideration is the legal father. The legal father is the father that is recognized as such by the court. The legal father may be the birth father, but could also be the person married to the birth mother. In any event, only the birth father has a right to be notified of an adoption proceeding.

Adoption Without the Father’s Consent

There are situations where a birth father may decide to refuse consent to a mother who wants to give up the child for adoption. If the father legitimately has good intentions and wants to raise and provide for the child, then there may be adequate grounds to contest an adoption with the help of a good family law attorney.

However, in some cases, the father’s rights may be terminated and the adoption allowed to proceed. In Georgia, some of the ways that an adoption can be approved without consent of the father include:

  • The father is missing or unknown.
  • The father is mentally incompetent or has been declared insane.
  • There is a history of prenatal negligence or misconduct on the part of the father.
  • For at least a year prior to the adoption proceeding, the father has not had significant, meaningful communication with the child.
  • For at least a year prior to the adoption proceeding, the father has not provided support for the child or cared for the child in any meaningful way.

An Attorney Can Help Secure Georgia Father Rights

If you are a birth father and you are thinking of contesting an adoption proceeding, the most important step you can take is to hire representation. An experienced family law attorney can not only help your voice be heard, but can also explain to the court why your desire to maintain custody of your child is reasonable and in the child’s best interest.

Every situation is different, and even if there are some red flags for the court, having an attorney can help you to see your options clearly. Establishing paternity of the child is only part of the battle for a father’s rights. The larger hurdle is convincing the court why adoption is not in the child’s best interest.

Family Matters Law Group has experience in custody and adoption proceedings. We examine each case with a view towards putting the child in the best position to move forward and have success. If you are a father in Henry, Clayton or another metro Atlanta county facing an adoption proceeding, please contact us using our convenient online form. We can help evaluate your case and assist in what is sure to be an emotional and difficult decision.

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