I’m Not Married, Does the Father of Baby Have Rights?

does unmarried father have rights

I’m Not Married, Does the Father of Baby Have Rights?

The rights of the baby’s father is dependent on several factors.

The answer to this very tricky question delves deep into parentage law.  Remember, any information you read on the internet is just information, NOT legal advice.  It’s best to consult an attorney!

If You Are Married

If you are married, you fall under Family Code 7540 Conclusive presumption as child of marriage exceptions, which states:

(a) Except as provided in Section 7541, the child of spouses who cohabited at the time of conception and birth is conclusively presumed to be a child of the marriage.

(b) The conclusive marital presumption in subdivision (a) does not apply if the court determines that the husband of the woman who gave birth was impotent or sterile at the time of conception and that the child was not conceived through assisted reproduction.

In general, in California, if you are married to the father within 300 days of baby’s birth, and he objects, the only way the adoption can take place is if his parental rights are terminated.

If You are NOT Married

If you are NOT married, you are still required to provide notice to them.  This is a very complicated area of law that depends on whether the father is an alleged father or presumed father.

In general, the father will only be able to stop the adoption in one of these situations:

  1. The father has received the child into their home and have publicly acknowledged the child as their own.
  2. You and the birth father have both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to have them listed as the father on the baby’s birth certificate. (Hospital staff may present this form for you to sign at time of baby’s birth, but you are not required to do so, and should not sign if you are planning to place the baby for adoption.)

Unless they can meet these requirements listed above, a biological father’s consent for adoption in California is NOT required.  However, unless he consents, further steps are needed.

If You Do Not Know Who the Father Is

If you do not know who the father is, or where he is – don’t worry.  This situation is fairly common.

Make sure you tell your attorney everything you know about who the possible father is so problems don’t arise in the future.  Tell the truth so there are no legal complications later.

Have a case like this?

Family matters are extremely personal, and it is important for us to know details of your case before giving advice. Each case is different, and it is important to find an attorney you trust. To arrange an appointment, please call us at (626) 765-5767 between 8:30am – 5:00pm, Mondays to Fridays, or fill out the form below.

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