Are you going to be a father? Is the mother considering adoption? Are you confused about what adoption is or what it means for you? You are not alone. Many fathers are unsure how they can be involved with the process or what their rights are regarding placing a child for adoption.
You can be included in the decision process such as choosing a family for your baby. You can choose to receive pictures and letters and can even choose to visit with the baby. Some men choose not to be involved at all. It is important for you to make the best decision for you and your child.
What are your options?
Our goal is to help you and the mother of the baby make the best decision possible. There are many other options besides adoption that you and the birth mother may be considering such as single parenting, co-parenting in separate homes, or even marriage. We are here to help you make the best decision by helping you look at your personal and unique situation. We are a no pressure agency and can answer any questions you have, even if your choice is to parent.
What are your rights?
As a father you have rights. It is important to learn about your rights in relation to the adoption process. In the state of New Jersey, you have the same rights as the birth mother, regardless of your marital status with the birth mother.
You have the right to three face to face counseling sessions with a Social Worker from the agency before and after the birth of the child. You have the right to refuse counseling as well.
New Jersey requires that when the identity of the birth father is known, he must be notified of the pregnancy or birth of the baby and that there is a plan to place the child for adoption. The father then has a right to object to the adoption plan and must do so by filing a written objection with the Court. This must be done within 20 days of receipt of the notice, if the birth father resides in NJ.
A birth father who agrees with the adoption plan can sign a voluntary surrender of parental rights no earlier than 72 hours after the birth of the child.
A voluntary surrender can also be signed for anyone who has been named by a birth mother as the father but does not believe they are the birth father.
As a birth father it is important to understand that you have rights too. It is important to know this decision affects you as well as the birth mother of your child. If you would like to discuss your options further please do not hesitate to contact us. We can discuss your options and help you make the best decision possible.