Can I Choose Adoption in Missouri Without the Birth Father’s Consent?
Do you need the birth father’s consent to place your baby for adoption in Missouri? The short and simple answer is yes. You probably do need the father’s consent. But let’s face it: relationships can be messy and complicated, and the laws regarding birth fathers can be as complex as your relationship with him. The real truth is that adoption consent laws are circumstantial. They will always vary by case and are as unique as your relationship with the birth father.
But that is exactly why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here for you during your adoption journey. We are a full-service, licensed adoption agency. This means that we can provide the best resources available to protect your adoption rights as a birth mother and to offer legal representation on your behalf.
Remember, most adoption laws and consent laws will vary by state. Please keep in mind that this article does not constitute legal advice and is not a replacement for the guidance of an expert. Instead, you should always seek legal advice from a qualified professional, like one of the many highly skilled and licensed lawyers we provide.
What You Need to Know About Birth Father Consent Laws When Considering Adoption in Missouri
The first thing to know about adoptions is that they are all about consent. In fact, changing your mind about adoption is even called withdrawing or revoking consent. When you place your baby for adoption, you are consenting to a legal termination of your parental rights.
In Missouri, adoption is irreversible once that consent to terminate your parental rights has been approved in court. This is because a legal adoption in Missouri makes it so that the person adopted has the same legal rights as if they were biologically born to the adoptive parents. That is why these preventative measures are set in place. The court wants to ensure that this is the desire of all parties involved because the adoption is set in stone once the court finalizes it.
How Missouri Law Classifies Birth Fathers When Giving Your Baby Up for Adoption
In order to ensure that all parties want this adoption and that there will be no further legal disputes, the mother, father, and adoptive family all must consent to adoption. But how do we define who the father is? There are two ways the court distinguishes a birth father: a putative father or a presumed father.
A putative father is when a man legally acknowledges that he is the father of a child conceived outside of marriage. A presumed father happens when the man is currently married to the mother or if their divorce occurred within 300 days of the child’s birth. The father must consent to the adoption if he established paternity within 15 days of the child’s birth, filed with the putative father registry, and/or satisfied Missouri adoption law requirements. A registered putative father can reserve the right to contest the adoption, just as a putative father or presumed father needs to place his consent to adoption.
But what if either of those terms does not apply to you or your situation? What if you don’t even know who the father is? Or worse, what if you’re in a relationship with the father, but being around him isn’t safe or is a danger to the baby? What if you are in the process of divorcing the father? Or if you’re just beginning a new relationship with him that you’re unsure about? Relax, it’s OK! We have you covered! Just like how your relationship to the birth father is unique, so are the laws governing adoption. Adoption laws are generally handled on a case-by-case basis, so the intricacies of your situation will be taken into account.
Understanding Birth Father’s Consent Regarding Newborn Adoptions
At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we go above and beyond for our birth mothers. We offer a variety of support services that provide help in the form of financial assistance, medical aid, mental and emotional support counseling, and legal representation that lasts beyond your adoption journey. We continue to take care of the birth mothers who choose our adoption agency as they adjust to post-placement life. No matter what, your adoption specialist will work tirelessly and diligently in order to protect your birth mother’s rights.
Your safety and the safety of your baby are our highest priority. Do not hesitate to contact us today so that we can begin helping you and answering any questions you may have as soon as possible. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can get to work helping you with your adoption process.
Meet the Author: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.
When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.