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When may a father contest the adoption of his child?

Generally, for a child in Texas to be adopted, both of the child's parents must consent to the adoption. This can be an issue if the child's biological father is not married to the child's mother, and the child's mother wants to give the child up for adoption. Fathers in this situation may want to object to the adoption. However, in order to do so, paternity must be established, and the father must show he is committed to raising the child.

It is important that paternity is established without delay. If paternity is not established in a timely manner, the father may be unable to contest the adoption. Also, failing to establish paternity in a timely manner could be seen as a lack of commitment to raising the child. Paternity can be established once the child is born, or even while the mother is pregnant.

Sometimes a child's mother keeps the pregnancy secret from the child's father. If a father is unaware that he has a child, when it comes to adoption it may be too late for him to object to it. While state law varies, sometimes a biological father needs to establish paternity and begin supporting the child starting at the child's birth, or even while the child's mother is pregnant. If a father waits until he is made aware that he has a child before taking these steps, he may lose the right to object to the adoption, especially if this unawareness was of his own doing.

With regards to establishing his commitment to raising the child, the biological father must support the child financially and emotionally. This means doing his best to establish a meaningful relationship with the child. The father may pay the medical bills related to the pregnancy and he may pay child support once the child is born. In addition, he should pursue the establishment of paternity as soon as he can. If the father fails to do so, he may not be able to contest the adoption.

Establishing paternity and proving that he is committed to raising the child may be necessary for a father to object to the adoption of his child. Since this post only provides general information and is not a substitute for legal advice, those who want more information on father's rights and adoption should seek the help they need to better understand this topic.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Parental Rights: Unmarried Fathers and Adoption," accessed on Jan. 29, 2018

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