It’s no secret that children are often conceived by accident, outside of wedlock, and parents sometimes consider alternative choices such as adoption or abortion. What often happens is that the mother makes the executive decision of whether or not the keep and raise the baby. Fathers sometimes have little say in the matter. However, according to Illinois law, fathers do have a say. So what steps can a father take to prevent the mother of his child from giving the child up for adoption?
•· Register with the Illinois Putative Father Registry (IPFR). A putative father is one who was not married to the child’s biological mother before the birth of the child and has not established paternity through the legal system. A putative father attempting to prevent the mother from giving the child up for adoption must register with the IPFR within 30 days after the birth of the child.
•· Establish paternity. The father must take legal action to establish paternity within 30 days of registering with the IPFR. Establishing paternity will ensure the father’s rights are protected. Such rights include the right to notice of adoption, and the right to have a say in the adoption proceeding.
•· Work with a social worker. Very seldom will a child (outside of the DCFS system) be given up for adoption without the consent of the mother. Consent from the father is not as strictly required as it is from the mother, but the adoption agency will make reasonable efforts to obtain consent before allowing the adoption to take place. Provided that the father has registered with the IPFR and established paternity, the mother, father, and a social worker will work with the family. The social worker will help the family reach a suitable alternative, whether it includes the father obtaining full custody of the child, obtaining consent to going through with the adoption, etc.
For more information on the rights of putative fathers in relation to adoption, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.