The rights of the mother concerning an unborn child usually out-weigh those of the father if there is disagreement between them. In these cases, the mother retains most of the decision-making power in terms of adoption, medical, health care and other decisions.
In order to gain constitutionally protected paternal rights, it is important for the father to establish paternity at the earliest opportunity and to form a promising relationship with the child even before birth. This can be done by showing interest in the mother and child’s health, coming to prenatal doctor’s appointments with the mother and contributing to health expenses. All these acts highlight the commitment of the father towards the child and helps establish stronger paternal rights for decision-making regarding the child. However, in cases of unwed parents, the mother’s consent is almost always required.
Conventionally, all states require the consent from both legal parents when putting a child up for adoption. A father, who has established paternity rights early on, has legal rights to object to an adoption. In instances where the parents are unmarried and the father has not established paternity prior to the birth of the child, the father may not be given any decision-making power. In such cases, the mother has the sole decision-making power.
If there is conflict between the parents regarding adoption of an unborn child, where the father objects to adoption; the father should file his objection in the state court or the state health and human services department. It is also advised that the father find a family law attorney. An attorney will help you protect your rights as a father in view of the child’s best interests.