What Are My Rights as a Father if Someone is Trying to Adopt My Child?
As a biological father, you have certain rights to information about your child. You must be notified of a child’s birth and any proposed plan to adopt the child. You also are entitled to notice and a court hearing if an individual or couple is seeking to adopt your child. Whether notice occurs by phone call, in-person conversation, certified letter sent to your last known address, or publication in a legal newspaper, notice in accordance with Georgia law is required for all biological fathers whose child is the subject of adoption proceedings. This is the case even if your name is not on the child’s birth certificate.
However, notice of the adoption proceedings gives you certain timeframes in which you must act if you are not in agreement with the adoption. For instance, if you are simply named as biological father of the child, you must go through the legitimation process with respect to the child if you wish to seek custody of the child instead of allowing the adoption. In particular, YOU MUST LEGITIMATE WITHIN 30 DAYS OF NOTICE OF THE ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS, OR LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO OBJECT TO THE ADOPTION! Do not waste a minute if you find out about such a proceeding.
Likewise, if you sign a surrender, which gives your legal consent to the adoption, you do have a period of ten days during which you can revoke or withdraw the surrender by taking certain actions. However, you must follow certain procedures in order to revoke the surrender, or you risk having the surrender become legally valid.
You also should be aware of the distinction between a legal father and a biological father. A legal father is a man who is married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth, or who marries the mother after the birth and holds the child out as his own. Georgia law makes it more difficult to terminate the rights of a legal father, as opposed to a biological father, who has no specific rights to the child until and unless legitimation proceedings occur.
For more information about how to best handle adoption issues, talk to the Atlanta family law attorney who knows how to help you effectively deal with your situation.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.