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Adoption and unmarried fathers

In a perfect world, all children would be born to parents who are willing and able to care for them. However, there are situations, throughout Tennessee and around the country, in which parents find themselves coping with an unplanned pregnancy. In some cases, placing the child for adoption may be a wise option. While a biological mother's role is relatively straightforward in the adoption process, an unmarried father's rights are sometimes less clear.

In general, the consent of both biological parents is necessary for an adoption to move forward. However, there are situations in which it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get the consent of the father. This often happens if the father is no longer in contact with the biological mother and she is unable to notify him about the pregnancy. There are also situations in which the biological mother may conceal a pregnancy so as to avoid interference with an adoption plan.

Many fathers are interested in raising or participating in the raising of their children. These men may be able to establish parental rights by taking a DNA test that can be provided to the court as proof of fraternity.

Men who suspect that they may be responsible for a pregnancy should take steps as soon as possible to find out if their former partner is indeed with child. Waiting too long, particularly after the birth of a child, may result in permanent termination of parental rights.

These men may also benefit from consulting with an experienced family law attorney who may be able to provide insight into the father's legal rights in an adoption case. Legal counsel could also help a man establish paternity and seek visitation rights or even custody of the child.

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