Legal rights of birth fathers

Adoption Attorney Stephen Ravel explains what the legal rights for a birth father is depending on his relationship with the birth mother
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Legal rights of birth fathers

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The birth father, depending on his legal status, has different legal rights. It's a complicated legal issue. A husband, for instance, who is the father of a child of a married woman, has the same right to consent to the adoption or not consent to the adoption as the mother does. An unmarried father has a different set of legal rights. And, what I do with them is give them notice that the mother is pregnant. Give them notice that she's thinking of placing the child for adoption. Give them the opportunity to let me know whether they agree or disagree to the adoption. And, then when the - Typicallly, I don't hear from them. Typically, I never hear a word from the birth father. But, what if I do hear from them and they say, "You're never gonna - I'm never gonna agree to an adoption. I'd never gonna allow this to go forward." My clients know that and we decide whether or not it's a situation they wanna get involved with. Typically, I would advise them not to get involved in that kind of situation. If I don't hear from them after the baby is born, there's a procedure where we would go through and terminate their rights without giving them any additional notice.

Adoption Attorney Stephen Ravel explains what the legal rights for a birth father is depending on his relationship with the birth mother

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Stephen Ravel

Adoption Attorney

Stephen Ravel attended UC Berkley for his undergraduate degree and Santa Clara Law School for his law degree. Stephen has been an attorney since 1973, and has been involved with adoption law since 1984. He has handled over 1,300 adoptions since the start of his career. Stephen is married and has three children. His oldest child was adopted from Brazil at birth.

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