Not all pregnancies in Pennsylvania are planned and sometimes men and women are unwilling or unable to keep the child that results. For many of these would-be parents, they choose to put their children up for adoption so that another loving family can raise them. This is an excellent option for both adoptive and birth parents, but it only works when both birth parents wish to give up their parental rights. If the mother chooses to put a child up for adoption without the father’s consent, even if they are not married, it can cause serious problems later.
Take, for example, the case of a 2-year-old boy living in Utah. His birth mother and father are both from Pennsylvania and, when his birth mother wanted to give him up for adoption, his birth father refused. So, instead of respecting the father’s wishes, the mother went to Utah and had an induced labor. There, because of state paternity laws, she was able to give the child up without the birth father’s consent.
Now, that father is fighting to get his son back. Unfortunately, there will be no real winner in this situation. The child may have to leave the only home it has ever known, the birth father may never see his child, or the adoptive parents may lose a child whom they thought they had adopted legally.
Under Pennsylvania law, a father must relinquish his parental rights to a child in order for it to be put up for adoption. This is meant to protect the child, the birth parents and the adoptive parents, and is a necessary first step in facilitating a happy adoption.
Source: Fox 13 News, “Penn. man claims his child was put up for adoption without his knowledge,”Kiersten Nuñez, March 5, 2014
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