Unmarried biological fathers tend to have less rights in adoption cases than mothers. Fathers who live with the mother also have more rights than those who never lived with the mother. Either way, marriage or no marriage, living together or not living together, all biological fathers have certain rights in adoption situations that cannot be ignored.
Although all states have different laws regarding unmarried biological father rights, almost all of them require a notice or alert to the biological father of adoption proceedings. Twenty-three states have putative father registries. A putative father is someone with a child born out of wedlock.
Putative fathers may only revoke a notice for intent to claim paternity in about half the states in the United States. Although most require notification, half the states don't allow the father to rescind the notice, according to AdoptionServices.org. In the states where the father has no right to revoke the intent for adoption, he can state his case in front of a judge to decide the best interest of the child.
Almost all states require the biological father's consent for adoption if he is, or was married to the birth mother, according to LegalMatch.com. If the parents never married, but lived together before or after the birth, some states require a father consent for adoption.
If a father wants to block an adoption, he must establish his parental rights by filing a court action. Unmarried fathers must act financially responsible for their child to block an adoption with a court action, says LegalMatch.com.
Unmarried fathers have a bit more difficulty blocking adoptions in certain states if they did not take responsibility for the child before adoption proceedings began. For example, Florida, New York, Georgia, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and Wisconsin all require the father to act responsibly before adoption placement to have any right to block.