Fundamental Birth Parents’ Rights in Albany

Birth parents have various rights with respect to their biological children, including the right to object to an adoption. Generally, under New York Domestic Relations Law §111, both birth parents must consent to an adoption of their child if that child was born in wedlock. If the child was born out of wedlock, the birth mother and birth father have certain rights that must be respected and followed by the courts.

Biological Father’s Rights for a Child Born Out of Wedlock

A biological father’s right to object to an adoption of an out-of-wedlock child depends on when that child was placed in adoptive care. According to NYDRL §111, a birth father must consent if their child was placed in adoptive care more than six months after birth and they maintained continuous or repeated contact with that child.

Continuous or repeated contact

“Continuous or repeated contact” means the payment of a reasonable amount of child support in addition to either of the following:

  • Visiting the child at least once a month when able to do so
  • Regular communication with the child when unable to visit
Other Circumstances

There are different requirements if the child was born out of wedlock and was under six months of age when placed for adoption. Under NYDRL §111, a birth father has the right to consent to adoption in these circumstances only if:

  • The father openly lived with the child for the six-month period preceding adoption
  • The father held himself out as the child’s father
  • The father paid a reasonable amount of expenses associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child

Consent to Private Placement Adoptions

Birth parents generally have the right to consent to private placement adoptions. These adoptions are ones that proceed without the assistance of an adoption agency. According to NYDRL §115-B, one or both of the birth parents may consent to a private placement adoption in person before a judge.

The birth parent may also consent to an adoption through a signed and notarized written statement. In such instances, the birth parent has 45 days to revoke consent under the aforementioned statute. If the parent revokes consent, then they may retain custody of their child if the adoptive parents do not contest the revocation. Otherwise, a judge must hold a hearing to determine custody based on the best interests of the child.

How an Albany Birth Parents’ Rights Attorney May Be Able to Help

If you are the biological parent of a child, you may be wondering what rights you have if someone is seeking to adopt your child. Fortunately for you, a qualified Albany birth parents’ rights lawyer from our firm is available to help you answer these questions.

At Tully Rinckey PLLC, our attorneys are familiar with New York State law and could use that experience to benefit you. For example, we could review your situation and tell you what your options are, as well as represent you in any legal proceedings needed to exercise your parental rights. Call (518) 218-7100 or email today to schedule a consultation.

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