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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
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My girlfriend and i recently found out she is about 6 weeks

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My girlfriend and i recently found out she is about 6 weeks pregnant.we are pro life,and each over the age of 21.However we are unready and unable to support a child.we have contacted an adoption agency and are planning to finding a good home for our unborn child.after researching a bit on the internet i have become a bit nervous and have some questions.when we go to the agency to submit our information and my information as the childs father, what other information or actions on my part must be completed so i legally have a say in the adoption?what will they ask us to sign,and when?also i have read that in order for the adoption plan to continue/begin i must reliquish my rights (i believe was also said to be a "voluntary"termination or parental rights)to the mother/agency/adoptive soon will they want this to happen?how soon can i relinquish my rights?and what happens if i do relinquish my rights and she changes her mind?will my rights be restored?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for asking Just Answer:


First, for you to retain any possible rights you need to register as the putative father as follows:

Does State have a Putative Father Registry:


Registry/Paternity Requirements to Receive Notice

Statute: § 170-B:6 [Effective January 5, 2005]

  • The putative father may file before the child's birth, but shall file prior to the birth mother's parental rights being surrendered or involuntarily terminated.
  • The putative father must complete an Office of Child Support Services form.
  • The putative father has 30 days from the date of notice to request a hearing to prove that he is the father.

Once you have registered as a putative father then you will be entitled to all notices with regard to the adoption. After you have been registered as the father then the adoption cannot take place without your consent.


Here are the specific statutes about consent and your timing:

When Consent Can Be Executed

Statute: § 170-B:8
[Effective January 2, 2005]

  • No consent is valid until at least 72 hours after the child's birth.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Statute: §§ 170-B:9; 170-B:10
[Effective January 2, 2005]

  • Any parent surrendering rights must be represented by legal counsel.
  • Relinquishments shall be executed through an agency or the department.
  • Consent must be in writing and executed in court or before an authorized person.
  • In agency placements, consent can be executed before an authorized representative.
  • At the time of relinquishment, the parent shall file with the court an affidavit stating that the parent has been informed of available counseling services.
  • The surrendering parent shall file with the court medical and background information about the birth parents and the child.

Revocation of Consent

Statute: § 170-B:12
[Effective January 2, 2005]

  • A parent wishing to withdraw consent shall notify the court in writing prior to the entry of the final decree.
  • Consent may not be withdrawn unless the court finds that:

    • The parent seeking to withdraw his or her consent has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the surrender was obtained by fraud or duress.
    • The withdrawal of consent is in the best interests of the child.
    • Consent may not be withdrawn after entry of the final decree for any reason.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

sorry john,i dont understand all the technicallities of it,this is all the same things i saw online that confused me.i do apolgize but would you be able to reply in laymans terms? accoding to this even though we are going through an agency i do not have the option to voluntarily terminate my rights until 3 days after the child birth?what happens if she changes her mind before then and i do not?

Expert:  John Legal replied 7 years ago.

Neither one of you have the right to terminate your rights until 3 days after the birth. If either of you refuse to terminate her rights at that time then the child will not be adopted. If she changes her mind then the child will not be adopted. Same with you, if you change your mind and refuse to terminate on the 3rd day then the child will not be adopted.


From the time you consent (on the 3rd day) until the court enters the final order you can potentially withdraw your consent.if you meet one of the 3 conditions under "Revocation of consent."


Even though you sign something with an agency even agreeing to give up your rights, you cannot legally do so until 3 days after the birth.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ahh i see,i just need one more bit of clarification john (sorry i know im the sharpest tool in the shed).after the child is born and the 3 days have past, if she chooses to give up her rights but i do not,or vice versa.i know the adoption will not go through but what will happen then?will just one of us get have rights to the child?will the courts just sign the consent for to those still willing to do so?and if so how are they alerted that this is the case?
Expert:  John Legal replied 7 years ago.

You should be able to revoke your consent if the other parent does give up their rights under the "Revocation of Consent" section. Both parents will still retain rights to the child. The court will not do anything to finalize the adoption or revoke either of your parental rights until after both of you consent.


I would suggest that both of you sign your consent at the same time. I would suggest that to clear up any potential problems that both of you sign at the same time.


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Edited by John Wills on 12/1/2009 at 2:32 AM EST
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