Utah Supreme Court rejected an unwed father’s appeal to reverse the 2011 adoption of his son on November 4. William Bolden had completed some of the requirements to claim paternity, but did not file a sworn affidavit stating he was able and willing to support his child. The affidavit is just one requirement listed in the Utah Adoption Act for unwed fathers to maintain their parental rights. Bolden is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Earlier this year, Utah Governor, Gary Herbert signed a bill that may require birth mothers to notify the father before placing her child for adoption. The bill also stipulates a birth mother live in Utah for at least 90 days before the child’s birth, thus helping to eliminate adoptions without the birth father’s consent.
Although paternity rights and requirements vary from state to state, generally unwed fathers who do not give their consent for adoption of their child must not only prove paternity, but also show a great commitment to parenting in order to protect his rights as the child’s parent. This means providing for the child’s needs, which typically includes maternity and birth expenses.
Because adoption laws vary by state, birth fathers must become informed of the laws in the state where the birth will take place.