Updated: Jun 14
As you are embarking on your domestic private adoption journey, here is my word of caution:
Make sure the agency you're working with, or the biological mother's attorney has identified every possible biological father that the child could have.
This. is. critical.
In a lot of situations, sometimes the biological mother doesn't know who the father of the child is. Maybe she thinks there are two or three possible biological dads. Either way, she has to properly identify ALL of the possible biological fathers because every one of them have be given notice of the adoption.
I had a situation come up where a baby is being adopted from another state. The baby was born in another state and will be adopted here in Nebraska. This is what happened: the biological mom swore to myself and her own attorney that her boyfriend was the biological father of the child. She signed an affidavit identifying the boyfriend as the child's only possible biological father. The boyfriend stated that he was the biological father and signed all the papers needed for the adoption. The biological mother also signed the papers needed for the adoption.
My clients came home with the baby, and everything was going great until...
One year later, we get a call from a random person who says "Hey, biological mom just broke up with her boyfriend and the boyfriend came to my house and he told me that I'm the child's dad." You can probably imagine the shock.
So what happened was that the biological mom thought for sure that this guy who has now shown up, couldn't possibly be the father of her child. This is why she didn't identify him as one of the possible biological dads for the child.
But this is the thing.
If there's anybody at all that the biological mother thinks could have been the father, it's better to identify them as possible biological dad than not. Now, you're safe if there's already a child support order or a custody order for the child because there is a court order that says "John Doe is the father of the child". If there were any other possible dads, it doesn't matter because a judge has already ordered "John Doe" is the dad. A paternity test is taken to come to that conclusion so we can count on that court order.
But if there is no child support or custody order, you have to make sure that you identify all of the possible biological fathers, and all of them have to be notified of the adoption. And ideally, all of them have to agree, but there are exceptions to that.
So be sure to ask a lot of questions and make sure that the biological mom has identified all the possible biological dads for the child.