Saturday, September 17, 2011

Working Through

What a crazy week. It began with devastating news that the birth father is not going to willingly give consent to this adoption. In fact, he has stated that he is going to get a lawyer and try and block us from adopting the baby. I have learned a lot about birth parent rights this week, and I must say I'm relieved. Let me elaborate:

There are two types of birth fathers: Presumed and Alleged. A presumed father is a one that was living with or married to the birth mom. An alleged is one that is either the "only possible father," openly stating he is the baby's father, etc. So, ours is an alleged father. And, actually he has less rights than you would think. We really thought that the term, "blood is thicker than water" stood firm. But, in order for our birth father to block this adoption successfully he must do the following: provide emotional and financial support during the pregnancy at a reasonable point once he learned of the pregnancy. He must be able to support the baby on his own and provide a sturdy parenting plan.

Our birth father has not been supportive to our birth mom. In fact, he really has been a negative influence to her since she's been pregnant. He does not have parenting plan. So, I have discussed this situation in detail with both our lawyer and our social worker and have been assured by both that he cannot block this adoption given his current situation.

Does it mean we're in the clear? No. When baby is born, he will get served papers stating that his rights will be terminated and our adoption granted in thirty days. If he chooses to appeal this within thirty days we will be going to court. The court process can be long. It can be expensive.

We have decided that we will continue to pursue this adoption unless one of two things happens:
  1. The birth father begins to perform the duties necessary to block the adoption, and it begins to seem that we may not "win" against his appeal.
  2. We find out that this young man truly is attempting to parent for the right reasons. If he genuinely wants to be this baby's father, we won't stand in his way because this is HIS baby first and foremost.
So, as of today we are 15 weeks 5 days pregnant. We leave in less than a month to go to visit our birth mom and her family, and find out the gender of our baby. Last week she told us that she'd actually like us to be at the doctor's appointment with her for the sonogram. We are elated and trying to move our plane tickets around to try and be there for that appointment, what an amazing thing to share!

Our home study process has begun, we have completed one of our three classes, and have our "intake interview" (with the social worker) on Monday, followed by our second class on Tuesday night. It's a big time commitment because the classes are 1.5 hours away,start at 5:30pm and go til 9:30pm, and occur on week nights. Oh well, pressing forward, it will be worth it in the end!

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