Father’s Consent to Adoption

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Pursuant to 23 Pa. C.S. Section 2711(a), a consent must be signed by the following individuals where applicable: (1) the child(ren) being adopted if over 12 years of age; (2) the spouse of the adopting parent if that spouse is not also a petitioner; (3) the natural parent(s) of any minor child(ren) being adopted; (4) the guardian of an incapacitated child up for adoption; and (5) the guardian of a minor child or persons having custody when the adoptee has no parent whose consent is required. Subsection (c) discusses specific time limitations as to when a consent can be signed however these time limitations are directed towards the natural mothers. A consent cannot be executed by a birth mother within seventy-two (72) hours of the birth.

A putative father can consent at any time after receiving notice of expected or actual birth of the child. A putative father is one whose legal relationship with the child has not been established but suspects he is the father born to a woman that he is not married to at the time of the child’s birth. A putative father is distinguishable from a birth father whose legal relationship with the child is established due to marriage to birth mother. A birth father would also need to wait a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours before executing a consent for it to be valid. Consent may be executed outside of Pennsylvania and still recognized here if executed in accordance with the law in the location where it was signed. The consent is irrevocable thirty (30) days after signature absent proof of fraud or duress.