Fathers' Rights

Fathers’ Rights | Adoption Law in North Carolina | 919-306-2899

In most adoptions, the emphasis is placed on the mother for obvious reasons. The father is also important. But not all fathers are equal.

When a child is born to a married couple in North Carolina, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. A husband has the same legal parental rights as the mother, even if he is not actually the biological father of the child. For unmarried biological fathers, the rules are very different.

Biological Fathers’ Rights in an Adoption

Unmarried biological fathers do not automatically have legal rights to parent their children. Unmarried biological fathers must take affirmative steps and act before the child is born to establish and protect their parental rights.

Right to Notice

During an adoption, every potential birth father has the right to receive legal notice that the child he may have fathered is going to be placed for adoption. After this legal notice is delivered, the father will have a brief period of time to act to protect his parental rights. To protect your rights, you must respond and object.

Waiting to receive a legal notice may be too late. If you do not act promptly, even before the child is born, you may lose the opportunity to protect your parental rights. Each case is different, so you should consult an experienced adoption attorney to get details on your specific situation.

If The Father Does Not Agree With The Adoption

Biological fathers must act before the child is born to protect their parental rights. Unwed biological fathers have a duty to inquire about whether the mother is pregnant. Unwed biological fathers have a duty ask the mother “Could I be the father?”

An unwed biological father must acknowledge his paternity, even if he is not sure he is the father. Unwed fathers must accept their parental obligations and contribute to the needs of the mother and child. If an unwed father wants to protect his right to parent his child, he needs to act like a husband.

If you think you could be the father of a child and you want to know how to protect your parental rights, contact an experienced adoption lawyer.

If the Father Wants to Be Involved and Agrees with the Adoption

If you are not ready for the 24/7 job of being a parent, adoption can be the right choice for you and a wonderful opportunity for the child. Participating in the adoption process is the best way to protect your rights. Being involved gives you the opportunity to participate in selecting adoptive parents. It gives you the opportunity to receive updates and pictures over the years.

If you are the biological father of a child and are not married to the mother, you need to act promptly, or you risk losing your parental rights. Call for a consultation to find out what your rights are and learn about your options.

It is important to have an experienced adoption attorney on your side to protect your parental rights. Bobby Mills has over 30 years’ experience in adoption law in North Carolina and can help you navigate the process. Call us today at (919) 533-4025 to schedule a consultation.

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Why Choose Mills Adoption Law?

  • Experience–Attorney Bobby Mills has over 35 years of experience representing birth parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents through all aspects of adoption and parental rights.
  • Adoption Specialist–Other firms include adoption and parental rights as part of their larger family law practice areas. At Mills Adoption Law, we focus exclusively on adoption, parental rights, and foster parent rights.
  • Board-Certified–Attorney Bobby Mills is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproductive Attorneys, certified by the board as a specialist in family law, and the former director of a child placement agency.
  • Agency Attorney–At Mills Adoption Law, we also represent child placement agencies and their clients.

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Why Should You Choose An Adoption Attorney?

Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing the process are quite complex. Working with an attorney with significant experience in adoption law will help ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly.

An adoption attorney will:


We will provide an unbiased explanation of adoption procedures and develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs.


We will assess the risks involved, including determining what payments are permissible and ensuring that birth parents are treated fairly and their rights are legally terminated before placement is finalized.


We will clarify your options, if any, for post-placement arrangements with birth parents, making sure your interests and those of the child are served.

Adopting Attorney | Adoption Law in North Carolina | 919-306-2899


We will explain your rights and adoption laws in your state or refer you to attorneys who practice in other states or internationally.


We will review and negotiate the adoption agency contract to protect your interests.

You Should...


You should contact an attorney as early as possible in the decision-making process.


Learn about the specific types of adoption services the attorney provides. Ask what percentage of the practice is dedicated to adoption and how many adoption proceedings the attorney has handled.


Choose an attorney who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.

Adopting A Child | Adoption Law in North Carolina | 919-306-2899


Know what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and that you can afford the services.


Ask questions, request references, share your concerns and provide the attorney with all relevant documents. Ask for a written retainer agreement that outlines what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and other details regarding fees and fee payment.

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