As a biological parent, you have full parental rights up until you consent to the adoption of your child. Often times, states will not allow you to legally consent until after the child is born. Birth father’s rights in this regard vary. See an attorney to review the options available in your state.
If you have consented to the adoption of your child, it is very unlikely that you can revoke your consent. Although the law varies from state to state, even the states most favorable to revocation only allow it for up to 21 days. Other states do not allow revocation at all, or only in cases of fraud, duress, coercion or misrepresentation.
There may be options for you, if you are considering adoption but want to keep contact with your child. There are generally three kinds of adoption:
- confidential adoption: birth and adoptive parents never know each other; consequently adopted children never know their birth parents
- adoption with some openness: some degree of contact can exist between birth parents and adopted children – this could include infrequent exchange of letters and pictures
- open adoption: the adopted child has the opportunity to develop a relationship with her birth parents
Because the adoption laws vary from state to state, as do the laws concerning revocation, it would be wise to talk to a lawyer. Speaking with an adoption attorney will help you understand your options, and will ensure that you take the right steps to retain your rights.