This article examines provisions of the Uniform Adoption Act in the context of efforts by unwed fathers to assume custody of children who have been adopted. It describes the psychological impact of adoption on the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the child, and highlights court decisions in three controversial cases involving the rights of unwed fathers in adoptions. In each case, the biological father sought to overturn an adoption to which the biological mother had consented. The adoptive parents countered with charges that the father had abandoned his child. The Uniform Adoption Act was proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to address the rights of biological fathers and promote stability for adopted children. The act establishes standard procedures for consent requirements, revocation of consent, representation for the child in a contested adoption, notice, petition to terminate parental rights, and time frames for finalization. In general, it emphasizes the best interests of the child and strengthens the rights of adoptive parents. The author recommends that states recognize the value of the proposed consent requirements and adopt the act.
Biology is Important, But Does Not Necessarily Always Constitute a "Family": A Brief Survey of the Uniform Adoption Act.
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