I really, REALLY wouldn't ask this sort of thing on an internet forum, but I have no choice I need some help.. I've no one else to talk to right now.
My girlfriend is 5 months pregnant, mine and her first child. However, she has come to two conclusions in the last few months. Firstly, she decided she actually no longer loves me and doesn't want to be in a relationship with me. Secondly, she has told me she intends to put the baby up for adoption and point blank told me I've no choice whatsoever in the matter as she will be the legal guardian because we're not married and it's her choice solely, I have no rights. I believed her until I did some research and found that I could apply as legal guardian. But how would that work? Would I have to apply after the baby was born? Would the court look in my favour taking into account that she is attempting to give up her guardianship rights for adoption and I'm attempting to legally gain them? Or would the adoption process go through far faster than the time it'd take me to gain guardianship?
I'm absolutely terrified.. this is my first child, I'm extremely paternal and always have been.. this little thing means the world to me and I'm willing to fight tooth and nail to prevent him/her being taken away from me..
I think you really need to see a solicitor or go to your nearest free legal advice centre.
You need to consult a family law solicitor, if you can't afford one, apply to your nearest law centre for legal aid.
As others have suggested, you realistically need to consult a solicitor on your options.
They will almost certainly tell you that there's nothing you can do legally until the child is born, after which the process would most likely to seek guardianship which would block any attempt by her to put the child up for adoption. You will also want to set up an environment (accommodation, parental course, income, etc) whereby you can raise the child as the next step would be to seek custody.
You do need to keep contact with her, at the very least know when the child is born and her address (as legal correspondence will be sent there). I certainly would not tell her of your intentions as she will then be able to vanish so she can put the child up for adoption after the birth, or decide to go for an abortion instead - she may not want to raise the child, but she almost certainly will not want to pay anyone maintenance to do so either.
So as Machiavellian as it sounds, I'd probably stop objecting to her plans, keep friendly if at all possible and plan and prepare in the background, without her knowledge. Your first stop, of course, should be to seek legal advice.
I have nothing of value to add, but I want to wish you well and admire you for doing this... Good luck and
do you know what your rights are, have you gone to anyone who know for certain what the law is on this, do you have a say
He doesn't have many rights, but he can theoretically block an adoption. Adoption is a pretty rigorous process and naturally a significant amount of care is made that there isn't a father on the scene who might object before it can happen, even if he does not have guardianship.
The problem arises if she knows in advance that he may attempt to block adoption, because without guardianship then she can change address and go somewhere where she can claim there is no interested father or that she doesn't even know who the father is. With guardianship, she cannot legally put the child up for adoption without his consent. An open application for guardianship will also block any adoption process.
However you cannot apply for guardianship until the child is born and this means that if she catches wind that this is his plan she can do a runner before this happens.
He could offer to take custody of the child after birth, given she does not want it, but that would show his hand and she would be unlikely, IMHO, to agree to such an arrangement as it would open her up to claims of maintenance.
Of course, there is no guarantee that he will be allowed to block her wish to put the child up for adoption - Ireland being Ireland, I would not be overly surprised if ultimately a court ruled against him, especially if it decided he could not have custody (hence the importance of making arrangements that would show the court you're serious in this regard).
Ultimately, while I suspect what I've presented is probably pretty accurate, he really should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The only other thing that I have advised is that he should do this without her knowing what he's up to.
I would have to say that I also admire what he is doing and hope he is able to find success in it.
As far as I know, if she plans to put the baby up for adoption, the father (in the case of baby born outside of marriage) MUST be informed where possible (i.e. if no one knows who the father is and cannot be found). She does not need your consent if you do not have guardianship, but you must be consulted. Get a family law solicitor and they'll advise whether you can begin a process or just have to wait til the baby's born.
By any chance could her hormones have gone mad or something? Just a thought, pregnancy is a time when so so so many changes occur in the body and this can have a negative impact on mental health.
That is unfortunately incorrect. Legally she must only make a "reasonable attempt to consult the father" and as such there is no legal requirement that she MUST do so.
I stand corrected. That's what I understood from Citizens Advice website. that if the father is known, but has no guardianship rights, he has the right to be informed. Was there a case where a child was adopted without the fathers consent and he got the baby back? I seem to remember something along those lines.
The requirement is kept fuzzy (the Citizens Advice website even puts "if possible" in parenthesis after this).
This makes sense as if the child is, for example, a product of a one-night-stand and the father cannot be traced, as it would be both impractical and unfair to demand that the mother consult the father under such circumstances. The flip side is that the mother can simply claim to have done so, or that she does not know who the father is to circumvent this requirement and go ahead with the adoption.
Also bare in mind, this covers adoption only in Ireland; she can have the child in another country where the rules may differ.
In theory an adoption might be overturned if discovered after the fact, but I'd imagine that it would be a very difficult and messy thing to do - in fairness, I'm not a lawyer, so cannot say.
i ask then in the case of she saying she does not know who the dad is, or is saying that the dad is not interested, do paternity tests become necessary for him to prove that he is the dad, also can he consult the adoption agencies before the baby is born, that he wishes to rear his own child as a single parent,
if he could attend the day the child is coming into the world would send his point across more,
just my thinking on this
Thanks folks for the advice.. lucky for me she can't really hide who the Dad is, I'm close with her family and they as well as mine know. Also there's no way she could leave the country in the meantime. I guess I need to look into getting some legal advice.. I really appreciate this folks.