Can Biological Father Cancel Adoption If He Didn't Know About the Child's Birth ?
In Robert O. v. Russell K., 80 N.Y.2d 254, 590 N.Y.S.2d 37, 604 N.E.2d 99 (1992), a biological father moved to vacate an adoption claiming that the child's mother or the state had a duty to ensure that he knew of the child's birth.
The Court, however, concluded that the biological father was not entitled to either notice or consent of the adoption because he failed to take any steps to discover the pregnancy.
The Court found that the mother did nothing to conceal the pregnancy or her whereabouts and that the burden was on the biological father to find out whether he had fathered a child.
The Court further noted that to require a mother to disclose the name of the child's biological father would be an infringement upon her right to privacy, and that the State and the Constitution do not compel such disclosure; Ms. Roman testified that Ms. D. informed her that she did in fact advise Mr. G. that she was pregnant with the subject child.
Mr. G. denies being notified of the pregnancy but did not offer any testimony to suggest that Ms. D. deliberately concealed her pregnancy from him.
However, whether Ms. D. did in fact inform the respondent that she was pregnant is irrelevant. the Court in Robert O. clearly rejects the respondent's contention that Ms. D. or the Agency was under an affirmative obligation to notify him that he had fathered a child. See also Matter of Jessica XX., 446 N.Y.S.2d 20 (1981), aff'd sub nom. Lehr v. Robinson, 463 U.S. 248 (1983); Matter of Kevin G, 163 Misc. 2d 849, 622 N.Y.S.2d 420 (Fam. Ct. Kings County 1995).