Document Type



In newborn adoptions in the United States, the participation rights of too many unwed, fit biological fathers are unfairly considered. Some fathers have little or uncertain information about their children prior to or at birth through no fault of their own, yet are denied participation rights. Other fathers have little guidance on the steps necessary under law to prompt an opportunity to participate. Governments do little truly to inform and guide, though the parental opportunity interest involves "one of mankind's most important rights," often accorded federal constitutional protection. As a matter of public policy, American state governments should treat unwed biological fathers more fairly by reforming their laws on participation rights in newborn adoptions.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Jeffrey A. Parness, Participation of Unwed Biological Fathers in Newborn Adoptions: Achieving Substantive and Procedural Fairness, 5 J.L. & Fam. Stud. 223 (2003).


College of Law

Legacy Department

College of Law



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