Can a Father Give up His Rights for His Child?

A father is allowed to give up his rights under certain circumstances, but voluntary termination of parental rights is often more difficult than involuntary termination, says Children are considered to have a right to a parental relationship and a right to financial support and care from their parents.

Each state has a statute that governs parent-child relationships and permits their involuntary or voluntary termination, notes Most states require both the parent whose rights are to be terminated and the custodial parent to agree on the action. Courts are reluctant to allow parents to relinquish their rights solely to eliminate their financial and emotional obligations. Courts generally only grant a request for termination when they find that there is "good cause" for doing so, such as in the case of an adoption. Wishing to end financial support for a child or to have no further contact with the child's other parent are two common reasons for requesting termination of rights, and neither is usually considered "good cause."

Another situation that would end a father's rights and responsibilities is when a minor is granted emancipation, explains Nolo. Children who are emancipated gain the right to function as adults in society and their parents no longer have any say in their lives. The specific rights of emancipated minors vary from state to state and eligibility for emancipation is specified by state law.