Relinquishing Fatherhood

Tamer Aydogdu
4 min readNov 21

The issue of parental rights regarding unmarried* fathers has been a complex and contentious topic for a long time. It has sparked debates about individual autonomy, child welfare, and societal norms, particularly during times when women’s right to relinquish motherhood is in question.

In almost all Western countries, the current laws state that a pregnant woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to become a mother. If she chooses not to become a mother, the father candidate has no say. However, if she decides to become a mother, the child's father must provide financial support to help raise the child.

Although the legal landscape has changed, there is still a significant difference in the rights and responsibilities of married and unmarried fathers. The main question at the center of this debate is whether unmarried fathers should be allowed the choice to waive their parental rights within a specific timeframe during pregnancy.

In Favor of Voluntary Paternity Relinquishment

Supporters of voluntary paternity relinquishment argue that it gives unmarried fathers the ability to make informed decisions about their role in their child’s life. They believe that men should have the freedom to choose whether or not to take parental responsibility, especially if they are not in a stable relationship with the child’s mother or are financially incapable of supporting a child.

Moreover, proponents of this approach emphasize the potential benefits for the child. In cases where the father is unable or unwilling to provide a nurturing and supportive environment, voluntary relinquishment could enable adoption by a suitable family, providing the child with a stable and loving home. They argue that a child should grow up in a regular two-parent household rather than face an uncertain future with an indifferent or absent father.

Addressing Concerns and Counterarguments

While there are arguments in favor of voluntary paternity relinquishment, there are also valid concerns about its potential implications…

Tamer Aydogdu

Dutch and Turkish national, progressive, dedicated to bridging cultures, fostering equality, and illuminating minds.