Can a Father Sign Off Rights in Indiana?

By Rebecca Rogge

Signing off paternal rights is a difficult decision. In Indiana, the law has very limited and specific circumstances in which a father is able to sign off his rights (and responsibilities) when it comes to raising his child.

Voluntary Termination

In Indiana, both parents may agree to put a child up for adoption. This situation, called voluntary termination of parental rights, is the only way in which a father can voluntarily give up his rights and responsibilities towards his child (Indiana Code Article 35). Voluntary termination can also occur if both parents agree; a father may only sign off his rights if the mother concurs.


A father may try to give up his rights by refusing to accept paternity. If a man refuses paternity of a child the mother asserts he parented, the mother may request a court-ordered blood paternity test. If the man is the father, he must accept the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood.


In Indiana, a father may give up custody of his child. However, this does not change the responsibilities of paternity; he is still responsible for child support and any other court-mandated requirements.