If the mother can identity those individuals who are potentially the father, the court may require that the individuals be granted an opportunity to secure DNA testing and then an opportunity to respond to the adoption. If the identity of the father is completely unknown – a chance encounter with a stranger at a party, for example – then the court may require that notice of the adoption be published in an appropriate newspaper. In other circumstances, the court may be more creative. Ultimately, because the termination of parental rights is serious and permanent, as well as the fact that the identity of the father may later be relevant for health reasons, the court will make some effort to identify the father and include him in the proceedings.
It's funny how this question with the same or similar fact pattern has suddenly started popping up on this forum time and time again. As Mr. Hovey indicated, the different county courts have their own ways in which notice to the unknown father may be made. Publication is one way that many of the counties prefer. It can be awkward. Will the court require that the mother's name be published? Will she agree to that? The only way to learn what your county accepts as proper notice is to discuss it with an experienced adoption attorney. Adoptions under these circumstances are never risk-free due to the nature of the paternity issue, but, in my opinion, that's not a reason to forego giving this baby a good and loving home. The best of luck to you.
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