If you’re wondering how birth fathers become involved in an adoption plan and be there after his baby’s adoption, keep reading. Choosing adoption for your child can have its ups and downs. The life-changing decision of placing a child for adoption not only affects the birth mothers, but it also affects the birth fathers as well. Whatever your circumstance that led to your choice of choosing adoption, you should know of your rights as a birth father, especially if you’d like to be involved in the adoption from beginning to end. Also, know that there are all kinds of resources for birth fathers if you’re struggling with your decision.
You’re Expecting A Baby, But You Don’t Want To Parent.
No birth father wants to admit that he can’t take care of his child, but if you find yourself in any of these situations, you should really talk with the birth mother about your options.
- You’re in and out of the birth mother’s life.
- You’re in an unstable situation.
- You aren’t financially prepared.
- You’re facing homelessness/are homeless.
- You realize you’re not mature enough to parent.
- You’re struggling with an addiction.
- You don’t want to be a single father.
- You’re in a toxic relationship.
- You want to focus on school or your career.
- You have other children to take care of.
- You’re struggling with personal challenges and feelings.
- You want your baby to be raised in a stable and loving home.
- You don’t have a good relationship with the baby’s mother.
- You don’t have a support system to help you parent.
- You don’t have the funds to pay child support.
- You don’t want the birth mother to have to go through with an abortion.
- You still want to see your child grow up by choosing an open adoption.
- You see how great adoption can be.
By choosing adoption, you’re giving your baby a chance at life, and for your baby to have a great future being raised by adoptive parents.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Choosing an Open Adoption?
Choosing an open adoption has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Just see how much the good outweighs the bad, and see how your child could benefit from open adoption.
- You get to choose the adoptive family for your baby.
- You can be open with your child about why you chose adoption for him once he’s old enough to understand it.
- You can always have a relationship with your child.
- Your child will never have to wonder who you are and what you’re like.
- Your child will understand where she came from and know who she is.
- You’ll have family support with the adoptive parents.
- You can easily establish a great relationship with the adoptive parents.
- You’ll have an extended family.
- Your child will never have to go searching for you.
- You can let the adoptive parents know of your health issues, and if those issues are hereditary.
- You can feel confident in choosing open adoption and choosing the right adoptive family.
- You’ll always have support with your adoption decision by talking with an adoption counselor or going to birth father support groups.
- You, the birth mother, and your child will all have a new beginning in life.
- Things that you want to keep confidential and private, will be known with an agency and the adoptive parents.
- Boundaries can be unintentionally crossed.
- You don’t really receive closure, and you have to be willing to communicate with both the adoptive parents and your child.
- You might not want to have as much contact, and that’ll make it harder for your child.
- You might be feeling pressured to spend time with your child.
- Your child might not want to have a relationship with you.
- If you’re unstable, the adoptive parents and child might not want you to be involved in the family’s life.
- You might have feelings of entitlement being the child’s “real father.”
- You might not like the way the adoptive family is raising your child.
- You might not want to open up about your health issues/personal issues.
- You’ll be struggling with a lot of feelings after seeing your child.
- You’ll have people in your life that won’t understand open adoption and have to face some criticism.
Realize that every adoption option has pros and cons. Try to look at the pros of open adoption, and realize what’s best for you and your child. The key to adoption is putting your child first.
Know Your Rights As the Birth Father.
What are your rights? First off, you should be notified about the adoption, and if you’re unsure you’re the father, you have the right to a paternity test. You can be supportive or unsupportive of the birth mother’s choice of choosing adoption for your child. Supportive or not, your consent to the adoption is a big deal. If you’re unsupportive, you’ll have to prove that you’re capable of parenting your child and gain custody. If you were in jail at the time the birth mother chose adoption for your child, your incarceration might have an impact on the adoption. If you’re in and out of the birth mother’s life when she decides to choose adoption, an adoption attorney might not see that you’re fit to be a parent.
If you’re supportive of the birth mother’s choice of adoption, show her that you’re supportive and will be there for her throughout the adoption. You can work with an adoption agency along with her and learn more about the adoption placing process. You can pick out the adoptive family with her, and get to know the potential adoptive parents. You can be supportive of her even going to the hospital when she delivers the baby so she doesn’t have to feel alone in her decision to place your baby for adoption. This is when she’ll need your support the most, so talk with her about the decision. Also by being supportive, you’ll get to know how your child’s doing after adoption and will be able to even visit the child by choosing an open adoption. Just know that you have a huge impact when it comes to your child’s adoption. Birth father rights vary by state, so be sure to research the laws regarding your rights as a birth father.
Be There For the Birth Mother.
Speaking of being there for the birth mother, try to be as civil as possible with her. After all, she carried the baby for nine months, and she’s also struggling with the same feelings as you are. Talk about which agencies you’d like to work with. Learn what you can about the adoption plan and how you can be involved. Offer to go with her when she meets the adoptive family, and show the adoptive parents that you and the birth mother will work together for the best interest of your child. Show her that while choosing adoption is a hard decision, remind her of the life you’d both imagine your child to have.
If you aren’t on good terms with the birth mother, don’t provoke her with arguing. Instead, be open to communicating with her about how she feels about the adoption. Really be attentive to how she thinks and feels about it, and offer to go to see an adoption counselor together. By being open about both of your feelings on the adoption and resolving those feelings, the birth mother doesn’t have to feel alone, and you both can show the adoptive parents that you want to appropriately be there for your child.
Your Child’s Become Adopted. Now What?
For your child to become adopted, you had to have signed over your parental rights. If you chose a closed adoption however, you won’t be able to contact your child until he is an adult or he wants to search for you on his own. You won’t be able to receive any updates and although it’s rare, birth parents do choose a closed adoption for a variety of reasons. Choosing a closed adoption also means that you won’t know how your child’s doing, what he looks like, or even if he thinks about you.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be out of your child’s life forever, especially if you and the birth mother have chosen an open or semi-open adoption. You can receive pictures, letters, and have visits with your child. Open adoption allows you, as the birth father, to bond and really get to know your child, and your child won’t feel like they always have to wonder who you are. Another benefit with an open adoption is that you can celebrate birthdays and holidays with your child and really get to know your child’s adoptive parents.
Meet the Adoptive Family and Gett to Know the Couple.
Meeting the potential adoptive family can be nerve-wracking, but remember you’re meeting your child’s forever family. The hopeful adoptive parents would want to get to know you and don’t be afraid to ask the couple questions. You’d want to make sure your child will be in good hands once she’s adopted, and you should feel comfortable and confident in choosing the right adoptive family.
Ask the adoptive parents what the couple’s values are, and ask what the parenting styles are like. Observe what the couple’s characteristics are and what the family feels strongly about. Pay attention to body language when the couple listens and speaks to you. Notice how the family talks to you. Do the hopeful adoptive parents treat you with respect? Is the couple courteous, friendly, and honest? Do you feel like you are treated like you’re an important factor in your child’s life? Do the adoptive parents seem cordial with each other?
Here are some questions to ask the adoptive family:
- Why did you choose to adopt?
- What are your beliefs?
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you feel comfortable with an open adoption?
- How much involvement will I have in my child’s life after adoption?
- Will you be open to communicating with me with and without the birth mother knowing?
- Will you let me spend a certain amount of time with my child?
- Are you going to talk to my child about their adoption?
- What would you like my child to call me?
- What are your hobbies, and what do you like to do for fun?
- Do you have other children?
- What is your community like?
- Are you and your family members and in-laws close?
- What ways would you like to communicate with me, and in what ways can I communicate with you?
These questions are important to ask so you know who will be raising your child. The adoptive family shouldn’t feel offended when you ask questions, you just want the comfort of knowing that your child will be in great and loving hands.
Ask The Adoptive Parents How You Can Become Involved In The Adoption.
The adoptive parents should be open to welcoming you into the couple’s lives, not only for your benefit but for your child’s benefit as well. You can receive and send letters and photo updates of your child, and you can receive and make phone calls and send emails.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the adoptive parents if you’d like to be involved in your child’s life. Most likely, the couple would admire the fact that you want to be there for your child, and let you bond with him. By forming a bond with both your child and the adoptive parents, you’ll get to be there for his big moments like birthdays and holidays, and the adoptive parents will keep you updated on what happens in your child’s life.
Being involved in the adoption will benefit everyone in the adoption. Remember that you have a choice in the adoption plan, that you have rights, and that you’re choosing to make your child’s life better for your child. You can always be there for the birth mother if she wants you in her life, and most importantly, you can be there for your child throughout his or her life.
Kandice Confer is an adopted twin, wife, and mother of two girls who loves spending time with her family and two rabbits. She loves reading and writing inspirational works of literature and loves telling stories.