Birth Fathers: How You can Show Support through the Adoption Process
As a birth father, you may feel your role in the adoption process is a little unclear. When it comes to adoption, most people think about the importance of the birth mother’s role, but it’s vital to also keep in mind that you, as the birth father, have just as much influence on the process as your child’s birth mother.
In some cases, birth fathers have no desire to go through the adoption process alongside the birth mother. These birth fathers immediately give up their parental rights and ability to have any say in what happens to the child. For birth fathers who choose to go through the adoption process, however, you have the amazing opportunity to show the birth mother support and may even get the chance to help choose and meet your child’s adoptive family.
How to Show Support as a Birth Father
As a birth father going through the adoption process, one of the best ways to show the birth mother support is simply by comforting her. The two of you have made the decision together to place your child for adoption. You’ve agreed that doing so is what’s in the child’s best interest, but that doesn’t necessarily make the decision any less difficult. It’s common after making the decision to feel guilt. Maybe that feeling of guilt is stronger for one of you than the other. Maybe you both feel it strongly. When that feeling takes over, it is up to you to comfort and support her in any way you can, so that she can then be there for you. After all, you’ve chosen to go through the process together, and therefore it’s important for both of you to be there for each other during the more challenging, emotional times.
1. Help Her Determine the Type of Adoption
One of the first steps you’ll take as a birth father placing your child for adoption is deciding which type of adoption you want. You may be making this decision by yourself or with the birth mother, but, either way, this is an extremely important decision. You should do your research on each of the three types: open adoption, semi-open adoption and closed adoption.
As a birth father, it is up to you, just as much as it is up to the birth mother, to decide whether you want to be involved with your child and the adoptive family or if you want to move forward without contact. Each level of openness has its own pros and cons, so be sure that you fully understand each one before making a final decision. If you need help, your adoption caseworkers can walk you through them one by one.
2. Select the Adoptive Parents
Depending on the level of openness you chose, you and the birth mother may have the opportunity to select and interview potential adoptive families for your child. This allows you the chance to establish a relationship with the couple or individual and to learn about your child post adoption. Knowing this can help you and the birth mother get peace of mind with your choice. It will provide you with the comfort and reassurance that your child is growing up healthy, happy and safe.
Getting to select the adoptive parents as a birth father can be nerve-racking, but can take some of the pressure off you and the birth mother at the same time. Your adoption caseworker will ask if you have any preferences, requirements or wishes with what kind of family your child is raised in. For instance, do you want the family to have pets? Other children? Be a single parent? LGBT? Live in a big city or diverse neighborhood? Once you have determined this, your adoption caseworker will help you narrow down your options and then present you with prospective adoptive parent profile books based off that. If there are areas you are willing to be flexible on, she will keep that in mind, too.
3. Research all about Adoption
As the birth father, you should constantly be doing research about adoption. The more you know about adoption, the more comfortable you’ll be when making decisions throughout the process. The birth mother will likely be doing research as well, but sharing what you’ve learned with each other will show that you care, that you understand the decision you’ve made, and the adoption process in general.
For birth fathers, too, it’s wise to also do research about your rights, roles and responsibilities. There’s much information out there for birth mothers, simply because they are more likely to go through the adoption process alone. But, depending on where you live and your relationship with the birth mother, there may be resources available for you as well. Understanding this information can help you see your significance in the adoption process.
Show Support. Show Confidence. Show You Care.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is show support for the birth mother’s decisions. If you mutually agree upon a decision within the adoption process, showing your support will also show your confidence in that decision. Remember, too, that you have a voice in the adoption process. If you don’t agree on something, talk it out. Do your best to see it from the birth mother’s perspective. Resolutions can only come about if you listen to and communicate with each other. And who knows? Maybe you’ll work out a compromise.
In the midst of all of this, keep in mind that the decisions you make should always be in the best interest of your child. Think about the kind of future you want them to have, and what you wish you could give them. As important as the birth parents are in the process, at the end of the day, adoption should be about the child.For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108