What Are My Responsibilities as the Father?
How to Make a Responsible Decision
“This was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.”
--Shawn, Birth Father
When it comes to dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, much of the compassion, sympathy and focus is placed on the woman. But what about the father of the baby? How does he feel when the mother of his baby is considering adoption, and what are his responsibilities as the birth father?
It is common for birth fathers and birth mothers to experience many of the same emotions, such as grief, denial or sadness, but one of the strongest emotions that birth fathers feel is embarrassment.
Embarrassment is common because these men sometimes feel like they didn’t live up to their responsibilities as the birth father. They fear family members, friends, co-workers or fellow students will look at them as somehow failing the child. And they struggle to accept the fact that, at this point in their lives, they cannot provide for the baby like an adoptive family could.
If you are a father in a similar situation, please understand that supporting an adoption doesn’t portray you as irresponsible, weak or a man not living up to the responsibilities of a father. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Supporting the birth mother’s adoption plan is the most responsible decision you can make in this situation. Making such a difficult decision takes a great deal of strength that will make others proud. You will be remembered as a true blessing to not only your family and the adoptive family, but also to your son or daughter.
Regardless if you and the birth mother are still together, you may still be a part of the adoption plan.
If you are still together, you both can decide exactly how you want the adoption to play out. Together, you will choose the adoptive family, what kind of contact you want with the adoptive family and what the hospital stay will look like.
If you and the birth mother are not together anymore, you can still be involved in the adoption, and you can even create your own adoption plan. For example, if the birth mother is interested in a closed adoption, but you are interested in receiving pictures, letters and periodic emails from the adoptive family, that can be arranged by your adoption specialist.
In addition, American Adoptions offers counseling services before and after the baby is born to help you cope with any emotions of grief and loss.
For many birth fathers, this decision can be as difficult as it is for the birth mother. If you would like to speak to an adoption specialist about your feelings or if you wish to be involved in the adoption plan for your child, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information.
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