Most people think that adoption choices only involve the woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and that the baby’s father has fled the scene. But the truth is, many adoption plans are made by both birth parents.
Whether they’re still in a relationship or not, these two people are making the best decision they can for their baby because they’re not in the position to raise a child together.
If a birth father is open to supporting the adoption plan, the whole process tends to go better. Plus, it leads to better long-term results for everyone involved, including the birth mother, birth father, and child. Lifetime encourages birth fathers to get involved in their child’s adoption from the start. Even if he’s not together with you anymore, he can take part in the adoption planning process. This might mean that he helps you pick an adoptive couple, narrowing down your top choices and then participating in the first phone call with your top pick.
Is your baby’s birth father okay with your decision to make an adoption plan? Here are 4 ways that he can support you right now:
1. Encourage You During the Adoption Process
As he works with you to create your adoption plan, your guy might realize that there are things he can’t provide. But, he can help guide you towards those who can. For example, he might encourage you to seek counseling during your pregnancy and adoption process. Lifetime Adoption provides no-cost counseling from a licensed therapist, and we can also connect you with a Peer Support Counselor. To learn more, call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.
Your baby’s father can also support your adoption plan just by being there. He could go with you to your prenatal appointments, or join in on phone conversations with your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime. Another great way to support you is to provide the information that’s requested of him by your adoption representative and attorney.
2. Provide Emotional and Practical Support
The most important thing a birth father can do is to give you the emotional and practical support that you need. Adoption is a difficult, emotional decision to make, and so he can help out by genuinely listening to your concerns, worries, and providing a shoulder to cry on.
Besides emotional support, he can also provide you practical support by driving you to appointments, being available throughout your pregnancy, following through on commitments, and by just asking you for what you need.
3. Understand His Adoption Rights
As the birth father, your guy has his own rights in adoption too. He should take steps to understand what his rights are, to make sure that the adoption process goes smoothly.
Each state has different laws and requirements about a birth father’s legal rights and responsibilities. Lifetime can help you speak with an attorney at no cost if you have questions about birth fathers and their legal rights in adoption.
4. Decide on Future Contact
Most adoptions today are open, meaning that you stay in touch with the adoptive parents and your child after the adoption. Open adoption is well-known to be the best thing for the child because he or she can grow up not having to wonder where they came from.
Your baby’s father can decide on future contact with his child as well, which might look like receiving updates through pictures and emails. Or, it could even mean having visits with the adoptive parents and your child. Many adoptive couples are open to having a relationship with both birth parents because they know that it’s in the child’s best interests.
With modern adoption a child’s birth father can be involved in the adoption process, and in life-after-adoption. It’s wonderful when he wants to be a part of making an adoption plan for his child! Part of modern adoption means the birth parents have choices in how the adoption planning will go, and what the connection will look like with the adoptive parents of their choice and their child in the future. Even if he’s no longer in relationship with the child’s birth mother, a man can take part in his child’s adoption story at his comfort level.
Adoptive parents would happily embrace the chance to know their child’s birth father, if he wants to be involved. After all, he’s a part of that child’s story too!
If you’re considering adoption for your baby or young child, and want to know what it could be like for you, just call, text, or message us. We’re here to share resources or answer any questions as you decide what you want for your child’s future.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 12, 2019, and has since been updated.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.