Can a Birth Father Get Updates on His Child?

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Birth Parent Blog

Birth father in his living room on a video call with his daughter and the adoptive familyLifetime encourages birth fathers to get involved in their child’s adoption from the start. You can be a part of the planning process, even if you’re not in a relationship with your baby’s mother anymore.
You could help her pick an adoptive couple for your baby, narrow down your top choices of potential parents, and then interview them on the phone. As a birth father, you have rights and options in open adoption, too. One of these options is deciding how much you’d like to stay in contact with your child and the adoptive family after the adoption takes place.

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Post-Adoption Contact With Birth Fathers

Post-adoption, most adoptive parents are happy to share updates with their child’s birth father. They will appreciate the ability to have the medical history and more information from the birth father’s side, as questions may arise through the years. In fact, some of the best post-adoption contact experiences I’ve seen happen when the birth father is involved and active in the child’s life.
You can have contact with the adoptive family and your child separately from his mother. An open adoption relationship is possible even if you’re no longer together.
Contact with the adoptive couple could include emails, letters, photos, texts, social media posts, and in-person visits. A birth father can have his own open adoption contact, even if the birth mother doesn’t want or need to stay in touch with the adoptive family.
It helps the child know that both of their birth parents love them and that this, indeed, was a decision made in love. Adoptive parents value the ability to keep in contact for the sake of their child.
Handsome young man using smart phone in a city

An Example of Open Adoption

Here’s an example illustrating how simple it can be for a birth father to maintain contact with an adoptive couple in an open adoption:
Hi Chris and Stephanie,
How’s Kaylee and everything going? just been real busy with work, the company I work for won a new construction bid so Ive been doing overtime. I cant complain about the extra money though!
I agree with not posting pictures of Kaylee on social media, I just wanna see her, and I miss and think about her every day. thank you for taking real good care of her and loving her like no other. Here’s a pic of me and my mom, little sister, and girlfriend at Six Flags this summer.

Hi Josh,
It’s great to hear from you! Glad to hear that work is going well, we’re happy for you. Kaylee is quite the girly girl…she loves playing with dolls and playing dress up. She is in ballet lessons and tells us she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up.
Kaylee is obsessed with Bluey, so we threw her a Bluey-themed birthday when she turned four. Her favorite foods right now are grilled cheese sandwiches, strawberries, and chicken nuggets.
Thank you for sending the photo. We’ll show it to Kaylee. She is the happiest little girl and growing so fast.
We’re looking forward to meeting up with you later this year!
-Chris and Stephanie

Q&A on Contact in Open Adoption


“My fiancé and his ex gave up their children for adoption. The ex is saying the only way he can get updates and pictures is through her. She has continuously caused problems with us as a couple, and he no longer wishes to go through her for these updates. Does he still have the right to get updated on the kids without his ex?”


The best thing to do is to send a message (a nicely written letter, card, or email) to the adoptive parents. If your fiancé cannot contact the adoptive parents directly, he could send this through the attorney or agency that assisted in the adoption.
He can simply and kindly express his desire to receive the updates directly from the adoptive family, without saying anything negative about the ex. We don’t know the nature of the relationship between the birth mom and the adoptive parents and whether they’ve had a positive or negative experience with her. So, I recommend not involving her in this topic unless he’s asked.
If he is, he can briefly share that sometimes she chooses not to share the updates with him, so that is why he is asking. If needed, get the help of the agency or attorney to advocate on his behalf with the adoptive parents.
Please be patient with getting the ball rolling on receiving direct updates. It is such a blessing that your fiancé desires this connection. Allow time for the adoptive parents to process their reaction, as they might not know what to expect or why you’re making this request now.
Whether it is the birth mother or the birth father, people don’t “just forget and move on.” These children are a part of him and will always be. Embracing the situation and working toward the most favorable outcome for everyone is a good foundation for the future.

Modern Adoption

With modern adoption, a birth father can be as involved in the adoption process and life after adoption as he’d like. It’s beautiful when he wants to take part in choosing his child’s future through adoption!
Birth parents have choices in how their adoption planning will go, along with what the connection will look like with the adoptive parent and their child in the future. Even if he’s no longer in a relationship with the child’s birth mother, a birth father can take part in his child’s adoption story to the amount that he’s comfortable.
If he wants to be involved, many adoptive parents would happily embrace the opportunity to get to know their child’s birth father. After all, he’s a part of that child’s story, too!
We understand that adoption can be as hard for you as it is for a birth mother. Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 if you’d like to learn about being involved in your child’s adoption. We’re here to share resources and answer questions as you decide what you want for your child’s future.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 17, 2021, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

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.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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