If you’ve just decided that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby, you might be wondering about how to bring up the topic with the baby’s father. It could turn into an emotional conversation for both of you, but having a plan ahead of time can make it easier to bring up. Here, we provide information and tips for talking to your baby’s birth father about adoption.
Before you tell the baby’s father about your plans, try to get some advice from an adoption professional. Your adoption coordinator at Lifetime can answer your questions and give you advice on your situation. Here are some valid questions you could ask:
- What does the baby’s father need to know?
- What if I’m not sure he is the father?
- What if I don’t know how to get in contact with the father?
- What if I don’t know where he is?
Your Adoption Coordinator will explain birth father legal rights to you and help prepare for your conversation with him. Some women are extremely uncomfortable and worried about this conversation. If this is the case with you, your adoption coordinator can arrange a phone call between the three of you so that you can tell him the news with her present. If you’re still uncomfortable with this, the adoption coordinator can notify the father about the adoption for you.
Make a Plan
It’s best to start the talk with the father sooner rather than later. Before you talk with him, it will help to write down your thoughts. Then, rehearse what you plan to say in front of a friend or your adoption coordinator for their feedback.
Having a good plan can help you say what you want without getting distracted or nervous. Calmly list the reasons you’re thinking about adoption. Your baby’s father may feel a sense of relief that you have a plan for the future. Hopefully, the decision is one you can make together. You will want to be prepared just in case he is against the idea of adoption at first. When you tell the birth father about your decision, be sure to include:
- Why you chose adoption
- How many choices modern, open adoption gives the two of you
- What will be expected of him in this decision
Give Him Time
Remember that he may be surprised to hear you’ve decided to place his baby for adoption. Emotionally packed conversations like this hit everyone differently.
He may disagree with your adoption decision at first, but later, he may change his mind after he thinks about it. Give him time to process his feelings about adoption. You have had some time to think about it – he will need some too.
After giving him the information, suggest that the two of you get back together in a few days to talk some more. Before you leave, give him the name of your adoption coordinator and encourage him to call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 to speak with them. Your adoption coordinator will provide information to him that could help as he processes everything.
He Can Participate in the Adoption Process
If he is supportive of your decision, you can encourage him to help you during the adoption planning process. Encourage him to join you when you talk with the adoption coordinator. She can answer his questions and give him information. Your adoption coordinator may also be able to offer him other support, like counseling.
You can work together with your baby’s father to:
It’s Your Decision
When the father hears your adoption decision, he may have an opinion for or against it. Ultimately, you’re the one who will choose what’s best for you and your child.
When you’re in an unplanned pregnancy, you have three choices: abortion, adoption, or parenting. It’s important to weigh your options to make the right decision. If the baby’s father is pressuring you in any way, be sure to talk to your adoption coordinator for help.
Do I Have to Tell Him About My Decision?
What if you don’t want to tell the birth father about your decision? There may be some reasons not to contact him.
Risk to you or your child– If you feel that telling him you are considering adoption could put you or the baby at risk, you don’t need to contact him right away. Explain your situation to your adoption coordinator, and she can put you in touch with an adoption attorney. The lawyer and your adoption coordinator can tell you what you legally need to do and how to keep you and your baby safe.
Don’t know him well– If you don’t know the father very well, you still need to notify him about the adoption. But you don’t need to be the one who tells him. Your adoption coordinator can help you explain the situation to him.
While every situation is unique, open and honest communication with the birth father is best in most cases. Give him a chance to be involved in the adoption process. Point him towards the Lifetime website where he can see birth father stories and get more information about birth fathers and adoption.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.