A birth mother’s choices and emotions are usually the focus in adoption. While she has a lot to decide, birth fathers have lots of questions and worries, too. What about you, the father of her baby? How do you feel when the mother of your baby is considering adoption, and what are his responsibilities as the birth father?
Many times, birth fathers and birth mothers have similar emotions, including denial, depression, and grief. But one the strongest feelings that birth fathers experience is embarrassment.
Why is embarrassment so common? Many times, the man feels like they aren’t living up to the expectations put on fathers, to provide for their child. They may be worried that their family and friends look down on them as if they’ve somehow failed their child. It may also be difficult to admit that right now that they can’t provide for their child like an adoptive family can.
If you’re a guy in this situation, please know that supporting the adoption decision doesn’t mean you’re weak, irresponsible, or not living up to the responsibilities of a father. The truth is, supporting her adoption plan is the most responsible choice you can make for this situation. Adoption is a difficult decision, which takes a lot of strength. Your son or daughter and their adoptive family will remember you as a true blessing.
Even if you and your baby’s mother aren’t together anymore, you can still be a part of the adoption plan, you have legal adoption rights as a birth father. You’re even able to make your own adoption plan, separate from hers. Maybe she has a closed adoption, meaning no contact with the adoptive family after the adoption happens. But you’d like to get pictures and emails every now and then from the adoptive family. This amount of contact can be organized by your Adoption Coordinator.
If the two of you are still in a relationship, you both can choose just how you want the adoption to look. Together, you can pick the adoptive family, what the hospital stay will be like, and the amount and type of contact you want with the adoptive family.
For many birth fathers, the decision to choose adoption can be as hard as it is for the birth mother. If you’d like to speak to an Adoption Coordinator about getting involved with the adoption plan of your child, call Lifetime at
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.