Birth Father Frequently Asked Questions
Our birth father adoption FAQ features questions that birth fathers typically have about the adoption process.
As a birth father, you may have many questions about adoption and your rights and responsibilities. Lifetime Adoption is here to help you find the answers you need. If you don’t see your question here, feel free to call or text our 24 hour adoption answer line at 1-800-923-6784. Rest assured that any information you share with us is completely private and confidential.
I just found out my girlfriend is pregnant, and my emotions are all over the place. I am embarrassed, sad, mad, and confused. Is this normal?
Understanding the choices you have and looking at what each of those choices will require is key to moving forward and working through all of these emotions.
What choices do we have?
If parenting is an option you are considering, make sure you both understand what that means. Can you provide a safe, loving, and stable home for an infant? Can you afford all the necessities a child must have? Will you be able to parent this child together in a healthy and positive way? Do you have day care, access to transportation and medical care, and a solid support system to help when you can’t be there?
Abortion is another option that people often take too lightly. It can seem like an easy solution to solve a problem, but it is not. Abortion comes with emotions that can last a lifetime. There is no going back. Make sure you understand the facts. Look at an ultrasound of the baby or Google what the baby looks like at six weeks, eight weeks, and never pressure or give in to pressure from others to have an abortion if it is not what you feel is right in your heart.
Adoption tends to be the least known of the three choices. Adoption opens up a lot of choices to you. You and the birth mother can choose the adoptive family. You can decide how much contact you would like to have after the adoption. You will be given updates so that you will know your child is thriving in a healthy, loving home. You can even get together with your child once or twice a year. Be sure you understand the benefits of modern adoption before dismissing this choice based on lack of knowledge.
Take the time to really look at each of these choices. Make a list of pros and cons. Work with the expectant mother to decide what is best for you, her, and most importantly, the baby.
Is my life going to change forever?
When during the pregnancy do we need to make a decision about adoption?
Talk to someone you trust. Ask an adoption coordinator or a counselor you can speak with. You need to make the right decision for yourself, the birth mother, and the baby.
My parents want to raise the baby, and this is not what I want. How do I handle this?
If you have chosen adoption, let them know that they can be involved in the process. We even have birth grandparents who get updates and get to visit with their grandchild. Explain that with open adoption, their grandchild is not going to disappear and never be seen by them again. You can find a family that is open to birth grandparent contact.
How involved should I be in the pregnancy and adoption plans?
Hopefully, you and the expectant mother can work together through this time. Be supportive and ask the expectant mother how she would like for you to support her. Calm and positive communication during this time is key.
My girlfriend wants to place our baby for adoption, but I think I want to parent my child. What should I do?
You may have friends and family who are encouraging you and offering to help, which is great but be sure that if for any reason they cannot be there for you and the baby that you can handle parenting on your own. It is you that will have to be up all night if the baby is sick and then still go to work the next day. Offers of help are great, but they don’t usually pan out to be the same as another parent to help you manage 24/7.
It will be your responsibility to provide for the baby. Not just the necessities of home, food, diapers, daycare, but the unexpected costs that arise. The new clothes and shoes they are always outgrowing. The trip to the emergency room for ear infections. Dealing with all of these issues is hard when you have a partner to lean on, so on your own, you will need to be ready for all of these circumstances.
Parenting could be the best solution for you. Just make sure you are looking at what life will be like for you and your baby realistically.
What does open adoption mean for the birth father?
As an involved father, you’re able to be included in all the important, major decisions of the adoption even if you’re not still with your baby’s birth mother. You can help make this decision as smooth as possible by staying in communication. You and your baby’s mother can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, how much contact after the adoption, and what the hospital stay will be like. You can even meet with the adoptive parents before your baby is born. You can stay in touch with your baby’s adoptive parents after the placement, and get updates on your child. The contact can be through emails, photos, Facebook, and even in-person visits.
Open adoption benefits all involved. The birth parents get updates and know that their child is safe and thriving in a loving home. The adoptive parents have access to medical and genetic information, and most importantly, the child will know his history and birth family. If there are questions about why he was placed for adoption, they can be answered. If he wants to know where his blue eyes came from, he can find out. This all helps a child’s self-esteem by helping them have a sense of where they came from and knowing that they were placed with their family by their birth parents out of love.
Can I help her pick a family for our baby?
Do I have to pay for anything?
One of the most responsible things you can do is support the birth mother’s decision and adoption plans, whether or not you’re still together. Birth mothers normally choose adoption because they know it will give their baby a better life. Adoptive parents are financially stable and ready to give a child the love, home, and opportunities every child deserves.
Can my girlfriend put my baby up for adoption without my consent?
The laws about a father’s rights depend on what state you live in. In general, however, you have the right to know she’s making an adoption plan, the right to be a part of her adoption planning process, and the right to contest to the adoption if you don’t agree with it.
If you want to parent the child and the birth mother wants to place the child for adoption, you will need to show the courts that you can properly care for the child. As the specific laws vary from state to state, we recommend you speak with a lawyer to get the information on your state’s laws.
I already have children with another woman that I can’t support. What should I do?
My girlfriend and I have addiction issues and have decided adoption is the best thing for this baby. Will the baby still be able to be adopted?
My wife and I have had case plans started for our other children recently. Will they let us keep this baby?
If you do not see yourselves getting your other children back in your home, you may consider placing them with your new baby. Sibling adoption is possible, and as we do not separate siblings, they would be placed in a home together.
I don’t want anyone to know that I am placing my baby for adoption, including my parole officer. Is it possible to keep this secret?
Will my name be on the birth certificate?
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