Speaking Out About Birth Fathers
Posted on November 29, 2013 by Jeffrey A. Kasky
We often hear about birth mothers, the selfless women who go through the agonizing decision to put their child up for adoption. However, not as much is written about birth fathers. Are they getting the short end of the stick?
Sometimes and sometimes not. You can’t stereotype the young men who may or may not stand by the decision of the birth mothers.
Birth fathers are often perceived as reckless and wild men who do not want to take responsibility for their actions. They flit from woman to woman, and since they are not the one usually in charge of birth control, they perceive the situation as the female’s problem, not theirs. Or, we pigeon hole them as married men who don’t want their wives to know they are having an affair and callously suggest an abortion.
Men Feel Grief and Loss Too
Although it is easy to brush birth fathers aside, some birth fathershave the same feelings as birth mothers and experience guilt, shame and a sense of loss. Some men want to marry the mother and raise the baby together and some make decisions alongside the mother for adoption. Others marry the mother later and they go on to have more children, which increases the feelings of loss, knowing their first child is not with them.
Somewhat rarer is birth fathers who want custody of the child without the mothers involvement. From all these different scenarios, you can see that every circumstance is different and every set of parents and their wishes unique. However, to minimize the birth fathers grief or to stereotype them would be irresponsible.
“In most adoption cases, everybody wants him [the birthfather] out of there,” says Mary Martin Mason, the Minneapolis-based author of Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers’ Stories, one of the few books that tackles the subject of birthfathers. “He’s a legal problem. “However, many of the birth fathers that Mason interviewed for her book had feelings of sadness and remorse, feelings that negatively affected their future marriages and relationships.
The Legal Aspect
Fortunately, at One World Adoption, our agency was founded and is run by lawyers who ensure that everything is done legally, to protect both the birth parents and the adopted parents. Too often the media has sensationalized stories where birth fathers contest an adoption after the baby has already been placed with his new adopted parents. This was evident with Baby Jessica, a case in Ann Arbor MI whose birth father contested and won custody of his daughter. This is rare, but cases like this do not happen at our agency.
With most adoptions being open adoptions in this day and age, ideally both birth parents would remain in the adoptee’s life. This gives children a more open connection to who they really are, secure in their knowledge of why their parents gave them up for adoption.
At One World Adoption, we recognize the importance of both of the birth parents if both want to be involved pre and post adoption. We are proud to say we are birth parent friendly, caring about the emotional and financial needs of both the birth mother and birth father. We will make sure all legal requirements are met, and that all sets of parental rights are acknowledged, so the process can be as stress free as possible.
If you are looking for a safe haven to carry your adoption plans forward, call One World Adoption today at 800-745-
About the Author:
Robert A. Kasky, Esq. is a Florida adoption attorney and President of One World Adoption Services, Inc., a Florida-licensed not-for-profit child placing agency. He began his legal career in 1973 as a lawyer for the SEC in Washington, D.C. Robert has handled or worked on countless thousands of adoption cases. He also co-authored the book, “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before … Choosing Adoption” with Jeffrey A. Kasky, Esq.