Many times, when people talk about adoption, they tend to neglect the emotions and involvement of birth fathers. So, if you’re the father of a baby being placed for adoption, you may be unsure of how much involvement you can have in your baby’s adoption and what the best solution is for you and the baby’s mother.
First off, know that you can be involved in the baby’s adoption plan along with your baby’s mother. Of course, this involvement will depend upon your relationship with the baby’s birth mother but, if you make clear your support for her adoption decision, it’s likely that she’ll welcome you into the adoption process for the best interest of your unborn baby.
If you find out that a woman is placing your unborn baby for adoption and you want to be a part of it, here’s what you can do:
Learn your rights.
Even if you are fully supportive of the adoption plan, you should speak with a lawyer (either the mother’s or your own) to learn more about what parental rights you have and whether your consent will be necessary for the adoption.
Support your baby’s mother.
Adoption is difficult time for all prospective birth parents, so being there for your baby’s mother during this time will be invaluable to her. Remind her that she’s making the best choice for your baby, and that you will support her and her decision until the end.
Get involved in the adoption process.
When you support the adoption plan for your baby, you can help your baby’s mother make the best choices for your baby’s future. You two can decide together what kind of family you want to adopt your baby, what kind of contact you want with them in the future and more.
Share your adoption plan with your family.
While you and your baby’s mother will support each other throughout the adoption process, it’s also a good idea to share your situation with trusted friends and family members who you can turn to in case you need them.
Meet your baby’s adoptive family.
After you and your baby’s mother choose a family to raise your baby, you might want to meet them in person or talk on the phone to learn more about them and get a better idea of what your baby’s future will be like with them. Through this meeting, you can also start determining what kind of contact you want with them and your baby through an open or semi-open adoption (if you’re comfortable with that).
Be present for the baby’s placement.
Depending on the comfort level of your baby’s mother, she may want you at the hospital when she gives birth. Being there to support each other through this emotional process will be invaluable, especially when she and the baby are discharged. Being there for placement gives you a chance to see the adoptive family interact with your baby — giving you some closure you may have not otherwise received.
While there is a stereotype of birth fathers not being interested in the adoption process, we know that’s not always the case. There are plenty of supportive birth fathers who want to ensure their baby is cared for properly and has the safe and supportive start to life that they need. If you’re one of these men, it’s important to discuss the adoption plan with your baby’s mother as soon as you find out about it.
Remember, you can play an important role in making sure an adoption plan is perfect for your baby. If you think your baby’s mother may be pursuing adoption, reach out to her, her adoption professional or an adoption attorney to find out how you can be involved in the process.