“Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling
Believe it or not, I am grateful for my son’s birth father. Yes, I am talking about the man who didn’t support me as a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, the man who wasn’t helpful or present for the first six months of my son’s life, and the man who contested my adoption decision. I chose adoption almost eight years ago, and for a very long time, I was resentful toward the birth father in my adoption situation.
Fast forward to now, and I can honestly say I am grateful for my son’s birth father for giving me the greatest gift anyone has ever given me: my son. No matter what a birth mother’s situation is with her child’s birth father, there is always the possibility of searching for the silver lining.
Perspective is a Matter of Choice
Every birth mother has a birth father in her adoption situation. There are so many different circumstances in which a woman may become pregnant, and so many different types of relationships that a birth mother could be in with her birth father, that I must speak of this topic generally. There are three types of birth fathers: the unknown birth father, the unsupportive birth father, and the supportive birth father. Within the three types of birth fathers, they all have one thing in common: a birth father is the man who made the birth mother pregnant in the first place. No matter how a woman initially feels about the man who got her pregnant, she can look at his contribution to the pregnancy with a sense of gratitude if she chooses to.
Every Birth Father Situation is Different
My experience with my son’s birth father has been an emotional rollercoaster ride. The birth father of my son was someone I had just started dating and barely knew when I found myself as an expectant mother. When I told him that I was pregnant, we had already broken up, but he still expressed excitement. However, his words turned out to be fleeting as his actions only expressed immaturity and a significant lack of support. When I began considering adoption, he refused to say a word to me about it. When he contested my choice for adoption, I was not surprised and did everything I could to ensure the success of my adoption by following my adoption attorney’s advice.
By the way, if you are a woman considering adoption, please contact an adoption attorney immediately. An adoption professional can connect you to an adoption attorney who will instruct you on how to communicate and handle your relationship with the birth father legally and wisely throughout the adoption process.
Thank You, Birth Father
The reason I am grateful for my son’s birth father is because he gave me the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me: My son. I love my son with a love that I had never known before learning of his conception. Every moment that passes brings with it a growing heart for not only my son, but for others as well. I have learned how to love in a way that I never thought was possible. My son’s birth father had a lot of emotional issues, as well as personal struggles that he was in the midst of when we were dating. However, I have kept slightly in touch with him over the years just to make sure I could get ahold of him if need be. Today, my son’s birth father and I have a friendship. It is slowly growing, and we have a mutual respect for each other. Since going through the adoption process, my son’s birth father has taken responsibility for his actions and apologized to me for everything that happened when I was pregnant and a custodial and legal mother. We are now discussing the possibility of him meeting my son one day with my son’s parents at their request.
Contact an Adoption Professional Early On
If you are a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering adoption, please consult with an adoption attorney as soon as possible. When it comes to state laws that regulate the adoption process, only a knowledgeable attorney will be able to give wise legal advice. If you do not have an adoption attorney, please contact an adoption professional and they should have an adoption attorney that they can connect you with. Whether you choose to use a local adoption agency or a national adoption agency, the organization should have an attorney on retainer. For any birth father-related general questions, please call 1-800-ADOPTION, where an adoption specialist is available 24/7.
Remember that every state has different laws when it comes to adoption communication including pregnancy notification, dealing with an unsupportive father, and how to proceed legally with a birth father who contests to the adoption, as well as the situation in which a birth mother does not know who the birth father is. Please direct any specific birth father questions you may have in your state to your adoption attorney.
My life has been forever changed as the result of finding myself facing an unexpected pregnancy. Not only have I had the greatest love of my life gifted to me, but I have also grown from the grief that I have faced. My healing journey has included not only forgiving my son’s birth father, but growing to embrace him as a blessing in my life. I know how hard it is to try and forgive a man who can contest an adoption after not being supportive of a child, but I also know that it is possible to find forgiveness. Today, I am grateful for the role that my birth father played in gifting me my son. If I can embrace that gift, I know that it is possible for other birth mothers to walk a path of healing regarding the birth father who was or is in their adoption situation.
This is the seventh post in a 12-part series on gratitude in adoption. Stay tuned for more.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.