Birth fathers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. From all walks of life. Every race, culture and ethnicity. Unfortunately, birth fathers have been encased in negative stereotypes to the point that society doesn’t see them as anything other than those labels.
It’s time that those stereotypes turn to truth.
Myth #1: The birth father can come and take away the child
Fact: While this a common fear of adoptive parents, it isn’t factual. Once the adoption has been finalized through the court, the law recognizes the adoptive parents as the adoptee’s legal guardians. By this point in time, both birth parents have come to terms with their choice, and are in agreement with the decision. So, having a birth parent suddenly change their mind post finalization is extremely rare.
Myth #2: Birth fathers are troubled teens and cannot be trusted
Fact: It is true that some birth fathers may be in their teens, but whether or not they can be trusted is not something that can be accurately judged. Emotional speculations like this all too often stem from a place of anxiety. However, further research and education about the adoption process, and the involvement of the birth parents, can help ease that fear. Beginning with age. Statistics show that, on average, birth parents are in their 20s.
Generally speaking, birth parents choose adoption because they don’t have the financial or mental resources to raise a child. This doesn’t make them troubled, dangerous or untrustworthy, though. Quite the opposite. Making a plan for adoption is a very selfless and responsible choice.
Myth #3: Only the birth mother is important
Fact: Incorrect. As we all know from biology and human anatomy, you need an egg and a sperm to create a child. So, it stands to reason that birth fathers are just as important as birth mothers. Society does place more emphasis on the birth mother, but the birth father has his own essential role to play.
The adoption process is bigger than just the hospital experience, home study, and court finalization. Remember that it starts with the birth mother and birth father becoming pregnant. For birth fathers who are present and involved, they can be there to support the birth mother through the pregnancy, and make sure that both she and the baby stay happy and healthy. He can also voice his thoughts on the future, and discuss the right path for them.
Myth #4: Birth fathers don’t care
Fact: This is, unfortunately, a part of the many stereotypes that have been created about birth fathers. Too many stories of birth fathers disappearing or being unknown or uninvolved have outweighed those of who are devoted and there from beginning to end. It has been reported that many birth fathers have wanted to be more involved, but weren’t sure how because they feel their role in the adoption process is nonexistent.
It’s easy to forget that the birth father is an additional human being in the equation. One who will experience his own range of emotions and set of fears. Adoption is a scary and complex process, and birth fathers will feel the pressure just as much as anyone else. He will experience grief and loss, and will need to come to terms with his decision. He isn’t exempt. Present or not. Birth fathers who are aware of the pregnancy and a part of the journey care deeply, and choose adoption out of love and wanting the best for their child.
Myth #5: Birth fathers aren’t needed
Fact: Not true. Most adoptions cannot be completed with the birth father. If he is willing and able, he has the right to voice his thoughts on the decision whether or not to make a plan for adoption. He plays an integral part in supporting the birth mother, as well, and journeying through the grief and loss with her.
Misconceptions about Birth Fathers
It’s important to note that many birth fathers feel as though they don’t have a place in the adoption process. Like they don’t fit and have no rights. On the contrary, birth fathers are vital to the adoption journey. From beginning to end, birth fathers have the right to their say in the decision making process. In most states, they are permitted to exert their right as the child’s biological parent and have the opportunity to establish paternity.
Each and every situation is unique, so be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding birth fathers with your adoption lawyer and chosen adoption agency.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“10 adoption myths debunked.” The Donaldson Adoption Institute. 06 June 2019 <https://www.adoptioninstitute.org/news/10-adoption-myths-debunked/>.
“Common Myths And Facts for Birth Fathers.” Adoption STAR. 13 Aug. 2012. 06 June 2019 <https://adoptionstar.com/common-myths-and-facts-for-birth-fathers/>.
“Five myths of fatherhood.” BabyCentre UK. 06 June 2019 <https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a539837/five-myths-of-fatherhood>.
Raeburn, Paul. “Five myths about fatherhood.” The Washington Post. 16 June 2017. WP Company. 06 June 2019 <https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-fatherhood/2017/06/16/cf9f8248-51e0-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?utm_term=.e8adfad831ef>.