close menu

What Are My Responsibilities as the Father?

How to Make a Responsible Decision

When it comes to the adoption process and unplanned pregnancy, a lot of the discussion focuses on the birth mother. Although the birth mother is integral to adoption, there is often another person by her side who is also important in the conversation: the birth father.

As a birth father, you want to provide as much support as you can for the birth mother and her adoption experience. But, what are some ways that you can help her, exactly?

To get free adoption information now, you can contact us today at 1-800-ADOPTION. In the meantime, though, we’ve created this informative guide that details how you can take some of the weight off of the birth mother’s shoulders.

Can a father put a child up for adoption? What are the responsibilities of a father in adoption? We’ll answer some of the most common questions we receive about being a birth father. We recognize that this journey is not simple for you. There are many emotional highs and lows, but adoption can be incredibly rewarding for everyone.

Can a Father “Give a Child up” for Adoption? [Choosing Adoption Is Not “Giving Up”]

While you and the birth mother discuss adoption, you may ask yourself, “Can a father ‘give a child up’ for adoption?” The answer is yes. Prospective birth fathers can always choose adoption alongside the mother, and you can work with your partner to create an adoption plan that’s perfect for your baby.

Also, you may have noticed that we put the phrase “give a child up” in quotes. There’s a reason for that. It’s one of the most common phrases that people use when they talk about adoption, but it completely misses the point. Adoption is far from “giving up.” Rather, it is a brave, selfless and heroic decision made out of a profound love for your child. That is nothing short of beautiful.

Still, adoption is not easy. This is partly because of the stigma surrounding fathers who choose adoption. But, American Adoptions is here for you because we want to break that stigma.

Fathers that “give up a child” for adoption may feel upset that they can’t currently provide the life they want for their child. For example, some common emotions birth fathers experience include:

  • Grief
  • Guilt
  • Doubt

But, there is no need to feel ashamed or guilty. By choosing adoption, you are giving your child a chance at the best life possible. You are also supporting the birth mother, and this means more to her than you will ever know.

Shawn, a birth father, has dealt with a fair share of complicated emotions. But, he got through them, and he discovered that adoption was the right choice for his baby and himself. Although his partner was the one who chose adoption, he gave her his full support. He doesn’t regret it one bit.

“Both of us were still in high school and already had plans to attend college,” he said. “I definitely was not ready to be a father; I had no idea how to take care of a child. From what the mother had told me, the adoptive family was very nice and would take great care of Ryan. I trusted her judgment and thought that this would be the best thing for us to do at this point in our lives.”

So, can a father put a child up for adoption? The answer is always yes. When you do so, you are making a sacrifice in the best interests of your child.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Father in the Adoption Process?

You may have already guessed it, but the responsibilities of a father in adoption are paramount to a smooth journey. Below, we have outlined some of your responsibilities to give you a better idea of what you can do:

  • Provide support to the birth mother: One of the most important responsibilities is supporting the birth mother throughout her unplanned pregnancy. This can be a scary time for her, and there are many unknowns. But, you can be there for her whenever she needs you.
  • Assist in creating the adoption plan: Aside from offering all your support to the birth mother, you can also help her create the adoption plan. There are many ways that birth fathers can help with adoption, and making the adoption plan is one of them. Keep in mind that, when you work with American Adoptions, you are never alone. Our trusted team can help you complete your adoption from start to finish. This includes creating a detailed adoption plan.
  • Help choose the adoptive family: One of the key parts of an adoption plan is choosing the right adoptive family for your baby. For fathers that “give up a child” for adoption, finding the perfect adoptive parents can reassure you that you are making the right choice for your child. Many birth parents feel much more comfortable once they meet the hopeful adoptive parents for the first time, so be sure to trust your “gut feeling” as you conduct your search.

We should also mention that, even if you and the birth mother are no longer together, you can still help with the adoption process to whatever extent she feels comfortable with. As long as she is OK with it, you can serve as a helpful, supportive presence in her life while she goes through her unplanned pregnancy and the adoption journey. It’s one of the responsibilities of a father in adoption that you can tackle head-on.

“You need to be as supportive as possible to your partner,” Stephen, a birth father who worked with American Adoptions, said. “It’s not going to be easy at any point. But, you have to remain strong and vigilant to your partner’s needs and understand that, even though it’s hard on you, it’s twice as hard on your partner. If you’re strong enough, you can weather any storm.”


Adoption can be a stressful, confusing experience from time to time. Fathers that “give up a child” for adoption have many responsibilities, but you don’t have to navigate them alone. American Adoptions is here for you whenever you may need us. Remember that you can call us any time at 1-800-ADOPTION to get more adoption information now.

You can also contact us if you have any more questions about the responsibilities of a father in adoption. We would love to hear from you, and we’re ready to provide the help that you need!

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

Request Free Information

View Waiting Families
Want to speak to someone who has chosen adoption?
Meet Michelle — A Proud Birth Mom
Ask an Adoption Question
View More Waiting Familes
Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Read More

Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

Read More