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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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What Are My Responsibilities as the Father?

How to Make a Responsible Decision


 

“This was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.”

--Shawn, Birth Father

When it comes to dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, much of the compassion, sympathy and focus is placed on the woman. But what about the father of the baby? How does he feel when the mother of his baby is considering adoption, and what are his responsibilities as the birth father?

It is common for birth fathers and birth mothers to experience many of the same emotions, such as grief, denial or sadness, but one of the strongest emotions that birth fathers feel is embarrassment.

Embarrassment is common because these men sometimes feel like they didn’t live up to their responsibilities as the birth father. They fear family members, friends, co-workers or fellow students will look at them as somehow failing the child. And they struggle to accept the fact that, at this point in their lives, they cannot provide for the baby like an adoptive family could.

If you are a father in a similar situation, please understand that supporting an adoption doesn’t portray you as irresponsible, weak or a man not living up to the responsibilities of a father. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Supporting the birth mother’s adoption plan is the most responsible decision you can make in this situation. Making such a difficult decision takes a great deal of strength that will make others proud. You will be remembered as a true blessing to not only your family and the adoptive family, but also to your son or daughter.

Regardless if you and the birth mother are still together, you may still be a part of the adoption plan.

If you are still together, you both can decide exactly how you want the adoption to play out. Together, you will choose the adoptive family, what kind of contact you want with the adoptive family and what the hospital stay will look like.

If you and the birth mother are not together anymore, you can still be involved in the adoption, and you can even create your own adoption plan. For example, if the birth mother is interested in a closed adoption, but you are interested in receiving pictures, letters and periodic emails from the adoptive family, that can be arranged by your Adoption Specialist.

In addition, American Adoptions offers counseling services before and after the baby is born to help you cope with any emotions of grief and loss.

For many birth fathers, this decision can be as difficult as it is for the birth mother. If you would like to speak to an Adoption Specialist about your feelings or if you wish to be involved in the adoption plan for your child, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or click the following for free adoption information.

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

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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.

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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.

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