There are a lot of reasons biological parents choose to place a child up for adoption. One reason that is very common is that they want their child to have both a mother and a father in their home. And oftentimes when that is the reason, it means that the biological parents are no longer together. When that happens, when there is a separation between the biological mother and biological father, it isn’t uncommon for the biological father to be brushed aside during the adoption process.
It takes two to make a baby, but it only takes one of those two to physically carry the child. It also takes only one of those two to deliver the baby. In many unfortunate cases the birth father wants to be part of the process, but he is sometimes the forgotten part of the adoption triad.
Biological fathers play a different role in the adoption process. If they’re not present when the baby starts to kick and move, they lose out a little bit on the experience. If the biological father isn’t present during birthing classes or doctor visits, he tends to be a little less aware of how things are progressing. And if the biological father is kept out of the decision making process while choosing the adoptive couple, he’s less likely to feel like he is part of the situation.
Birth fathers are not disinterested. They’re not unaware, and they do indeed care. Oftentimes it’s an uphill battle that they tire from climbing after time. After all, it can be a lot to ask for a potential birth mother to include her ex-boyfriend in the some of the most emotionally intense and stressful times of her life.
The struggle to keep the birthfather involved continues with the adoptive couple. By virtue of the fact that most contact between adoptive side and biological side happens between the adoptive couple and the birthmother, the birthfather can get lost in the shuffle. There are a lot of things going on and emotions are running at hyper speed. If the birthfather isn’t integrated in the happenings of the pregnancy, he’s less likely to be weaved into the fabric of the adoption process. And if he’s left out of the adoption process, he’s less likely to be involved in the post-adoption relationship.
Birthfathers can be a wonderful presence in the adoption triad. Many birthfathers who are left out wish they could be involved and would be a great addition to the interesting family tree that is open adoption. No matter what part of the adoption triad you belong to, don’t forget about the often forgotten man.
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.