While the stereotype of a single woman placing her child for adoption is sometimes the case in real life, it isn’t always! In many cases, the father of the child in question is still involved on some level. Whether you are still in a relationship with your child’s father or not, you may be wondering: “How can the father of my baby help support my adoption?”
Know His Rights
While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best things the birthfather can do to support your adoption is to know what the birth father rights are in your state. These rights — and how he will be acknowledged as the father — varies greatly by state, so you and he will need to do some research. In some cases, he may have to also agree to the adoption in writing, while in others his legal involvement will not be necessary.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Another way the birth father can help support your adoption journey is by helping you narrow down your choices when it comes to your adoption plan. For example, if he is certain he’d like to stay in touch with the child or adoptive family, an open adoption may be the easy choice. You may also wish to involve him in the adoptive family selection process, as he may have preferences he’d like taken into account. Just remember, as the birth mother, in most cases, the final decision will be yours.
Many adoption agencies offer counseling to the birth mother, and as someone who will also be affected by the adoption, the birth father may choose to attend counseling as well, either with you or separately. These counseling sessions can help both of you know what to expect, learn a bit about how to handle the emotions you’ll be experiencing, and can teach him how he can be there for you in the coming months.
The Practical Things
While of course it is important for the birth father to help with decisions and be there for you emotionally, sometimes we have to think a little more practically! Pregnancy is a time of extreme physical changes and challenges, and a time when you’ll probably have more doctor visits and appointments than you’ve ever had in your life. Having an extra person to keep you company in the waiting room or fetch you a drink when your feet ache too much to even contemplate walking to the kitchen is more valuable than you may realize.
While birth mothers are often the focus of adoption talk, there is much that the father of your baby can contribute to the process if he is of the mind to do so. Keep the lines of communication open between the two of you, and you’re sure to find ways he can be helpful and supportive during your adoption.