April 30, 2019
Can I, as the expectant father, participate in my child’s adoption plan?
While expectant mothers often hold the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to making the decision surrounding their child, expectant fathers are important too. In most cases, it will be in the best interest of your child to know as much as possible about both her parents – whether that’s simply through sharing your medical records or by establishing an open relationship with her.
At Bethany, it’s our preference to involve expectant fathers in the adoption plan being made for their child. For both expectant mothers and fathers reading this, we hope you’ll carefully consider the benefits of both being involved in your child’s life.
Yet, even today, many misconceptions exist surrounding the role of expectant fathers in their child’s adoption plan. Here are three of the most common myths we hear—and our responses.
- Expectant fathers don’t want to be involved in the adoption process. In our experience, this is overwhelmingly untrue. Once most expectant fathers become aware of the pregnancy and the expectant mother’s wishes to make an adoption plan, they want to be involved in the open relationship too. They truly care about what happens to the child.
- An expectant father can only be involved in adoption planning if he and the expectant mother have a positive relationship. Again, this does not have to be the case. If both expectant parents wish to be involved, they both will receive the same information about how adoption works. Even if their relationship together no longer exists, there’s no reason why an adoptive family can’t meet separately with the birth dad just like they would with the birth mom.
- Adoptive families don’t want the complication of a relationship with the expectant father. When given the opportunity, the majority of adoptive families we work with have also wanted to develop a relationship with their child’s birth father. In most cases, children benefit from building relationships with multiple members of their birth family—collectively putting pieces together in their identity formation.
Know that, at Bethany, we actively work to support both expectant mothers and fathers as they bravely make a plan that’s right for them and their baby.
Whether you’re considering adoption for your child or thinking about becoming an adoptive family yourself, know that we truly honor and respect the role of birth fathers.