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Father’s Day is right around the corner; the one day out of every year, where we celebrate paternal bonds and recognize a father’s contributions to his family. Yet for some, Father’s Day takes on a different tone. Birth fathers are often forgotten during the celebration of fatherhood, and some do not get the chance to open sentimental cards or sport a new “World’s Greatest Dad” t-shirt.

“Respecting the birth family means honoring the birth father as well as the birth mother.”

In honor of the upcoming holiday we wanted to highlight birth fathers and their role in the adoption process. We followed interviews with 3 birth fathers who shared their adoption stories, Kyle, Jake and Eric.

Kyle, 26

Q: When did you place your child for adoption?

K: When we went through the adoption [process] I was 19. We started planning the adoption a little bit after we found out she was pregnant.

Q: How does it feel to be a birth father?

K: It feels amazing. However, at time its hard but at the same time I know that he is with a family that does wonders for him. I am very happy that I could give a couple a chance to become parents.

Q: Were you a part of the decision-making in your child’s adoption plan?

K: Yes, I was very much involved.

Q: As a birth father, how do you celebrate Father’s Day?

K: Well, right now I like to spend it with family and sometimes we will do a day trip that day. However, my fiancé (not the birth mother) is very understanding and makes the day the best day that can for me because she knows it can be difficult at times.

Q: What advice do you have for new birth fathers who may be struggling post placement, or with the upcoming holiday?

K: The most importation advice I can give someone is that in the beginning it is very hard. Over time it will get easier and life will all come together. You will have bad days and good days. I would say if you have an open adoption to see if you can get updates and photos on holidays. That helped me get thought the first couple of years. Also, do what I do, go out and spend time with family or take a day trip to get your mind off everything and celebrate his or her life and know that you made a difference.

Q: What hopes and aspirations do you have for your child?

K: I hope that he will grow up and go to college. I want him to follow his dreams. His parents love him very much and always push him to do all of this!

Jake, 26

Q: When did you place your child for adoption?

J: In 2008, when I was 17, my child was born and placed with an adoptive family.

Q: How does it feel to be a birth father?

J: Being a birth father can be difficult to explain at times. I am a father, but I am not. I have brought life into this world (or at least helped), but I don’t have a day-to-day role in raising and providing for my child. Sometimes it can be a rather paradoxical role to live in.

Q: Were you a part of the decision-making in your child’s adoption plan?

J: Yes, the birth mother and I worked together on the adoption planning.

Q: As a birth father, how do you celebrate Father’s Day?

J: I usually spend some time contemplating what may have been and how wonderful her life is with her family. Some of my family and friends wish me a happy Father’s Day, but I don’t “celebrate” I guess.

Q: What advice do you have for new birth fathers who may be struggling post placement, or with the upcoming holiday?

J: Celebrate your father, and the adoptive father. Celebrate yourself. Remember that you made a choice, and you need to stand by that. Odds are; you weren’t ready for a child, and you wouldn’t have could provide them with the life you want them to have. You recognized this and chose to place your child for adoption. Some people will tell you, “You took the easy way out.” They are wrong. Unless someone is or becomes a birth parent, it is impossible to understand the emotions we go through. Keep your chin up; it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Q: What hopes and aspirations do you have for your child?

J: I want my child to be happy and healthy. No matter who she becomes, she will have my love and support.

Eric, 39

Q: When did you place your child for adoption?

E: Just about 4 years ago

Q: Were you a part of the decision-making in your child’s adoption plan?

E: I was not included in the process at all. I felt powerless and resented [the birth mother] in the beginning. However, looking back I know she made the best decision for our son.

Q: As a birth father, how do you celebrate Father’s Day.

E: I think about all my boys. I am very proud of all of them

Q: What advice do you have for new birth fathers who may be struggling post placement, or with the upcoming holiday?

E: Understand that you may not have agreed with the plan, but think about your child, and how [adoption] is the best thing for your child.

Today, the world acknowledges the importance of being more open with adoption language, adoption plans, and the adoption triad as a whole. Respecting the birth family means honoring the birth father as well as the birth mother.

Come Father’s Day, whether you choose to reach out to your child’s birth father, “Like” a Father’s Day meme created to remember birth fathers, say a prayer, or initiate a conversation with your child is a personal matter based on your child’s adoption story, personality, and preferences. If nothing else, it presents an opportunity to discuss in a healthy way feelings your child may be experiencing but unable to put into words. Like anything else, the desire to recognize an adopted child’s father should be based on the comfort level of the adoptee.

And perhaps, like National Birth Mother’s Day, the push for a space and a place for birth fathers to share their stories should come from birth fathers themselves who wish to educate the public on their unique perspectives concerning adoption, creating an opportunity for adoptive families who may be uncertain as to how to approach the subject.

Serving Expectant Parents Statewide Call Us 877-903-4488 or Text Us 316-209-2071

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