The Birth Father
What Hollywood Has Done To The Adoption Process
Over the years the focus in child adoption has been on the placement of a child into the hands of a loving family who want a child. Perhaps they have been unable to conceive and birth their own biological offspring or perhaps they have decided to help an unfortunate baby from a foreign country. Between movies and movie stars, adoption has become the "new pregnant" and the latest thing to do. Sadly, many people make their decisions about adoption based upon these influences when the reality is that what they see in the movies and on television is not the way it is in the "real world."
Often The Birth Father Doesn't Know About The Baby
Over the years there have been many studies done on the effects of adoption upon the birth mother and the child which is given up. There has not been as much revealed about the birth father, perhaps because birth mothers either chose or were unable to give the information regarding the pregnancy and decision to the birth father. Also, few birth fathers sought professional help to deal with their feelings and suffering until recent years, so little concern was cast their way.
Some Of The Feelings Of Biological Parents
As studies have made information available, some revealing facts have come to light concerning the fathers of children who are given up for adoption. Frequently, birth parents, both father and mother, stated that they felt pressured into relinquishing their baby by adoption workers and others, including their parents. Often they were not given adequate information about the process and what their rights were in the situation. The enormous emotional impact of the separation was, in most cases, totally unexpected and they were not encouraged to actively mourn the loss of their child.
How Biological Fathers Feel
Birth fathers experience the emotional suffering on a very deep level as well and many feel incidental to the birth and adoption process where the focus is on the baby and the adopting family. It has been found that birth fathers feel a profound sense of betrayal and powerlessness when they realize they have no say in the life of their child. This feeling can then permeate subsequent relationships, both personally and professionally.
Since they do not have the opportunity to see, touch or connect with the baby, they are often unable to bring the experience into the realm of reality. It was promoted to women giving birth that being denied the experience of seeing and holding their baby was an effective way of coping with the separation. While the effects on women are very profound, it has been found that men too have difficulty coping with the sense of loss and associated feelings that come as a result of being denied contact.
Just as women who give their babies up for adoption suffer with guilt and shame, birth fathers may also experience damaged self-esteem and a strong sense of worthlessness as a result of their personal needs and feelings being ignored.