Letter From a Birthfather

Dear Birthfather:

I am a birthfather. I am writing this letter because I want you to consider the possibility of adoption for yourself and your child. Adoption can be good, and your active participation in an adoption plan can make it even better. Currently, only about 25% of all adoptions have a birthfather involved. I would like to encourage you to become part of the adoption process. In August, 2001, I—along with my girlfriend at the time—placed our daughter through the Independent Adoption Center.

Being involved in the adoption process is more than our responsibility: it is also our right. As you look around the web, you might realize that there is not a lot for those of us fathers who are consciously making the decision to place their child, beyond a continuation of negative images and stereotypes. That's why the Independent Adoption Center has created this website for us.

Being a birthparent in general, and a birthfather in particular, is a lonely process; you might feel like you are the only one who has ever been through this experience before. I can tell you that it's just not true. Placing a child for adoption is a well-worn path.

As birthfathers, we will experience emotions similar to our partners' (such as grief and fear); however, there are also very distinct feelings and issues that will arise. You should not dismiss them as invalid, merely because you are the male in the situation. You are a parent, and a person, feeling sad and confused. This does not mean you are less of a man; it means you care deeply for your child, as a father should.

There are some hurdles that you will face as a birthfather, but you don't have to face them alone. The Independent Adoption Center's counselors are available to you for any adoption related issues that might arise through this process. Although many people will view you as a kind of deadbeat dad, or being little more than "sperm donors," I encourage you to reject those ideas. Not everyone thinks in this way. You will likely find that your adoptive parents will embrace your participation. Personally, I know that was true for me.

Being a birthfather doesn't mean having to feel isolated: remember that you are not alone. Placing a child for adoption can be a brave and positive choice for you, your partner and, of course, for your child. You and your partner are considering making a wonderful choice, not only for your child, but for you as well. The process will have some bumps along the way, but together, you will be able to get through them. And so, I end the same way that I began this letter: Adoption can be good, and your active participation in an adoption plan makes it even better.

Richard

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