In the public school system, sex education is taught at varying grade levels, depending on the topic. State law also contributes to this. Primarily, however, it’s not uncommon to see the majority of teaching happen between the grades of six through twelve. Schools instigate these classes to prevent the number of unplanned pregnancies among minors, yet there is something about them that’s even more important to highlight. That is, the reproductive system cannot produce a child by itself. It needs two elements — the egg and the sperm.
In other words, it takes two to tango.
With regards to adoption, the birth father is rarely discussed or taken notice of. More often than not, the attention is solely on the birth mother, adoptive parents and the adoptee. But, the birth father is an important part of the equation as well.
Definition of Terms
To begin, let’s explore a bit more about who a birth father actually is. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a birth father as “the father of a child when the child is born; the natural father of a child who has been adopted.” Dictionary.com describes him as “a biological father; a biological parent.”
Both are correct, and together paint the perfect picture. The birth father is the co-creator of the child needing to be adopted. The individual behind the scenes, who is, consequently, often forgotten about. Sometimes this is of his own accord. Other times, he’s just dismissed because society deems him not an essential piece of the puzzle.
There are many reasons that a birth father should or shouldn’t be involved in the adoption process. Each case is unique, and every individual’s circumstance separate from the rest. Misconceptions, categories and assumptions have been created to describe birth fathers. The negatives, of course, have stuck more and are the ones that are often believed the most. However, putting all birth fathers into a box isn’t helping. It’s diminishing their relevance and making it more difficult for them overall.
Birth fathers are important. They have rights and a say in the adoption proceedings. If they disagree at all, they have the right to contest. In some states, the adoption process cannot conclude without his consent. Contrary to speculation, he has a particular role to play, and not having him there can make things more challenging for the birth mother.
So, why is it that we don’t talk more about the importance of birth fathers? One reason stems from a societal-based view. From a young age, we learn that moms are the ones who get pregnant, carry and give birth to a baby. Thus, the majority of the focus centers around them when it comes to the excitement and preparation — and rightfully so. There’s the baby shower, and making sure that both mom and baby are happy and healthy. That everything is going smoothly. But, behind the scenes, the birth father is often there supporting the birth mother through the pregnancy, attending doctor’s appointments with her, and even discussing the options available for their future — whether or not to adopt. Overall, though, there is more expectation placed on mother/child relationships, and not so much on father/child. We tend to think that the mother is the only one making the sacrifice and going through grief, and forget that birth fathers are part of this journey as well.
A second reason is that, as a society, birth fathers have been branded with various forms of negative thoughts. The most common of them being: he’s unsupportive, uninvolved, or unknown. From that, birth fathers have faded into the proverbial shadows of adoption, and become somewhat of an enigma.
The Importance of Birth Fathers
Birth fathers are just as vital as birth mothers. Without both individuals together, the child in question wouldn’t exist. It’s important to remember this, and that birth fathers has a role to play when it comes to the adoption process. That the court allows him certain rights. Depending on where you live, some states will not allow an adoption process to go through without the birth father’s consent or termination of parental rights.
Be sure to consult with your adoption lawyer and agency to see what your rights as a birth father are in the state of Oklahoma.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Birth Fathers – Adoption With or Without His Consent.” Considering Adoption. 06 June 2019 <https://consideringadoption.com/pregnant/people-involved-in-your-adoption/everything-to-know-about-the-birth-father>.
“Sex Education Laws and Public Schools.” Findlaw. 06 June 2019 <https://family.findlaw.com/reproductive-rights/sex-education-in-schools.html>.
WebAdmin. “The Role of Birth Fathers in the Adoption Process.” A Child’s Dream. 08 Dec. 2017. 06 June 2019 <https://achildsdream.org/role-birth-fathers-adoption-process/>.
“Why We Think So Little About Birth Fathers.” Creating a Family. 01 Nov. 2014. 06 June 2019 <https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/birth-fathers/>.