Common Myths And Facts for Birth Fathers

Adoption STAR is the lead New York State agency for the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program. This blog post is part of the training manual from the program, written by Spaulding for Children.

Myth: Birth fathers don’t care.

Fact: Many birth fathers feel that their role in the process is nonexistent. Many birth fathers have reported caring and wanting to be more involved but were unsure how to.

Myth: The child will hate me for abandoning him/her

Fact: Making an adoption plan is not abandonment. It is making a thoughtful decision that he believes is in the best interest of the child.

Myth: I am not a “man” unless I get married and parent the child.

Fact: Again, making an adoption plan is a responsible decision if chosen.

Myth: The adoption process doesn’t consider me in the process.

Fact: Most adoptions cannot be completed without the input of the birth father if he is willing and able.

Myth: Real men keep their babies. Deadbeat dads give them away.

Fact: “Real” men make adoption plans based on informed decision making.

Myth: Birth fathers don’t experience loss because they never bond with the child.

Fact: Many birth fathers feel a sense of grief and loss throughout the process and throughout their lives.

Myth: Birth fathers don’t try to do the “right thing.”

Fact: What is right for one person may not be “right” for another.

Myth: Birth fathers have no rights.

Fact: Birth fathers do have rights specified by their state laws. To find the specific laws in your state, please visit the Adoption law section of the Adoption STAR website.

Myth: Birth fathers have no say in the process.

Fact: Birth fathers have a great deal of input in the adoption process. They have the right to be part of the decision making.

Myth: Biological fathers have no rights if the mother is married.

Fact: In most states there is a process for birth fathers to exert their right as the biological parent and typically they have the opportunity to establish paternity.

Myth: Birth fathers can’t choose the adoptive family.

Fact: This is not true. Often times, the birth father is involved with the birth mother in choosing the adoptive family.

Myth: Birth fathers can’t plan separately from the birth mother.

Fact: This is not always the case. In most states, both birth parents must agree to the adoption if present and able to do so. If they do not agree on the adoption plan, then generally, the adoption would not proceed.

Myth: There are no services for birth fathers.

Fact: More and more services are being offered as efforts are being made to engage the birth father in the adoption process.

Myth: Counseling is for the mother only.

Fact: Again, this is not true. Adoption STAR provides counseling to all birth fathers.

Myth: Birth fathers have no control in the situation.

Fact: Although it may feel that way to many fathers, they do have rights and opportunities to plan for the child.

Myth: Birth fathers are not needed for an adoption plan.

Fact: In most states, the father is needed to complete an adoption plan if he is known and available.

If you would like more information on your rights as a birth father, please contact Adoption STAR’s Birth Parent Department Supervisor, Sue Shaw, by email or phone at 1(866)691-3330.