Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Re-thinking How We Think of Birthfathers

On December 21st our birthfather's rights will be terminated. I know many of you are confused (being as Xiomara is 5 months old), so I'll try to explain. At birth, a birthmom declares and sometimes does (or in our case doesn't) put a father on the birth certificate. If the father consents the adoption, paperwork can be signed right away when the birthmom signs her paperwork. However, in the majority of the cases, a birthfather is not involved in the adoption decision, therefore additional steps have to be taken to get his birth rights terminated.

If a birthmom has declared a father, an attempt to serve him with papers is made. Basically, this means that the sheriff's office will try and get a birthfather to sign papers so that it does not have to be brought to court to terminate. However, in most cases, they can't locate the father to even have him sign (at least according to our placing agency). Thus, it is published in the birthfather's local paper that he has 30 days to contest the adoption or else his rights will be terminated. Thus at the end of the 30 days, if no contest has been made, a court date is set, and on that date a birthfather's rights are terminated.

Which brings us to where we are today. Xiomara's birthfather is voluntarily letting his right to parent her pass. Of course, I'm happy about that because I obviously want her to stay with us, but there is a sadness in my heart as well. It's different than the sadness I have over her birthmom. While her birthmom voluntarily chose to give us Xiomara. Her birthdad is voluntarily choosing to ignore that he fathered her.

I know very little about her birthfather. I know his name, age, and a few other details about him and that is it. Sometimes I think I'm okay with that and that I don't need to know more. I take this attitude of, "He didn't care to know Xiomara, I don't care about him". But then God speaks to my heart and reminds me that is not from Him.

So many times, adoptive parents love and feel so strongly for the birthmom. We send our birthmom letters, gifts, pictures, etc. but we never even acknowledge a birthdad. Of course, many times we can't physically acknowledge him because we don't know who he is or where he lives. But in our minds, we can acknowledge him, but instead we choose to write him off as unimportant in this equation.


So very wrong.

He may not care about your child, or doesn't know your child exists, or even created your child through rape, but none of that gives us a right to hate him. Yes, I said hate. You see, satan has tricked us adoptive parents to think that the birthfathers are worthless, low-lifes, who deserve nothing.


God sees him as anything but all that!

But he hasn't only tricked adoptive parents into this thinking, no he has succeeded into tricking birthfathers themselves into thinking they are worthless, low-lifes, who deserve nothing.

Thus when a person thinks he is a worthless, low-life, who deserves nothing, they act that way. Oh how satan has the victory in this area. Oh how I'd love to see him defeated!

Am I excusing away what or how your birthfather acted? Absolutely not! But I also can't condemn and judge their behavior as I don't know their past. What made him who he is today? It certainly wasn't something positive that did.

So I urge you today to look at your heart and see how you view your child's birthfather. Do you view him with scorn? Rebuke? Anger? Or do you shower God's love on him? Just as God Himself loved him?


  1. Very insightful, Vanessa. Thanks for sharing. Though we have not adopted, my husband is very sensitive to the way the father is treated/viewed as a general rule.
    Like signing the birth certificate--there is no spot for the father to sign, just the mother and the dr.
    Hospital protocol is all about mom and baby. Dad is sort of 2nd rate. If we have more babies (and I DO hope so!) I SO want a homebirth where Dennis won't be made to feel like the 3rd wheel.
    Anyway--another good post. Thanks again.

  2. Exactly Melissa! As my hubby said, "The father is the core of the family, and even though he is not a part of her family anymore, our attitude still sets the tone with how she will one day treat her earthly father (Chris) and her heavenly father". Definitely something I had never thought of before.

    Oh and I hope you get that homebirth you so want! :)

  3. Interesting thoughts and sad that birth fathers are treated this way in many cases :(

  4. Salena-You bring up a point I failed to mention. This does not happen in every case! There are some cases in which families treat the birthfathers just as the do the birthmother. But I would venture to guess those are few and far between.

  5. Thank you so much!! This is so true to be reminded of....it always bothers me whenever a mother goes out and everyone asks where the kids are and the mom says that the dad is watching them....oh how sweet that the dad is babysitting....nope...he's spending time with his kids!

    It was very interesting to read how the father is attempted to be located to say yes or no to his child but HOW sad that they normally can't be found!

  6. Caristy-You would love this post: http://adamshome.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-i-never-ask-my-husband-to-babysit.html On why Erin never asks her husband to babysit! SO good!

    And yes it is sad. :( I'm not sure it's the case in most adoptions, but at least through our placing agency it was.


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