Many of you may wonder why I am so adamant that a father is just as important as the mother, and why I get so upset that a father faces laws that seem void of common sense, dignity, and fair play. Why should I care so much when my father didn’t give a damn when I was born, and still to this day doesn’t give a damn. I am in the enviable position to know for fact that he had a choice back then, despite the laws at the time that specifically excluded him from having any rights. He made his choice both when I was born, and when I was an adult, whether or not to be part of my life.
I am thankful that my story turned out that he had choices, even if the ending of our story isn’t what I would like it to have been. My father had choices, and chose to ignore the fact that I existed, shouldn’t that make me care less about fathers? So why do I care so much?
I know the value of having a dad.
Dad was my go to person for everything. Not mom. Dad.
Dad understood me in ways no one else has ever understood me. We were a team. I was his daughter. He wanted to be my dad and said yes, we will adopt her. Imagine the odds of that type of connection randomly happening in adoption, compared to the odds in a biological family where you both share the genes of your ancestors. You can’t replace that connection, nor can you force it, and if a natural father wants to be dad, then that should be respected, and assisted. Not cut out with laws designed to do just that. Fathers should not have to fight lengthy adoption court battles, just for the right to parent their OWN child, it reeks of the dominant bias and feelings of superiority seen in some prospective adoptive parents – to parent someone else’s child.
Nor should any mother, agency, or prospective adoptive parents play games to ensure fathers have no real choice. Known fathers should have the exact same choice, and legal counsel, as a mother is entitled to under the adoption law. Informed consent. Just like doctors must provide all the risks, and benefits, of a procedure before asking you to sign the form consenting to the procedure, it should be the law for fathers to receive the same legal counselling and consent process a mother does. Without that happening can there really be informed consent? Without that happening can you look into your child’s eyes, and tell them that both of their parents chose adoption, and were treated with the respect, dignity, and honor that comes with being the parents who created your child?
People talk about, or acknowledge, that many mothers had no choice in my era as to whether to parent, or not, due to societal requirements. Most everyone agrees it was wrong to force and/or coerce mothers to surrender their babes for adoption without informed consent and true choice, and that it is still wrong today. Yet today, that is happening to fathers all over the country, by the very nature of how the laws are structured, and some agencies, lawyers, mothers, and prospective adoptive parents seem all to willing to use the laws to their advantage, over common decency. It also means the rest of us are condoning this happening when we don’t speak out, just like society back then, condoned it happening to our mothers. It’s wrong. You can’t say mothers are important, and they have the right to give informed, counselled, consent to adoption, and known fathers don’t. It doesn’t work that way just because the mother carries the child, that child would never have existed without the father.
My view of growing up adopted might be completely different if I had not had my dad I was so similar too. There are far too many stories of adoptees not feeling connected to their family. That feeling of not fitting in. Different. The adoptee is the one who pays that price, so you need to ask yourself if you are really willing to put your needs – above the needs of the child?
Adoption is a good solution for a child who doesn’t have parents. Adoption is not a good solution when a child who has a parent who wants to be a mom or dad…
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Attributed to George Santayana, The Life of Reason