Whether you are an expectant father exploring your parenting or adoption options, or a birthfather who has placed your child into an open adoption, IPAS social workers can provide you with free counseling. Sessions are available either with the birthmother or on an individual basis. Counseling is also available to birthfathers who have already placed their child through IPAS and would like additional help in processing and/or building their open adoption relationships.
Adoption Myths & Facts for Birthfathers:
Myth: There isn’t a role for me in the adoption planning process. It’s designed to meet only the needs of the birthmother.
Fact: Birthfathers are very IMPORTANT and VALUED in the adoption planning process. Your needs and wishes will be respected and discussed in order to create a plan that is inclusive of all parties. You are entitled to free individual counseling, just as the birthmother is, and are encouraged to take advantage of this service.
Myth: Real men parent their children. Only “deadbeat dads” choose adoption.
Fact: A responsible father ensures that all of his child’s social, emotional, and financial needs are met by whatever means necessary. Deciding that adoption best meets a child’s needs is not shameful; it is a honorable, difficult, and loving choice. We will help you through this.
Myth: My child will hate me if I plan an adoption. He will think I abandoned him/her.
Fact: Adoption is not, in any way, abandonment. By being involved in an open adoption plan and committing to an ongoing relationship with your child and the adoptive family, you are taking an active and important role in ensuring the well-being of your son or daughter.
Actually, when children have little or no contact with their biological fathers, they tend to develop unrealistically strong feelings of love or hate for them – casting birthfathers as heroes or villains. The ongoing contact afforded by open adoption allows birthfathers to develop realistic and balanced relationships with their children.
Myth: Birthfathers don’t care what happens to their children.
Fact: We know from experience that birthfathers deeply love their children. But they often feel their role in adoption is nonexistent, or undefined at best. The open adoption process welcomes you and helps you identify ways to stay involved in your child’s life and to actively demonstrate your care and concern.
Myth: Children of open adoption don’t care about and need their birthfathers as much as they do their birthmothers.
Fact: Adopted children want and deserve to know their birthfathers just as much as their birthmothers. Both birthparents provide critical keys to a child’s emotional security and his/her genetic history.
Myth: I will be ashamed in choosing not to parent. My friends and family will think less of me if they find out I planned an adoption.
Fact: Many people are unfamiliar with open adoption. As you educate your friends and family about the process, and actively demonstrate your ongoing connection to your child, they will become more familiar with open adoption and, consequently, more supportive as they come to realize that adoption is a brave and loving choice.