Father of the Baby
15 FAQ About Adoption for Birth Fathers
Unexpected Pregnancy Advice for Men and Common Questions about Adoption
Facing unplanned fatherhood is scary and overwhelming, regardless of whether or not you feel like you’re at a stable point in your life. Most people aren’t sure how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, male parents included! Below, we’ll walk you through your options for unwanted pregnancy, father-of-the-baby questions and concerns, and more.
These 15 frequently asked questions about adoption for birth fathers, and general unplanned pregnancy advice for men, may help you decide how to deal with unplanned pregnancy for men:
1. “I recently started seeing someone, and we just found out she is pregnant. What do I do?”
First, take a breath. We know that facing an unplanned pregnancy is a lot.
Next, take a moment to learn about your options for unplanned pregnancy. Men sometimes think that this is the mother’s responsibility, but understanding your options is just as much your responsibility as hers. Together, you can decide how to move forward.
2. “Accidentally getting a girl pregnant was not how I pictured becoming a father. What are the options for men dealing with unplanned pregnancy?”
When it comes to unwanted pregnancy, fathers and mothers always need to learn about their three options: Parenting, abortion, adoption.
Are you both physically, emotionally and financially ready to raise this child, and be permanently tied to one another? Abortion is only an option for the early stages of pregnancy. So, adoption may be the right choice for this child.
3. “If the birth mother puts a child up for adoption, does the birth father have to pay any money?”
No. Neither the birth mother or father would have to pay any money for this pregnancy or for the adoption process. Adoption is 100% free for expectant parents.
4. “If you put a child up for adoption, does the dad still have to pay child support?”
No. This child would be the permanent and legal child of the adoptive parents, not you. The adoptive parents will provide for this child for life. If you choose adoption, you will never have to pay child support, unlike if the birth mother decides to raise the baby.
To reiterate: If you choose adoption for an unplanned pregnancy, fathers will never have to pay child support. If the pregnant woman chooses to parent the baby, you will likely have to pay child support until the child is 18 years old.
5. “Does a mother who puts her child up for adoption still have to pay child support?”
No. Again, if you choose adoption, the baby will be the adoptive parents’ child. Neither of the birth parents pay child support if the child is placed for adoption.
6. “Would the adoptive parents ever expect me to support the child financially or take care of him or her at all?”
No. You would have no parental responsibilities if you choose to place your baby for adoption. That means no physical, emotional, or financial responsibility, ever.
7. “Could I wind up responsible for this child if the adoptive parents decide they no longer want to parent him or her?”
No. When you place your baby for adoption through a licensed agency, there is no “undoing” the process. The adoptive parents become the permanent and sole parents of this child. What’s more, adoptive parents often wait years for the opportunity to become parents through adoption — they have dreamed of this responsibility, and of being parents. They desperately want this child!
8. “How does the adoption process work for birth fathers?”
It’s simpler than you might think. There are 6 key steps:
Step 1: You and the baby’s mother will choose adoption as your unplanned pregnancy path.
Step 2: Contact a licensed adoption agency.
Step 3: You and the baby’s mother will work with the agency to select your baby’s future parents.
Step 4: Get to know the adoptive parents as you wait for the baby’s birth, if you want.
Step 5: Consent to the adoption in accordance with your state’s laws, and officially place your child with the adoptive parents for life.
Step 6: Keep in touch with your child and the adoptive family to whatever extent you’re comfortable with.
When you’re ready to begin the process, reach out to an adoption agency.
9. “How does a birth father consent to an adoption?”
Adoption consent laws and procedures vary by state. The adoption agency can refer you and the birth mother to free legal counsel. Your agency and/or attorney will walk you through the consent process. It’s often as easy as signing a document. However, it’s important to remember that, once issued, your consent to adoption is permanent.
10. “Does it cost money to place a child for adoption?”
No. Adoption is the only unplanned pregnancy option that is completely free for both birth parents. An abortion is costly, and parenting a child is extremely expensive.
It is always free to place a child for adoption, and the pregnant woman will receive:
- Free medical care throughout the pregnancy
- Free legal counsel
- Free adoption services
- And financial assistance with things like rent or bills
11. “Can I still keep in touch with the child after the adoption is complete?”
Yes. How much (or how little) you stay in touch with your child and his or her adoptive parents after the adoption will be entirely up to you and your comfort levels.
Some birth fathers prefer to not have communication with the children they place for adoption, while other men like to maintain some type of relationship with the child through an open adoption. Again, this is entirely your decision. Many post-adoption relationships naturally change and evolve over time based on everyone’s comfort levels, just like any relationship.
12. “Can I help choose the adoptive family if we place this baby for adoption?”
Yes. Expectant parents always have the right to select the family they feel is best for their child. Together, you and the baby’s mother can review adoption profiles of waiting families and get to know the adoptive parents you’ve chosen.
13. “What feelings can I expect as a birth father placing a child for adoption?”
When talking about men and unplanned pregnancy, many people unfortunately overlook the feelings of the expectant father. While the pregnant woman is certainly experiencing her own complex emotions in addition to the physical effects of pregnancy, the expectant father is not immune to the feelings that an unplanned pregnancy can cause.
Every expectant parent will have their own unique feelings throughout the adoption process, as no two people or situations are alike. However, many birth fathers say that they felt a range of feelings (often at the same time), like:
- Nervousness about the unknowns of this pregnancy and adoption process.
- Relief at not having to raise a child when they feel unready to do so.
- Sadness at not feeling ready or able to be a father to this child.
- Joy in the knowledge that this child will always be loved and cared for.
- Grief and loss at relinquishing the opportunity to raise this child themselves.
- Hope in the future — for themselves, for the birth mother and for the adopted child.
- Excitement at the opportunities that adoption provides for their child, and for themselves.
Remember: Your adoption agency will provide you with a qualified counselor, so you’ll always have emotional support when you need it. That support will be available for both you and the baby’s mother throughout the adoption process and beyond.
14. “How can I support the expectant mother throughout the adoption process?”
Regardless of whether or not you and the expectant mother are currently in a relationship, your support can be invaluable to her. Adoption is never easy, for either expectant parent. However, there are some important ways in which you can emotionally support this pregnant woman, including:
- Expressing your support in her decisions, and offering to help with the adoption plan
- Working with her as you choose and contact an adoption agency
- Working with her as you select adoptive parents together
- Supporting her throughout pregnancy and delivery
- Supporting her as you both deal with your post-adoption feelings
If you’re not sure how to help, the best thing you can do is to ask her how you can be supportive! Every woman will need something different, so expressing your support and letting her know that you’re there for her is the perfect place to start.
15. “Who should I contact if we want to place an unborn baby for adoption?”
If you’re placing your baby for adoption, you’ll need to contact a licensed adoption agency. They’ll walk you through next steps. Start here:
If you have any more questions about adoption, reach out to an adoption professional now! It’s free, available 24/7, and talking with an adoption agency places you under no obligation to move forward with adoption.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.