Types of Birth Fathers: Known vs Unknown
When it comes to birth fathers, there are two sides of the spectrum – known and unknown. Birth fathers have a choice to either become an identifiable member of the adoption triad or stand back and fade into the background. There are also many fathers in the middle that have their own unique balance.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, please know that Adoption Choices of Arizona supports your choice, and is here to support you.
Relationships between birth parents and adoptees can be complicated. This piece aims to discuss the different types of birth fathers that exist when it comes to adoption, specifically those who are known and unknown.
The Known Birth Father
On one side of the spectrum, there is the known birth father. As stated before, a known birth father identifies as a birth parent and often is part of the adoption triad. This type of birth father is more commonly associated with open adoptions. Rather than just being an identifiable birth parent, this birth father may also have a relationship with his child.
Examples of known birth fathers include a current or former spouse with whom the birth mother has a positive relationship. Known birth fathers have the opportunity to be involved and support their partners throughout the adoption process. A known birth father must sign away his parental rights before an adoption can become finalized. Depending on the status of the birth parents’ relationship, it is ultimately up to them as to what the adoption looks like. This includes whether the birth father gets to help make important decisions when placing a baby for adoption.
The Unknown Birth Father
On the other side of the spectrum, there is the unknown birth father. This man is a bit of a mystery; even the birth mother may not know his identity. An unknown birth father is most commonly associated with closed adoptions. He may either simply not want to be identified as a birth father, or he cannot be found at the time of the birth and adoption.
An unknown birth father is the most common type of birth father. An example of an unknown birth father would be an acquaintance via a one night stand, or a man who sexually assaulted the birth mother of the child. His identity is either blurry or unknown and the birth mother does not know how to get in contact with him. Don’t worry. Our agency does our due diligence by trying to locate him with any and all information we are able to gather. If he does not show up in the allotted amount of time, your adoption journey is able to proceed to finalization without his signature.
The Birth Father and Choosing to be Identified
Every adoption journey is unique, and each birth father may have his reasons for wanting to be identified and not. Here are two potential factors that may influence his decision:
- His relationship with the birth mother. If you and your child’s birth father are no longer together, or you are in an abusive relationship, he may choose to distance himself. On the other hand, if he has a positive and strong relationship with the birth mother, he may decide he is comfortable himself and become involved with the adoption process.
- His pride and confidence levels. Some birth fathers may feel ashamed that they are unable to provide for their children. This may cause them to distance themselves from their children to avoid experiencing those negative emotions. However, if he supports you and your decision to place your baby for adoption, he will understand that choosing adoption is one of the best ways your child can live their best life.
These two factors are just drops in the bucket of things that influence different levels of involvement when it comes to birth fathers. Choosing to be a known or unknown birth father is a big and personal decision, and the motivations are different for every man.
Types of Birth Fathers
Whether your child’s birth father is known or unknown, remember that adoption is always an option for you and your baby. We will be here to support you every step of the way, and will help you navigate your adoption journey, no matter what category your child’s birth father falls into.
Meet the Author: Grace Myers is a sophomore Digital Media major at North Greenville University, excited to work with Adoption Choices over the next couple of months. As a firm believer that every individual has a story to tell, and a right to be properly represented, she loves meeting new people and learning their stories.
When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to music or cuddling with her dog, Sundae.