Adoption can be confusing, especially if you are considering it for the first time. There’s so much to learn about the process. If you’ve got a lot of questions, you’re not alone.
Accidentally getting a girl pregnant can throw a big wrench in your life plans. How to deal with an unplanned pregnancy as a male can be seriously challenging. And if you’ve been searching for answers, you’ve probably found a lot of articles for the mother, not the father.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to the most common questions that prospective birth fathers have about adoption. Birth fathers have the opportunity to play an important role in this life-changing process. Once you’ve got a better understanding of how adoption works, you’ll be prepared to play your part.
Let’s get started.
She is pregnant. What do I do?
Receiving news of an unplanned pregnancy can be life-changing. Knowing what to do in response is rarely easy, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted.
Unplanned pregnancy advice for men will change depending on your situation. So, the first piece of advice is to take stock of how things are in your life.
Are you ready to be a father? What is your relationship with the mother of the baby? Is the rest of your life — family, friends, employment — stable, or in flux?
Your answer to these questions will go a long way in determining the best route of how to deal with unplanned pregnancy for men. When it comes to dealing with unplanned pregnancy, there are basically three choices.
While evaluating your unplanned pregnancy options, keep in mind that this is her body and her choice. Yes, you are involved as well. As the father, you have an opportunity to play an important and supportive role in the journey. However, it all has to start with respect for her autonomy as the person who is carrying the child.
With that in mind, the three ways of how to deal with unplanned pregnancy for men are:
- Parenting: Most unplanned pregnancies result in parenting. This doesn’t mean yours has to, but it is important to consider the possibility that parenting, even though difficult, could be the path for your future.
If you and the mother of the baby are both sure that parenting isn’t an option, then that leaves you with two choices.
- Abortion: Whether or not to get an abortion is the mother’s choice. The father of the baby has a right to voice his opinion. However, it is ultimately her body and her decision. A woman should never be pressured into choosing abortion.
- Adoption: Choosing to place your baby for adoption can be a way of men dealing with unplanned pregnancy that creates a better future for everyone involved. Adoption removes the burden of parenting from your shoulders when you aren’t ready for it while also giving your child the opportunity to thrive in the loving care of an adoptive family.
How does adoption work?
Prospective birth parents who choose adoption will work with a private adoption agency. With the agency’s help, they create an adoption plan. This plan outlines things like:
- What kind of adoptive family the prospective birth parents are looking for
- The level of openness in adoption
- The details of labor and delivery
- How post-placement contact will go
- And more
Once the plan has been created, the prospective birth parents will look through adoptive family profiles to pick an adoptive family. At the hospital, the child will be placed with the adoptive parents after consent to adoption has been signed by the birth parents.
If the birth mother puts a child up for adoption, does the birth father have to pay any money?
The financial burden of parenting is often one reason that a man might consider adoption. You may be wondering, “If you give your child up for adoption, how quick does child support stop?”
Once a child has been placed with the adoptive parent, the child is fully and legally theirs. This usually means that any child support payments will not continue past this point. However, there can be exceptions.
State law dictates Child support payments, which can be different in each state. The best way to figure out if a parent gives a child up for adoption, do they still have to pay child support is to speak with an attorney in your state.
How can the father support the adoption?
Arguably the most important thing a father can do is support the mother of the baby through the adoption process. There are a couple ways to do this:
- Emotional Support: Listen. Offer encouragement. Give grace. Unplanned pregnancy is hard, and so is the adoption process. Be the encouraging voice and safe space she needs.
- Practical Support: Does she need help getting to and from medical appointments? What about getting groceries, or running other errands? Any way you can offer practical support gives her one less thing to worry about.
- Adoption Support: The adoption process involves a lot of choices. If you choose adoption together, then you can both contribute in the process of making these decisions. You could choose a level of openness and pick an adoptive family together. Making these choices as a team can help take a bit of pressure off the mother’s shoulders.
Will I get to see my child after adoption?
Men dealing with unplanned pregnancy often find it comforting to learn about open adoption. Most adoptions today are at least semi-open, which means there is some form of contact between the birth and adoptive families after placement. When you choose adoption, you’ll still be able to maintain a connection with your child as they grow up.
What is adoption financial assistance?
Anyone wondering, “If you ‘give a child up’ for adoption, do you pay child support?” will be interested in learning about adoption financial assistance. This assistance is not the same as payment for adoption — which is illegal. Rather, the mother’s pregnancy-related and cost-of-living expenses are often eligible for financial assistance during the adoption process. This can relieve a great amount of financial stress related to the costs of pregnancy and parenting.
What should I do to get started with adoption?
Are you and the mother of the baby on the same page about adoption? Before going any further, it’s important to know that she is fully on board.
Then, your next step is to contact an adoption agency. Adoption agencies provide the services required to complete an adoption. They offer guidance, support and encouragement. Working with the right agency is often the difference between and good and bad experience with the process.
If you’re ready to reach out to an agency, here are several national adoption agencies to consider:
Or, if you aren’t sure whom to call, you can contact us today. We’d be happy to connect you with an adoption professional.