This information is used with permission from the National Council for Adoption
Someone who may bear a great deal of influence on the decision to be made is the father of the baby.
It is the mother of the baby's decision to determine how she wants the father of the baby engaged in the process of discussing pregnancy options with the health care professional.
Once she makes the decision to include him in the discussion, it is the healthcare professional's responsibility to engage him in the process.
When indicated, health care professionals can be welcoming and helpful in encouraging him to support the birth mother and setting the couple on the right path for getting the help they need to make options decisions together.
Health care professionals can facilitate informed decision making by identifying birth mother and birth father strengths and building on those in making referrals.
It is important for health care professionals to engage interested birth fathers using the same techniques used to engage others:
- treating them with dignity and respect
- actively listening to their concerns
- being non-judgmental
Birth fathers can be encouraged to take an interest in their partner and the pregnancy and attend prenatal and perinatal visits, if that is what the birth mother chooses or wants.
Birth fathers can be encouraged to become informed about the experiences and issues of pregnancy so that they can become a partner in informed decision-making regarding pregnancy options. However, the decision to involve him is totally within the control of the pregnant woman.
Birth fathers who release their parental rights may experience loss and may find it helpful to talk about this with others, either in a professional or peer support setting.
Birth fathers can be encouraged to provide information about themselves, their medical history, and their interest in contact with their child when he/she is an adult.
Birth fathers can become custodial parent.
This information needs to be given to the personal and/or agency completing the adoption.
In open adoptions, birth fathers may be able to maintain on-going contact with their child and update any personal or medical information for the adoptive family.