Fathers Get to Hide

One of the realities of adoption is that biological fathers get to hide. In most instances, very few people know they got a woman pregnant. Most people never know how they reacted when the woman they got pregnant told them of the pregnancy. If they get married after the pregnancy, their wife never has to know they fathered a child. If they chose to abandon the mother or otherwise failed to take responsibility, almost no one knows.

Rarely do women have the luxury of keeping the pregnancy secret. Many people will see her getting larger as the baby grows. Her family and friends will know what happened. She will have to explain her decisions.

If their child shows an interest in looking, they will be much more likely to find the biological mother than they will be likely to find the biological father. In states where adoptees can get their original birth certificate, they will find out the mother’s name. If the father has vanished, they are unlikely to get his identity.

If the child is persistent, it is almost always the mother who will be found. It doesn’t matter if she wants to be found or not. It doesn’t matter if she chose not to tell her husband and their children. She will have to deal with the child and the fallout when the father won’t.

Sadly, our sexist system leaves the birthmother responsible for everything. The birthfather can choose to walk away and may never face any consequences for having walked away. It will be left to the birthmother to explain both sides of the adoption story to the child.

In a just world, men would not be able to walk away free of their responsibility. In this world, women are always left with the consequences.

I have had many difficult conversations with Mom about her decision to put me up for adoption. I know she will always carry scars from the abandonment she experienced and the pain she had to face alone. I know she spent years wondering between hoping she would someday meet my twin and I and fearing what would happen to her life if she was found.

But when I did find her she couldn’t have been more open, welcoming, and loving. From the instant I met her, Mom made me feel acceptance I hadn’t truly felt before. But even with her capability for compassion and love, I know there are wounds of Mom’s that may never feel good.

At the same time, I know very few people if any in my biological father’s life have any idea that he fathered my brother and I. He had the choice to walk away. He had the choice to deny his responsibility. He has never had to look over his shoulder with a combination of hope and fear around the idea of being found. He has never had to wonder what his family would think or how they would react to a part of his past he has long ago buried.

The reality that women carry babies shouldn’t mean women have to carry a lifetime of hurt and responsibility while men hide from reality.

And it should be obvious but adoptees should have just as easy of a time finding their birthfather as they do their birthfather. Sadly, men always have more rights than women and children.

I'd love to hear from you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: