However, to my knowledge, there is no similar recognition for birth fathers the Saturday before Father's Day. I can understand why, honestly. Our society generally puts the burden of parenting on the mother. Birth fathers have an out; they don't have to be pregnant, and physically hand over the child to adoptive parents if they don't want to. They can remove themselves from the situation, and many choose that route. Most, if not all, states have a way to terminate a birth father's rights if he can't be found or won't participate in the adoption but won't or can't step up to raise the child himself either. So a birth father can enjoy willful ignorance if he wants. If I'm being honest, that's most of the adoption situations I deal with. Don't get me wrong, we do actually search for the birth father in order to get his consent. Not only do we have to, by state law, but it's just the right thing to do. But usually, he doesn't want to talk to us, or he talks big but doesn't follow through. Unfortunately I think this is somewhat symptomatic of fatherhood in our culture, it isn't respected or taught for a variety of reasons.
But there are a notable few birth fathers who stand out in my mind as being good dads. They participated in the pregnancy knowing they would have to say goodbye for their child, or when they found out they were a possible father they flat out told me, "I know that I cannot raise this child properly, I don't want him/her to become a pawn in the mother's and my relationship. I will voluntarily sign my rights over so this child can have a father who can do what I cannot." Just like it is hard for a birth mother to admit that she is not in the best position to raise a child it is hard for a birth father. So for those birth fathers who stepped up and were the best daddy they could be, we acknowledge and honor you today. Thank you for your sacrifice. Please, speak up and let other fathers know that adoption is an option, and it is not shameful or wrong. It is being a strong father. Your children deserve the best parents they can have, including in an adoption situation. Be your kids' superhero.
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