It’s time to rise

Today’s jolly song is Teenagers – My Chemical Romance. Any song which includes the lyrics “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me” has my vote.

Anyways, on to matters which I have been trying to put out of my mind, but which are nibbling at my soul like little nibbly things. Therefore, despite my previous protestations that I was staying the hell away, I am going to rant.

I was browsing through Jenna’s new paid adoption blog site. Naturally, I was drawn to the link Issues for birth/first fathers. There were a few posts from Jenna, who is doing a great job there with sensitive, non-judgemental posting. She accomplishes this by writing from her own personal situation and not putting words and thoughts into the mouths and minds of birth fathers in general. Thank you, Jenna. But then…. I got to this. Written by Jan Baker. Uhh… issues for birth fathers? Not really… more like issues for birth mothers who are not getting along with the father of their baby. My fingers itched to retort. Positively itched. But for one thing, the site requires you to register before you can comment, and I categorically refuse to take the time to register just to post a comment which will be ignored anyways. And for another thing, I am trying to steer clear of drama because… well, ugh, drama.

But after sharing my indignation with Nicole (who kindly commented on my behalf) I feel like an asshole not saying anything myself, so I have succumbed to the need for vitriolic dissection. But I am going to do it on my own site, because I am already signed in. So, without further ado, allow me to retort!

 

Birth dads are much maligned,

True.

sometimes deservedly so, sometimes not. I suspect that there would be less pregnancies classified as “crisis pregnancies” if men in general were more accepting and supportive of unplanned pregnancies.

Possibly. Course, it is easier to be accepting and supportive of a pregnancy if you are actually told about it. Many men are not. Yet there are still these crisis pregnancies. Hmm, maybe it is not the men after all…

However, this is not a blanket indictment of all men. Like birth moms, I believe that some birth dads are unfairly characterized as unfeeling and uncaring. Birth dads come in all shapes and sizes just like birth moms. I do not know enough birth dads personally to be able to take much of a position on what an “average” might be like. Trying to compile an “average” snapshot is probably futile anyway.

And yet, you are writing about birth dads as if from a position of authority.

The majority of birth moms have little good to say about most birth dads. On the other hand, I have met a few birth dads, and have nothing but positive impressions of them. One has admittedly changed since his son was born and placed for adoption many years ago. He admits to having been a retched jerk when his son was born, and now regrets how he handled the situation.

OK. So we have established that birth mothers for the most part do not like birth fathers, although all the birth fathers the writer has met personally have been super, as well as introspective. Not sure where she is getting her stats from. My wife likes me, most of the time.

Blogger Sandra asked me recently about the pressure that some birth dads place on pregnant women. My short answer was that I feel that pressure should not happen from anyone, not even the father of the baby. The mother of a child is impacted the most severely by her decision as to whether to parent of not. Therefore, not even the baby’s father should be pressuring her, even though her decision does affect him as well.

Excuse me? How is the mother impacted the most severely? Please, I am really curious here. I can see that she is impacted by the pregnancy, but that is going to happen regardless of whether she chooses to parent or place. Once the baby is born, the pregnancy is moot. He is the child of two people. He shares the genetic material of both his mother and his father. If birth fathers are minimized, then fatherhood as a whole is minimized, so why the fuck are you worried about your baby having a two parent home if fathers mean nothing?

Pressure from a potential birth dad can be either for or against the adoption decision. First, I will talk about coercion from a man to convince the mother of his child to relinquish. Some pregnant women suspect that the father of their babies push the adoption option because they do not want to have to pay child support. Pressuring a woman to relinquish for that reason is pretty awful in my eyes and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Other men may just not want the responsibility of having a child for financial or other reasons. I have no respect for a man who would behave in this manner. From what I hear, many birth dads are not terribly responsible and supportive of pregnant women. In their defense, however, many are quite young, like many birth moms, and it is not surprising that the responsibility of becoming a father sometimes terrifies them.

Oh, hearsay. Great! Why don’t we malign all fathers who think that adoption is in the best interest of their children, because obviously their real reasons for choosing to relinquish are creepy and irresponsible, and not noble and selfless like the mothers’ reasons.

I think a woman in a crisis pregnancy needs to stand up for herself and decide what is best for her and her baby. If she goes against what is in her heart for the sake of a man, I believe that she will likely live to regret her decision. The best interest of a baby trumps a father’s wishes in my mind. This may sound harsh, but, men are replaceable in a woman’s life, babies are not. Placing a baby for adoption because a man tells you to is rarely, if ever, a wise decision.

What about a man who goes against what is in his heart for the sake of a woman? That is what you are asking him to do here. Set aside his own needs in favor of the wishes of the mother. Does the best interest of a baby trump a mother’s wishes, or just a father’s? Are babies replaceable in a man’s life? Consider just how many cases of overturned adoptions occur because the father wanted his child, and yet the mother went ahead with the adoption.

On the flip side, what about men who want to pressure a woman to parent their child, even when she wishes to choose adoption. Pressuring a woman either way is not a smart thing to do. If a woman really does not want to parent, and you talk her into parenting, what are the chances that she will become a good mother? It is possible that she will have a change of heart after the baby is both, but, again, she is the party most impacted by her pregnancy, and she gets to decide what happens to her baby in most circumstances.

What, never heard of a single father?

However, I know one young man who sought custody of his child once he knew that his girlfriend had decided on the adoption option. I believe that he should have been given the chance to parent their child if she did not want to. I do not know why the baby’s mother did not want him to have custody. Perhaps she also had some spiteful and punitive reasons as well. I suspect that she perhaps believed a two parent family would be a better option. The baby’s father spent years fighting for custody in court, but, did not succeed. Nothing about him gave me any indication that he would not have been a warm, loving and successful parent. He was financially solvent, stable and I cannot imagine that he could not have done a superb job of parenting.

Sad, isn’t it?

If a woman believes that the father of her child is unstable or would provide an unsafe home for their child, that is altogether an entirely different situation. Several women have told me that they relinquished in order to keep the baby safe. They felt that the fathers might have harmed the babies in some ways mostly due to drug or alcohol addictions.

You know, the baby is actually safer if the mother chooses to parent, rather than place without the father’s consent.

In an ideal world, a couple would decide together if they find out that a baby is on the way how to handle the situation. Ultimately, the woman is always more affected by whatever decision is made, so she should be free to do so without pressure from the father of her baby or anyone. If they cannot agree, who gets to decide, the father or mother of the baby?

Bull and shit. Although I agree that in an ideal world, a couple would decide together how to handle the situation. The rest of this article is egocentric, partisan, unfounded drivel.

Thank you and goodnight.

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9 Responses to “It’s time to rise”

  1. Christine Says:

    Bull and shit about sums it up, I think. Very wise of you Brad.

    So what is being presented here is that the man should have no say in anything because no matter what the mother trumps — because clearly pregnancy bestows the crown of wisdom upon her alone.

    Blah, blah, blah. Same old crap.

    I know from first hand experience that the loss of a child does not only effect the woman… Kristin’s dad spent years being such a mess about it that he couldnt even be there for me to lean on.

    I beg to differ with this — “In an ideal world, a couple would decide together if they find out that a baby is on the way how to handle the situation. ”

    In an ideal world, a couple would always raise their baby.

    I would much rather have pressure from my child’s father… than an agency who is selling my child for a buck! And a couple who’s sole interest is to aquire my child from said agency.

    A man should not pressure a woman… Psshhhwah. I say… that as they are pressuring each other… no one on the outside should be judging either of their pressuring. THEY ARE THE PARENTS. (Note: that was plural.) Pressuring each other IS deciding together. It is how you hear both sides…. and explore middle ground. Or test how deep you really feel a certain way.

    OY!!! GGRRRR!!!!

  2. Rational Adult Says:

    You misunderstood my comment on Paragraphein. Happy to clarify if you’re interested in the truth.

  3. reunionwritings Says:

    L’s father was unhelpful and abusive. He was horrible to the sons he did get to see growing up. He is still in active addiction and looks like a survivor of a prison camp.

    He could have been supportive. He could have learnt from losing his daughter to adoption and grown from that experience. He didn’t. All of his sons have huge social problems.

    This was my experience. I can only say what happened to me. In fact, him being such a terrible person gave me comfort that she was adopted because she grew up with a dad she adores who adores her.

    Adoption sucks, it hurts, it’s shit and no I don’t want to be eloquent about it.

    I don’t think of you and L’s natural father as being the same.

    I have a high opinion of you Brad.

    And I can only repeat my experience, strength and hope.

    I believe you are a good person in your son’s life. Nothing like L’s father.

    Oh and he got the opportunity to make contact or pass on a message or let her know how he cares about her and he couldn’t be bothered. So he just hurt her all over again.

    No, don’t expect me to rush to his defence.

    I will be there for you Brad, but I will not stand up and defend all the fathers of the children lost to adoption because in a lot of cases we were abandoned.

  4. It still makes my blood boil, reading it.

    Kim, I know not all birth fathers are stellar people. Not all birth mothers are, either.

    That’s why we don’t judge a group of people based on the lowest common denominator.

    It’s why we don’t bestow (or take away, in this case) rights based on the worst example in a group.

    And it’s just absolute drivel that women are more affected by adoption than men.

    Whether they talk about it or not, they’re affected. Whether they admit it or not, they’re affected.

    Men are treated like second-class citizens when it comes to matters of family. And it’s not right.

  5. Christine Says:

    Well… making the choices that he made is different than proclaiming that he shouldnt have had the right to make those choices.

    In hindsight.. you can see what became of him. BUT at that time you have no way of reading the future and it would be wrong to withold such a choice from someone because in your opinion they may end up being a screw up….

    If that makes any kind of sense.

    You cant judge the beginning on a potential ending. If that were the case… we could all end up being dire schizophrenics…worst case scenario…

  6. reunionwritings Says:

    I didn’t mean that I agree with fathers not having equal rights. And I don’t have a prejudice against them as a group.

    I never said that father’s shouldn’t have rights.

    I really hope that I didn’t give that impression.

    I think the adoption industry abuses fathers as much as mothers.

    I am just not going to rush and defend them as a group according to behaviour because that doesn’t feel honest to me.

    I don’t associate Brad with the types of fathers I am referring to. I associate my own father though.

  7. Christine said:
    “I beg to differ with this — “In an ideal world, a couple would decide together if they find out that a baby is on the way how to handle the situation. ”

    In an ideal world, a couple would always raise their baby.”

    You are absolutely right Christine, thankyou for the correction.

    Kim: My intent here is not to defend or absolve individual fathers. What I am trying to do is refute the claim that we are less important in our children’s lives than their mothers, that fatherhood is of less value than motherhood. The difference between this article and what you write about L’s father is that this article is making generalizations based on absolutely no evidence, and labeling all fathers based on this flawed – hell, nonexistent – reasoning. Whereas you (and the same goes for Jenna when she writes about Munchkin’s birth father) are writing a personal account of your own situation. You are not attempting to make any statement on what other people should be doing about their particular situation. This article is, and it is playing on the birth father stereotypes in the same way that so many articles paint birth mothers as crack whores who do not give a shit, because it is written by someone who does not have the first clue.

    I do not expect anyone to defend me, or birth fathers as a group. But if people are going to write about birth fathers on a first parents adoption blog, can they at least do some research, maybe try talking to one? If nonsense like this appears at a site that is supposed to educate people about actual adoption issues, what the hell hope is there?

  8. I have to say I’m fascinated to read about a b-father’s emotional experiences with adoption. I feel strongly that men are completely left out of the whole equation and almost never are given a voice.I cant agree or disagree or pass judgement on anyone. Each situation is different, each individual is different.It seems to me that fathers who want to parent arent being given the chance, and fathers who dont want to parent can easily choose not to do so. I wonder about my baby’s father every day. I wont pretend to know what he feels or thinks. But I sure am pissed at him for not supporting the baby when he had the chance. i think you are brave for posting your views and feelings here. I think more bfathers should dare to do so even if it means voicing an opinion that seems politically incorrect.With feminists always posing and pushing their views, I wonder where they were when I was starving and trying to raise a baby all on my own.

  9. Hello, there. I stumbled upon your blog thanks to WordPress’s habit of telling me what may be related to what I’ve just posted on my blog. I am so glad to meet a vocal birth father. Go, you! But I have one tiny bone to pick about this:

    Excuse me? How is the mother impacted the most severely? Please, I am really curious here. I can see that she is impacted by the pregnancy, but that is going to happen regardless of whether she chooses to parent or place. Once the baby is born, the pregnancy is moot.

    Well, duh. Pregnancy may end immediately after birth, but do you know that it’s a medical fact that a woman’s post-pregnancy body does not return to ‘normal’ for up to 12 months later? And perhaps if your wife has had a baby, you will know that she will carry physical marks of pregnancy and childbirth forever. They are her reminders. So, unless your breasts have leaked milk for weeks after giving birth, I think it is fairly apparent that a birth mother has just a little more of a “severe impact” physically than does the birth father. And like it or not, we’re a western culture that over-identifies with the Great Mother archetype sometimes, altogether. That’s two explanations of why people might say that birth mothers experience a greater impact when a child is lost to adoption.

    I’m adding you to my blog roll already.

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