Lately, I have run into a lot of Facebook/News posts about a birth “father” fighting for his child in a custody battle with prospective adoptive parents.
I have extremely mixed feelings about this since I am an adoptive parent. I will almost always tend to side with the prospective adoptive parents just because I know exactly what they have been through. But my mind knows to look at all the facts before making a final judgment.
I know that there has been many cases where DCFS has not been honest and have actually taken children away from OK parents. But in my opinion, that is very rare…. If DCFS is involved, something is not right. Plain and simple. You may think you are doing nothing wrong. But in reality, you are actually harming your child. It’s OK to say “I’m sorry” and change your ways 100%. But in your baby’s time. Not when YOU are ready to change. You need to change right when your baby first needs you (even when baby is still in the womb). Don’t wait to be a better parent. Don’t let someone else bring in your baby to their home and love him/her exactly how you should be. Then get mad to see that you missed out. Don’t blame foster/adoptive parents when your actions has caused this situation in the first place. Take responsibility of YOURSELF before it is too late. There are many parents who have made mistakes but QUICKLY made up for them and turned their life around. If they can choose to do it, anyone can.
Again, all situations are different. And all birth parents do have rights (to a limit). Birth fathers have a right to a DNA test if there is no other birth father confirmed. They have a right to say “I want to parent my child” even if the birth mother wants to give up her rights. But the birth father also needs to be there in the beginning. Not just when it is “convenient” for him. If a child/baby is with a loving foster family for over a year, even two years, how could someone expect to just take the child away from the only home he/she knows?
Again, here is another situation… Birth mother finds an adoptive family before baby is even born. (In some states, it is legal for birth mother to even ask for “expenses” for the rest of the pregnancy.) So all preliminary papers are signed. Baby is born. But where is the birth father?? Of course, he comes late into the mix and demands his baby back. According to him, he was not allowed to even be known as a “presumed” father because he was not supportive during the pregnancy. But we are missing a lot of facts. A lot of dates. When did birth father change his mind? How long has this court process taken? In the end, the judge decided to allow child to stay with the prospective adoptive parents. The birth father continues to fight. Was that right? Is it fair to keep a child away from his biological father who truly wants to parent their child? When is it “too late” for a birth parent?
I never knew this other world of adoption until after our adoption with Baby K. That was when I joined tons of Facebook groups. Read many stories and experiences. I know how to keep an open mind and know all the facts before assuming anything.
In the end, everyone needs to agree “What is best for the baby/child?”. Even if you are not the answer, you need to let go and remember “what my baby/child needs is not what I need…”
The child always has to be number 1.
Until next time,