Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good Old What's His Name

Our family speaks frankly about adoption. So much so that our kids assume adoption is part of everyone's birth story, which is either funny or tragic, depending on your own experiences.

I'm pained to realize that in all of our formal discussions and impromptu conversations and off-hand mentions of adoption, we've barely talked about their birth fathers. We just don't know much about them.

I know they made decisions that will reverberate in my life as long as it lasts.
I know their first names.
I know what one of them looks like. I know he was adopted and wanted to be present at the birth.
I know the year the other one graduated from high school. I know he was a straight A student and was no longer in a relationship with M when the baby was born.

That's it.

What I know about them amounts to a pile of nothing.
I can't give my children anything of substance about the men they came from.

It's an awful feeling.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+


Jason and Cheryl said...

Same here, Sally. We know Hailey's birth dad's name and have met him once but that's about it. What do you tell your children about these mysterious men when they ask ? I am still trying to figure that out !

birthmothertalks said...

Can the birthmom's give any info? I am kind of in the same boat but the other way around. I can't give much more than an handful of details about my daughter's birthfather besides first name and a few basic memories of that time.

Tonya said...

We are in the same boat. For my daughter's birth father, we know his name and age. For my son, we know only his name. My daughter is very bothered by not knowing anything about him and sometimes tries to fill in the gaps herself. She recently told me she thinks he's serving in Afghanistan because then she'd be proud of him. I was so sad at that. We've asked the birthmom for info, but she has not given us anything, so I think we may be stuck with knowing nothing.....which is awful.

Anonymous said...

Someday, for you Sally and for the above commenters, your children will realize how lucky they are to have you all as parents... parents who actually understand the need for their children to have information about their birth fathers as well as their birth mothers. I'm an adult adoptee from a closed adoption. I struggled to get any information growing up because my parents never bothered to get any; not that they would have been given much since it was also a private adoption and the attorneys were pro-secrets & lies. But, even after spending a decent chunk of coin to finally get information on my birth mom and being reunited with her, I still have nothing on my own father. (And I'm going to be 36!) No name, nothing. And my birth mom won't talk about him. I'm totally in favor of adoption agencies, social services and attorneys being made (by law) to collect information on birth fathers before a child can be placed for adoption. And they should be made to verify that all information is accurate to the best of their ability. But, I'll never see it in my lifetime... Again - your children are very lucky to have such parents as you.

Anonymous said...

I don't want this to sound cold, but at least you know that information. I don't know much, and my son's birth mother won't really say. What I do know, I don't know how I can really tell my son. . . not all conception stories are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Our kids' first father often gets overlooked in our conversations. We actually know a lot about him, for some reason we just focus more on their mom.

I am said...

It's heartening to see this topic comes up at all. One of the problems in bringing birthfathers into an adoption relationship is how thoroughly the deck has been stacked against them. Rather, against us. Every social cue during an unplanned pregnancy that results in adoption tells men they're not welcome. I stuck around primarily because I'm ridiculously stubborn, and refused to live without knowing my son or staying with his mother.

Thank you for talking about this. Men rarely hear from anyone who wants them to be present in a family built through adoption.