Last month on Mother’s Day, I shared my experience with the observations made by Amy Young in her blog post focused on “The Wide Spectrum of Mothering.” As today is Father’s Day, I can’t help but think about how there is also a wide spectrum of fathering. I find myself, as an adoptee, realizing how one of my fathers is simply not fully represented on days such as today. Many fathers lost their children because unmarried fathers had no legal right to raise their own children. Many fathers lost children they do not even know about. Many fathers lost their children because there are different laws in different states. Fathers are often treated as afterthoughts or seed-providers in adoption. And society is failing them by allowing this to continue.
And so, I offer some expressions and encouraging statements for the first dads of adoption.
- For those who very much wanted to raise their adopted-out children yet did not have the legal right to do so, we acknowledge your loss and offer our support.
- For those who asserted their legal right, did not consent to their children’s adoptions and lost them anyway, we vow as a society to recognize the basic human right for a father to raise his own child.
- For those who lost their children to open adoption and were then cut out of their childrens’ lives completely–we recognize your pain and embrace you with compassion.
- For those who are not listed on the original birth certificate of their children, we acknowledge your fatherhood.
- For those who are in reunion with children once lost to adoption–we offer support as you journey down this path of discovery.
- For those who lost all knowledge of, or contact with, their fathers due to adoption and sealed birth records–we grieve this profound loss with you and vow to do better as a society to empower and respect the needs and legal rights of adopted persons.