There is some push back on calling him the “birth” father. After all, he didn’t give birth. Often, the father isn’t actually known or is misrepresented by the woman giving birth. I know of situations where these kinds of circumstances exist.
Birth father has commonly be used to refer to a man who’s child is being or has been placed with an adoptive family. The actual man is certainly the genetic father. Some adoptees will derogatively refer to him as their sperm donor and that is accurate too. Others refer to him as their biodad. More than one will say simply that he should be referred to simply as “dad.”
Throughout history, men have had the easy path in human reproduction. Their contribution takes almost no time at all, whereas a woman must devote as much as 9 months of her life for a completely new human being to emerge into the world. Technically, what is referred to as a birth father is one who pays no child support. Often an adoption is finalized without the birth father’s knowledge or consent. If you are not married to the mother of your child at the time of birth, you are considered a ‘putative father,’ meaning reputed to be. Often a genetic father denies he fathered a child until forced to do a paternity test which proves the truth (or not) of the situation.
And realistically this – being called birth father or bio father does not diminish what you as the birth mother have gone through. And this came up repeatedly – it really is up to the child what they chose to call their father. Also, the birth mother who started this was reminded that she needs to be very careful whenever she expresses disagreement because her relationship with her child could be snatched away, at any time – for any reason, that the adoptive parents see fit to do that. Don’t risk it over this because if she gets cut off her child will experience yet another loss. She does not get to be a gatekeeper regarding her child’s relationships. Her issues with her child’s father shouldn’t become her child’s issues. It doesn’t matter when his relationship with his child started because at least he has one now.
I have twin girls, their biological father raped me. That’s how I became pregnant. He’s been fighting for shared custody. The courts are wondering how I would feel about my girls having supervised visitation with him once a month with a 3rd party. I am trying to put my daughters needs above my own. They do have his DNA. I’m worried that if I don’t allow visitation, I will be stripping my daughters from their blood, but at the same time I’ll be putting them at risk of abuse from a man who abused me. I’m unsure what to do, I know my gut is telling me to keep my young children away from him at all costs but reading some of the experiences of adoptees causes me not to want to cause them trauma by being kept away from their biological family member. We have court on Monday to decide what should happen. I’m trying to think on both sides but honestly my trauma (Former Foster Care Youth) is pushing me very far one way and I’m not sure what the best decision for the children is. Currently I have 100% custody and placement. This wouldn’t change. He would just have court ordered supervised visitation once a month organized by Child Protective Services.
Some comments – DNA matters yes but not like this. Trauma aside he is a sexually violent human being and should go nowhere near those girls or you ever again.
One says this – All children have a right to their story. Of course, this truth will come out much later but it should be in a therapeutic way. Given that I would say in court – “No. I want my children to always trust that I will keep them safe and away from abusive people. I cannot agree to send them into the arms of a dangerous man. I want to be healthy for my children and I would like you to stop asking me to send my children to my abuser.”
Another recommended – You do have a dilemma going forward. I’d reach out to a professional regarding the children. A therapist with experience in the area of rape/trauma/absent parent.
One speaks from experience – As a child of incest and rape I lived daily with my abusers. Your having to be around him is traumatic for you and the fact that he has that history, I do not agree with him being around minor children. I can’t even believe a court system would allow this. These children deserve to be kids. When they’re old enough to understand how they came into this world, it should be solely their choice regarding whether to pursue a relationship.
Someone else writes – Keep them away from him if at all possible. Sometimes abusive men try to obtain custody of the children as a way to further humiliate or abuse the mother. Sometimes they fight for full custody, just to dump the parental responsibilities onto the mother. It’s just a game with them and getting their rights on paper. It’s not about the mother/child bond that’s certain.
Yet another writes – Keep them away. I’m big on family preservation and father’s rights but no child should ever be around a rapist. Please protect your girls.
Yet another shares from experience – A family member of mine found out this is how they were conceived. They have connected with their siblings from their sperm donor (some do refer to a father with whom they have no connection this way), and have a good relationship. They only met the guy once. That was enough. I would say, be honest with your children – when they are older but protect them in their youth.
Someone asks – Did he serve time for your rape? if no..nothing has changed. To which the woman responds – 6 months probation.
Another suggestion – Would put your mind at ease more or help, if there was a relative you were comfortable with supervising contact (one of his siblings, grandparents on that side, a cousin)? Someone who can represent the father’s side of the family and reassure the judge that you want the girls to know their heritage but still need to protect them from him? Also, is there any risk to him moving forward from supervised visits? If so, not sure that’s a risk you would want to take. For example, if he did 5 years of supervised visits with no issues, wouldn’t he ask for more time and unsupervised? He would have a length of time and proof that he is capable of parenting and that’s not something I would want to risk. So also something to consider now.
And this one is definitely a cautionary tale – I’m a former foster care youth and adoptee. My biological father raped my first mother. She kept me from him for years, then later encouraged a relationship with him. He raped me, too. Obviously, that can’t happen with a truly supervised visitation. However, he will keep pushing for more, asking for more, and could eventually get unsupervised. This is an instance where keeping your child safe from a biological parent is *actually* a valid concern and not just a made up worry.
Another cautionary tale – I was forced to allow visits with my rapist and my son is now in a psych facility because of the trauma.
Yet another noted – He will use your daughters. As bait for his next victims, or as his victims, as a screen to convince the world that he’s a respectable guy, or as tools to destroy your sense of safety and well being. Any man who will not respect your body won’t respect any female body.
Someone else writes that they are a former foster care youth and incest survivor. Their father is a rapist. My thought is nooooooooo – keep that man away from your babies, he’s not a safe person.
An adoptee adds – No. He’s an actual verified REAL safety concern. Keep him FAR away from your babies. I know it’s hard because you want to truly do what’s best for them and not what your own personal trauma tells you to do (and that makes you second guess yourself)… But you’re doing the right thing in keeping them safe.
Maybe all of this is enough – never trust anyone who has been inclined to rape a woman.
Until very recently, a woman would not chose to be a single mother. A lot depends on her financial resources or ability to access available resources which does vary a lot. I know more than one woman who made the choice to parent without an “official” father (though every baby has a father, somehow, even if that father was a sperm donor).
From the dawn of the adoption business (and it is a business), single mothers were no longer encouraged to parent their child but instead to surrender the child to adoption. I know this was already happening as early as the 1930s. Babies ended up adopted because “Unmarried women didn’t raise their children back then.” said by one original mother after reunion.
Unmarried women were treated with contempt for doing what nature intended. I remember running up against this belief unbelievably in today’s modern times. My paternal grandfather’s step-granddaughter (he had married her grandmother as a second wife) said my grandmother was a “Scarlet” because she was unwed. In effect, she was judging my grandmother as morally deficient. I didn’t appreciate the contempt she expressed.
I suspect that my grandmother didn’t know he was married when she first started dating him but I am certain she did know by the time she knew she was pregnant.
The sad fact was – If you were unmarried and pregnant, you weren’t valued. A “Baby Daddy” was valued even less. It is interesting I only ran up against that derogatory label for a father recently at a writer’s conference.
Anyway, adoption is changing. As I explored my dad’s origins with the Salvation Army, they told me they had to shut down their unwed mother’s homes because of Roe v Wade. I’m certain that has played a role but I suspect an equal or greater role in that demise is that single moms are treated with less derision today.