What was the involvement of the birth father in the adoption placement process at the beginning and the end?

AMY SCHUMAKER

In the beginning, the birthfather was pretty absent. At first, when he found out that I wanted to parent, he was very against it. He wanted me to abort like I said, and I said “No, that’s not going to happen, that’s not an option.” A couple of days later he appeared online and he said, “Here, I want you to take a look at this link” so I clicked on the link and it goes to an adoption agency. He said, “I think, for you, it might be best if you try to do adoption. He goes, “One, you then can carry on with your own life and pursue the goals of what you want because I know you want to go back to school and you have all these other things you want to do.” I said “Well, let me take a look at it. I looked at the adoption stuff and I figure out that was probably the best route. Once he found out that I was going to go through with the adoption, he was a little bit more willing to have contact with me because he knew he wouldn’t then have to be responsible for child support or anything else that would come with being a biological dad then or a sperm donor basically.

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During the process of picking the family and stuff he wasn’t really there but I did ask him if he would like to meet the family that I had chosen. And he did come to the first mediation meeting with me as well, which was awkward because I haven’t seen him since we had gotten pregnant in person. He had never met my mom so it was very awkward. He liked the family and I can tell on his face that he approved of this family as well. He went to have lunch with us afterwards and we tried to make chit chat and then he left. Then just a few days before I went into labor I had asked him, “Would you like to be at the hospital? You are more than welcome to be at the hospital when I go into labor and once I have the baby, if you want to come and see her and hold her, I’m not going to stop you. This is your child as well even if you are not wanting to be an active participant. I do want to give you that option.” He did say yes, he possibly would like to be there.

When I went into labor I was admitted to the hospital, he was one of the first couple of people that we called and said, “Hey, FYI, Amy’s in labor. She’s at this hospital. She’s just starting labor so take your time coming up, if you’d like. If not, we’ll just call you after she gives birth.” He came up right away and he put his head in and said hello and said that he would be in the waiting room. He waited out there all night. After my daughter was born, we did invite him in and he was one of the first people to be able to hold her, just for a little bit. I really wanted to allow him to have that time because I didn’t know if he would ever have kids in the future and I didn’t want to deprive him of that because he is an active participant. I can’t deny that. I also wanted to have a few pictures of him holding her so if that was the only type of contact that she would ever have with him, then she would have a couple of pictures so she could go back and look at how he looked, just to try to pull similarities from her own features to see if she can relate to him. After that he then disappeared.

He signed up to be a contractor with a team of bomb-sniffing dogs in Afghanistan and spent a couple of years over in Afghanistan and Iraq with a team of dogs. I stayed in contact and when I got pictures and updates and stuff, I did send him those pictures and I don’t know if he really wanted them or not but he never told me not to send them so I continued to. I continued to keep him updated on her progress and stuff. I never got a response. If I did get a response it was, “Okay, thanks.” On father’s day I would send him a quick little email just saying “Happy Father’s day, I know this may be a difficult time for you and if not, then good. If it is, I’m here for you if you need to talk.” Once he did come home from Afghanistan. He did tried to contact the adoptive family to see if he could come down and have a visit but they did deny that request because they did not have an adoption agreement with him. They felt like he just walked away and didn’t really want to have much contact so why should they give him contact now.

Then fast forward to a couple of years later. I was getting in the process of getting married. I had found him online because I had stop contact with him and I was, “Hey, guess what? I’m getting married. I’m getting married back in Oregon as well. If you would like, I would like to have you as a guest. Our daughter is my flower girl and this would give you a chance to see her even if it was from afar if they don’t allow you to come up and see her physically.” He said he would really think about it and a couple of days later he sent me an email, apologizing to how he treated me while I was pregnant. He apologized of how he treated me for a year after placement as well. He said that I had kept him in the loop and he thanked me for that. That he would be attending the wedding. So he showed up at the wedding and we were able to get pictures with him and myself and our daughter together. We have that as well and he was able to see how much she’s grown since he had not seen her since birth. It was such a special moment that I will always cherish and that will probably be the last time that we’re ever able to possibly be together as a small unofficial family at some type of point. I do still see him on Facebook here and there. If he post pictures, current pictures or old baby pictures and stuff, I have saved some of those for my own personal files so when our daughter does ask who her father was, I have stuff to provide to her.

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