Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4 - The Natural Father

The Natural Father According to biology, it takes two to make a baby. However, when it comes to adoption often the natural father seems to be left out of the conversation more often than not. Do you feel that’s a valid statement? Were your natural parents treated as equals in your adoptive household? As a child, did you wonder about your natural father? Were you given any details about him? How did that make you feel? What is your view on natural fathers’ rights?

Ah yes, the forgotten fathers. Growing up I had non-identifying information about both my mother and father.  But I found out years later that my mother had lied to the adoption agency, listing herself as widowed, so that she would not be judged for giving away her second-born child.  I glommed onto that one tidbit of information and ran with it when I started searching. If she gave birth to me in August, I must have been conceived in Oct-Nov of the year before, so he must have died sometime during that 9 month period.  Since I also had my original last name, I spent hours pouring over obituaries for that time frame.

Obviously that didn't get me anywhere, since a) he wasn't dead and b) they were never married, so my original last name was my mother's, not my father's.  So much for thinking I had a great lead.

Since I had always assumed the my father was dead, I didn't really spend a great deal of time thinking about him, other then to wonder in passing how he had died.  I was glad to have the non-identifying information that I did, as it gave me the smallest of glimpses into what he may have been like.  Not too tall, French Canadian (just like I was being raised), was in the Navy.

Years later when I found out the true story, I was a bit stunned.  My father was married with 4 children, and he and my mother maintained a lifelong affair that spanned more than 40 years!  He knew about the pregnancy and that I was placed for adoption.  One of my mother's greatest fears during our reunion was that I would try to contact him and disrupt his family life, and out their affair to his wife.  No amount of my reassuring her would convince her that I had no intentions of doing that.  So because of her fear, she never gave me any more information about him.  She did tell me that he knew that I had found her, and she let me know when he did die, but otherwise, he was a taboo topic.

Liam only occasionally wonders about his father.  We have very little information about him, even less than I had about mine.  For Liam right now adoption is very much about his mother and his siblings that she is raising.  I wonder if that will change as he grows, and if growing up without a father figure will compel him to want to search out his father. I only hope that unlike my mother, his will be willing to share more information if he asks her for it.

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