The Forgotten Father

Adoptees Are Silently Searching for Missing Birth Fathers

In the majority of adoption literature, birth mothers are mentioned as the predominant loss for the adoptee. While interviewing more than 70 adoptees for a book, I learned that they think about their birth fathers as much as birth mothers.

So why aren’t birth fathers honored? Why aren’t they mentioned? A father is one of the greatest gifts a child can ever have. It is through a father that we learn about Father God.

Here are some of the effects of fatherlessness:

• 63% Subjective psychological problem (defined as anxiety, sadness, pronounced moodiness, phobias, and depression)

• 56% Poor grades or grades substantially below ability and/or recent past performance

• 43% Aggression toward parents

Important features of the subgroup of 32 latency aged girls were in the same order:

• 69% indicating subjective psychological distress 47% academic problems 41% aggression toward parents.

Clinical Observations on Interferences of Early Father Absence in the Achievement of Femininity by R. Lohr, C. g, A. Mendell and B. Riemer, Clinical Social Work Journal, V. 17, #4, Winter, 1989

Let’s honor birth fathers on Father’s Day. Honor them for their God-given position and their gifts to the adopted child.

8 responses to “The Forgotten Father”

  1. Delana Avatar

    He sure doesn’t! 🙂

  2. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    God doesn’t waste anything, does he, Delana? I love the way you have woven truths from the past to help your daughter now.

  3. Delana Stewart Avatar

    Today, I pulled my copy of your “Twenty Things” book off the bookshelf to look for the part I was referring to. I read your entire book about 7-8 years ago, but left a bookmark on p. 102. So I looked to see what I had bookmarked. On that page was the section I was referring to — “Give permission for open dialogue.” Sometime during the first year with us, our daughter (then 6) began asking about her birth mother. At that time she could not yet read and write, so I began letting her dictate letters to her birth mother whenever she felt like it. I recorded those for her in a journal. Now, she writes in that same journal herself. In some periods of time she would want to write daily…other times weekly…and other times once a month or only every once in awhile. But the early 2-3 years when she was dictating to me what to write, we developed an openness where she felt free to come to me to talk about her feelings regarding her birth mother (whom she hadn’t seen since infancy). I am very thankful for the advice/recommendations you shared in your book!


  4. Delana Stewart Avatar

    oops…I meant in my post 🙂

  5. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    You are a savvy adoptive mom! Thanks for sharing how you’ve talked about your daughter’s birth mom and your desire to ask about her bio dad. For me personally, over the years, the birth mom was the only one in my mind, but after receiving a blunt rejection from her, my heart turned toward my birth father. The desire to find him is still as strong today as it was years ago.
    Thanks for your encouraging words about you getting encouragement to be open from one of my books.
    Love and hugs,

  6. Delana Avatar

    No, an adoptive mom. The original poem that is in my most was written nearly 20 years ago from my own perspective of growing up with a step-dad, a bio father, and the Lord. It just dawned on me today (with minor modifications) how it relates to where my daughter’s at. Though she has yet to start asking about her bio-father (only her bio mother) I know one day she will…and this may even be the year for me to probe and see if she’s interested in talking about it. We’ve had many talks through the years about her bio mom. I believe it was advice I received from your book to create an openness for her to talk about her birth mom.

  7. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    I can’t wait to read your post, Delana! Are you an adoptee?

  8. Delana Avatar

    Hi Sherrie! So glad to see you post this! I also posted something earlier today about birth fathers and Father’s Day. Blessings! Delana

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