Signs an Adoptive Father will be Great for Your Child
You’ve decided to place your baby for adoption. Now what? How do you decide who will raise your child? You want your child to be raised by people who will be able to provide for, support, and love your child. How can you tell which people will be best for the job? We’ve already posted some excellent questions you can ask prospective adoptive parents, but since we’re right around Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some positive characteristics you’ll see in a great adoptive father.
From Adoption Choices of New York, here are 7 signs an adoptive father will be great for your child:
- He Listens
One of the most important things to being a parent is listening to your kids. Letting them know you’re trying to understand them. When you meet with a prospective adoptive father, do you feel heard? Do you feel like you can voice concerns and that those will be met with understanding? If he’s able to listen and help set you at ease, in spite of the potential awkwardness of meeting prospective adoptive parents, then your child will no doubt have a person they will always feel comfortable going to as they grow up.
- He’s Excited
Is he excited to be a parent? Don’t fault him if he’s nervous, especially if he’s never adopted before or had any other kids. It’s only natural to be nervous about raising a child. But is he excited despite the nervousness? Maybe he’s dreamed about being a parent since he was a little kid. Maybe he’s been reading parenting books and started to babyproof the house. He might have started looking into what activities there are for kids in the area — like gymnastics, art classes and music lessons. This sort of proactive approach is a great indicator that he’s looking forward to being a parent and will be an active caregiver to the adoptee.
- He’s Accepting
There may be such a thing as too excited, though. If the excitement is more for specific activities than for the relationship with the child, go with your gut on this one. Kids don’t always want to do the things their parents have expected, so it’s important for prospective adoptive fathers to be able to accept and adapt when a child’s interests don’t match up with their own. Parents may tend to sign boys up for sports and girls up for arts, then find their kids have different interests. A family’s philosophy of “it was never a question of if they would play an instrument, rather which instrument are they going to play?” may work just fine for some kids, and feel restrictive to others.
What’s important is that a prospective adoptive father is looking for quality time with his child, and knows that might look differently than he might have expected. Whether it’s playing catch in the front yard or playing dress up, cherishing that quality time together and doing what the child wants to do together is what will strengthen the father-adoptee relationship.
- He Admits when He Doesn’t Know Something
Other things we could’ve titled this point as: he can admit when he’s wrong; he can take criticism. Parenting is hard, and no one is going to get it perfectly — especially not the first time around. Even if someone has already had one go-around at raising a kid, every child is different and what works for one may not work for another (another reason why listening is important). Your child needs to feel comfortable telling their father what is and isn’t working for them.
It’s important that a prospective adoptive father can take criticism in stride. Boys are socialized not to show weakness or admit when they need help, but an adoptive father knows asking for help isn’t a weakness. Not knowing something doesn’t mean you’re weak or stupid, or diminish the things you are doing well. Asking for help comes from the strength of being self-aware and confidence in the abilities one does have. An adoptive father can’t do absolutely everything for your child, but they can do their best and get support from his family or spouse for the things he can’t handle by himself. “It takes a village,” after all.
- He Supports His Partner
Speaking of support… A great way to get insight into how supportive of an adoptive father will be is to observe how he interacts with his partner or spouse. Children are influenced by the environment they’re raised in, and a lot of that environment will be dependent on how their parents behave and relate to each other. If parents have a healthy, loving, supportive relationship and model that for their child, it will set your child up with a solid foundation of support that will get them through any of their future endeavors. Furthermore, seeing good relationships modelled serves as a basis for your child’s future relationships as well.
- He Understands it isn’t Always Going to Be Easy
Being excited to have a baby without realizing there will be difficulties ahead as well is like getting a puppy without realizing you’ll have to pick up dog poop. Kids have their fair share of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, not to mention adolescence. A great adoptive father will be there through the gross, bad and upsetting and meet it with patience, understanding and love. A great adoptive father is ready to face those things head-on, but not be so concerned about them that he lets that get in the way of the joy that comes with fatherhood.
- You can Already see the Love for Your Child in His Eyes
A lot of times in movies and other mass media, new dads will say things along the lines of ‘I didn’t feel like a dad until I saw/held my baby for the first time.’ For many, that may be true. But if, when you look at a prospective adoptive father, you can see the love he has for your child who he doesn’t even know yet, then you know you’ve found someone who will be an excellent adoptive father for your child.
Signs an Adoptive Father will be Great for Your Child
When choosing who will raise your baby as their own, there are a lot of things to consider. A lot of directions your child’s life might take. A lot of possibilities that could take place. But one thing that should never be in doubt is that the adoptive father will love your baby and do his best to raise him or her in a loving, supportive home.
Meet the Author: Darby Summers is an avid fan of fantasy and sci-fi stories in all mediums, and aspires to share a story of her own to add to the genres she has adored her entire life. Raised in a house with the rule: “you can stay up as late as you want, as long as you’re reading,” Darby’s passion for reading, literature, and language was inspired at a young age, and continued through her achievement of a Bachelor’s in English from Allegheny College in 2017. Darby is currently writing blog posts for Adoption Choices of New York, and is enjoying the opportunity to be part of helping families find each other and a source of information and support throughout what can be a very difficult time in life.
When she isn’t absorbed in the latest series to capture her attention, Darby enjoys working on cosplays and going to cons with friends. Her perfect night consists of staying in playing games (of the video, board or card varieties), making some delicious homemade pizza, and settling in on the couch for a movie with her husband, Adam, and cat, Sylvie.