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Birth parent struggles

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posted on May, 6 2015 @ 02:26 AM
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This is not about romantic relationships exactly, but it is about love relationships- children and parents.

I started to have a certain vision grow in my head a couple of months ago, and having mixed feelings about it, I shove it away, it comes back up later, I contemplate a while and shove it away again.
I thought maybe discussing it with others, getting others feedback, might be helpful.

I am always very comprehensive about mothers who gave their babies up for adoption, because they did not feel capable of parenting at the time, for whatever reasons. I think it is a loving act, to consider the ultimate well being of the child first.
(saw this today on my FB feed)


One day it hit me- why don't we apply this particular view to some absent fathers?
My own father pretty much disappeared from my life when I was young, and in confronting him as an adult, he claimed that it was painful to do so, but felt it would be best for me that he let my mothers then boyfriend/later husband take his place. He felt he had done some sort of sacrifice for my own good.

My first child's father did the same thing, later expressing clearly that he was afraid he couldn't do a good job as a father and how thankful he was to my husband for being a good father in his place.

Now, that same son has a child, with a woman he is no longer with, but as soon as she got engaged, he tried to be friendly with the guy, seeing them as having a common concern (the well being of the child) but the guy was hostile to this. So my son just backed out. He cries sometimes, wants pics, dotes over them, but does not see her. It is painful for him, and the mother has come to the conclusion that he is an A-hole and doesn't care about his daughter. The stepfather really is excellent with my grandchild, by the way.

Funny to find myself able to see now both sides- the experience of the absent father, that I never imagined when younger!

Granted, we are all beings with a mix of ambivalent feelings about things, and though there could be some relief from the responsibilities (and if the woman who gives up her baby is honest, there is a smidgen of that too, I am sure). But with women we tend to feel compassionate towards her loss and sacrifice.
Why do we not hold the same attitude towards men?
Is it unrealistic to compare the two situations and see similarities?




posted on May, 6 2015 @ 03:11 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma



Its the subtle difference of words? ....

The 'woman' gives up her child .... for its own good.

The 'man' leaves his child, and in doing so also leaves the

'mother he once loved?


edit on 6-5-2015 by eletheia because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 03:14 AM
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Have nothing to add to the good thoughts in your thread. I hope S&F are enough justice.

I appreciate people who are able to look for the good in any given situation. It's like life giving you lemons ... and trading up for oranges.
edit on 652015 by Snarl because: removed words



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 05:04 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I am one of those men who had to leave.

I did not get a choice, it was not the way I wanted my son to experience the first ten years of his life. If it had of been up to me, and there had been no interference from his mothers family, I would have married his mother, I would have done a great many things that I did not get a chance to do.

However, my son and I met at the end of last year, and we hang out every week. He comes over to my place, and myself, my mother, sister, brother in law, and others all sit round the dinner table with him to eat and be merry. I love that child with all my heart, and I am determined that now that I have a place in his life, I am going to do everything in my power to make certain that for the rest of my life, I am here for him, ready to drop everything at a moments notice, to help him deal with whatever life throws at him.

Since having him in my life, I have forgotten what sorrow feels like, since every time I feel low, I have only to summon his cheeky grin to mind, and whatever storm cloud stains the horizon gets burned away. As a result of his presence in my life, I consider myself an extremely fortunate man.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 05:43 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I feel your pain but try to see the big picture.

We got people dying in wars, evil people laughing all the way to the bank.

Future looking grim however you twist it.

We have bigger fish to fry now.

If your father doesn't want to be close to you, leave the bastard alone.
edit on 6-5-2015 by Ritter327 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 05:50 AM
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originally posted by: Ritter327
a reply to: Bluesma

I feel your pain but try to see the big picture.

We got people dying in wars, evil people laughing all the way to the bank.

Future looking grim however you twist it.

We have bigger fish to fry now.

If your father doesn't want to be close to you, leave the bastard alone.


Boy, you didn't get it. I used some examples from my own life, but my point is more of a social issue on a bigger scale
(I have a great relationship with my dad now).

What I am getting at is sexism- sexism against males. Misandry so deeply conditioned in our culture, no one even notices it, even as they participate in it.

Yes, there are other issues at hand too- join me in the thread where I am trying to stir up some strong actions against our corrupt system of government and corporatism- it is not because one is focusing on one problem that they suddenly need to become unaware of all others. It is not because I am looking at one big problem that I should just let myself be racist, sexist or otherwise unethical the rest of the time. It's great to keep an eye on the "bad guys" outside, but self awareness remains an important part of "being the change you wish to see".



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 05:58 AM
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originally posted by: eletheia
a reply to: Bluesma



Its the subtle difference of words? ....

The 'woman' gives up her child .... for its own good.

The 'man' leaves his child, and in doing so also leaves the

'mother he once loved?



Yes, that is the way it is commonly worded. Why? Why don't we consider the father gave up the child?
Why do we assume he didn't do that for their own good? Why do we assume that a father who cannot financially support his child, or be a stable and secure influence, should still parent a child, while a mother who hasn't the financial resources or ability to offer stability and security... well, she's right to relinquish the role?

Mothers leave fathers they once loved- this was the situation in each of the examples I used. The fathers just don't whine about that publicly as much because it is socially less acceptable for males. They are not supposed to admit their heart is broken.

I'm starting to think it is rather sexist to call the man who feels unfit to parent and leaves that to someone else in his place "bad" or immoral, while simultaneously proclaiming the woman who does so as responsible.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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I get what you're trying to say.
I was given up by my Mother. My Father who was married, did not want anything to do with me so, she had two older children and did not want the responsibilities of raising another baby much less alone.
I don't respect her for that decision. I am grateful that she made it though. My older brother and sister had a not so good life.
I have adopted my nephews. Their Father (their Mother died) is a worthless human taking up space. He has chosen to not be involved in their lives. His selfish choice. I have taken on the role of "raising" them and all he needed to do was just be part of their lives. I don't respect him either. His selfish choices have left a void in their young lives.
So, that's the story of a couple of people who selfishly chose to "give up their children". I say selfishly because who knows what the future holds? You will never know if your decision truly benefited the child until many years later. They are basically taking a calculated risk and hoping that the child is "better off".
I don't know, I'm probably the WRONG person to comment...
Maybe people shouldn't mess around with fate.
When my daughters were born, I thought about my experience and I just KNEW I could NEVER give the up. No matter what it took, I would change MY life to not feel as if giving them up was the only choice. I can't imagine the pain of them not being in my life. I think the joy gained from not having the responsibility of your children anymore must be greater than the joy of them being there.

My own birth Mother pretty much told me that. We had a relationship in later years so it is not as if I hate her. I just van't fathom making that kind of decision. I realize that these are my personal feelings...that's all they are.
It's just how I feel.
There is no difference in my opinion between my Mother or my brother in law. They both are selfish and they both suck!
Sorry!



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Yeah the father of my first did the same thing. How considerate of him to give up so much. Like child support. Being there for school or sports . He made it s much easier for this teen mother. Good thing my own parents were selfish and decided to stay in my child's life and mine. Thank you mom and dad.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Because men don't give up children. They abandon them.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 08:30 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I wonder how often when a parent walks away from their child, thinking that it's "for the best", who it is that it is they are thinking it is best for. Themselves or the child. In the breakdown of relationships the children are often utilised as pawns in adult dramas they understand nothing of.

Giving up a child for adoption that was an unexpected, unprepared for event is quite different from one that was planned by two people making a commitment to raise a child together and one chooses to shed their responsibilities because it's too hard.

My Mum was 17 when she had to give up her child for adoption. She felt she had no choice in the matter. It was adoption or her and her baby on the streets disowned by kith and kin. That event destroyed her. She still walks, talks, laughs and cries like a normal person but the shame and disgrace that she was made to feel, combined with the overwhelming love she felt for the cause of her "ruin" and then having that torn away from her, literally, has left her with a huge empty space into which she collapses from time to time, taking a little more of her peace of mind with it each time. The "father" never knew, it would've helped no one if he had. My half-sister for her part got a clean slate, beyond that we know nothing more.

Later, married two child, divorce, my father maintained regular access contact with my brother and I. I should imagine it was very difficult for him and he didn't do much else, I sometimes resented him for leaving me with my Mum, but he was a wreck after the marriage broke down, he couldn't even take care of himself, was in a pit of despair (artistic type!). That he managed to pull himself together to spend the time he was allowed to spend with us, I now in retrospect realise that was no mean feat and expresses in actions what he isn't too good at saying in words.

I can understand if the father feels he is a negative influence, prone to violence or some other irrational outbreaks of behaviour then perhaps the child/ren are better off without him, but if not, however uncomfortable it may be for them they made a commitment to the child. Walking away is the easy option in the short term and it is only a display, you are still legally obligated to the child, it is nothing like adoption where you give up all your parental rights.

As an adult I have needed to know that my Dad did put up a fight for me. That's me, I believe that you fight for what is important to you, that nothing is easy and nothing is handed to you on a plate. When my relationship with my son's father broke down I bent over backwards to accommodate his access to our son and to maintain amicable relations so that we could continue to co-parent. He felt that it would be better for everyone, me and our son, if he walked off into the sunset. I begged to differ and I put in the work that was necessary to facilitate that.

I think some Dad's underestimate how important their contribution is and can be, and how much their child wants them even if their Mum doesn't. And vice versa.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma


Yes, that is the way it is commonly worded. Why? Why don't we consider the father gave up the child?


From my experience of the cases I know of it is more that they 'relinquish' the
child because the mother being (half the parentage) keeps it, so it cant be
considered as 'being given away', unlike prior to the 1960's when babies were
taken off single mothers when the father of the baby had disappeared,
I believe *cad* was the name given to them.




Why do we assume he didn't do that for their own good? Why do we assume that a father who cannot financially support his child, or be a stable and secure influence, should still parent a child.


When he cannot/doesn't financially support the child the total burden falls
entirely on the mother.
If he is not a stable and secure influence is that really good for any child?

I know youngsters who wait for fathers that don't turn up, or cancel visitations
at the last minute, or unable? to attend school functions .... Not much
stability in those cases and have a bad effect on the child's 'self esteem'




while a mother who hasn't the financial resources or ability to offer stability and security... well, she's right to relinquish the role?




That happened before the 1960's. I don't believe it happens much now.
These days a child is a gateway to accommodation, benefits and support.





I'm starting to think it is rather sexist to call the man who feels unfit to parent and leaves that to someone else in his place "bad" or immoral, while simultaneously proclaiming the woman who does so as responsible


I rather think the time for a man who feels unfit to parent is before he
has unprotected sex .... and the same applies to the woman.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

originally posted by: Ritter327
a reply to: Bluesma

While you are addressing a hidden misandry in our culture, there are also many men who abandon their children because child rearing is hard... it makes you grow up. These men need to step up and support the women who they, either in a weak moment or a committed marriage chose those to have sex/child with. Support does not need to be money. No one should abandon a child regardless how hopeless connecting seems. Until those men step up to it, it will be hard to have society consider men's grief involved with the more rare cases where women tragically shut out/alienate the birth fathers.

I admit I am biased... my children's birth father lives half an hour away and we haven't heard from him in fourteen years. He is in and out of jail, steals from his adult child and according to that child, who I have contact with, the father blames me.... My crime? I told him he couldn't see the kids if he was high or drunk driving (wanted to take a baby on a cross country drive with no car seat while drunk) We were married and chose to have children, by the way. Then he fell apart. Unfortunately, these are the cases that paint a negative picture in the mind's eye of society. But I will get called a feminazi for that by many here despite the fact I bust my ass to raise two boys alone, with very little money, that are turning out to be fine young men. (My boyfriend helped as a wonderful role model though)

I do feel for men who would love to be with their children, though. Likewise, many men are perfect fathers to the children of other men and are like a gift from heaven which also needs recognition.



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 01:24 AM
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originally posted by: AutumnWitch657
a reply to: Bluesma

Because men don't give up children. They abandon them.


I want to walk carefully here, because I understand your feelings, as I was in a similar position. In questioning my attitudes, I am being very brutal with myself... so I know it will feel just as brutal to anyone who has experienced same.

But I had the opportunity to put my baby up for adoption. I had the fathers family, and my own, suggest that at the end of my pregnancy. They could foresee that I did not have a situation that would be very easy to support a child, I was young and it was going to be very very difficult. I chose not to. You chose not to.

I cannot know if I made the right choice. I don't know what kind of life he would have had otherwise. I do think that I was not an ideal mother to him because of my situation for the first two years.

If the father had had the right to make a decision like put the child up for adoption, would he have agreed to it?
Then it would be called "giving it up" instead of "abandoning".
We can condemn them for not having done something they weren't given the choice to do?

What if he KNEW he would be a bad influence upon the child, or that he wouldn't be able to make the support payments?
We have a socially acceptable way of opting out when we know we can't do a good job of it. They don't (in the American culture).


edit on 7-5-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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originally posted by: eletheia
From my experience of the cases I know of it is more that they 'relinquish' the
child because the mother being (half the parentage) keeps it, so it cant be
considered as 'being given away'.

Exactly. Depending upon what the mother chooses to do, the father does not have the right or opportunity to give up the child.



When he cannot/doesn't financially support the child the total burden falls
entirely on the mother.
If he is not a stable and secure influence is that really good for any child?

I know youngsters who wait for fathers that don't turn up, or cancel visitations
at the last minute, or unable? to attend school functions .... Not much
stability in those cases and have a bad effect on the child's 'self esteem'


Exactly. The father unable to fulfil the role adequately might be aware of that! Some may, some may not... just as some mothers may be aware that some of their faults or weaknesses have a deep and negative impact on their child, and others not so aware.
I just am questioning the systematic assumption that the father has no clue that he is a bad father, or that he might actually be able to know himself enough beforehand to guess he will be a bad father and have a negative impact on the child.


edit on 7-5-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 01:58 AM
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a reply to: eletheia

(for some reason, half my response to you is not showing up in the above post.)

Now it is not showing up here either, though when I go to "edit" it is there!



while a mother who hasn't the financial resources or ability to offer stability and security... well, she's right to relinquish the role?
That happened before the 1960's. I don't believe it happens much now.
These days a child is a gateway to accommodation, benefits and support.



Perhaps it happened more than now, but I know lots of women who chose to put their child up for adoption, and it was a socially acceptable choice. In general, people are more comprehensive and compassionate about their choice and how difficult it was to do.




I rather think the time for a man who feels unfit to parent is before he
has unprotected sex .... and the same applies to the woman.


Granted, the point is valid, and I agree. But we must keep in mind the very large numbers of young men who are tricked by claims of "I am on the pill, it's okay.", and accidental or even intentional pregnancy happens.
But I also have become aware that there are many fathers, who faced with the idea of having a child at first, consider that with the mother to help him, guide him, and be a compliment to that which he lacks, he gains some confidence in how well he might be able to fulfil the role.

When the relationship falls apart, that confidence falls apart.... with her to help me, I might have been able to figure it out. But all alone? I am only going to screw it up! I have no idea how to do this, I don't have the financial or emotional resources...or.... I am only going to replay what I know which was my own fathers terribly terrible parenting that I feel did me more harm than good!

This seems to be the emerging reason behind the repetative absent fathering in my own family. Lack of confidence in their own abilities, fear of damaging the child more with their presence than with their absence.

-And their fears were not totally unfounded. The knowledge on how to care for a baby, in the most practical terms, the inability to hold a good paying job, problems their own fathers had (being abusive in various ways) that they were afraid might emerge despite their will not to. The original idea was that she would help and support him in overcoming those obstacles....once she wasn't there for that, the whole program fell apart.

It is perhaps increased by the cultural belief that women have an inherent "maternal instinct" to guide them, even if they lack experience, whereas men do not.


edit on 7-5-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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-I'll try again



I rather think the time for a man who feels unfit to parent is before he
has unprotected sex .... and the same applies to the woman.


Granted, the point is valid, and I agree. But we must keep in mind the very large numbers of young men who are tricked by claims of "I am on the pill, it's okay.", and accidental or even intentional pregnancy happens.
But I also have become aware that there are many fathers, who faced with the idea of having a child at first, consider that with the mother to help him, guide him, and be a compliment to that which he lacks, he gains some confidence in how well he might be able to fulfil the role.

When the relationship falls apart, that confidence falls apart.... with her to help me, I might have been able to figure it out. But all alone? I am only going to screw it up! I have no idea how to do this, I don't have the financial or emotional resources...or.... I am only going to replay what I know which was my own fathers terribly terrible parenting that I feel did me more harm than good!

This seems to be the emerging reason behind the repetative absent fathering in my own family. Lack of confidence in their own abilities, fear of damaging the child more with their presence than with their absence.

-And their fears were not totally unfounded. The knowledge on how to care for a baby, in the most practical terms, the inability to hold a good paying job, problems their own fathers had (being abusive in various ways) that they were afraid might emerge despite their will not to. The original idea was that she would help and support him in overcoming those obstacles....once she wasn't there for that, the whole program fell apart.

It is perhaps increased by the cultural belief that women have an inherent "maternal instinct" to guide them, even if they lack experience, whereas men do not.



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 02:41 AM
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- I think I should be more clear on what I am doing here.

This is a very hard look at my own predjudices - ones that I know are also shared by others.

The assumptions of "dead beat dads" with no thought in the world but their own freedom to play the field and be free of any responsibility anyone else versus my assumption that mothers who put their children up for adoption are, on the contrary, people who made difficult and painful choices against their own internal drives, for the sake of the child.

I do not propose a change in laws, I simply wish to open minds. Some of the posters here exposed stories which show other possibilities of what happens inside the mind and heart of the "dead beat dad". The stereotype might apply in some cases, but might not in others!

My son was recently surprised to hear that his genetic father, (who in all appearences fit that stereotype perfectly) cried when he found out my son was coming to California for a visit and chose not to come meet him.
The father reached out and found him a few years ago and they have contact now, and it emerges that he not only felt a lack of confidence in his abilities, but his own father sexually abused his sister when young, for years (and was convicted of it, he admitted it), and that played a part in his formation of the idea that some dads are better off keeping their distance.

My son actually thanked him for staying away, and letting his stepfather raise him. Which was maybe a painful thing for him to hear.

Likewise, that situation makes it clear how my son can now cry over pictures of his daughter, and not be part of her life! He thinks he is doing her a favor, as his genetic father did. The child was planned, but he thought they'd be doing it together- she is a school teacher, he thought she'd help him learn how to father, day by day. When she decided to leave, he was lost. When he wanted her to teach him how to change the baby, feed it, etc. She didn't want to take the time, and she simply claimed he couldn't take her alone because he didn't know how to do that stuff. She was right, he knew, so eventually gave up when another man entered the picture (and was even more hostile towards him).

I am sometimes hit hard by this concept that a father is reduced to a financial provider, and his feelings are irrelevant.
For a long time, I felt my father should have fought harder for me. But with what I know now, legally, he wouldn't have stood a chance. His financial situation wasn't any better than my moms, which is pretty much the only thing that might have overcome the bias "children should preferably be with their mother". It would have been a nasty fight too, with each of their character flaws and past mistakes being flung hard- and we all hear, that is not good for the child.

I just am being forced to consider that things are not always as cut and dry as they seem...
edit on 7-5-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: AutumnWitch657

Wow...

Look, I am sure you have every reason to be angry about things which may have happened in your life, and at the specific people who have played into whatever negative scenario you found yourself in. But whatever experience you may have had, does not excuse such a broad generalisation as you have just made. Men are not all the same, and nor are their motivations in life, or the situations which lead them to a certain course of action.

I can understand your choosing to distrust men for your own protection, but to make such a generalisation as you have, is entirely unfair to any man who has been prevented from having a normal relationship with their child from birth, for reasons not their own! Males are not the only ones who are capable of causing estrangement, and are not all immune to its horrid psychological ramifications.



posted on May, 7 2015 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma


Exactly. The father unable to fulfil the role adequately might be aware of that! Some may, some may not... just as some mothers may be aware that some of their faults or weaknesses have a deep and negative impact on their child, and others not so aware.
I just am questioning the systematic assumption that the father has no clue that he is a bad father, or that he might actually be able to know himself enough beforehand to guess he will be a bad father and have a negative impact on the child.



I really believe you are over thinking the problem .... I certainly don't know

of anyone who has a *degree* or *doctorate* in parenting. There is no such

thing as the *Perfect Parent,* one can read up (but then that is only

some one else's experience or take on things) mostly it is trial and error and

muddling along with some help from family. Unfortunately they never

come with a manual!!

You are the grand mother? to the child, why cant you, your son and the baby

have some regular bonding time where you can show him the things that need

doing and different ways for holding and calming the baby which feel

comfortable and natural to him .... it is my experience most babies are very

adaptable, especially when their needs are being met.



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