Why Do We Never Discuss Birth Fathers?

They’re glaringly absent from the adoption discourse

A.J. Bryant


Silhouette of a father holding a son and the child is pointing with outstretched arm.
Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

My Dad is one of my best friends. But this post is about my biological Father, whom I know nothing about.

Are we the same height? Do we have similar body types? Does he have a deep bass voice or long thin “good for piano” fingers?

Does he share my intellectual curiosity and my bushy eyebrows? If I saw him standing next to me, would I recognize myself in him?

What would I say to him if I met him?

In the vocabulary of international adoption, the birth father is rarely mentioned. You can find multitudes writing about adoption trauma and biological mothers. But the bio-father remains absent from the conversation.

Let’s look at a few reasons why:

  • A father didn’t carry a child in his womb
  • The belief of less emotional bonding between fathers and their children
  • Society considers mothers as nurturers, not fathers
  • Some women were raped, became pregnant, and the perpetrator was unknown
  • The child was born outside of marriage, and the mom didn’t want her parents to know the biological father
  • The biological mother knows the father wants nothing to do with their child

We should still talk about bio-fathers

When the biological father is present during the adoption process, the whole picture becomes cloudy and confused. He may even seek his child’s custody.

I know there are other reasons why biological fathers are generally ignored in adoption circles. But my attempt was not exhaustive.

Regardless of my father’s involvement then and now, he biologically created me. That isn’t deniable. For that reason alone, I’m giving him some words today.

I don’t know the story of my physical birth. I assume he was not present. But I know nothing about him. Nor have I ever been told anything about who he might be.

Even so, he impacted my life. And I have half his chromosomes.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language.