More links for information related to birthfathers and their stories.
This website has the best index I've seen to date of resources for birthfathers. Unfortunately the listing for the publications at tapestrybooks.com consistently leads to a fatal java script error that crashes my web browser. I've tried several times to no avail. I'm particularly miffed about this because I was quite excited when I saw this;
"Birthfathers and Their Adoption Experiences by Gary Clapton"
A book I hadn't heard of! Though it seems it can be found on google books here. It looks like there may be a section missing. But in any case I think that anyone interested in reading it who has the financial means should buy it. After all money talks and all that.
Unfortunately I've found Birthfather.org to be disappointing. The focus is definitely on birthfather legal rights and advocacy. That's very important work. However there are very few resources for post-adoption birthfathers.
In any case it seems that I've got more reading to do. I couldn't be happier about finding these today! I was worried that there may have only been one book and a handful of articles addressing the experiences, needs, and issues specific to birthfathers.
Tangentially I had a very telling experience while looking for this information today. While trying to find more information on Mr Clapton's book google had an interesting auto-correction idea for me. Instead of "Birthfathers and Their Adoption Experiences by Gary Clapton" it was suggested that I'd have better luck searching for "Birthmothers and Their Adoption Experiences by Gary Clapton." Indeed information on the birthfather experience is so rare that even when searching for the exact title and author of a book on it the search hits are so few that the engine assumes you've made a mistake. I find that to be both telling and disappointing. Any way I wanted to give a quick list of the books I've found so far. Take note that I haven't read all of these and cannot vouch for their quality. One of them has a rather scathing review, but it made my read list anyway. If nothing else I may be able to sit through it long enough to suggest others avoid it. Here's a very incomplete list:
Looks interesting if a bit clinical. I'm very excited to read this one!
Dear Birthfather by Randolph W. Severson, Ph.D - If anyone can find a copy of this please let me know! I know it's only thirteen pages long but it's very important to me to know what it has to say. I'm very interested and concerned about what information is given to young people considering adoption plans.
This is the book I mentioned having a scathing review. The author is a birthfather in a closed adoption. The reviewer's take is he is quite self obsessed and not emotionally honest. It's possible this is true as many people are self obsessed. It's also possible the reviewer didn't want to read a birthfather's story, but rather to read about birthfathers. I'll be sure to post a review once I've read it.
This is an excellent book. Athena and I read this cover to cover when making our own adoption plan and I can't recommend it strongly enough. The reading level is a bit tough. If you're not comfortable with college level reading it will be a lot of work. If you are it is the most emotionally honest and coherent book I've read on the subject.
There is one book that I read that I won't put a link to. The reason is very simple: I don't want you to read this book. "The Third Choice" was dismissive, biased, and sexist against birthfathers' experience of adoption. I felt actively dismissed and antagonized reading it. The "chapter" on birthfathers was nothing more than a short page discussing how we don't care and why we're not around anymore. Since Athena first announced her pregnancy I have, still to date, never been so offended as I was by the authors of that book. That includes the people who ask me how I could give up such a precious baby to total strangers.
Enough of that rant. I'm off to see a film with Athena. After all it's the weekend! Peace of mind and good luck to all of you. I'm pulling for you.