It’s an unfortunate and hard truth that many fathers choose to abandon their families. In these situations, the father refuses to accept the baby as his or the dad decides to disappear for good.
If your baby’s father isn’t in the picture, it’s important to acknowledge this and move on from this loss. While this loss will affect them forever, they can still have a happy childhood.
Fatherlessness isn’t something any parent wants to imagine. However, the upsetting reality is that many fathers do abandon their babies.
There are certain steps you should take to prepare yourself and your baby for a life without their father. You being able to understand the why behind abandonment is an important first step.
Abandonment by a father can take on many forms. At times, a father may abandon a baby as a result of imprisonment or death. If it’s clear that the father isn’t in your child’s life, this is a case of child abandonment.
How fatherlessness may affect your child
Understanding fatherlessness starts with this simple truth: not everyone will get to have both of their parents in their lives. If this is true for your baby, they need to understand that they can still be happy. Help them understand that even without a father, they can grow up to have a healthy life.
Most children are quick to perceive the loss of a father, whether they’ve physically met them or not. As your child grows up, it will only become more apparent that their dad is missing from the picture.
Parents can eventually expect questions like, “Where is dad?” “Can I see Daddy?”, and “Why isn’t dad here?”
While these questions aren’t easy to answer, understanding fatherlessness is the first step in helping your baby address this abandonment.
How do you recognize abandonment?
While some cases of abandonment are clear cut, this isn’t always true. Child abandonment may start as a series of missed calls or texts and develop from there.
Pay attention to how the father acts around your baby as well as their level of safety concern. Eventually, if the father makes it clear he’s disappearing and isn’t coming back, this is clear abandonment.
Why do fathers leave their babies?
There are many different reasons a father may abandon their baby. One of the most common reasons for child abandonment is that the father isn’t ready for the responsibility.
At times, the idea of raising a baby can be so overwhelming that it causes the parent to run away. While this isn’t right or fair, understanding these reasons can help you better explain it to your child.
How to get over losing the father of your baby
Wherever you stand with your child’s father, acknowledging the abandonment is the first step in accepting this fact. Once you accept that the father is out of the picture, give your family time to grieve this loss.
In addition to the end of a relationship, your baby is without their father. This may make them feel ignored, ashamed, sad, and angry. Address these feelings with your child and make sure they have a safe space to open up.
What you can do about child abandonment
In addition to working through the feelings brought on by child abandonment, it’s also important to take legal action. Child abandonment laws apply once a parent or guardian fails to properly care for their children. Proving abandonment will allow you to gain full legal custody of your child.
Do absent fathers get to talk to their children?
Once the father willingly abandons their baby, they will lose parental rights. Losing their parental rights means that the father won’t be able to contact or visit their baby.
You can’t force your child’s father to be there, but you can lessen the damage felt by their loss.
Be honest with your child about where their father is. Create an open environment to help your baby feel safe, whether or not their father is ever in the picture.