Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to say thank you to all of the hard working dads out there who do all they can for their children. This Father’s Day we’re celebrating all of the incredible fathers who have found their families through Adopters for Adoption, whether they’re single dads or in a relationship. We’ll also share some tips on how you can support your loved ones in navigating the difficult emotions which may arise around this time of year. 

True Fatherhood 

As an organisation founded by adopters, we here at Adopters for Adoption embrace the truth that fatherhood is about far more than just genetics. Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment to love, protect, and support a child. A good father is consistent and is always there for their child, providing safety and support in times of need. He is a role model to his children, inspiring them to achieve and thrive through the ups and downs of life.  

Navigating Feelings around Father’s Day 

Your child may wrestle with some upsetting feelings around this time of year. It’s possible that you could encounter some uncomfortable emotions as an adoptive father, too. Let’s explore some common feelings which pop up around Father’s Day, and look at how you and your child can navigate them together.   

Black adoptive Dad spins black adopted son around in the air

If your Child is in Contact with their Biological Father

Contact with biological family can be very rewarding for some adopted children, and can help them to make sense of their place in the world. If you have chosen an open adoption for your child, they may wish to call their biological father, spend time with him on Father’s Day, or send him a Father’s Day card via the Letterbox service.  

You may find that your child struggles on Father’s Day with the feeling that by spending time with one dad, they are betraying the other. It’s important to reassure your child that this is not the case, and that they can love both their biological parents and their adoptive family.

When your Child has Two Dads 

It can be hard to navigate fatherhood when your child has a biological father in their life. You might feel uncomfortable or somewhat threatened if they express interest in spending time with their birth father, and may find that you feel some sense of rivalry towards him.  

These feelings are completely normal, but should not go unchallenged. It’s important to recognise that your child’s relationship with their birth father in no way invalidates your role as their dad, or their love for you. Ensure that you are respectful and amicable in your interactions with your child’s birth father, and don’t talk negatively about him. By seeing that you and their birth dad can get along, you reassure your child that it’s okay for them to value and celebrate both of your roles in their life.  

Answering Questions about an Absent Father 

Around Father’s Day, your child may begin to ask questions about their birth father if they know that they have been adopted. They may ask difficult questions, such as: 

  • What was my biological father like? 
  • Why isn’t he around? 
  • Does he not love me? 
  • Did I do something wrong? 

It can be heart breaking to hear questions like this from our children. Even if your child doesn’t ask these questions to you directly, they may still be wrestling with these thoughts in their own minds. If you think your child may be struggling with their feelings around their biological father, gently raise the subject by letting them know that you’ve noticed that they don’t quite seem themselves, and ask if there is anything that is bothering them.  

When answering difficult questions it’s important to be sensitive, honest and age appropriate in your answers. Most importantly, you should reassure your child that their birth father’s actions are their own, that they are in no way to blame for his absence, and that they are loved.  

Childhood Curiosity  

If you’re a dad, it’s natural to feel a little upset or uncomfortable when your child asks questions about their birth father. It’s perfectly normal for adopted children to be curious about their birth families and want to learn more about where they’ve come from. Your child’s birth family are a key part of their life story, and always will be.  Be reassured that it is in no way a reflection of how they feel about their lives as a part of your family.  

You may feel uncomfortable in talking about this topic with your child. Try your best to be open in your speech and body language, to help reassure your child that it’s okay to ask questions and open up about how they are feeling.  

If Your Child is Grieving 

If your child’s biological father has passed away, you may find that special occasions such as Father’s Day and the anniversary of his death are very painful times. You may notice changes in your child’s behaviour, such as becoming withdrawn or prone to emotional outbursts.  

If there’s been a loss, your child may worry that by celebrating Father’s Day with their new family they are choosing to forget their absent father. Reassure them that you understand how important their birth father is and always will be, and offer to help them to honour and remember him on this special day. Your child may want to visit their birth father at rest, or perhaps do an activity which he loved in remembrance of him. If you’d like extra support in helping a grieving young person, the Child Bereavement UK charity has excellent resources available on their website, as well as over the phone support.  

Supporting your Partner on Father’s Day 

If you’re celebrating Father’s Day with your partner this year, you may find that they struggle with some of the emotions described above. Here are some tips to help erase their feelings of self-doubt by reassuring them of the truth that they are a vital and beloved part of their child’s life. 

  • Be a haven of support. If your partner is struggling with his feelings around Father’s Day, the most valuable thing you can do is to be there to support him emotionally.  
  • Remind him of his worth. Be sure to remind your partner of the simple truth: that he is your child’s father. Remind him of how valued he is, and how much you and your children love him and appreciate all the things he does for your family. 
  • Check in with your child. If you know that your partner is having a hard time, you could talk with your child about all the things they admire about their dad. Encourage them to share with their dad how they feel, or share with your partner the positive things your child has said about them.  

Make Father’s Day Special 

Celebrate in your own way. Father’s Day is all about showing love and appreciation for the male role models in our lives. There are no rules about how you and your family should celebrate if you chose to do so. You could celebrate this year with a special dinner, a thoughtful gift, or a fun day out.  

Get crafty. Remember, ‘special’ doesn’t have to mean ‘expensive!’ A handmade Father’s Day card, homemade treats or a gift crafted at the breakfast table can be far more meaningful than costly celebrations. You can have a wonderful day by spending quality time together doing inexpensive activities such as completing a puzzle, cooking together, or playing video games.  

All about dad. One fun way of celebrating is by making the day all about dad’s favourite things— eating his favourite foods, binge watching his favourite TV show, or playing his favourite sport in the back garden. Making it his special day shows him just how valued he is by your family.  

A True Gift 

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, challenging and enriching things a person can experience. It is a blessing to have our loved ones in our lives, and Father’s Day is a wonderful reminder of just how important our relationship with our children is.  

Thank you to all of the wonderful father’s out there who provide their little ones with the love, support and guidance which every child needs.  

Are you ready to adopt a child? Get in touch with our warm and friendly team today.