(The first part of this post can be found here)
The next stage was contacting the birth father to request that he sign the form, the contents of which I have not seen but informs him of our application. He must then state that he has no objection to the adoption going ahead. Easy peasy. Luckily he agreed to sign them but he was late in doing so. The first step is a letter sent with the forms enclosed. This should be returned within 28 days to the HSE. If it isn’t, the same forms are sent through registered post to ensure that he was definitely received them. Again, another 28 days are given to the biological father to return the signed form. I’m sure there are parents reading and chuckling at this stage; babies teach you to be incredibly productive and efficient with your time, so eight weeks seems like a very generous amount of time to fill in a form and pop it in the post. If these steps yield no result, you then must go through the original channels, which is being put on the waiting list. It is an incredibly unfair process. All the power is handed to the birth father, and if he decides not to co-operate, he can delay your application to secure your child’s place in the family.
Because I was aware of the importance of getting these forms back, I have since endured a hostile, personal attack on my character from the person in question. When I asked that he send the forms in after over two months of not receiving anything, he informed me that I needed to “relax”. In his eyes he was doing me a huge favour,and I owed him big time. The anger and hurt over what he had put me through since I found out I was pregnant resurfaced. It took all the willpower that I had to restrain myself from imparting some home truths to this pathetic, scared man about what it means to give birth and to raise a child. I apologised profusely. For what? I’m not sure. I just knew that if he felt that he had the upper hand in this awful exchange I would managed to get his signature and do what was best for my son. The one positive aspect of this ordeal was that I had sometimes doubted myself and the decisions that I had made while pregnant. Now, I am so relieved that this immature, selfish person has kept his distance and my son has a father who adores him dearly.
At the end of this horrible conversation, he said that he had sent the papers, so we should know within the next few days if this is true. At which point, the most difficult part of the process for us will be over. The social visits will be fine,as anyone could see how happy my son is with his loving, close knit family. Although I am emotionally battered and bruised after the nasty exchange, I know that I am doing what is best for my son.
Some may feel that by refusing to ask for maintenance and by following through with this adoption that I have let the biological father off too lightly. It is true that he never has, or ever will, take any responsibility for the pregnancy or for my son. I have endured a huge amount of pain, heartache, stress and sacrifice that he will never understand. But he will also never know the shining light that is my son. He is a precious, beautiful person, and I am so lucky to know him. I am thankful that I get to be in his company every day, to love him and have him love me in return. It is the best feeling in the world. I have no doubt that he is the best thing that this man will ever have a hand in creating, and he was too much of a coward to realise and appreciate his presence.
We wait once again.