It’s my opinion that the word dad or father is earned and shouldn’t be a given right. It takes more than a sexual act, 9 months of pregnancy and the birth of another human being, in my eyes, to truly be considered a father. In this two part series I’ll be exploring the meaning of being a father and then exploring my personal situation and our lead up to applying for adoption.
Daughter 1 is not my biological child. It pains me to say it because I consider her to be my own but I will never be her biological father. I am not going to go into details about the situation because that is a private matter but all I will say is that the “sperm donor” split the moment he found out.
I wanted to write this post to really give my perspective on what the definition of being a “father” means to me. I also wanted this post to be a place where others in a similar situation can post their stories, make sure you leave it in the comment section below.
Meet my daughter…
I met Daughter 1 in December 2009, when her mum brought her round to my apartment before we went to a local beach for a swim. Christine had never introduced Daughter 1 to a partner before, maybe she could sense something was different about this relationship. Later that year we got engaged.
A study conducted by John Moores University in the UK found in 2005 that 1 in every 25 fathers was not actually the biological father. That begs the question, should we think of being a father as more than just biology? In my opinion, most definitely. I have a great relationship with my dad (I assume he is my biological dad, I haven’t been told otherwise). We talk a few times a week and see each other when we can as we now live on opposite sides of the country. Our relationship is built on trust, respect and honesty. Which to me are the key factors to any relationship but lets go further.
A father by definition of the Oxford dictionary is;
First of all, we have the definition “a man in relation to his child or children”. Great we got that, but let’s look at the variants which follow. “An important male figure in the origin and early history of something” and “a man who provides care and protection”. I feel I tick both those boxes and I bet many others who are in my same situation feel they do to.
So by definition, calling yourself the father of a child who isn’t biologically yours is still correct in the English language. Personally, this is incredibly important not only for me but I think for my Daughter, when one day we sit down and tell her that I am not her biological dad. But it shouldn’t really matter.
If you love them like your own, care for them like your own, provide for them like your own and even call them your own (I do, it gets messy otherwise) there is no reason I can see why you are any less of a father than the one who helped conceive it. By showing love, compassion and affection, not only to your biological children, but to kids who may not be biologically related, you earn the title of being their father.
It shouldn’t be a participation title. Fatherhood takes strength, courage and an immense amount of patience. If you can manage all of those things, plus being an excellent role model, you’ve earned the title of Dad in my books.
What are your thoughts on the definition of being a Father? Do you think it should be based completely on biology, or on who provides and loves the child? Let me know in the comments below.
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