You don't venture far into the world of adoption before you hear the word "triad." Picture a triangle with the adoptee at one corner, adoptive parents at another and the biological, or birth, mother at the third. But, wait — someone's missing …
The birth father.
Too often, the birth father dangles from the birth mother's corner. Sometimes he doesn't even know she's pregnant.
Adoption has evolved from the pre-WWI "taking in" of the orphan next door, to closed adoptions, to open, which became the norm in the early 1980s. "Open" ranges from exchanging annual letters to co-parenting. (We're talking domestic adoptions here; international adoptions are usually closed.) All along, though, the biological father has been second fiddle to the birth mom.
..... More often, today's birth dad can parent the child or participate in the adoption decision, but the burden is still on him to prove paternity. And, the calendar works against him, said Adam Pertman, president of the National Center on Adoption & Permanency.