The Concept of Fatherhood
A father is usually the primary caregiver of his children. Besides the familial bonds of the father to his young children, the father also has a personal, legal, spiritual, and parental relationship with his child, which carries over with him certain obligations and rights. A father’s legal relationship is established through his upbringing of his children. He is legally responsible for their welfare and upbringing until they are of legal age. A father can be a stepfather, a foster parent, or a guardian. In the case of unmarried parents, the father plays a more active role in his child’s life.
For those who have been biologically fathering children for many years without any change in sex, the biological father still has a relationship to his kids even if he isn’t their biological father. He is still their father and they consider him as such. This father still assumes the legal responsibilities of being their father. The only difference is that he would be considered a biological father rather than a mother. Some dads may not even know that they have been dads, just that they are adopting or not married. If this is the case, then they need to declare their paternity to ensure they are still fathering kids.
Fatherhood is a process that fathers go through individually and as a collective. A father plays a role in his child’s life starting from before they are born until they turn eighteen. Most of the time, a fatherhood figure will be an older man. It may be a grandfather, a father, or even a son. Fathers also have less societal interaction than mothers have. Most times, a father is not seen by other men aside from maybe his partner.
Fatherhood leaves a lot of emotional impact on a man’s psyche. Because of the responsibilities and the level of respect attributed to a father, many feel guilty for wanting to be a father. However, being a biological father is just another part of growing up. Many people view it as a privilege to be a paternal figure.
A father who wants to be acknowledged as a biological offspring may need to seek out documentation about his paternity. He could do this through a simple blood test or via a paternity statement. A paternity statement is a legal declaration that describes the relationship between the father and his biological offspring. Blood tests and/or genetic testing can be done to determine the biological relationship of the father and his offspring.
In many societies, including the United States, a father has assumed the role traditionally reserved for a mother. In many ways, being a biological father makes one a person of greater financial, social, and legal stature. It may be wise to acknowledge paternity to avoid problems in the future. The legal documentation and relationship status with his offspring can help a father realize the responsibilities that he has in his family.