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There seems to be two fundamental meanings to the word (both when you look in the dictionary and when you do a search on Google.)
1) The first is that “fathering” means “bring into being, bring into the world, give life to”.

In essence it boils down to a man donating his sperm to help create a new life.

2) The second meaning of the world “fathering” is “to be the father of…” as in “treat with the protective care associated with a father.”.

In essence to be an active, and caring parent.

It is the same with the word “Paternity”.

The definition of the word “paternity” is: “(especially in legal contexts) the state of being someone’s father.”.

Now that can mean two totally different things.

1) Your genes where used to create a new human so you are the child’s father.

Google the term “paternity” and ads for paternity testing comes up…

(Again, the idea of donating a sperm.)


2) The idea of taking full responsibility as one of two parents in regards to fostering a child.

The idea of being a dad.

As a father you have to make up your mind about what the word “fathering” means to you.
Do you want to give life to a child, or do you want to give a life to a child?

That one letter “a” makes a huge difference in how you look at the concept of fathering a child.
The first view is that a father helps create a child, the other view is that a father is present to raise a child.
But to be present you need to be there.
It’s a decision – and a commitment – that you, as a father, have to make: to physically and mentally be there as much as you can and as much as the child needs it while your child is growing up.

Are you?

To help bring a child to this world is the easy part.
To help raise it is the rewarding part.

Be more than a sperm. Be a dad.


Fredrik Haren

A blog about the magic of fatherhood and paternity leave. Written by Fredrik Haren, professional speaker and author who is now on semi-paternity leave with his three children.

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