John Seabrook recently adopted a girl from Haiti. How adoption narrows the parenting divide:

[One] way adoption differs from birth is that the father is much more of an equal partner from the beginning. When a woman spends nine months pregnant, gains weight, gives up drinking, and then has to go through labor, it places the guy behind the eight ball. The mother has already had a nine-month relationship with the child, and you’re just getting started. After the birth, the father feels that he has to atone for all the sacrifices the mother has already made in carrying the child. That shapes the dynamic of early parenthood, and as a guy you feel like you’re playing catch-up. But when you adopt a child, you’re starting from the same place on the moment the child arrives.

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