Paternity is a complex entity. The meaning of fatherhood to the individual and in society is multifactorial, influenced by co-occurring personal, familial, cultural and systemic issues. This chapter examines fatherhood from a variety of overlapping perspectives – psychoanalytic, sociological, chronological, philosophical and psycho-sexual. Raphael-Leff’s research produced a model characterised by four paternal orientations: a ‘Participator’ father who devotes himself to the baby; a ‘Renouncer’ who treats baby-care as his partner’s domain; a ‘Reciprocator’ who ‘plays it by ear’; and a ‘conflicted’ father who veers inconsistently between extremes. The author argues that egalitarian societies-in-transition provide diverse personal options. Today’s fathers can opt to be more nurturing, now that women partake of the abundant opportunities men traditionally enjoyed: whether to express their ‘generative agency’ in parenting, and if so, when, where, how and with whom to have a baby, as well as the nature of their own optimal connection to the child and to the other parent. Paternal intimacy and emotional engrossment is rooted in beliefs, wishes, anxieties and defences, affecting a self-motivated ‘time-span’ of parental responsibility. Finally, in two-parent households permutations of paternal and maternal orientations determine the ‘emotional climate’ which inevitably, forms and informs the infant’s inner reality.