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Fathers, choices, adoption and child support
November 4, 2002
11:10 am
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gingerleigh
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I talked with BF for a few hours yesterday. We brought up the subject of his son, finally, to talk about it, hash things out, because I'm not someone that can just sit and stuff something forever. I can do it for a while, but that got me into heaps of trouble in my life, so I'm trying to be honest and straightforward when I can. I was and was not expecting his reaction if that makes any sense. I expected these emotions, but I didn't expect to hear about them. Not that they are bad, they just are, but I've never heard them verbalized before.

I'm not supporting his tesimony here, just stating what he said, and would like some feedback on this. If someone needs more background, read the first post on "Explain why I feel this way". Thanks.

When his ex found out she was pregnant BF wanted to put the baby up for adoption. (He himself was adopted. He of anyone should know what a good opportunity you give that kid. I am a strong believer in it myself, given my circumstances.) She said no way. Her choice, her body, BF didn't have a say in the matter. I would be pissed off too if I were him. With that one selfish choice, she has doomed at least 3 other people in her life besides her: BF, her new husband, and worst of all, the baby. Imagine when that kid grows up, whether or not BF is a part of his life, he is still going to have questions, is still going to want to know why BF deserted him and his mom. "Because she threw pots at me" is not something you tell your kid about his mom, right?

BF says that for the first year of the baby's life, she and her new husband lived here in Seattle, but then hubby got a job and they moved across the water, 200 miles away. She keeps saying that they are going to move back "in a few months" but they never do, and those promises started over 2 years ago. They just had a baby of their own, and she just changed the baby's last name to her new husband's.

BF looked into child support laws in Washington before the child was born, and he says that they are "completely outrageous and unreasonable". I don't have details on what these are. He gave his ex an ultimatum... either they settle outside of the state, or he would sue *her* for custody. He said that it was unreasonable for her to expect him to fork over $1000 a month in child support and never get to see the kid when he told her he was not ready to have and support a child, and that she should put the baby up for adoption. She gave him no say in the matter and kept the child. Frightened by the idea of BF suing her for custody (he had a good job, she didn't have one, and he would probably win custody), she agreed to settle outside of court. She did not put BF's name on the birth certificate though. Nothing was documented, and BF would just send money that he deemed appropriate to care for an infant. Diapers and food, and doctor bills when they came up. Day care was not an expense because she stayed at home while her husband supported her.

BF gets very angry when he perceives that he is being judged for the type of father that he is. Very angry. He's also very angry at his ex for sentencing him and taking away his choices as a father. He is angry at her for telling him that she was on birth control when she wasn't. He is angry at the state for taking the side of women who aren't responsible in their choices either and demand that fathers pay and pay and pay for choices that these women make.

Does he deserve this? Do men in this situation deserve to be "financially raped" by the state? Why aren't women held just as financially accountable for having premarital sex as men are? In this day and age, women's earning potential is catching up with their male counterparts. It's not there yet, but it's closer than it ever has been.

I can see his point... she said she was on birth control, it didn't work. He said that the baby should be put up for adoption rather than grow up in a home that would never work out between the two of them and would always be broken. She refused, and now he is in this limbo of being the baby's dad but not being able to be a part of the kid's life. Basically he is being sentenced to pay up every month because he believed her that she was on birth control and because *she* can't bear to give up the baby to a better life.

And then there is the knowledge that there is this little kid running around that is his. Just his very existence BF loves him beyond all measure, yet hates and resent him for just being born. He said "Everyone is so worried about what is best for the kid. Well what about me? What did I do that made me give up that right as a person, that right to do what is right for me?"

And I didn't have an answer for him. Because if the answer is that having premarital sex without protection is what sentenced him and this child to limbo land forever, then I know that I and at least half this country should also be judged, sentenced and hung...

Are there any support resources for men out there you could point me towards? I see lots of resources for single mothers, but no one ever talks about the fathers' sides.

And yes, I realize that I'm looking at a part of his life that doesn't affect me (yet), but it could potentially, someday. I care about him, and my inclination is to believe him and want to help him by providing him with some emotional support while he sorts through this, but I also want to know my facts and cut through any bullshit he might be feeding me, to protect MYSELF.

Thoughts?

November 4, 2002
11:56 am
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bel
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Hi Gingerleigh,
I had a son out of wedlock and never went after my boyfriend of 2 years who said the baby was not his for support, that was my choice. I raised my son on my own but did give him my boyfriends last name because he was his father. My exboyfriend did come around again and said he had only said he was not the father because he could not afford child support. My son is now 32 and a good man with some minor problems due to the fact his father was not around enough for him. I let my ex see his son and get to know him when he would show up twice a year. I held no grudges as life is to precious to hold in ill feelings.
It takes two people to make a baby.
When your in love and having your fun you Both know the consequences of what could happen but don't give much thought to them at the time. Your bf is as much fault here as his ex gf. Yes it was her decision to keep the baby and after all she is the one who carried the baby for nine months. She married and seems to be making a good home for the child and they have probably bonded already so giving it up for adoption would probably be out of the question. By law your bf is responsible for support whether he sees the baby or not. He does have rights as a father and should he want to go see the DA and tell them he wants visitation rights as he is entitled to them. If your by had custody then his ex would have to pay support just the same as he would. The laws are strict and sometimes out of control on how much he would need to pay, I fully agree with that. It sounds good that she is willing to work with him without going to court on the money part otherwise the judge would really sock it to him. These are just my thoughts and not labling or blaming anyone here.

Good Luck
Bel

November 4, 2002
12:17 pm
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gingerleigh
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Just a point of clarification, BF wanted her to give up the baby for adoption at birth, not now (no way jose would that be an option to consider).

Thank you for the feedback Bel. One question... why would BF be responsible for support if he isn't allowed to see the baby? That doesn't seem right somehow.

I guess no situation is perfect. My heart goes out to anyone who has to choose the best thing for a child. I know I'm not mature enough to handle it. Thanks again for responding.

November 4, 2002
1:36 pm
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UK Polly
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The law is different here, I know . . . child support is entirely different from access rights - my ex paid NO SUPPORT at all and when he came to collect our daughter (he doesn't any more) he was late, returned her late, was abusive to me and so on. Eventually the court refused to support his access at all. But still no financial support . . . self employed people are much more difficult to get money out of than people working for companies. Sux.

November 4, 2002
1:37 pm
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Anonymous
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A father should support his child whether or not he is allowed to see the child, for its not the childs fault and the child needs both incomes these days, with bills and expenses being so high. A father should always ALWAYS pay for his child and support her or him, no matter what, even if they have to go pick trash up along the highway, the child should not suffer, but selfish parents are out there, i should know, i have them.

November 4, 2002
1:44 pm
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Anonymous
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And when we have sex, we must be prepared that we could possibly bring a life into this world, and that we will have responsiablities and obligations if we have sex outside of a married union. Once i thought i was pregant, the man was so selfish and self absorbed, he said get a abortion! Of course for me, that was way out of question.

I was going to have it and raise it and expected him to do his part, for he also was a part in this!(i was willing to live in a cardboard box if that is what it took to raise my baby) Thank GOD i was not pregant, but it taught me a lesson, and that was not to lay or i had to pay! I was much more cautious afterwards on then too, would watch what kind of men i got entangeled with. Today i have a wonderful man and we share a wonderful beautiful child, and i thank GOD everyday for my life:)

November 4, 2002
2:08 pm
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Cici
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This has actually been a big issue in Florida and the state government has enacted some bizarre legislation in regard to paternal rights. Now, if a woman is pregnant and she wants to give the kid up for adoption, she has to put an ad out in every classified section of all the papers in towns where she had intercourse during the entireyear of her pregnancy! I think that that's invasive and cruel, especially because 99% of all one night stands don't CARE about any resulting kids!

Information about birth Father's Rights has some info that may be helpful. Most sites have info for birth fathers who want to be involved in their child's life.

The thing is - the law allows a man to not pay child support. He has to sign over his parental rights (or is it terminate his parental rights?). Your BF could have done this it's not hard. Then, his Ex's new husband could have adopted the kid and legally, the kid is the Ex's responsibility. This would have made more sense for him to do right after the baby was born.

I can understand, though, why his ex decided to keep the baby. I bonded with my unborn baby right soon after I discovered I was pregnant, and the hormonal surge makes you a little wacky. Well, really wacky. Almost insane. It's a personal value choice, to be honest.

Also - she could have had a birth control failure. I've known babies who were made through condoms! As in, the condom didn'y break, yet she got pregnant anyway. Birth control pills also fail sometimes - in fact, every method fails in some percent of the population, except abstinence.

There's just a lot of unknowns here. My personal opinion is that the woman who is carrying the baby has the ultimate decision because she's the one who is ultimately responsible for the kid. And although adoption is a great resource - sometimes the birth mother bonds really closely with her child, and you can't really fault her for wanting to raise her kid, ya know? I mean, she has a stable family unit, a new hubby and another kid - that sounds pretty ok in terms of living situation, but I don't know the details. I admit, I would feel differently if she were a single mom struggling to make ends meet.

More info on birth father's rights and adoption

Father's Rights and Equality Exchange

Father's Rights Network

Father's Right's Foundation

Hope that these help!

Everyone is worried about what's best for the kid because, well - the kid is a kid. Not an adult, and lacking the cognitivie skills that allow them to make logical, well thought out judgements. Your BF is an adult, and responsible for himself - that's why everyone is so concerned about the kid.

November 4, 2002
2:25 pm
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gingerleigh
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All of this information is good and helpful. Thanks Cici, Nightwind and Polly. I wish BF had signed over parental rights. I really really do. But that's because I'm selfish and don't want the added complexity of a kid in my life. Bad bad bad evil evil evil selfish selfish selfish Ginger!

I understand about a mother bonding with her child, sorta... no I take that back. I will never understand that feeling, ever, personally, so it makes me kind of bitter on a different level at this woman, not only can she get pregnant and carry a child to term, she did a double slap on me by creating a child with the person that I love, something that I WILL NEVER EVER BE ABLE TO DO and I'm very very bitter over that. I know that it's wrong, not her fault, she doesn't even know me or probably even about me. No reason that she should, I'm not part of her life or the baby's life. But I am part of his life. I hear him tell about waiting in the hospital and being there when the baby was born, sharing in his first year, that makes me really jealous and unhappy, because I will never experience that and I will never experience that with him, and he already did that with someone else.

Hm, maybe I really can't get over this, maybe it really would be best if I just gave up on it. Why am I tearing myself up over this? Aren't there plenty of other fish in the sea who don't have kids?

Oh barf, nevermind, forget I opened this thread, I just can't deal with this. *GL trying to hang herself with her network cable in disgust and frustration with herself*

November 4, 2002
2:38 pm
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Cici
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NO way, Ginger. You have a right to feel your own feelings, for (blank's) sake! In my experience - feel them as they come. It is grief, it is real, and if you suppress it - it will only come back later on.

It's a complex, confusing situation. I have a feeling that you will come to a resolution, if only in your mind, and come out on the other side feeling better.

November 4, 2002
2:54 pm
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gingerleigh
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Thank you for your faith in me, and for giving me some of your strength to lean on. Thank you.

November 4, 2002
9:12 pm
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Squeezles
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I have conflicting feelings about this kind of situation. I agree it should be a woman’s right to do what she wants – keep the baby, have an abortion or (if the father doesn’t want the baby either) give it up for adoption. But I do disagree with the notion that the father has (as it’s not his body, blah blah) NO rights at all. A baby is a result of two people, so I think two people should be involved in the decision making process. If the (potential) mother chooses to go against what the (potential) father wants (as in disregards his opinions) then I think the mother needs to accept that whatever happens is HER choice and so should be expected to bear basically sole responsibility. Then again, I do, in a way think that people should be held accountable for their actions. Part of the ‘responsibility’ of having sex is the notion that a baby may be the potential result. I don’t really buy the ‘she told me she was on birth control pills, so it wasn’t my fault’ argument. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t. I just think that if you’re not in a committed relationship (where you literally see them swallow the pill) that you can’t be absolutely certain that they are on some form of protection, in which case it is merely stupid and irresponsible not to use some other form of protection (condoms) in order to be completely safe. This is where I get conflicted – part of me thinks that if the feelings of the father are well stated and the mother chooses to go ahead with the pregnancy against the partners wishes then SHE should be responsible for the child if the father doesn’t want to be involved, but then again I’m against fathers who are there for the ‘fun’ part of it and walk away with a ‘not my problem’ attitude. I also disagree with the general perception that women should be given almost automatic custody, whereas the father is just viewed as being important as a ‘money machine’. Mothers are not in all situations the best caretakers and I think that attitude contradicts the notion that kids should have both parents. Whether child support is ‘fair’ or not, it really is there to protect the children involved. It does seem somewhat unfair to expect a father who is not allowed or not given access to his children to pay out a substantial amount of his pay (obviously that isn’t applicable in all cases) but I guess it comes down to ‘you accepted the risk, so you have to be responsible for it if it happens’.

In trying to relate that to the specific situation…basically your (Ginger) bf made a mistake in trusting her that she was on birth control pills. Even if he had been drinking, he should have been smarter than that and really should accept the consequences of that decision. It sounds like they have made a ‘private’ arrangement of what is reasonably his responsibility. At the moment, she has a fairly stable life (married with another child to her husband) and he seems willing to support the other child. But there is always the possibility that they could break up at which time husband could say ‘not my kid; not my problem’ so I don’t think you can rely on that situation to conclusively say that the child will be adequately looked after for life. Signing over ‘parenting rights’ is a pretty big step, but really, there should be some ‘legal’ type agreement of ‘you pay for half the school fees’ or ‘you pay me $500 a month’ ‘you have access to the child x times a year’ etc so that everyone knows where they stand. I think it’s unfair to be held in a limbo of ‘well we don’t need your money/support now, but who knows in 5 years time we might cash it in’. It sounds like he in part wants to be part of the child’s life. Are they (she in particular) stopping him from being involved? Ie not allowing him to visit, the child to visit him, him to phone the child, send him presents etc? or is your bf afraid that by doing so he’s opening himself up to then being responsible for child support? I guess what I find ‘scary’ about the situation is that your bf has been effectively cut off as the parent (name not on birth certificate, child has husbands name [I think?!] and since they have moved away from him, hasn’t really been put into a situation where he can have adequate contact), yet she could turn around at any time and say ‘this is your child too, when are you going to pay for food, clothes, education, braces etc too?’) in which case he is fairly open to being legally responsible for paying up. Why has he stopped having contact with the child (you said he did up until about 10 months ago)?

November 5, 2002
12:51 am
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gingerleigh
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Why did he stop? Convenience and laziness probably. It's a lot easier to arrange weekend visits when the mother and child live in the same city. When they moved across Puget Sound, it's about 3 or 4 hours to get to where they live now. I think he made an effort before he met me to arrange visits, but he says that he got "shut down" too many times when he tried to arrange visits... I just don't know.

I'll bet every single person posting here has had sex unprotected at least once and just got lucky not getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant. I'm angry that BF got caught. I'm angry that he was a dumb shit for not using a condom. But maybe that wouldn't have even helped, given the description of "condom babies" above.

Hm, maybe we should all rethink the whole idea that premarital sex is an outdated and archaic idea...

I'm frustrated with BF for being in this situation, and I'm frustrated with BF for not figuring a way out of it or dealing with it head on. And I'm frustrated with myself that I didn't just hightail it and run for the hills when I found out about the kid. I KNEW better, I've been involved in it before and it's nothing but heartache.

November 5, 2002
1:28 am
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Squeezles
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OK. You're angry. That's fair enough. This is who your bf is. Whether your bf WANTED to be a father or not is irrelevant, fact is he IS a father. It doesn't seem to matter to you that he is not the kind of dad that has junior over at his house every day drawing on his walls or leaving his matchbox cars on the floor for you to trip over (ie an INVOLVED dad), you're pissed that your bf has someone that is technically allowed to call him "Dad". I'm not saying it's BAD for you to feel that way, but the point is that unless you manage to nab someone when they're about 12 (and even then) the chances are that they're going to have done something in their past that is going to be considered 'unworthy'. I bet you've done stuff that you're not that proud of, right? You have flaws too, right? Sorry to bring up a sensitive subject, but if your bf said that you were an 'unworthy' person because you couldn't have a biological child, everyone would think he was an asshole, right? That's not your fault (and I'm certainly not saying you ARE an 'unworthy' person), but that is who you are. Your bf in knowing that and choosing to be with you has to accept that about you - accept the fact that he won't be able to have biological children with you. In knowing that your bf is a parent means you're going to have to accept this 'flaw' in him. You have to accept that you are dating someone who is a parent and that entails certain responsibilities on their (and possibly your) part. You don't have to date a parent; that's just what you're trying to do. Everyone has a past and unless you (generic 'you') choose to be alone for the rest of your life, chances are there is going to have to be a bit of compromising and accepting that somethings just happened before you happened to come along and be important.

OK so he stopped seeing the child - I'm sure if he really wanted to see the child he probably could. Is it really going to make you feel better if your bf becomes more involved in the child's life? Isn't it easier to 'pretend' that he doesn't actually have a child if he's not involved?

If it was you how would you deal with the situation 'head on'? From experience, it seems easier to condemn other people for their actions, but not so easy to figure out an alternative solution.

So what IS stopping you from leaving? What are the positive things that keep you with your bf? Do those things outweigh the 'child he had with someone else that he never sees anyway'?

November 5, 2002
2:03 am
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gingerleigh
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Dunno Squeezles, dunno. Dealing with something "head on" to me means making a choice, either being a real dad and stepping up, paying what you're supposed to, documenting it, and spending time with the kid. OR, going to his ex, saying "I heard through the grapevine that you changed my son's last name. Would you please explain why you did this without consulting me?"

But BF will never do these things. And I hear your frustration with me too, Squeezles, believe me I am 1000 times more frustrated with me that anyone else here. I'm starting to think that I really shouldn't be with anyone. Why am I with this man? Frankly, the emotional support, for the crazy things that he does and says in support of me. He gets angry on my behalf when I'm mistreated at work or by my family. I feel like he is truly on my side, and he's been there for me during some of my darkest hours. He's also supportive of some of my most cherished activities... my music (he goes to all my concerts), and he even applauds me for trying to understand myself and working through my "issues" even if I can't talk to him about them.

I realize that I have a choice to make here, and I've gotten feedback from people that I admire and respect here to just dump and move on. But also given my skewed view of the world and of myself, I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be this way with someone else. I mean, other people are able to accept me for my faults and my past... excessive partying, drugs, non-smart relationships... no one judges me for these things, yet I struggle with mistakes that he has made. Perhaps it is just so much worse because it's an area where I can never compete. Hm, maybe this whole infertility issue is a bigger deal with me than I really think...

Thanks for responding Squeezles, you're mighty intelligent for such a young woman.

November 5, 2002
11:36 am
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gingerleigh
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Now I realize when I say this, I'm relying on BF's word, which may not be truly reliable in this case. There are two sides to every story, and two parents to make a baby, right? Anyway, he said that at the hospital, he repeatedly asked her to put his name on the birth certificate. He at first was going to insist on a paternity test because they weren't together at the time, and maybe it was his, maybe not. He said as soon as he saw the little boy, he knew it had to be his. I've seen pictures, and it is undeniably BF's baby, and he knew there would be absolutely no point in requesting a test because it surely would come back positive. Anyway, BF said he asked her 3 times to put his name on the certificate, and she never did. I don't know why. So he isn't legally bound... yet, right? But now that BF has a good job after being unemployed for so long, maybe she will want to come back and sue for this, that or the other??? And to get his name on the birth certificate, all she would have to do is request that paternity test, right? And he previously agreed to do one, right?

In black and white, it's so much easier to read DEAD BEAT DAD, but in person it seems so complicated. Makes my logical brain hurt while the right and left brains start to choke eachother.

November 5, 2002
6:02 pm
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Squeezles
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Blondie has offered some pretty good advice. I do think it would be in your bf's best interests to go to a lawyer and sort out the legalities of it all NOW (BEFORE costs, custody, paternity etc become issues), so he is informed of his rights and responsibilities.

Not frustrated with you...I feel for what you're going through. You're not a terrible person for feeling this way. I don't necessarily think that you should be on your own just because you have 'issues' with children. I do, however, think you need to accept that sometimes people do things that we don't necessarily agree with and just because we are in a relationship with that person doesn't necessarily give us the right to press our views on to them about that. People do what THEY think is right, not what other people think is right. Overall, there are relatively few bad people in the world. There are, however, many people in the world who just make bad decisions. Your bf is one of them. As much as that bothers you and affects you, it is essentially his problem, not yours. I recall a few of the negative things he has done, but he does sound like he also has some good qualities. You are with him for a reason, right?

I think I recall you saying before that you didn't want a child now, but you might be interested in a few years? Perhaps instead of looking at this boy as 'your bf's illegitimate spawn' you could look at him as the child that you might never have otherwise had. Whilst he won't be 'your' child, (if bf continues with access visits) he will still be a child that is in your life...and the best part probably is that most of the inconvenient growing up parts will have been done by someone else, whilst you can soak up the joys of children. Just thought I'd throw in another way of looking at it :o)

November 6, 2002
1:24 am
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gingerleigh
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Blondie, does changing the last name mean that the child was officially adopted? BF says that he was not notified of the name change. His father was the one who told him (the mother told BF's father and stepmother about it...) This is too weird.

But here's the thing... if BF was never on the birth certificate, which he wasn't, the mother doesn't HAVE to tell BF that the kid was adopted, does she? Hm...

Squeezles, I do like the alternate way of looking at it...

November 7, 2002
6:21 pm
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GL e-mail me, my computer died, and having to rebuild.
In light of your posts, BF sounds like he has tried the best he can, not dead beat, but beaten down.
In some ways he has done a sacrificial act, his sacrifice, where he has had no power. Giving the boy the name seems like the appropriate step, since that man is really the father figure, in so many ways. It doesn't seem like your BF had much choice in the matter, he could have gone macho and moved next door and made demands, but that would have been a war for ever. It almost seems like a loose loose situation until some years pass. You can pull most any document from the county recorder for a few dollars to see if his name is on the certificate, and if not then for the rest of the stuff he is powerless. Sure the woman could toss a fit when the money stops, demand a dna test, but would her husband let her ? Why ? I might surrender and let them be a family for the boys sake, and let him set up a trust fund. That way he has morally held his no choice obligation, and how could the kid hate him if he tried to provide, and wasn't allowed, he will have a great best friend when he is older, and perhaps a fund for college or a car ? Makes some of the other behaviors make sense to me. With all the facts it really changes things this isn't a dead beat dad.

November 7, 2002
8:06 pm
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Not being truly involved and knowing what is really going on makes it hard for me to say one way or another... I'm going off a breakdown we had on Sunday about it. I think Molly you have a point about him being a beaten down dad. The little things that I have seen are just off. I think the mother is playing some games herself. The boy comes to town, maybe once every 3 months, but she will tell BF's stepmother, not BF, and it almost always seems to be when BF is out of town for the National Guard duty. And getting out of guard isn't something you can just up and do to see your family with a day's notice.

The mother doesn't "restrict" access per se. She just passive aggressively makes it nearly impossible for BF to see him. When I've seen BF try to make an appointment to see him, the answer will be "Oh, we're out of town that weekend" or "My mother is taking him to do such and such"... if BF really had the burning desire, he certainly could be more forceful himself about setting up meetings, but as time passes, he has less and less of a right to do that. Maybe not legally, but just like the question that was asked... "You were fine not seeing him all these months, why the sudden push to step back into his life now?" So you limp along with the status quo.

The money did stop for quite some time while BF was unemployed. I'm not sure if it has picked back up again, but perhaps as you suggest, starting a trust fund,a savings for college, or a car, even if BF just puts $100 a month into that, will be a good chunk of change for the kid when he is ready for college.

I'm sure the mother is kind of bitter towards BF. He said that she wanted him to marry her and be a real family. They tried, even went to couples counseling, but he said he realized he couldn't be with her when she threw a pot at him. That made me laugh, but I'm sure that he said something at the time that kind of deserved a pot whizzing 2 inches from his head, but I can see his point. It is never OK for a man (or woman) to hit someone in a fight, no matter what is said. Pot throwing fits that description in my book, so I don't blame him for saying "I can't do this" and ending the relationship once and for all. She didn't wait around to get married though... I think she was married before the little boy was a year old. Anyway, I'm resisting the urge to throw more barbs at her just because I'm jealous, so I'll quit talking about her.

Thanks again, ladies for your support and feedback here. It means a lot to me, helps me out more than you know. I'm also glad to see differing opinions, because it makes me feel like a bit less of a freak for not really knowing what to do here.

November 8, 2002
6:43 am
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UK Polly
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Ginger, you're NOT a freak for not really knowing what to do. It's like that for most people sometime or another.

There are some questions that you just NEVER know the answers to, and others where you must make a choice with the limited information that you have. Often we just have to make the best guess at the time. Sometimes it's right and sometimes it's wrong but you can't do a parallel experiment.

I think during my time I've probably made some really bad decisions - but either I'm comfortable with the choices I made or I've admitted (to myself at least!) that it was the wrong choice. I think that's the best I can do and perhaps the best that you can do too.

Hearing the views of other people has always been helpful for me and I think it will be for you too. It will sort of modify the way you think about it, just as your view will modify the way bf thinks about it.

I sympathise with you very much but I'm not sure I can offer anything helpful at all, I'd just like you to know that I'm following your thread because you have my interest, concern and support.

November 8, 2002
11:22 am
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Cici
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Hey GL, I agree wholeheartedly with Molls. A trustfund sounds like a great idea, since BF's EX is being passive aggressive.

While I understand the viewpoitn that Blondie is illustrating, I myself am RELUCTANT to the extreme to start litigation. It's disruptive for the child, for BF, for you, for the family unit that the EX has built. It's expensive. It's painful and invasive. IN today's litigious society many are apt to bark out "get a lawyer" - but I think that many times everyone would be better served in being quietly adult and logical about it. Like minds can come to an agreement, and all it takes to draw up a contract is a pen, paper, witnesses and a notary. No lawyer necessary.

My parents had trust funds for my sisters and me. Came in handy when I lost my scholarship, and since a big chunk of it is still intact, I am looking forward to using it as my retirement fund! Now, my parents have set up trustfunds for all the grandkids as well.

November 8, 2002
12:08 pm
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Can I throw out a great big hug to all you folks who responded here? I feel tons and tons and tons better about this. I can't say that I've really drawn any conclusions about this, other than I know that one of the things that bothers me most about it is how BF's previous life responsibilities make me feel. Making me realize that so much of what I have wrapped up in this is my own self, how I perceive myself, where I feel that my own self worth comes from. What someone did in the past has nothing to do with who I am today. See, the words don't even match up!

There are a lot of positives here... as much as I say that I am not a fan of kids, every single kid who comes into my life I am usually terribly attached to, I can't help but fall in love with them, but really convinced that the only reason I do is because they are special or unique in some way that most kids aren't, "because most kids are spoiled brats who will grow up to be spoiled teenagers..." the point is, I got it right in the first half of the sentence. Each kid *is* special and unique. Period. And I am able to love them for that. (I'm special and unique too, and whatever they are takes nothing away from what I am.) I'm thinking in particular of a coworker's kids, my friend is 44, and she has twins 14 years old, and a little boy who is 6 and a little girl who is 3. I adore the twins, they are everything I wish I could have been at 14 years old. And the little ones just tear my heart out when I go over to visit when one grabs my leg and the other one wants to show me the picture he drew in art class.

It's always been like that with me and kids. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be like that between me and BF's son, if I am ever introduced. There are reasonable ways that BF can prepare and provide for his son, and I can offer those suggestions should the subject of marriage ever come up and we're trying to figure out finances. Until then, it's not my responsibility other than being supportive if he needs to talk about it and being flexible to give him the time he might need to be away and visiting his son.

I really do feel better, thank you again.

November 9, 2002
4:14 am
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Ginge...you've come along way :o)

No need to feel bad about how you feel. Acceptance is everything here. I know it's hard, but it makes life much more bearable.

You'd make a great parent :o) I hope you get the opportunity to try.

Cya round like a rissole!

November 11, 2002
7:51 pm
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If this kids mom has been this wierd with the >biodad> you don't stand a chance, and could be a completely new opportunity for war.

Based on your posts, I would say Bf can cut his financial commitment and start the trust fund, if kid discovers that his dad is not his real dad, he will act out at 11-13, then your door can open. Mom's play will unfold, and for some reason, I doubt the Step dad is part of the game,he will most likely wounded step back, but in time it will be up to the kid, and then she is powerless. The game of talking with BF's step mom is clear, poor guy BF, and his son actually. BF is stuck between a rock and a hard spot, and along comes GL with her maternal, and perhaps deeper issues with respect to children. Whew... Get married, adopt a kid, and then maybe when the child BF created that has not had access to, will come around, sounds simple huh ?

November 11, 2002
10:55 pm
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gingerleigh
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Oh so simple, Miss Molly. Sometimes, you just sort of have to sit back and laugh and consciously decide to not take any of it seriously. I got a big new blue exercise ball... my cats love it, my abs don't. Makes a good footrest when I'm watching TV though...

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