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Should I let him be a dad

(24 Posts)
Gems16 Sun 05-Jun-16 11:52:21

5 years ago I was in a short relationship with a man, it only lasted around 2 months but in that time I fell pregnant. When I told him he said 2 my face that he'd be there for me but after that conversation I never heard from him again. He cut off all contact and wasn't at the scans or birth. Soon after I had my daughter I received a solicitors letter in the post saying along the lines of that I need to stop telling people that this man is my baby's father and more or less that I'm blackining his name. When my daughter was 8 months I met someone else, he's been in my daughters life since then he treats her like his own, he is the only father figure my daughter knows although she knows he's not her real dad. Anyway my daughter is 4 now and we were in town one day when I saw her real father. He stared at my daughter (who is the spitting image of him) but didn't speak 2 us. About a week later I got a private message on Facebook from him saying he's sorry for doubting me and he wants 2 be part of my daughters life now. I ignored the message and then I got another solicitors letter saying he's taking me 2 court 2 see his daughter. I don't want my daughter having anything 2 do with him, he can't just walk in 2 her life 4 years later he is a stranger 2 her! I know a part of how I'm feeling is resentment cos of how he treated me but I think I have a right to feel like that. Now I don't know what I'm gonna do If I don't let him be part of her life she might resent me for it when she's older. Would he win if this did go 2 court??

wonderingsoul Sun 05-Jun-16 12:01:41

What a cunt badger he is. I dont blame you for feeling like this i would to.

But i think you need to give him a chance. I would write back to hes solictor and ask for mediaction. Tell him he needs to prove himself and that he wint be having her straight away. He could start with an hour visatation with you there and build it up untill your daughter is happy with it.

Does she know her dad isnt her birth dad?

Also does he pay maintenance? If nit id get on that to.

But inwould put money on him losing intereast soon but at least you can tell your daughter you tried.

OurBlanche Sun 05-Jun-16 12:03:24

Yes, he probably would be given the opportunity to build a relationship with his daughter.

It might sound wrong, but it might be easier, more rewarding all round if you can start this amicably. You might be able to retain a bit more control of the speed of things than you would if it went straight to the legalities.

From what you have said he was a pratt, not violent, abusive etc. You never know, he might be a good thing in her life in the long run. He obviously wants to be - or why would he be in any form of contact?

Your fears are well founded, he didn't start off well with you, but a court would allow him to try to make a relationship with his daughter - as is her right.

Gems16 Sun 05-Jun-16 12:10:01

No he has never paid a penny towards raising her, I could have called CSA on him but after he treated me that way I just didn't want anything 2 do with him 2 be honest. He knows my partner is not her real dad but I can't put in 2 words how good he is with her. We're getting married next year too and before this happened I was gonna let him adopt her and for her 2 take his name too.

Merd Sun 05-Jun-16 12:20:40

But i think you need to give him a chance.

Sorry but I don't. His needs DO NOT come first and you need to be careful to keep hers as a priority.

He bloody knew she existed for years and is only now fascinated?

Don't do anything in a hurry OP - this is a bit like an adopted kid situation - the biological parents don't have automatic access rights anymore and it can create all sorts of emotional issues.

Before you proceed, another poster Kr1stina gave fantastic advice about the practicalities of this over on a thread on their board ages ago, it might be worth posting there too or pm'ing her?

Merd Sun 05-Jun-16 12:21:36

I'm not saying deny all access for all time automatically btw as that can be damaging to a child too - but proceed cautiously and think twice, and seriously, ask over on those boards too if you can. flowers

wonderingsoul Sun 05-Jun-16 12:25:43

I would also write to hes solictors asking about him paying money now. That may just scare him off to.

I dont blame you for wishing hed crawl back under the stone he came from. Your parner has been a dad to your daughter and nothing will change that. Congratulations on getting married too flowers

OurBlanche Sun 05-Jun-16 12:27:48

^^That's very good advice from Merd. I was trying to remember who it was I'd read a while ago, I suspect it was Kr!stina.

JacketPoTayTo Sun 05-Jun-16 12:29:44

Can CM payments be backdated? It might be worth reminding him that he owes you 4 years worth of payments at this point. See how keen he is to get involved then.

I think you're right to be cautious. He's not given this poor girl a second's thought in four years, sees her once from a distance and then suddenly wants to be a proper dad, just like that? It's all very well sending you an apologetic Facebook message, but when he didn't get the response he wanted immediately he straight away got a solicitor to send a letter. That doesn't exactly give the impression that he's sorry or that he understands the hurt he has caused. If he did, he would tread carefully and give you all time to process his message.

PoisonWitch Sun 05-Jun-16 12:34:14

Write back and ask for him to show commitment with 4 years worth of maintenance and a written 1 year plan of how to establish contact with DDs emotional wellbeing in mind. Will either scare him off or show he is serious about this.

Gems16 Sun 05-Jun-16 12:34:49

Thank u merd, the thing is my daughter is a shy timid child and there's no way she's gonna go 2 him he's a stranger 2 her..

Rebecca2014 Sun 05-Jun-16 12:38:46

It is easy for men to have the, out of sight out of mind mentality. He didn't carry the baby, he just walked away and tried to forget about it. Childish? disgusting behaviour? yes but that day he saw his daughter maybe then she became real to him.

Personally I would give him a chance because your daughter deserves that. If he walks away again, then least you can say to your daughter that you gave her father a chance but he wasn't reliable.

caroldecker Sun 05-Jun-16 12:41:07

If this goes to court, it will almost certainly be decided that it is in your DD's interest to know her birth father. Contact will need to be built up over time, possibly using contact centres to begin with. If he is determined, this will not go away, so it will be in your and your DD's interest to keep it as amicable as possible.

Merd Sun 05-Jun-16 12:43:58

Personally I would give him a chance because your daughter deserves that.

No - not as step 1 you don't. He doesn't deserve a chance. I get what you're saying (his daughter might need a chance at him) but that's a different setup entirely. He could walk in, shake things up and get bored and leave. No child will be helped by this. That's why adoptive families have stringent procedures which can be no-contact to Dropbox contact to regulated contact. It's a big emotional deal for a child.

Yes OurBlanche it was definitely her. I'll see if I can find the thread and post it here - I think I actually opposed her on the thread at first but she changed my mind totally on the matter after I'd thought about it properly, so I'm in no way just parroting her blankly either.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation Gems. flowers You need to get legal advice yourself as a matter of urgency, and practical advice from that Adoption board I mentioned.

Arcadia Sun 05-Jun-16 12:47:28

Am a family lawyer and agree with what caroldecker says. The 'right' is not his or yours but the child's right to have a relationship with both parents. I agree he could end up messing her around sadly, but the courts would always try to encourage the relationship if there is any chance at all. If you have had an invite to mediation take it up - this is likely to be a precursor to him making a court application as you need to 'jump through the hoop' of mediation to be allowed to go to court, so if you refused mediation he can go straight to court.

Skrewt Sun 05-Jun-16 12:56:16

He and she deserve a chance at a relationship.

CauliflowerBalti Sun 05-Jun-16 12:57:35

Is he named as father on the birth certificate? If not, he has no legal rights. You have a responsibility to keep him informed of his child's progress, but he has no automatic right to see her.

He can, however, apply to the court for parental responsibility and access. They will decide if it's in the child's best interest to grant it, and in most cases they do.

If he is determined to play a part in her life, there isn't a lot you can do to stop it. But there's all sorts you can do to manage it. He's a long, long way away from having your daughter on his own, let alone overnight. Years. Supervised contact would be the way it would start, and if you can't bear to be part of that supervision, then it would be via a contact centre.

It would be better if you took control of the situation - better for your frame of mind, better in the eyes of the courts should it get that far. I'd write to his solicitor and suggest mediation sessions. And I wouldn't be surprised if it all went away at that point. My sister's ex backed off at mediation. My ex husband wasn't keen when he realised they weren't held at a time to suit him. I don't say that you should suggest mediation to be awkward - I genuinely believe that, after 4 years and the way he treated you, that you will need third party help to arrive at a solution that's right for all concerned. The fact that 90% of men can't seem to be arsed is just a bonus.

I would feel EXACTLY as you do. I would be outraged on behalf of your new partner too, who truly is Daddy. If your ex isn't on the birth certificate there's nothing stopping him applying for parental responsibility right now, with a view to adoption in the future when the situation with your ex has died down. Try not to worry.

But do seek legal advice. Take control of the situation. Let your ex see that if you are doing this, it will be PROPERLY, with your daughter's best interests at heart, and in a way that allows him to demonstrate that he is in it for the next 20 years, not as a way of scratching a curiosity itch. Maybe send some photos of your daughter and a little bit about her with the solicitor's letter, in case that sorts it out.

Skrewt Sun 05-Jun-16 12:57:48

Sorry I should clarify he deserves a severe case of everlasting piles for being a poor excuse of a man but she will want to know about her dad at some stage and deserves a chance to know who he is.

ElspethFlashman Sun 05-Jun-16 13:02:26

Wait, I presume since he was long gone by the birth he wasn't named on the birth cert?

That changes things dramatically if so.

SandyY2K Sun 05-Jun-16 13:11:20

How awful of him. Just when you are entering a new chapter in your life he surfaces. Why didn't he ask for a paternity test if he was unsure.

I'm so sorry for you, but the courts will most likely agree they should have a relationship.

On the bright side though, maybe he's grown up since then and wants to do right by your DD. He's got a lot of making up to do and he needs to know she has a 'dad' in her life so he can't just swan in there.

(((()))))) to you and DD.

AmsterdamT Sun 05-Jun-16 13:17:12

Do you still have the letter from his solicitor telling you that you need to stop telling people that he's the father? If so, I would remind him of that.

Gems16 Sun 05-Jun-16 13:40:30

Thanks for all the replys its given me a lot 2 think about, his name is not on the birth certificate, Amsterdam.. Yes I still have that letter I've kept all correspondence I've had with him

FannyFifer Sun 05-Jun-16 14:03:23

He sounds like a piece of work, I guess he would have to request DNA test to prove he is her father, good you have that previous lawyers letter as well.

BubblingUp Sun 05-Jun-16 14:14:11

Yes, the bio-dad and child should be given the opportunity to develop a relationship.
Child support needs to be initiated as well - although here they are quick to say these are not payments in exchange for visitation - it's just a part of the obligations and rights of a parent child relationship.
Here, the judge would order a DNA test to confirm parentage. Lack of name on birth certificate when mother is unwed is meaningless. (If mother is wed, the legal father is husband no matter if he is actual father.)
New partner can't adopt without bio-dad's permission and relinquishing of rights. You could say "father unknown" to get past this, but bio-dad could demand DNA test himself. Most women I know who do the "father unknown" haven't told the bio-dad they are pregnant.
I am not in UK and rules are different, but in this thread it seems like Mother gets to make decisions and decide unilaterally, but here it is the courts.

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