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To not allow my Dad to see my baby

(39 Posts)
wakarimasen Sun 26-Jun-11 20:39:52

Hello,

Looking for a bit of advice here. I am 6 months pregnant with my first child.

When I was growing up, my father had a serious alcohol problem and was agressive and abusive to my mother and me. This was often verbal / emotional abuse, throwing us out on the street when I was 15, punching holes in the walls of the house and generally making my life a misery. I left home at 17 and maintained some contact but this stopped completely just before my wedding 5 years ago. I have been so much happier and contented without him in my life and have began to feel settled in life.

Now he knows I am pregnant (I still have limited contact with my mother) he has been in touch and i have made it clear I am not interested in a reconcilliation. I have recently heard from my brother that my Dad is threatening to take me to court in order to see my baby when it's born. I am so upset and angry that I am shaking and I am so scared he's going to cause upset all over again.

I just want him to leave me alone and get on with my life - is that unreasonable?

Hassled Sun 26-Jun-11 20:42:33

From This - aimed at grandparents
"Unlike parents, a grandparent does not have an automatic right to apply for a contact order and will have to apply for leave to make that application. In order to be successful the grandparent must show that they have a meaningful and important connection with the child. "

I think your father would struggle to prove the "meaningful and important" thing. Ignore him - it's bluster and bollocks designed to scare you. He's talking out of his arse.

PamBeesly Sun 26-Jun-11 20:43:25

Hi OP it is not unreasonable, if you don't want that man in your childs life that is up to you, I would't want him in dc's life either. He has no rights to your child. Who is your next of kin?

creamola Sun 26-Jun-11 20:43:29

no not at all.

how horrible for you.

Is it possible for you to simply ignore him?

Can your brother have a word with him?

WriterofDreams Sun 26-Jun-11 20:45:37

What a terrible situation sad Of course you're not unreasonable. You have no obligation whatsoever to see that abusive turd of a man and I think you're absolutely doing the right thing by denying him access. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along to advise you but as far as I know there is no way a court would force you to let him see his grandchild.

I would be tempted to write him a letter stating that any action taken by him would result in you seeking a prosecution for the years of abuse he subjected you to. I know that might seem extreme and you may not be up to that sort of confrontation but the fact is that he is a criminal who is threatening you so you have the right to get the police involved and to give him a taste of his own medicine. Hopefully just the threat would give him the clear signal that you're not taking any more of his shit and that you're going to stand up to him no matter what.

My sympathies, this is the last thing you need when you should be looking forward to your baby. What does your brother think about your father's threat?

wakarimasen Sun 26-Jun-11 20:48:17

I know I should ignore it but I am a worrier and this has just shaken me up at a time when I am more fragile than normal. It took me years to get over all the crap I had to deal with and just wish I could forget he even exists. I am also furious with my mother who has stayed with him and only seems to think about his feelings...

lesley33 Sun 26-Jun-11 20:50:32

Rights of access for GP's is meant for situatiosn where they already have a relationship with the child. Typically a child who spent a lot of time at a GP's, but after a divorce the resident parent refuses access - usually because they are the ex partners parents.

This does not apply here and he would have no chance of gaining access. YANBU to refuse access. He is bluffing like bullies tend to do.

wakarimasen Sun 26-Jun-11 20:50:44

My brother is caught in th middle really. He didn't suffer the same ordeal as my Dad largely picked on me (as I tended to stand up to him)

WriterofDreams Sun 26-Jun-11 21:00:06

It's totally natural that this situation has shaken you up, you shouldn't feel bad about that. I think besides actually confronting him another option would be to completely cut off contact with both him and your mother. That way you can get some distance from him and he won't be able to get at you through other family members. Remember that he really doesn't have a leg to stand on. He's tantrumming like a little child and he's playing on the fear you understandably have for him but really he's just a pathetic old man who just likes to scare people. Why on earth does he think you would let him anywhere near your precious baby? If I were you I wouldn't let your mother near the baby either as she has made her decision as to where her loyalty lies.

smokinaces Sun 26-Jun-11 21:01:16

wakarimasen, what a horrible man. I am estranged from my father completely - havent had a conversation with him in 12 years, and he didnt come to my wedding and has never met my children. There is no way he is ever meeting them either. He sees my sister and her children, but thankfully seems to accept that I want nothing to ever do with him.

If he ever threatened to take me to court I dont know what I would do. Do a statement with all the history maybe. But liek someone posted, they'd have to have a good reason for allowing access - and highly doubt that he'd be able toprove a link to the child.

I still get the heart racing, goosebumps etc when I walk past my ex-father. I hate it I really do. Feel for you.

YANBU, he is a complete twunt.

Andrewofgg Sun 26-Jun-11 21:16:36

YANBU - but let him know through your brother how the baby is doing and let him have photos.

ImperialBlether Sun 26-Jun-11 21:20:41

Why the hell should she let him have photos?

Georgimama Sun 26-Jun-11 21:22:22

I wouldn't let him have photos or anything else. He sounds like a complete cunt and having bullied you as a child, he wants to bully you again through your child. No way does he deserve photos or any involvement in your child's life.

I am not a family lawyer but as someone else said, whilst it is possible for grandparents to seek contact this would usually only be considered where there is an existing relationship with GC which is breaking down due to the divorce of the parents. He has no right to see your child or you. Ignore ignore ignore.

wakarimasen Sun 26-Jun-11 21:26:42

Thank you. I feel a bit better and I do have to seriously consider my relationship with my mother too. smokinaces good to hear from somone with a similar story. All my friends seem to have fantastic parents who have been really supportive in their pregancies. I really do wish I had that sad

Georgimama Sun 26-Jun-11 21:29:20

I haven't seen my father since I was 15. He has never met my husband or child and never will. I wish you had better parents too - I am lucky in that my mum is fantastic enough to make up for him.

CheerfulYank Sun 26-Jun-11 21:35:50

My mother and her sister have a terrible relationship. There are a lot of MH issues on my mother's side and my aunt has those in spades, plus just nasty personality.

My mom has gone through periods of not speaking to her sister, and she's always happier when she's not.

You know what's best for you and your DC (congrats, by the way!smile ) I would just ignore as much as possible. Sorry you're going through this.

smokinaces Sun 26-Jun-11 21:42:48

and I also disagree with Andrewoffog, dont let him have photos. My Nan has photos which she has up, and my sister, so I know he has seen the kids (we have also stood behind him in a shop queue) but I would never let him have a photo himself. He is nothing to do with them, and I will never let him know how they are or have a photo to appease him.

wakarimasen, supportive family is lovely - but friends and support networks are worth 100 x more. Have you got a NCT group, or a local surestart antenatal group? I'm still friends with the 6 others I met at my DS1's "baby group" 4 years on, and they have been worth their weight in gold through my separation, homelessness and everything.

EightiesChick Sun 26-Jun-11 21:47:40

A pathetic and ridiculous threat. Ignore.

On the photos front, definitely not.

EightiesChick Sun 26-Jun-11 21:48:45

Giving photos will only reinforce his belief that he has some kind of claim on your child. He doesn't. No court would ever grant him any, either.

Tchootnika Sun 26-Jun-11 21:52:36

As per Hassled:
You're not obliged to allow your father contact, and he has no right to try and bully you into doing so.
Neither are you obliged to send him photos or information unless you wish to do so.
You owe him nothing, and it's sad that he's trying to bully you like this when you're vulnerable.

ihatecbeebies Sun 26-Jun-11 21:53:07

No you are not being unreasonable at all! I am in a very similar situation and my mother went to a lawyer too, I talked it over with my lawyer and he said that based on alcohol problems, abusiveness etc, that she had basically no chance of getting to see DS, my lawyer replied to her lawyer with a list of the valid reasons why I wasn't allowing access and I've heard nothing since, so if the worst happens and he goes down the legal route he'll probably not have much of a chance either as I'm guessing he wont have much to offer the child in the way of a positive and supportive relationship?

ihatecbeebies Sun 26-Jun-11 21:56:37

Just noticed that you said your mother had taken his side - My family have also taken my mothers side and have completely disowned both me and my DS but the best comfort I have is knowing that despite all the pressure I get I know I am doing what is best to protect my son and you will be doing the same - good luck!

TheSnickeringFox Sun 26-Jun-11 22:12:34

YANBU

OP, repeat after me: not wakarimasen, but wakaRU! wink You know YANBU.

honeyandsalt Sun 26-Jun-11 22:30:52

Of course yanbu - the irony is if he really was a reformed character and came to you cap in hand I guess you'd feel more conflicted, but this has simply hardened your resolve I'm sure. As everyone has said, his threat is all so much hot air, he has no mission of making a successful application for a contact order, he's just trying making noises.

I think a lot of the problem is your history and you're feeling so vulnerable. If you're still worried tomorrow to make yourself feel better I think you should phone your nearest legal aid or citizens advice office, have a chat with someone who can properly set your mind at ease. It'll just put that extra buffer zone of protection around you so you feel like there's someone offical on your side.

Loonytoonie Sun 26-Jun-11 22:47:53

OP, should your father have even sounded a tiny bit remorseful, well that would be something - a starting point perhaps, but he's flown immediately into bullying and threatening which shows that he has not changed a bit.

I'd leave the photo's for three reasons:
1) He doesn't deserve them
2) You don't want to encourage contact
3) Even as an act of pacifying him, he could see it as a reason to keep chipping away at you. Bullies thrive on reaction. Sending him pics would encourage the contact and maintain the 'challenge' for him.

You're especially vulnerable at the moment. Surround yourself in people that adore you. What are your in laws like? I'd also question your relationship with your Mum - I don't want to cause you more worry, but when your little one is born, how will you sort out grandmother contact, without your father in tow? Can you trust your mother to keep your baby away from him?

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