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Moving from the UK to Australia with your kids and taking them away from their dad? (BBC Wanted Down Under)

(48 Posts)
WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 28-Sep-20 01:01:35

We were watching 'Wanted Down Under' this morning and the family looking to move was a woman and her female partner and their four children (each woman had two).

The woman who was the central focus (I presume she originally contacted the BBC) was desperate to move to Australia and was convinced that it would be better for her whole family, however, she had (obviously) since split from her kids' dad, who was, of course, not part of the package in the considered move.

It was a bit confusing as the presenter seemed to be maybe suggesting that he was the dad of all four kids. I don't know whether he had previously also been the partner of the other women or had maybe donated sperm, or if her kids' dad had since died or was a disappeared deadbeat - but the aforementioned man they featured is the dad of at least two of the kids.

Of course, appearances can be deceptive, but he genuinely seemed like a really devoted, involved dad - he was described as 'very hands-on'. He said that he wanted the best for the kids, but I (rightly or wrongly) perceived some sadness when he said that.

The 'main' woman's mum didn't want them to go and, of course, most scenarios involving moving to the other side of the world invariably mean family members being physically divided and being able to meet maybe once every few years at best for the rest of the older generation's lives rather than potentially seeing each other week in, week out - the kids' grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins etc; but I've never seen one before where children were actually being taken away from one of their parents, who was a continued presence in their lives.

It just left me with so many questions. How can this possibly be considered? How could the mum deliberately want to take her kids so far away from their dad? Why wouldn't the dad put his foot down and point-blank refuse? Did the kids vote according to their genuine feelings (three said move to Oz and one was undecided) or how they thought they were 'supposed' to vote?

The final decision was that they would move to Australia, although they were being extremely optimistic about the financial side of it and looking at properties way out of their price range. On this show, they always seem to think that there are 'UK-type' properties and 'Australian-type' properties, as though both countries didn't have a wide range of diverse dwellings to choose from, and I always think they seem to be comparing a holiday in Oz with mundane life in the UK, so it's far from a like for like scenario to decide on. The dad said that he would probably end up moving there as well, eventually - whether he will or won't, whether he wants to anyway or whether he feels blackmailed into it if he's going to get to see his kids again; I really don't know.

What do other folk think about this?
YANBU: How could anybody consider this for a moment? She is very selfish to take his kids away from him (and vice versa);
YABU: She is just following her dream to give her family the best life and opportunities and he will just have to make plans to move as well if he wants to remain part of his kids' lives.

OP’s posts: |
DustyLoafer Mon 28-Sep-20 01:06:45

I thought the same watching that episode. Who would be callous enough to move their kids to the other side of the world from the other parent?

giggly Mon 28-Sep-20 01:20:29

Funnily enoughI etched this as well and thought at the time I’d ask mn grin
I couldn’t get my head round the fancy that she would even consider taking them as “it’s a much better place to raise children “. Surely having regular physical contact with their father is a much better way of raising their children.
I moved to Oz and ultimately it was family that brought me back. I didn’t think it was a better place to raise my children that turns out to be the place with extended family being actively involved. Skype/ Face time etc does not cut the mustard no matter what people think.

I really felt for the wee boy who clearly didn’t want to go.

giggly Mon 28-Sep-20 01:21:34

Excuse the spelling/ auto correct

WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo Mon 28-Sep-20 01:31:41

I think most the wanted down under lot are after a free holiday tbh but will say when my ex sil met a guy online, hundreds of miles away in Wales she very sneakily rented a house for the 6 weeks summer holidays and basically engrossed their DD in a six week holiday. This was them ' having space ' but it was bloody obvious what she was doing. Their DD was 11 at the time.

Dbro felt he had no option but to let his dd go when the inevitable happened. At the time he did the right thing, even giving more assets so his ex wife could buy outright instead of constant renting and he has a good relationship with his dd as he made sure their time together was quality time. He even kept in touch with all her school friends families so she'd keep up those relationships. But the reality is he's missed out on contact and his dds day to day life.......I think if the time was to come again and his dd was sat sobbing because she thought her dad was stopping her from having this wonderful life he'd have been the bad guy and contested things massively.

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 28-Sep-20 01:34:19

Is it true that you basically get a free holiday out of this show? I am sure I heard that on MN. If it is, then maybe they were all (well the adults in the know) playing the game to get a holiday they couldnt have otherwise afforded.

Antipodeancousin Mon 28-Sep-20 01:41:01

The Australian government will not usually grant a visa for a chid to migrate without the written permission of the NRP in the home country.
If the father wanted to he could object.

Dreamscomingtrue Mon 28-Sep-20 01:43:07

And surely it Partly depends on what profession the father has?

Australia and NZ are pretty strict who they let emigrate there, it’s either a profession that they need from outside Australia or you only enter with a healthy bank balance (older/retired people)

I’ve seen this episode before, quite a while ago, so it would be interesting to see how things turned out.

Rosebel Mon 28-Sep-20 01:54:32

I don't think she was being unreasonable to follow her dream especially as the dad was talking about moving too.
I don't think the boy wanted to go but then again should what one child wants trump the needs of what all the other family members wanted?
These programmes always annoy me when they do the family video thing and they all end up crying (they're seeing them the next day!) and while most parents don't want their children and grandchildren emigrating you have to live your life. For yourself, not your parents.

lyralalala Mon 28-Sep-20 01:54:57

There was an episode before where the woman had three kids; one with the partner she was moving with and two older kids. Her partner also had an older child.

She was desperate to move. Spent the whole episode telling him about the holidays his daughter would have visiting them and maybe she could have a gap year and telling her kids that they'd have an amazing life and their Dad would want them to be happy. She even had been trying to persuade him to move too.

She was then horrified at the cost of childcare. Turned out her parents minded her two youngest every day, her kids seen their Dad two weeks in three, the step-daughter visited every other week and their access arrangements were set up so that the kids all spent time together.

They were basically a really well set up blended family and she was the only one that wanted to move. She was quite sharp anytime any of them voted UK for bits pushing for why and basically telling them they were wrong.

You have to hope for some it's just about the holiday because there are some truly selfish people on that show.

bettsbattenburg Mon 28-Sep-20 01:57:33


Is it true that you basically get a free holiday out of this show? I am sure I heard that on MN. If it is, then maybe they were all (well the adults in the know) playing the game to get a holiday they couldnt have otherwise afforded.

I think you get to go for a week and then you have to look at houses and meet a prospective employer. Flying down under for a week is no holiday, the jet lag is horrendous when you come back having done around 45-50 hours in the air across time zones.

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Mon 28-Sep-20 02:08:17

I've emigrated to Australia. I know one woman who has done this, her eldest two children are with her first husband who still lives in the UK. She pays for them to visit once a year for three or four weeks. Their dad had to give permission for her to take them. Its certainly not an ideal situation, but for various reasons he was unable to take full custody of them, so agreed as he thought it was in their best interests. The kids are thriving, and have a very nice Australian lifestyle.

I also know someone who was on Wanted Down Under, and also did a follow up episode. They fly you out for a week, but they tacked on another couple of weeks holiday. She said filming was pretty full on, and they do edit it for maximum dramatic effect, but she said it was great fun too. They obviously chose to emigrate and have done very well.

Goosefoot Mon 28-Sep-20 02:16:13

My mum considered moving us to Australia, from Canada, after she and my dad split. She didn't because she decided it was mainly about trying to run away from problems and wasn't justifiable in terms of us seeing our dad.

I think the urge to run away is very understandable, but it's a pretty horrible thing to do to your kids.

StarCat2020 Mon 28-Sep-20 03:51:32

the family looking to move was a woman and her female partner and their four children (each woman had two)
I thought that all four kids were the main woman's kids??

mxjones Mon 28-Sep-20 04:03:21

The children are the only reason I'm still in the uk, I'd be with the rest of the family in Australia otherwise as most of them are there. I've only got one nonagenarian relative in the uk so there's only me and the children otherwise and one of them is emigrating to oz as soon as they can sad

BritWifeinUSA Mon 28-Sep-20 04:42:29

I’ve never understood it either. When I went through the immigration process for the US, if I had had children that I wanted to bring with me then I would have had to obtain permission from their father. I’ve always said that if I had had children then I wouldn’t have moved here because I just couldn’t deny my children regular access to their father and vice versa.

I find it odd that people equate better weather with a better life. For children, being able to see both parents is more important than sunshine.

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Mon 28-Sep-20 05:08:24

But better weather does mean a better life, in my experience anyway. I'm certainly a lot happier in glorious Australian sunshine than pissing Irish rain!

Fishypants1 Mon 28-Sep-20 05:20:44

I've become obsessed with the show during lockdown.

What's so fascinating is that so often regardless of the "sunshine and beaches" reasoning given by the participants, you wonder why they are really leaving. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on which daytime tele obviously can't touch upon.

I saw one show where a family who live in a lovely area (near me, so know it well) in a large detached house, whose child had had life saving NHS treatment, had a mum who was desperate to move to Australia, a country she didn't really know.

It had become so much that it had affected her marriage she admitted. I kept thinking "what's really going on here?" She gave the whole sunshine and beaches reasons for wanting to go but as she was weeping on camera about staying in the country where, after all, her child's life had been saved, I couldn't help thinking this was a tiny sliver of the real reason she wanted to go.

I even googled them (the sad git that I am) and it turned out they had made the move seemingly successfully.

There's another programme "Wanted Down Under: Why I want to escape the Uk" that would really really make for fascinating viewing.

GoldfishParade Mon 28-Sep-20 05:30:13

This happened to me as a child. It fucked me up in so many ways. It still gets talked about as having been "an amazing experience" for us kids. We left the UK when I was 5 and never went back (I did as an adult). My dad was a useless cheating deadbeat but I still used to see him once a fortnight. That stopped obviously as we moved to south Africa. We left my mums family and my dads family.

I think my mum was brave to do that alone (she joined her sister who was working in s Africa). But I dont think it was necessarily the best thing for us. I still feel quite rootless today.

Waxonwaxoff0 Mon 28-Sep-20 05:56:47

YANBU. I'm divorced and I would never take my DS away from his dad who is very hands on. If the father was shit and there was low or no contact then fair enough but to do it to an involved fathet is selfish.

SandysMam Mon 28-Sep-20 06:20:47

I saw one once where a woman cried every day because she wanted to move down under...she had never even been for a holiday! Sometimes people are unhappy in their own lives and think this is the magical cure.

HaggieMaggie Mon 28-Sep-20 06:26:25

And of course the show is massively edited for entertainment.

RepeatSwan Mon 28-Sep-20 06:29:40

I voted yabu, because you have no real idea of their true back story.

JacobReesMogadishu Mon 28-Sep-20 06:36:40

I know someone who after splitting with her husband and remarried in this country decided with her new dh and kids from the previous marriage to move to Australia.

Kids would have been 9yo and 11yo when they moved. They had had a good relationship with their dad and he had to give permission for the kids to go which he did. I always wondered why he did....but guess you don’t know everything which goes on.

It’s been over a decade since they moved and they can’t have seen their dad more than a handful of times. But everyone seems happy and they certainly have a fab life over there.

Thehop Mon 28-Sep-20 06:48:38

We’d like to move to Spain, but we’ve worked out that my ex husband and his wife can afford to visit at least once a month for a long weekend and still save money because they won’t be paying maintainence.

We can also do a house exchange a few times a year so they stay with the boys in Spain for a week or 2 and we borrow their house so we can visit family and friends.

We wouldn’t do it without considering how he would keep his relationship with them or without considering them as the boys dad/stepmum.

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