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(12 Posts)
Ellie1990 Sun 02-Sep-18 20:17:43

Hi, I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with my first baby, my boyfriend and I thought long and hard about keeping the baby and we decided it was the best decision. We had gotten over the initial shock and I told my parents but never told his and we planned to move in together etc.

One night he came over to my house at 16 weeks pregnant and told me that his sister has said it's not too late for me to get an abortion, I was extremely upset by this and really shocked and he decided he didn't want our baby anymore. He then told his parents about the baby and didnt speak to me for weeks then last week he broke up with me and told me I was trapping him and he dosent love me anymore then proceeded to tell me that his parents told his he dosent have to see or support the baby and they were surprised I never got an abortion.

But he has now decided that he wants the baby half the week when he is born and his family want as much access as mine and if I don't give him this his family will take me to court. His mum had not even tried to contact me to see how I am and his sister who is almost 40 has been sending me constant abusive messages.

I really don't want them to be apart of my baby's life but I don't know what to do, he just constantly messages me saying he will take me to court if I don't give him half access. Any advice please?

OP’s posts: |
Sarahandduck18 Sun 02-Sep-18 20:28:55

There is no such thing as grandparents rights so ignore that threat.

Let them waste their money on lawyers.

If he goes with you when you register your baby then he will have as much as a right over the baby as you.

Ie if he has contact with the baby he could refuse to hand him back and you would have to go to court which could take weeks when there’s nothing you could do to enforce your right to see your own child.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Register the baby yourself.

It won’t say ‘father unknown’ on the certificate the space will just be blank.

He can’t force contact if you say the baby isn’t his and refuse a dna test. You can’t be forced to do this.

If he ever does have contact he is free to offload said child to whoever he wants during that time. So often grandparents try to get access by this ‘back door’.


"My baby".

It's his baby, too.

The both of you made that baby. Together. He is the father. And that baby has a right to a relationship with BOTH of its parents.

You'll notice I didn't talk about his rights. Or your rights. I talked about the child's rights. Because that's what matters here. There is a wealth of scientific evidence that, unless there is abuse or neglect, then it is strongly in every child's interests to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents. Kids who have both parents involved (even when those parents aren't together), do better on almost every objective measure of their life chances. They have fewer mental health problems, fewer drink and drug problems, fewer teenage pregnancies, higher self confidence....the list goes on and on.

Your ex made a really poor start here (I'm going to set his family to one side for a minute, because you need to view him and them as separate - I will come to them in a moment). He started off keen to be involved. And then it sounds like the panic set in. His family appear to have worried him - that he's ruining his life having a baby so young, or that he's being trapped into a relationship, that having a baby together when youre not in a stable relationship isn't for the best, or whatever else. And so he came back around to the idea of an abortion as the right thing to do. That's very upsetting for you - you'd already made the decision to commit to the baby, so it will unquestionably have been difficult to hear him raise questions about an abortion. He wouldn't be the first father (or mother, come to that) to have those fears, or to take longer to get to the same place you have, and commit to the child. But he is there now. He clearly wants to be very involved in the baby's life. That is a good thing. And it is in the baby's interests for him to do that. It's in yours, too - because sharing the burden of parenting is a hell of a lot easier than doing it all by yourself. And he does have the right to involvement in his child's life - mums who try to shut out the dad because of their OWN feelings are not acting in the best interests of their child. Trying to exclude the other parent from the child's life is wrong. Alienation (which is the process by which some parents try to turn the child against the other parent) is widely reconised as a form of child abuse, because it denies the child that positive relationship with the other parent. Attempting to exclude the other parent from the child's life because of how you feel about them is no better.

So, I would urge you to put your feelings about his early reaction to the pregnancy to one side. He didn't get it right. You were right to feel upset. But he's caught up with you now. He wants to be involved. And so, if you use your earlier upset as an excuse to try and prevent that, he isn't the bad guy any more. You are.

Now is the chance to get your interactions with him off on the right foot as co-parents. I'm a big fan of 50/50 when the child is old enough, but it isn't a realistic proposition for a newborn. So now is your chance to talk to him about what would work. Sit down with him. Make clear that you are committed to having him in the child's life, and parenting together. Talk about how that might realistically look in the early days, and how it might change to expand the child's time with its dad as he or she grows. I'm sure you can get plenty of ideas on here for how you could make that look, if you want them.

Ignore the advice on here about not putting him on the birth certificate. Where there is no abuse, that is a terrible thing to do. The practical effect is to attempt to deny him parental responsibility. But he can get it anyway - he just has to apply to court. And make no mistake - courts understand the importance of both parents being involved, and WILL grant him parental responsibility. So, when you refuse to put him on the birth cert, you're just delaying the inevitable while getting your co-parenting relationship off on the worst possible footing. You're turning it into a war from day one, when it doesn't need to be.

So, make the commitment to working and parenting with him. You don't have to like him. But being a parent is about putting your child's needs before your own - and that means working with the dad, not against him.

Now, let's deal with his family. I've no idea how much of their behaviour is because they see you trying to shut their son / brother out of his child's life, and feel the need to weigh in and protect him. And how much is because they're arseholes. Could well be a combination of both! If his sister is sending you abusive texts, then clearly that is unacceptable and has to stop.

I would suggest that, once you've spoken with your ex and got things onto a better footing, you both sit down with both families and talk about how you are going to work together to raise this child. You will both need to be clear, together, that you need and expect support from both families on this. That means they need to follow your lead, and stop the hostility. He needs to be clear with his family, that he won't tolerate abusive texts etc. And you need to show them that you are genuinely committed to having your ex involved in the baby's life.

All of that will require you both to grow up a lot, and to put your own hurt feelings aside in the best interests of your child. Now is your chance to do that - before this all descends into court battles and open warfare. It's the right thing to do for your child, so I sincerely hope that you can both find the maturity to do that.

Good luck.

Iwantamarshmallow Mon 03-Sep-18 11:37:32

What saraandduck said. Also personally i think he gave up the right to his child when he told you to get an abortion. Keep the texts as evidence of their behaviour.

Sunflowerr Mon 03-Sep-18 11:45:48

I agree with @singledad.

I've seen women deny their exes proper access to their children due to the way that they feel about the men and how much they resent them. The ones that suffer the most are always the kids.

He's done and said some awful things. But he wants to do the right thing now. So many dads (mums too) don't want to do the right thing and the children end up missing out, don't waste the chance for your child to have a relationship with both parents.

flumpybear Mon 03-Sep-18 12:00:30

Keep all the evidence of this bullying and nasty behaviour then wait it out. A newborn would need to be with mum if you're EBF.

The father should be involved but not threatening and bullying you - that's unacceptable - if it continues it may be sensible to log some calls with the local police station for bullying and harassment

TwistedStitch Mon 03-Sep-18 12:04:30

He isn't trying to do the right thing now! The right thing would be to be supportive and kind to his pregnant ex, not demanding she hand over her newborn half the week and threatening court before the child is even born.

RaspberryBeret34 Mon 03-Sep-18 12:08:52

My cynical view is that they know child maintenance isn’t payable if you share custody 50/50. I’d be tempted to say you won’t ask for any money (even if you do go via CMS in future) and see if that changes their minds - as a test if you like. In any case, it won’t be possible when the baby is tiny when they need consistency of care and bonding with the primary caregiver.

TwistedStitch Mon 03-Sep-18 12:13:28

Also not putting him on the birth certificate is sensible. Yes he can go to court and be added, but along with that will come a contact order. Putting him on the birth certificate without any court involvement just means he can take the baby and the police won't do anything- given that he has already made threats it would be far better to leave him off. The posters telling you to give him immediate PR aren't going to be there if he refuses to give you back your newborn.

schopenhauer Mon 03-Sep-18 12:26:41

singledad isn’t threatening the op with court, getting the sister to send abusive messages and ignoring the op as well as treating her badly when she is pregnant signs of abuse? So on that logic I don’t think he should be added to the birth certificate yet, although maybe he will prove to be better than he seems and could be added on later. For now he seems like a bully but he can’t actually do what he is threatening. Please get some help and support in real life, tell your family and friends and Midwife about how you’re being treated.

BigBlueBubble Mon 03-Sep-18 12:38:41

Tell him you had an abortion. Or tell him it isn’t his baby. If you live nearby, move away so he can’t just drop in. Out of sight, out of mind. DO NOT put him on the birth certificate as this gives him parental rights. Refuse any requests for a paternity test. Keep all evidence of his abusuve behaviour in case you do end up in court. Don’t give him anything - make him fight for it.

Some good points being raised. So, a few additional thoughts.

@Schopenhauer and @twistedstitch - it isn't abusive or poor behaviour for him to say that he will go to court to secure a relationship with his child. Any father who wants to be involved with his child would, if confronted by a mother who was clear that she didn't want him involved, pursue a legal route. That is his right. It isn't threatening anything - it is pursuing the legal avenues that are open to him to ensure that he isn't kept out of the child's life. It is exactly the same as a mother applying for a CAO or a parent applying to the CMS for maintenance. Those processes are there for a reason, and it is right for either parent to use them when they need to.

We don't know the tone with which he is saying that, of course. If he is being aggressive, then that is a problem. Equally, we don't know that he is "getting" the sister to send abusive messages, or if she is doing that herself (neither is acceptable). If he is behind a campaign of intimidation, that is a major problem. We don't even know what those messages say.

I'm not here to plead the ex's case. From what we're told, he doesn't sound like a great guy. Frankly, the OP doesn't sound great either, because she is trying to block a relationship between the child and the father. What I do recognise is that these situations are always very, very complicated and emotions run incredibly high on both sides. So I understand how both the parents - and their families - could be getting themselves into positions that don't reflect well on any of them. And I am trying not to judge either the Mum or the Dad here.

What I am therefore advocating is that they both take a step back from the battle lines that have been drawn, and try to reset their relationship so that they can act constructively together in the best interests of their child. There is no question that this would - if achievable - be the best outcome for everyone. Most importantly, it would be best for the child.

I don't pretend that will be easy. It takes time to build trust. And it will require work and concessions from both of them. If they can't achieve that, then the only recourse will be to the courts. But I do believe they should try. Some of the things being advocated here would make that harder right from the outset. Those who say she should keep him off the birth certificate are advocating a position that immediately puts him on the defensive. To suggest that he will abduct the child if he is on the birth very strikes me as highly alarmist, and I assure you that the authorities would get involved very quickly in the situation of a newborn being forcibly withheld from its mother.

That's pretty much all that my (very long-winded 🙂) posts boil down to. Right now, neither parent is acting in the best interests of the child. They have a chance to fix that now, before the baby arrives, before things escalate further, and before they find themselves locked in a protracted legal battle - if they can both be mature enough to take that chance.

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