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my baby's father - please help, any advice

(37 Posts)
twink22 Mon 12-Oct-09 13:07:14

I have a ten week old baby girl and her father doesn't know she exists. We met last last year and had a six month relationship, which ended after I had an early miscarriage - he said some hurtful things and I didn't want him to be part of my life anymore. I had a rebound fling with someone else and then found out I was pregnant again at Christmas. I didnt tell my ex or the fling as I wasn't sure who the father was. Just before my baby was born I found out that the fling had had a vasectomy and couldnt be her father.

However, I can't bring myself to tell my ex he has a daughter. I know he would desperately love children and would be thrilled but he has a history of bad behaviour (spells in prison, irrational behaviour etc) and I'm nervous I'll be opening myself and my little girl up to a future of potential misery.

He is middle eastern and would want to bring her up as muslim. I have a christian background and I want her to be brought up christian. He would also want to take her back to his home country to meet his family. His country isn't part of the Hague convention and is strictly muslim - if he decided not to bring her back his government would support him and our government would be powerless. In his country the father takes priority over the mother. He spent time living here on a fake passport so I know he would be able to buy her a fake passport if he ever decided to. He has no children but I have just found out he has recently got married in a marriage of convenience. When I first met him he said he was european and lied extensively to keep this up it wasn't until later he told me the truth and it affected our relationship. I know this sounds paranoid but what if we argue in the future over religion or new partners, he could just snatch her and run. I'm scared of her going to his home country even for a visit.

On the other hand he's her biological father and she's going to want answers when she's older. I'm very fair and she's quite dark - there's always going to be a question mark about where she comes from. I'm living with my parents and they are very loving and delighted to help bring her up so she's not missing out but am I denying her her right to a father regardless of the difficulty it might bring us? Once I tell him I can't go back he'll be in our lives forever. Should I tell him at all, tell him now, tell him in a few years, tell him when she's old enough to know if she's being snatched away?

Has anyone got any similar experiences or been brought up without knowing their father?

I really don't know what to do for the best. Everybody says not to say anything to him as life will be difficult but I can't stop thinking that she has a father who would love to know that she existed. Despite his deception and background he is not all bad. He would love to be a father. Am I being selfish?

Knickers0nMahead Mon 12-Oct-09 13:13:57

if I were in your positiom, i would not tell him. But I know alot of people will disagree. The thing is, you cant keep living your life being paranoid about what your ex might or might not do. It is a very hard decision to make and i do not envy you at all.

ninedragons Mon 12-Oct-09 13:15:05

In your situation, there's no fucking way I'd tell him.

MindeeDilemma Mon 12-Oct-09 13:15:18

Message withdrawn

colditz Mon 12-Oct-09 13:17:28

I'd wait until she is an adult, or at least until she is old enough to go looking for him

There is no way I'd allow my daughter to be taken to a country where women are chattel.

ConFuschias Mon 12-Oct-09 13:18:38

I would not tell him in your position either.

ConFuschias Mon 12-Oct-09 13:19:27

and congratulations on her birth

mumblechum Mon 12-Oct-09 13:19:53

Agree with the others. I wouldn't normally, but I've seen what happens when fathers take their UK born children to muslim countries. It's practically impossible to get them back.

GypsyMoth Mon 12-Oct-09 13:27:03

is he still here on a fake passport? and what was he in prison for?

no,i wouldn't tell him either,but someone will be along soon to tell us you should.

bumpybecky Mon 12-Oct-09 13:29:47

I wouldn't tell her until she was 18. You're not being selfish, just sensible.

ScaryFucker Mon 12-Oct-09 13:34:19

don't tell him

it would only be to his advantage if he knew

certainly not to hers (too much risky behaviour in the past here for me), and certainly not to yours (you would then be living in a perpetual state of anxiety)

protect yourself and your daughter, keep him out of you life

sweethoney Mon 12-Oct-09 14:22:54

I would not tell him given the circumstances you have told us. If you are at all unsure, think of what is best for your daughter in the short term and long term. You sound as if you have a lovely supportive family and your daughter will be truly loved. You have to make the decision on her behalf.
Although, if it was me I'd like to know where I could contact him if the need ever arose (even years down the line). Don't beat yourself up over this, go with your mothers instincts. If he will bring trouble and disruption to you and your daughter stay well clear.

Spero Mon 12-Oct-09 14:32:09

But it's not a choice between telling him and letting him take her abroad or not telling him and not letting them know each other while she's growing up is it?

I appreciate your worries about him abducting her, they are not groundless fears. But you don't have to let him take her out of the UK.

I'm just asking myself how I would feel if I grew up and discovered that all this time I had had a dad who would have been interested in me and would have wanted to know me. I think I'd be pretty pissed off with my mum if she'd kept me a secret.

But you are the one who will have to deal with the consequences of either choice, so only you can make it. But if you decide not to tell him, I hope, as has been suggested, you do keep tabs on where he ends up as I think your daughter will very probably want to find him at some point.

FlightAttendant Mon 12-Oct-09 14:36:37

I think your first question has to be how to get a DNA test. A vasectomy doesn't always rule out fatherhood.

scattykatty Mon 12-Oct-09 14:39:11

I tell him. I personally think it's totally immoral not to. You never need to let him take her out the country. However, you should let him at least have the chance to know his child.

MmeJaffaB Mon 12-Oct-09 14:53:23

I fail to see how you'd stop him taking her out of the country if he decided to.

NO WAY, I would NEVER tell him, let her choose to find him if she wants to many years down the line when she is old enough to make her own decisions and protect herself. Support her then and help if you can then. Why make something potentially beautiful into something potentially dangerous for you both.

Morals? Only you can decide if you can live with your decision.

giveloveachance Mon 12-Oct-09 14:55:38

No I would not tell him either - unless you are certain he will want to be an active and responsible part of her life.

You can still tell your daugther about her dad, whatever you choose to say.

Spero Tue 13-Oct-09 15:26:11

If you do not want him to take her out of the country and you can show a court that you have a genuine and reasonable fear that he would not return, the court will probably back you up, particularly if he is taking her to a country outside Europe or one which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention.

And its not just her father you'd be cutting her off from - you say he would like her to see his family. It's a big decision you are making on her behalf.

Of course you have got to think about this but I'm a bit worried that the instant response here is 'yes! don't tell him!'. That seems wrong to me.

twink22 Sun 25-Oct-09 10:33:34

Thanks for the messages. I'm not going to make any hasty decisions but see what happens in the next year. With regards to him not being able to take her out of the country - a court wouldn't allow it - but he would just get her a fake passport (like his!) and take her out of the country illegally so it's all well and good saying the law would protect us but it wouldn't.

serenity Sun 25-Oct-09 10:39:42

I just want to second what FlightAttendant said. Vasectomy doesn't rule the fling out of the picture ('Successful' vasectomy mean a sperm count below a certain level, not zero sperm - conception rate is 1:4000 with one!)

QuintessentialShadowsOfDoom Sun 25-Oct-09 10:46:22

You did not have enough against his culture to have a relationship with him, yet now you want to deny your child knowing who she is?

I would let him know, but I would take legal precautions.

It is a big thing, as she will wonder about this when she grows up. She will look at you, and herself and wonder where she gets her looks from.

Knowing, and being part of different cultures should be enriching, it does not have to be bad. You dont KNOW that he will abduct her and place her with grandparents in his homeland. But it would be good for her to know her grandparents, and her heritage.

I had a french friend once, her father was moroccan. He had not once taken her to see her moroccoan family, and he never bothered about teaching her even the most rudimentary arabic. She was very bitter. She said her father had refused her his culture, his family, and his language.

Do you want to do this to your daughter on her fathers behalf?

Disenchanted3 Sun 25-Oct-09 10:46:40

No, no, no.

I would not tell him.

Its all very good saying ' You don't have to let him take her out of the country' but men who take their children to their home country do so without the mothers consent thats the whole point.

It would be a case of 'I'm just taking her t the park' but he would be off with fake passport.

If you feel he is capable of doing that then I would not tell him.

SorciereAnna Sun 25-Oct-09 10:47:59

Don't tell him! Why expose yourself and your child to all that potential grief?

VineGruesomeTits Sun 25-Oct-09 10:56:18

If he is the sort of person who lies about his culture (saying he was European) and travels around on a fake passport, he is definitely not trust worthy. No way on this earth would i tell him.

vesela Sun 25-Oct-09 11:59:30

In these circumstances I wouldn't tell him.

My first boyfriend when I was about 15 didn't know who his father was, and it was tough for him, especially at that age. But I think part of the reason it was hard was that there seemed to be no apparent reason, as far as he knew, why his mother wouldn't tell him. Indeed, she would make the odd tantalising reference but then never say anything else.

If you are able in time to explain to your daughter in an age-appropriate way as to why you took this sensible decision, I think it would ease things for her. How to do it, though, so that she knows that he has some good characteristics, and doesn't get worried that he will take her away? This is probably something that you can get expert advice on when the time comes.

QuintessentialShadows - but he himself denied his own culture.

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