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When to tell a half sibling about a new baby

(16 Posts)
degroote78 Wed 23-Sep-09 15:00:35

My partner has a six year old who has not yet been told about me or our baby who will be born in around 7 weeks. He has a complex relationship with his ex and she often witholds access to his child which has resulted in his little girl getting very upset at school and the school calling social services. The situation is getting better and he is now getting weekly access however his ex still doesn't want him to tell his daughter about me or the baby.

I personally feel she has her own agenda here and I think it is best to be honest and tell her while I'm still pregnant rather than when the baby is born. I don't think there's ever a right time to do this and I feel honesty is the best policy. from what I have read it says you should tell a child as early as possible. Can snyone who has children or has been in a similar situation please give me advice?

Dragonfly73 Wed 23-Sep-09 15:44:07

Honestly, your partner needs to pull his finger out and get proper contact established between you/him and his daughter.

THe fact that the mother doesnt want you to have contact with the daughter is neither here nor there. What the girl des while she is with her dad is pretty much none of the mothers business.

So long as he continues to accept this kind of dictatorial approach to contact the worse it will be for your step daughter and eventually your own child.

My stepdaughter is 6 years old. Her mother tried similar tactics but we took it out of her hands by filing for a contact order. Going to court is not necessarily the nightmare that it is sometimes played out to be. The court will not support the mothers insistence of you having no contact, especially where there is a sibling involved.

In short i dont think it is in anyway acceptable for the status quo to be maintained but it is up to your partner to decide to do something to change it.

degroote78 Wed 23-Sep-09 16:15:02

Thanks for that, it's really useful to hear from someone who has been through something similar. I sometimes think there is a bit of burying his head in the sand as he feels a lot of guilt over how upset his daughter has become about not seeing him.

I am of the mindset that if this doesn't get sorted it could damage two children in the long run and possibly our relationship as I don't want to feel our child to hear in the future that they were kept a secret.

I've also said if he is worried about damaging his daughter by telling her about the baby when she's in a fragile state that he should talk to a child psychologist and get factual expert information rather than listen to his ex who has her own agenda.

mrsjammi Wed 23-Sep-09 20:16:39

Message withdrawn

Surfermum Wed 23-Sep-09 20:29:02

I agree the longer it goes on the worse it will be I think. It would be a different story if you weren't pregnant, you'd have a little more time to deal with it - but nonetheless it's something that would need sorting.

I saw on your other thread that your dp doesn't have PR. It doesn't matter. Dh didn't have PR for dsd but he was still able to go to court for a court order for contact. Part of the court process was that he was awarded it, but it didn't mean that he had fewer "rights" to a relationship with his daughter or that without it her mum could dictate what was and wasn't going to happen.

degroote78 Thu 24-Sep-09 11:01:08

Thanks for all your advice, I'll def get him to look into contact orders.

We are living together and have been together for 2 years.

I think in his mind he thinks he's done the right thing to protect his daughter but now he has another daughter on the way and a new family unit and it is not fair to us to keep putting this off. I put my foot down last night and said he needs to tell her in the next couple of weeks (only gets to see her one afternoon a week), so we'll see what happends.

Dragonfly73 Thu 24-Sep-09 15:01:27

Maybe put it to him this way, does he want your new daugther to feel like some dirty little secret? because it seems to me that is exactly what she will feel like if this situation is allowed to continue.

Alternatively how will your SD feel when she eventually finds out (and she will eventually)that daddy has a secret other family that she is not allowed to be a part of?

Not good either way really. Worse yet, what if the Birth Mother decided to tell SD as a way of further alienating her from your partner i.e "Daddy has a new daughter now. He doesn't want to see you anymore". It is a easy way for her to justify cutting off contact and not having to take the blame for it from her daughter. Dont scoff and say she wouldn't do that because i have seen it happen.

If he is nervous about beginning the whole formalized contact order malarky i would suggest he contacts Families Need Fathers (which are wholly separate and in no way connected to Fathers for Justice). FNF are a well respected charity that do an enormous amount of advocacy work for non resident parents and can offer a lot of advice for first timers just beginning this process whether you are self represented or using a solicitor.

Good luck and dont hesitate to shout if you need some help or encourangement.


degroote78 Thu 24-Sep-09 16:14:33

Oh, I fully believe she would do that Dragonfly. When she was witholding access she told the little girl that daddy isn't coming to see her because he's too busy and doesn't love her. She has been to blame in the damage inflicted on her own child. She's not a good person and I don't doubt she will try to poison the child against me but I have to keep in mind that she is just a child and not get offended/upset.

Thanks for the FNF contact details, I'll get him to get in touch. He is going to talk to his mum about the situation and how to tell his child, so hopefully she'll talk some sense to him as she has also not seen her grandchild for long periods because of the mother's tamtrums.

mrsjammi Thu 24-Sep-09 17:38:43

Message withdrawn

degroote78 Fri 25-Sep-09 10:51:43

Don't worry, you weren't too blunt, it's what needed to be said. Sometimes men can be guilty of burying their heads in the sand, it's part of their make up I feel - no offence to any men on here at all

littlebitlonely Fri 25-Sep-09 19:31:12

Hi Degroote

Sorry to jump in on your thread (again) but I'm interested in mrsjammi's response and what a contact order means/entails.

I have a child - who is over 1 now - who has a half brother (6). I have never met him, nor has my child. And he does not know my child exists.

His mum refuses to tell him, and refuses to acknowledge my child.

My partner and I have split up (over this issue) and whilst he plays 'dad' now and then, he refuses to tell his son about the baby.

What do I do? I think it is wrong my child is a secret. I think it is wrong that the children won't grow up knowing each other, but I don't want it to be a shock to my dc... I want to always explain there is a brother.

I am truly desperate and miserable. It's all I think about.

mrsjammi Sat 26-Sep-09 12:09:08

Message withdrawn

Dragonfly73 Sat 26-Sep-09 20:53:53

^but above all, take note that there are some things in life you cannot control, and an unhinged ex is one of them, you cant control the behaviour of the ex, only how you chose to react to it. ^

Very very well said! grin

KaPe Sat 26-Sep-09 21:23:33

littlebitlonely, assuming that you are still separated from you partner you will not be able to obtain a contact order. I think former stepparents (and as far as I'm aware you need to be married) can only obtain these if they have been a part of a child's life for a certain period of time (I believe it is three years, but someone might know better).

I'm unsure whether you could enforce contact between the two children .... usually this applies when the children have already formed a bond and have grown up with each other.

ChocHobNob Sun 27-Sep-09 07:55:59

Littlebitlonely, as your ex is against the contact as well, there's very little you can do I believe. In your situation I would think just being honest with your own child and leaving it up to them to perhaps get in contact with their half sibling when they are older is the most you can do. x

littlebitlonely Thu 01-Oct-09 22:20:23

I am concerned that my dd will grow up not knowing she has a brother. I don't want this ever to become a shock to her - i.e I don't want to sit her down one day and make a 'big announcement'. So how do I tell her she has a brother, and explain that she can't meet him, when at the moment she doesn't talk. Not sure if that makes sense, but it worries me.

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