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DS1 (age 8) wants to meet birth dad

9 replies

iMammy · 04/03/2012 18:24

hi everyone, i posted this over on step-parents and one of the posters mentioned that adoptions might be more appropriate. I think my question falls in the gaps of adoptions/Lone parenting/ step parenting:

Hi everyone
I'm hoping this is the right place to post, but please tell me if this thread will be better somewhere else (It's my first post on MN)

My DS1 is 8yo and he wants to meet his birth father who lives in the UK (we don't).

History: We were together for a years and broke up as his career was taking him abroad, I was 22 and he was 14 years my senior and I wanted to stay in London. A week before he left I found out I was pregnant and was very upset as I was really enjoying my life in my first year out of University and children would never have been on the cards for years. I called my ex and he went mad and begged me to get rid but I couldn't. When I was 8 weeks pregnant I had to have emergency surgery on my uterus and I called him as I was being rushed in but he was at his going away party and informed me he had gotten back with his ex who was going away with him.

By some kind of mircle my baby boy survived the surgery and I couldn't afford to live in London anymore so returned home to have my baby with my family by my side keeping in touch with my ex as much as he would let me. ALl the time he said he wasn't ready to deal with the situation but would one day and he also said he could never have a child in the world and not know him.

After the birth I called him a few times and he called me as my pregnancy was rough and I spent a long time in hospital and had problems from this after the birth. But after 3 months I asked him straight was he ever going to meet DS1 and I got the same answer of 'I can't I'm not ready'

I went back to work when DS1 was 6 weeks old as I couldn't afford not too. I didn't have any contact with My ex from the time DS1 was 12 weeks, I started proceedings for maintenence which took over 3.5 years (my ex earns a good 6 figure salary) and is very little but it helped to pay some of DS1's medical costs.

I tried to keep commmunication open for 3,5 years, but it was too painful to hear nothing back.

I found out from friends that he married the ex he got back together with and they had a DC that is 1.5 years younger than DS1.

I met my husband when DS1 was 2 and we have since had 2 more children. MY husband is a wonderful father to all 3 children, DS1 is treated no differently to the others, if not better as they get to go away on football trips together....usually incorporating trips to legoland or disney depending on what part of the world they go to.

In the past year DS1 has been asking a lot about his birth dad, but I only have 1 photo and nothing else. I know where he works in the uk and that's about it. I've emailed him but no response....I'm not sure if the email is right address or not. His DW does not know about DS but his brother does but keeps minimal contact so that my ex doesn't get upset.

DS just wants to meet him, he says he wants to see what he looks like, what he sounds like, to see that his eyes are the same as his. I know there are a lot of emotions involved and DS is aware that even if I could somehow get him to agree to meet, it would probably be a 1 off.

TBH, I think it would be better now than when he is a teenager when he realises the truth and becomes angry.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what you would do in this situation? do nothing, try and pursue further? try and meet him face to face somehow?

I have cousins who were adopted and some have had great relationships with birth parents others have not. I feels very sad for my DS1 that I can't tell him much about his bio dad's side, I feel sad that his grandparents on that side don't know about him and very sad that he has a sister a little bit older than his sister here whom he'll probably never get to know and he is such a great big brother. He never fights and is so caring and protective of his siblings.

sorry for the extremely long ramble

OP posts:
Slambang · 04/03/2012 18:43

Replying because you seem to be slipping off the board...

from what you say you will need to be doing lot of preparation for your ds to prepare him for rejection from his bio dad.

Perhaps the uncle sounds like your best possible point of approach. Could you contact the uncle and explain that your ds needs more info about his bio father? He might be prepared to send some more photos.

If it was me I might suggest email contact at first between ds and his bio father (perhaps with the uncle as intermediary?) before even broaching the possibility of a face to face meeting.

Your X's behaviour sounds totally crap so I can't imagine he will suddenly welcome the idea of contact with open arms. What a shitface.

iMammy · 04/03/2012 21:58

Thanks for the reply slambang,

They certainly didn't add instructions for this scenario in the brochure!

DS seems to be very matter of fact, when we've chatted about this he seems to just want to see him, see what he looks like now, hear what his voice sounds like.
He refers to him by his first name and 'the person who helped make me while I was in your tummy' and then he looks for reassurance that my husband is still his daddy and he won't be going anywhere......which of course he isn't and DH wants to be as supportive as possible to what ever is in DS's best interest. We don't want my ex in our lives (and I don't think he will show any interest at this stage), but I don't want my DS not knowing who he is, I've seen how my granny suffered with this (as there were very few records obtainable back then), and even my mum feeling part of her is missing not knowing my grandmother's background.

OP posts:
Kewcumber · 05/03/2012 11:32

Adopters will wander along in time - we do generally check the boards when we drop in so you will get more replies.

If it were my son in my position, I would get him a photo and get him to talk to your ex's brother about any questions he has (perhaps with you present). If I had photos of DS's birth family I would certainly be happy for him to see them (in fact I think it would be beneficial for him).

I certainly wouldn;t be aiming for face to face at this point. Your son needs to feel secure in who his parents are, photo is probably more than enough for him at the moment.

iMammy · 06/03/2012 08:07

Thank you Kewcumber,

I have 1 photo of him but none of the rest of the family. After we broke up I got rid of everything and just didn't think in the early stages of pregnancy of having an 8 yo looking for his background!

I might try emailing his brother and seeing if he will send e something. I have a feeling it is unlikely he will as I know he is very cautious of keeping in touch with me because of upsetting my ex. I imagine it is very difficult for him as you question briefly where your loyalty's lie.

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Kewcumber · 06/03/2012 11:27

I can understand you ditching the photos! If his brother won;t deliver - I think a letter if possible to your ex asking him for a few photos for you sons benefit. Make it clear that he is just curious about his genetic history and that if he doesn't want to get involved would he please encourage his brother to pass information on. Tell him that your son is very happy with your DH and isn't looking for another father figure but that the least the adults in this situation can do is to consider the childs needs who didn't ask for this situation ot be visited upon him.

It doesn;t sound like your ex has much of a conscience but at least you can look your son in the eye and explain that you tried.

I did a birth parent search for DS (against my own feelings on the matter) when he was very small but failed totally as she had covered her tracks pretty well. But I can tell him with a clear conscience that I did my best for him and always will.

iMammy · 06/03/2012 16:38

thanks Kewcumber. i think the wording you have put is perfect!

i tihkn you are right, it would seem he doesn't have much of a conscience. The person i thought i knew seemed very conscience. Myself and dh do get moments of sadness for ds for whats ahead of him but we will do everything we can to support and prepare him in what he wants to do and to console and comfort him and hope that that is enough.

thank you :)

OP posts:
MissM · 07/03/2012 10:28

I'm sorry, I have no experience of adoption so no advice for you. But I read your post and found it very moving, not only because of the way you and your DS have been treated by your ex, but also by your son's obvious maturity and you and your DH's sensitivity. You sound like a really lovely family, and I hope things work out for you and your son in the way you both need.

For what it's worth, I think you're right doing this now than when your son is a teenager and full of possible anger. This way it's more matter of fact and he can hopefully deal with the emotions in a more straightforward way. It also sounds to me like a letter via the uncle is the best bet, and photos are a good place to start.

Sorry for butting my unexperienced oar in, but I loved what you wrote and really wanted to reply!

KristinaM · 07/03/2012 14:51

Yy, much better to do this now. Adopters are advised that children must be told everything before puberty. Teeenagers turn to their friends whethey have probelsm/issues, or to drugs/alcohol/selfharm etc or act them out in more dangerous ways

At 8 your sons mainsupport is from you and his dad so you will be there to help him through this.many children are very pratcial and factual at this age. He may well just want to know some facts and not be seekng any kind of relationship with his bio father.often they want to know things that seem random to adults eg what football team did he support, what was his best subject at school etc

Yy to seeig if the brother will act as some kimd of intermediary.he sounds reasonably sensible.

I applaud your efforts to keep in contcat with your ex and im sorry to hear he has treated you and his son so badly Sad

iMammy · 07/03/2012 19:09

Thank you everyone.

I guess i have a letter to write to his brother so. Oh goodness I hope I get a positive result, for my ds's sake. The whole situation has my tummy in knots!

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