Introducing "REAL DAD"?

Laura - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 4 in September and has never known a dad other than my boyfriend who I started dating when she was 12 months old. She actually started calling him daddy on her own. My boyfriend and I are still together, he has loved my daughter like his own and now we have another daughter, who is 8 months old. I got family court papers in the mail the other day stating that her "real dad" wants to have access to her on Sundays. I am absolutely heartbroken and disgusted that after all this time, his new girlfriend or his mother has convinced him to take it to this level, after the past 3+ years of not even giving a simple phonecall to make sure she was still alive. He has been in and out of jail, with weapon offences, threats and breaching probation. He has tattoos of guns all over his arms that he recently got after one of his jail sentences (all after we broke up). My daughter has such a stable life, with 2 parents, grandparents on both sides, aunts and uncles galore and so much love its not even funny. She has no idea that there is another dad, because I have never had any reason to tell her at this age. This is going to court next month, but I was wondering if anyone has had a situation like this? If he gets visitation I am scared to death to get her comfortable, and then him disappear off to jail again. Or for her to see his tattoos and be scared, because she is aware of "bad guys" from movies, etc and I think to see one in real life would be very scary for her. We have a perfect family right now and do not want this lunatic coming and messing it up. PLEASE HELP I AM SO WORRIED!!!

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Carolyn - posted on 04/13/2011

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I second the advice of getting help from a counselor on how to approach the introduction of another man as Dad.

You could try something like " we know John Smith ( your current boyfriend) is daddy and we love him very much, but there is someone else who would like to meet you, His name is Leroy ( your ex) and a long time ago , he helped mommy make you ( or how ever you explained where babies come from if thats been brought up yet)

Talk to her about him, in nice terms , calmly, tell her about the paintings on his skin ( so she isnt frightened when she sees them) Warm her up to the idea of him, before introducing them.

this way you also arent destroying her image of who her dad is, in the non bioligcal sense of the word.

I have always beleived that it doesnt matter who or what is motivating someone to see their kids, rebuild a relationship, or finally try and do right by someone. What matters is that they are trying, and hopefully in time, will continue to do it through internal as opposed to external motivation.

Im sure you could also go for back child support, or atleast get an order put in place for current support. You might not actually get it the money from him, but if things get sticky in the future, you will atleast have that in your back pocket to help you later on.

Melissa - posted on 04/13/2011

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i totally get why you are scared! i worry about it all the time as well, just because i know him and his family are whack jobs! all you can really do it try to handle it the best way possible, he may not even stick to the visitations once he sees your child doesnt know who he is, nor is interested in him, or when he sees how much of a family you your boyfriend and children are!

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Carolyn - posted on 04/13/2011

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i would also make it clear to him that he is not to force himself as Dad onto her. Make an agreement before hand on how she is to refer to him until she decides she is comfortable doing it differently.

Melissa - posted on 04/13/2011

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totally agree! i was 19 when i got preg also, and was young and dumb, haha now i look back and relaized how much love and life shes shown me, and i myself have grown up since the day i got the news, he on the other hand has not!


your best bet would get legal advice and take it from there! i agree with u 100% and im sure ill be in the same spot one year, hopefully not though! just take it step by step and dont let her see u worked up about it or making it a big deal, hopefully he sees hes the one that messed up, and you cant make up for 4years of your childs life!

Laura - posted on 04/13/2011

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Same thing here, they are all total whack jobs, and I was basically just young and stupid... (getting pregnant at 19) and now that I am older and resonsible I regret ever knowing him, but definitely do not regret my daughter... I am definitely going to get legal advice, but first I need to go to 'conciliation' without a lawyer, where they basically try and get us to agree with something without lawyers (there way of settling it before it has to go to court)...

I guess part of it too, is I guess I should be happy if she is comfortable and stuff, but it scares me that after all this time, if he walks in and she ends up liking him, I just don't want supervised visits to escalate to more.. Because he stated in the paperwork he wants one hour on Sundays but he wants it to increase once she is comfortable... I am so frustrated ... this is not fair, he has not contributed one cent or even asked how she is for years and now it is so unfair that he could possibly walk in and be her other parent. It isn't right!

Louise - posted on 04/13/2011

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I think you need to seek legal advice here because the law as it stands in the UK says that the father can file for visitation at any time whether he has been around or not. At best here he would get supervised visitation if you pushed the court for this. The biggest shock to your daughter is the fact that daddy is not daddy.You could get a back lash for not telling her the truth from a young age. I would ask a professional councilor how to tell her because this needs to be handled correctly.

Laura - posted on 04/13/2011

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thanks for your input! I am scared, because I live in Canada and where we live, fathers get rights almost no matter what... If he is a criminal and has a history, he will most likely get visits, but supervised. I am so not ready to deal with this, and want my life to keep going happily as it has been. I wonder how it will affect my daughter and how I should explain to her who he is, if he ends up getting the right to see her :( (?)

Melissa - posted on 04/13/2011

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my daughter is a year old, and her biological father hasnt seen her since she was less the a month old, and my boyfriend and I got together when i was like 3 months preg and he has been there for the birth and her entire first year, my ex and his family had threatened to take me to court so i met with a lawyer, and she had said once they are out of their lives for 6 months you can terminate their rights (we're in PA so it may b a lil diff where u are) also it has to be agreedable, if he hasnt been there for so long, and he has such a bad criminal history, its not likely he will get alot, my ex has also been in and out of jail, for a number of dif things, and is still gettin into a bunch of trouble. so dont stress it to much, and jus state to the judge your concerns and such with his past and how he hasnt been around! hopefully it works out in ur favor!

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