BF has newborn resulting from prior hook-up

JecaustaAugust 16, 2012

I am 32 and have been dating my 30 y/o boyfriend for almost a year. He just told me that a paternity test confirmed he is the father of a 3-month old girl--the pregnancy was a result of a random hook-up about 2 weeks before we met so there is no 'ex-gf' relationship to speak of. This girl told him a few months after he and I started dating that he may be a dad, but didn't tell me this until the child was born and tested (he tried to talk her into not keeping it and offered to pay those costs, she decided otherwise). Our relationship grew strong over the year with me not knowing this, and he was planning to move in with me (currently he lives an hour away) when it was confirmed he was the dad. He struggled telling me about it and is stil too ashamed to tell most of his family. We both work professional jobs and no other kids. The child's mom has no college education though evidently has a fiance willing to 'step in' as the baby's father. My bf is ashamed to tell his family and his inclination is to stick his head in the sand, meaning either sign away his rights (which is hard to do in my state and the mom wouldnt likely agree), or quietly make support payments for 21 years and let the mom and her man raise the child. I don't think my bf can grasp this decision and may regret giving up a relationship with his daughter. He had to endure prolonged custody battles and moving around as a kid and knows how it can damage a child. Personally I can't see knowing I have a kid out there and not wanting to be a part of its life, but that's his decision. His primary concern is not losing me, so maybe that is clouding his choices. For my part, I'd recently ended a 5-yr marriage(no kids) when I met my bf. I hoped he and I would progress toward marriage and kids in the future (I'm 32, w/no desire to become pregnant after I hit 35 cuz of the risks). But now he'll have the financial burden of his 1st child, not to mention time committment of visitation if he chooses that route, and added stress, all detracting from "us" or any future kids we might have -- and I have no idea how to handle this. The child's mom is seeking support and he's terrified and confused. I am also... anyone been in a similar situation or have advice??

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Well I will say this, you seem to be looking at this fairly rationally, asking the right questions, etc...I give you credit for that.

As for the mom seeking support...she has every right to, he shared equally in creating the child.

As a guy, I've often wondered how sooooo many men can walk away from kids they father. But, I also never got anyone preggo by mistake (thank god), so the only kids I've ever known where the ones my ex and I planned. Had I got someone pregnant that I didn't have any meaningful relationship with, could I not be part of their life and still remain in good conscious with myself? I don't know. I certainly wouldn't feel the same amount obligation to be an active "father" as I do with my own kids, especially if he wanted to terminate the pregnancy and she declined (sorry I am not religious, this has no moral implication for me).

You have a lot of things to ponder, and your BF has even bigger decisions to make....I don't think there will be any easy answers.

"His primary concern is not losing me, so maybe that is clouding his choices"

This is very true...if I were you I would tell him you are aware of this, and let him know it's important for him to make the right decisions for HIM, she should not be focusing on you when figuring out which path to take.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I hope BF gets over his shame about this, because there's really nothing to be ashamed about.
This situation sucks because BF did not want this child, did not plan this child. I really don't think it is fair of a woman to have a baby when they know the man does not want it. GRRRRR! Okay, off the soapbox now.

Anyway, the kid is here now.
"My bf is ashamed to tell his family and his inclination is to stick his head in the sand, meaning either sign away his rights (which is hard to do in my state and the mom wouldnt likely agree), or quietly make support payments for 21 years and let the mom and her man raise the child."

First of all, BF needs to talk to a lawyer. He can't just sign his rights away, otherwise every parent who didn't want to pay support would do just that. And depending on what state you're in, child support is more likely to be 18 years, not 21. BF needs to educate himself as to what his rights are. . . how child support and visitation works.

Hopefully the mom has a job, there are child support calculators online for just about state you can plug in BF's salary and put mom's at minimum wage and you can see what kind of payments he would have to make.

"Personally I can't see knowing I have a kid out there and not wanting to be a part of its life,"
I can't either. I do understand how he would not feel motivated to be a father to this child because he didn't want it, but at the same time, the child is here now.

If BF wants to take the "lazy" way out and let some other man raise his child, I don't know how much respect I could have for someone like that. Life deals us all kinds of crap, having a child you didn't plan for is one of them. Let BF know that he needs to make the right decision without worrying about if you're going to leave him or not. And if he handles this the right way there won't be a reason for you to leave. If he gives up on having a relationship with his daughter, he will most likely regret it later on.

Yes, BF will have the financial burden of his first child, but it may not be as bad as it may seems. It sounds like both of you are college educated and have decent jobs. Between the two of you, you may be able to work things out. Maybe you only have one child instead of the two or three you were hoping for. Maybe you don't live in as big a house as you initially thought. BF may not spend as much time with his daughter as he does his other kids, or the money he has to pay in child support cuts into your family budget, etc. etc. Life will not be perfect, it will probably be stressful at times, but it can work out okay if BF handles things the right way.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Thanks to you both... my bf will seek out a family lawyer, but the basics are as I described (age of majority is 21 here in NY), so his options are limited mainly to what role does he want as a parent, since he will pay either way.

@Amber, I know what you mean about the 'fairness' of the situation and that's the most bitter pill for me to swallow. I knew nothing of all this until after the birth. Had I been told sooner, I feel like I would have had some useful insight, as I have a cousin who experienced this situation--he had a one-night stand, the mom got pregnant and decided to keep it over his objection, and since then both sides have racked up thousands of $$ in attorney fees alone fighting over custody and other parenting issues (tends to happen when 2 people who didn't know each other and never consulted on such important choices have differing opinions on raising a child), not to mention the time, effort and money to raise and support the poor kid (now 5), who is caught in between. I know what all this looks like and it's not pretty, and had a profound impact on both my cousin and the mom's lives, their other relationships, and almost certainly their future children (neither have had another or is even in a romantic relationship that I know of).. Not that those insights would have changed anything in this situation, but I never even had a chance to talk with my bf or the child's mom to confirm such things were being considered here (the girl is 20-something, from a small town and was home-schooled, so she is a bit sheltered from what I understand). Now that is in the past and I am stuck in a situation I had no role in creating and no desire to ever be in, with someone I have fallen in love with...

I forgave my bf for not telling me sooner, he knows he handled an impossible situation very poorly and that's just another regret that he can't change now. I am also trying to work through this with him and make sure he's considering all his options, but it is a hard thing feeling like I've made such good and responsible choices my whole life and suddenly have this image of my future completely altered in a moment's time through no fault of my own. You make good points about the probable impacts on us and our future family if we have one (though another concern of mine is he won't want any more kids after this), and it's very hard to anticipate all these 'what ifs' that lie ahead.

This is all very distressing to say the least, and I'm grateful for the wisdom of those that have come before me in forums like these -- thanks again for offering your insights.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:33AM
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--" I really don't think it is fair of a woman to have a baby when they know the man does not want it. GRRRRR!"--

I understand each and everyone has their own personal opinions and beliefs, and I respect yours, but I disagree with the thought that it's not 'fair'. IMHO, my thoughts on the issue is when two people decide to have sex with each other (especially in this case where the two people are not teenagers who may be thinking with lust and not their heads) is the time consider the other mate may not 'want' a child. We all know how babies are made. We all know no birth control is 100% and I personally believe a male is just as responsible as the female in that area of concern.

I just feel trying to get the female to go against her personal feelings and/or beliefs after the fact and then labeling it 'unfair' is wrong. If one feels so strongly about a possible conception, afterwards is not the time to worry about it... after the action, is a bit like a day late and a dollar short. Just my 2 cents. It's not really about views for or against abortion for me (which of course everyone IMO has to decide to their personal views on that topic and is not really the issue here) it's rather more about after the fact trying to undo what one knew was a possibilty when they unzipped their pants. Where was the concern prior to jumping into bed with a stranger?

Moving along, I personally would have a problem in this thread's case in that the guy did not bother to tell the OP he may be a father of a soon to arrive baby. It bothers me that he went ahead with this big secret, getting deeper and deeper into a relationship with the OP without being open and honest about perhaps what was to come. That I do find 'not fair', not fair to the OP. I guess I'd be wondering if there were any other topics of importance the guy was basically hiding from me.

--"He had to endure prolonged custody battles and moving around as a kid and knows how it can damage a child."--

While, yes, some children do find themselves in a rough situation of bitter battles ects (it's up to the adults in the situation as to how this goes for the child), it does not have to be this way and is not this way for every child.

OP herself has a decision to make also. She either lives with the decision her BF makes knowing full well what she is facing or she let's him go now. If BF decides to be in his child's life and OP feels a time may come where she would come to resent this decision and/or the child itself, walk now. It actually sounds from reading the original post that OP may be having a bit of trouble now perhaps respecting the guy she thought she knew and fall in love with. He perhaps has not turned out to be exactly who she thought he was and is disappointed in the reality.

I think OP needs to ask herslef, if she knew going in what she now knows, would she have pursued diving deeper into her current relationship?

Good luck to all parties involved (Mother and child included) all have some very important decisions to make and live with going forth.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:33AM
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One thing that has yet to be mentioned is the real possibility that, should your BF elect to stay in this baby's life, he could potentially have full custody of this child if something happened to her mother. Life is full of the unexpected, you know. It's just food for thought for both of you.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:42AM
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*Correction -- thanks to all 3 (sorry Justmetoo -- didnt see your post in time), but you are right that's really my dilemma here. To answer your Q, I probably would not have forged ahead with BF as I did knowing his child may be on the way with another woman, who could? But that's another thing I now can't change. I foresee the next few months or so will be spent doing some soul-searching, seeing how this progresses and how I feel. Life, this is one hell of a curveball...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:45AM
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JMT - I understand what you're saying and I agree that BF should have been more careful too.
I guess I feel that even if BF had taken all the precautions in the world, the girl still could have gotten pregnant, and why is it she is the only one that gets decide if the baby is carried to term or not?

If a woman does not want to be a parent, she is not forced to be one, but why isn't that same right given to a man? Sure, the woman has to carry the baby in her body, but if she wants the baby and the dad doesn't, is it fair he has to pay for 18 years for something he didn't want? It's no more right than forcing a woman to carry to term a pregnancy she doesn't want. I guess that's what I don't think is "fair".

OP - I didn't want to be so negative in my initial post but you mentioned what I was worrying me as well. The fact that two people who don't know each other, who probably have different opinions on how to raise a child now have a child together. You've seen how much drama it causes, the financial cost of court battles, etc. etc. Who know how crazy the baby mama will be? Will BF feel guilty because he doesn't get to spend that much time with his daughter and as a result spoil her until she turns into a complete horror? Things CAN work out fine, but that's only if BF is able to handle things the right way, and like JMT mentions, his track record of how he handles tough issues so far isn't that good.

"Now that is in the past and I am stuck in a situation I had no role in creating and no desire to ever be in, with someone I have fallen in love with..."
Yeah, I kinda felt the same way about my exBF's son. I did not want to deal with his child, a child I had no role in raising, and was now a spoiled, misbehaved kid due to his father's lack of parenting. I hated the fact that I was in love with the father and his kid was there to spoil everything. But eventually I realized that it wasn't the kid being there that spoiled everything, it was the father's fault because he was the one who refused to parent his son. And I realized I could not be with someone who was not a good parent, no matter how much I loved everything else about him.

If already you feel like things have been ruined “through no fault of your own”, and that you would NOT have continued the relationship had you known sooner that BF had a kid, then it is probably best that you end things now before you waste any more time.

Just because NOW you are in love with him, does not change anything about what the situation is right now. Now you know your BF has a daughter. You see the writing on the wall. You already have doubts in your gut and you have a bad feeling about how things are going to be. If you feel like this now, how do you think you’ll feel years from now, when you’ve reached 35 and can’t have any kids because BF doesn’t want any more or the two of you can’t afford to because he has to pay so much in child support?

Your love will disappear and your resentment of him, towards the child and the whole situation will only grow. Just read some of the posts on this forum, and see if you are willing to go through the crap some of the step moms on here have to endure.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:31PM
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"is it fair he has to pay for 18 years for something he didn't want?"


If you have sex, I don't think you have any right to claim to be surprised when you become a parent.

& if you're having sex, I'd bet a dollar that you know who has the right to make the decision when one of you (hint: if you're the guy, it isn't you) becomes pregnant.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:52PM
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@ Amber: "If already you feel like things have been ruined through no fault of your own, and that you would NOT have continued the relationship had you known sooner that BF had a kid, then it is probably best that you end things now before you waste any more time."

To take that in parts: First, I did not mean to imply things are 'ruined' -- definitely complicated, and maybe those complications will end up being fatal to our relationship for the reasons you noted. But I also have to consider the alternatives. E.g., at 32 and with a busy career, will I meet someone else I feel as strongly about and ultimately be able to make a 'better' life than what I'd have with BF? And if I do meet such a person, will it be still within my timeframe to have kids of my own? Will I still be happier with BF even if I now have these difficulties that I didn't expect at first? Plus at this age, I am just as likely to meet someone with a kid already from a prior relationship as not, and unless I'm prepared to rule out everyone in that category (parents) as potential suiters, I may have to deal with these other "step-mom issues" some day anyway...

As to the 2nd part, I don't know that I would have cut and run if I found out earlier. Maybe so, maybe not. I doubt I'd have forged ahead to the same degree, probably been more cautious and so forth, but I can't say honestly what I'd have done. If he'd had a kid before that he knew of and told me about when we met, it'd be easier to know what I was getting into of course, but I'm not sure I would have just left right off the bat.

So far lots of negatives to consider, but I'm trying to see if there are positives at all.. maybe if he steps up then his having parenting skills will help if/when we do have our own kid.. or maybe we'll both decide its such a burden that we are better off not having more.. I just don't know at this point and I don't know when is the optimum time to try and make such a decision. *sigh*

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:46PM
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He struggled telling me about it and is still too ashamed to tell most of his family. . . . his inclination is to stick his head in the sand.

Entirely aside from the issue of the little girl and the impact her existence will have on your own life, there is something else here for you to consider. I would be very concerned about a partner who seeks to avoid problems rather than face them.

It's almost impossible to get through life without being confronted with challenging dilemmas. I would think very seriously about what this pattern of behavior foretells for the future and whether this meets your own expectations for a partner.

It's ironic and sad that, apparently, you have given more thought to this little girl and her place in your life than the father has. A child can't be swept under the rug.

Even if it's legally possible I do hope he reconsiders signing away his rights to the child. This act of rejection can have very damaging lifelong consequences. Even if she never knows him, at some point she'll have to confront the fact that her biological parent didn't want her. The sting of this can scar in ways no rationalization can assuage.

And although his parents are secondary, might they wish to know there is this grandchild?

No one else is in a position to tell you what to decide. But regardless I hope you can decide reasonably soon. If this child becomes part of your boyfriend's life, then she is part of yours too and ending the relationship becomes that much more difficult.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Sorry, "ruined" was a poor choice of words. Complicate, yes.

Ultimately what you decide to do is your decision, the next few months as you observe your BF hopefully will help you see how he handles this whole situation and will give you some indication of how things will be in the future.

But please do not let the fact that your biological clock is ticking influence whether or not you decide to stay with this guy. A person should never stay with someone just because they're worried they can't someone find else, even if that reason is because they want to have kids before a certain time. And really, you want to be sure that the guy you have kids with is a good father, right?
If your BF is even considering not being involved in his daughter's life, would you want to have kids with someone like that?

Don't worry about finding someone who doesn't have kids. After I broke up with my BF, I said I was not dating men with kids, or least men with kids still under the age of 18. Since then I've met PLENTY of men who don't have kids.

I dated one guy who was 40 years old and wanted kids but had finally divorced his wife because she kept putting off having kids. He made it very clear that he wanted to have kids. The guy I'm dating right now is 42 and has no kids at all.

And yes, you are 32, but you still have THREE whole years to find someone. In this day and age of internet dating that is NO time at all. Heck, women are having kids even at age 40 with only a slight increase in risk, so don't think you HAVE to have a kid before you're 35 if things don't work out that way.

All I'm trying to say is, you CAN find men that do not have kids, so please don't let that factor into your decision, what ever that decision is.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:29PM
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@RL and Amber, I guess I'm indifferent whether he wants any parental relationship beyond required support payments. Either way, whether its his time or his money, he will have less to devote to 'our' family, as has been said. To be fair, he told the mom-to-be he did not want to be a father, but she chose to be a mom. I doubt the motivation was moral/religious b/c her own parents encouraged an abortion, but she made the choice and thus took on the obligation to raise it w/out the bio-father in the picture, except for the legally-required support payments. Sometimes it's much better for a child to be raised by other than the biological parents for a number of reasons (e.g. BF's mom, who was adopted). Parents that aren't ready to be parents usually aren't the best ones to raise a child, and one shouldn't be 'forced' into trying to love and raise a child they did not mean to have. The law does not require that, nor IMO does morality...

So, my choice will have to be based on what impact this is likely to have on me and any potential future kids of my own, and/or whether I can get over the fact that he covered this up on the first place. Thanks to all for the perspective.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Jecausta, you raise a very good point that he did not want this child and made it very clear to the mother from the get go. I can't entirely blame him if he was not that involved with this child, since he was not given any choice in the matter.

And I do agree with you that one should not be forced to raise and love a child they didn't intend to have, which is what I was trying to say in my previous posts. If we heard of a case of a woman being forced to have a baby she didn't want, people would be screaming bloody murder. I still say it's not fair that a woman gets to have as much sex as she wants, and if she gets pregnant, she can chose whether or not she wants to be a mother, but men aren't given the same reproductive rights. If a woman wants to be a parent and the man does not, fine, but then that mother should not expect child support from him either.

But unfortunately the current laws of the land require a man to pay child support for any child he fathers, so that is the current situation your BF faces. So yea, he will have less time and money to devote to your family should you chose to have children with him, so you will have to consider that.

In addition, you still have to consider the potential drama the baby mama may produce, if any. I guess it comes down to what you're willing to deal with. I think it was Kroopy who said on here once, think of the worse case scenario and if you're willing to put up with that.

I really do hope everything works okay for you and your BF.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:06PM
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So, if your BF was serious about not wanting a baby, did he actually do anything to prevent a baby from happening in the first place, or was he relying on the BM to take total responsibility for birth control? As far as I'm concerned, if he didn't want a baby it was _his_ responsibility to wear a condom. If he didn't, then he is equally responsible for the situation he's in now and has a moral obligation to the child he fathered, or rather, chose not to avoid fathering.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:47PM
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@Colleenoz -- I'm not sure and do not believe it matters. People have sex for non-procreative reasons, as was intended here. We all know contraceptives can and do fail (and people can and do lie about using them). However, the law doesn't care what precautions each parent took or did not take, or what deceptions are made, they just apply a formula to get the proper amount of financial support from each parent.

Yes, BF took the risk when he had sex that this girl would get pregnant, want to keep the baby, and seek child support (every man faces this risk with sex). BF suggested abortion, she refused. His taking 'equal responsbility' comes in the form of $200k or so in support payments over 21 years. Of course, if the girl after choosing to have casual sex decided to end the pregnancy for whatever reason, she could do so and all men know that this is her choice (similarly, if a man wants the kid but woman does not, he cannot force her to carry to term). But, I fail to see how there is 'moral obligation' to do anything other than make the required support payments if the child is carried to term. The law does not mandate visits from unwilling parents, and seeking custody is discretionary. If someone is not ready to actively parent and love a child, they cannot and should not be forced to do so, especially having made this unwillingness known to the mother when she had the last choice on whether to bring a person into the world. Long way of saying, if BF or any man is not ready to love and raise a child as his own, he has no moral obligation to do so and any 'trauma' the kid may suffer from having an absent bio-dad cannot be pinned on him when bio-mom knew he'd be absent. BF is giving subtantial financial help, and if mom cannot be an effective single parent, this should have been factored into her decision on whether to abort (or give the child up for adoption, if abortion is not within her beliefs). Of course, if he decides he can and will play more of a role, he has the right to seek custody--but I don't think morality dictates anything of the sort. If it does, I guess we should all stop having sex for non-procreative reasons, but I don't see that happening.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:25PM
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If the courts made it that easy to relieve responsibilty of support a child two people have made, the courts would be full of one parent or another declaring 'she said she was using BC' , 'he said he was sterile', or even 'I told her I was not going to support a kid so if one was made and she chose to keep it, not my problem'...I can't imagine how many additional children in this country would be added to the already bulging welfare rolls.

Face it, life is not always 'fair'. Sometimes one gets called out for their actions and must 'pay' the consequences whether they agree with the 'punishment' or not. No matter what you, I or the next person thinks of the current laws and system it is set up to protect the innocent aka the child who did not ask to be created (before the act, afterwards is hindsight). I'm sure there are lots of people out there who now wish they could turn the clock back. I'm also sure there are a number of children out there born to people who now wish they had done things differently. I highly doubt going before a judge and stating 'I just wanted a quick casual poke and therefore feel I am not ready to actually have this consequence forced upon me, I told the other person to get rid of it and I should be excused blah blah blah'...yeah, try that line on a court.

If you all feel that strongly about 'unfair' laws, take up lobbying your state officials who actually make the laws.

Moving on... Jecausta, if your BF really does not desire anything whatsoever to do with this child perhaps it would be best for him to approach the BM with the thought of relinguishing all parental rights so this child can be adopted by the gentleman who wants to step in and take all father responsibilties. You stated, in OP, that BM's fiance desires this. I guess, since the fiance wants to do this, I'm a bit confused as to why BM you believe will object to the idea. As there is indeed someone else who desires and is willing to raise/support the child as their own (which would require the guy to adopt the child) what reasons is this BM still giving to object and to pursue child custody/support of your BF?

Just asking as I see this to be a possible solution for all parties (child included)and to be more postive and productive than just debating on a anonymous stepfamily message board.

You did ask for 'positives', not only negatives...I raised my child (1st born son, I was 17)and his biological father walked away. With my blessings. Best decision I ever made for myself and my son. I have no regrets. My son has no regrets. My son is a happy well adjusted adult. It does not 'work' for everybody, but in my personal case I consider one of the best decisions I ever made. I know my son has been raised by myself and my husband all these years and has felt nothing but love, the sense of belonging and being wanted, and he knows the man he calls 'Dad' would go through hell and back for him if needed. We're family.

Again, I wish you all the best.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:00PM
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I am sure my response was influenced by my own experience. My BIL relinquished all rights to his child specifically to avoid child support, and that sense of rejection has played a huge role in my niece's sense of self, despite her adoption by her step-father.

Ironically, she also turned out to be the only child he would have. The universe sometimes is a joker.

However, that is not to say that choice will be equally detrimental in every situation, as justmetoo's post indicates clearly.

The OP did say I don't think my bf can grasp this decision and may regret giving up a relationship with his daughter.

Things sometimes come back to haunt us. It's impossible to project how events will play out in the future despite our best attempts to manage them. We make the best decision we can based on who we are at the time and hope time doesn't prove us wrong.

Like justmetoo, I wish the OP and her boyfriend all the best. It is a difficult situation with no easy resolution.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:00PM
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@JM2 - yes that is exactly the reason for the law and why the courts just ask "who" on parenthood questions (not why/how/what if, etc.) And yes, BF asked BM about relinquishing his rights. BM said any adoption would have to be after she and fiance are married when things are "more stable." However, BF must decide in the interim if he wants to be a dad or just pay his support and allow BM and fiance to raise the child. I can see how having a single family unit may be healthier, more stable and less confusing for the kid ("who is this guy that sees me on weekends and doesn't live with mom" type thing) -- actually I've seen this confusion w/children of a divorced friend who remarried, and her kids seem confused what role SD has as opposed to bio-dad who visits on weekends...of course if BM and fiance can make all the choices and get a support check from BF for 21 years, I don't see any incentive for them to adopt the child.

@RL -- at this stage, the baby doesn't know BF is in the picture, so if she grows up knowing only BM's fiance as "dad," she shouldn't feel rejected. But if BF waits and things don't work out with fiance, it will be that much harder to start a relationship as the child's dad (both emotionally and legally, since courts look at who the child has spent more time with in deciding custody arrangements).

Honestly, I want BF to go to BM and say "what did you have in mind for raising this child?" This was not discussed before the birth, and now all these things that will impact the kid and everyone involved (directly and indirectly) are being decided ad hoc. Where did BM think the kid would live, and with whom, and when? Where will the girl go to school? Is BM holding the fiance out as the 'dad'? In the end BM's expectations (if she even thought aobut these issues) don't really matter I suppose, and it'll be BF's decision what he wants to do as the legal dad.

Thanks again all for the perspective on this difficult issue.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:49PM
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All these topics make me just hope that a male version of the pill becomes available soon. I really think that would eliminate so many of these types of situations, that no matter who you "side" with, are not good for anyone involved. Not good for the guy, is is forced to make a decision that he will have to live with the rest of his life, not good for the BM, who for whatever reason (and she had that right, it is her body I guess), wanted to bring essentially a fatherless (in terms of presence, not genetics) child into the world, and most importantly the child involved, who will grow up in a less than optimal situation, no matter how it turns out.

I gotta say, it really makes me wonder what the right answer is to the decision-making issue vs. responsibility question. Man wants child, women does not...she can terminate the pregnancy, he cannot prevent it. Reverse situation, she has baby, he can do nothing to stop her. The man has no say in either case, but is legally on the hook for 21 years of support. Doesn't seem exactly fair to me .... but then again I am a guy I am sure some (sylvia? we never agree on will jump all over me for having this opinion. Just seems like if BOTH people were equally responsible for having bad judgement in having an unwanted child (not always just the evil man's fault, ya know), it seems unjust the the woman has 100% of the decision making rights after it happens.

FYI - I have this opinion not due to every being in this type of kids were planned, in a marriage, unfortunately the marriage did not work out, and I have 50-50 legal and physical custody of them and pay no support since both me and ex have good I am not "grinding an axe" or anything, just voicing an opinion.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:15AM
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My opinion is also colored by my personal experience. My friend got pregnant by someone who did not want to have a baby, but she went ahead anyway with the pregnancy. The father refused to have anything to do with the child. My friend fought him for child support, which he finally had to start paying, but that's ALL he ever did. Ultimately, it's the child that suffers.

"Just seems like if BOTH people were equally responsible for having bad judgement in having an unwanted child (not always just the evil man's fault, ya know), it seems unjust the woman has 100% of the decision making rights after it happens."

Kroopy, we don't always see eye to eye, but on this I completely agree with you. The birth control pill was introduced sometime in the 1960s, giving women control over her reproduction abilities. Hopefully one day science will do the same for men.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:24PM
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mkroopy, I too 100% agree with you!! Excellent post!!

Male contraception is promising. I think it would be very empowering for men to be able to safeguard themselves against causing an unwanted pregnancy. Men currently place almost all of their trust in their partners to take contraception (condoms are great for STDs but failure rates for pregnancies are much too high)

There is nothing wrong with every individual, being a man or a women, having the ability to control their own reproductive system.

I feel sorry for men who end up with unwanted children as a result of manipulative women who have had far too much power from controling contraception. And I am a women who is saying this. I would hate to have to rely on someone else to take a pill - each person should be able to safeguard themselves.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Mkroopy...I'm sure it's a ways off yet, but your wish of more male say in birth control/reproduction choices may be coming. I do think that if it proves to be safe and reversable in male humans it will indeed solve a lot of the what has been discussed in this thread. It's been an interesting thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: male birth control

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:29PM
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I just lurk here but now I have to post. I really really have to point out that condoms, when used 100% of the time, have a failure rate of only 2%. Check the CDC, Planned Parenthood, heck you can even check Wikipedia and verify the statistics. Male birth control is--and has been--here, males just aren't too fond of it. BC pills aren't infallible, especially if the compliance rate isn't 100% consistent.

Many of the highly effective methods of birth control for women, such as the "pill" or an IUD, can have unpleasant, at the minimum, side effects such as break-through bleeding, weight gain, and scarring--yet women continue to use them. Why? To avoid pregnancy. A man who truly wants to avoid pregnancy can use a condom; add some spermicide and effectiveness is just about 100%. To promulgate misconceptions about the efficacy of properly used condoms is dangerous and irresponsible, just as it is to imply that "manipulative" women pull all the strings when it comes to pregnancy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planned Parenthood efficacy of birth control methods

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:53PM
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The key here is "properly used condoms". With PERFECT use a condom's failure rate is 2%, however with TYPICAL use the failure rate is 15%, which is quite high. And while condoms are cheap and easy to carry around, expecting a guy to carry a tube of spermicide around is about as realistic as expecting a horny teenager to practice abstinence.

The two times I got pregnant and had to get an abortion was due to condom failure. Several other times I've had condoms slip off, tear, and even stay inside me when the guy pulls out. I had to start using BC pills in addition to condoms because while condoms are great for protecting against STDs, alone they just don't provide enough protection against pregnancy.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:16AM
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"...have a failure rate of only 2%"

Uhmm...when the result of a failure is an unwanted/unplanned/unprepared for pregnancy, 2% is not exactly a number I would put an "only" in front of. If a gun had 50 chambers and someone put one bullet in it, would you put it to your head and pull the trigger? I wouldn't.

Of course in a perfect world all males that do not want to get someone pregnant would use condoms correctly...hell, why not put on two while they're at it. But, as we know, young people (men AND women) make bad decisions regarding sex all the time, and giving males the option to take the preventative measure when they are thinking clearly (e.g. taking a pill every morning, every week, whatever), rather than relying on them to take the proper precautions in a hormone and alcohol induced fog will greatly increase the likelihood of them doing so.

Like I said, I was lucky enough to never have had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy...even though I fell into the category when I was young of pretty much thinking "if she didn't tell you to use a condom, she must be on the pill", hell I never brought it up if the girl didn't. Not exactly how I am going to tell my son (now 11) to approach things, that's for sure. But I got lucky. Plenty of guys didnt, and had their life plans changed forever, due to bad lapse in judgement made in the heat of the moment. Any way to decrease the chances of that happening to others is only a positive thing in my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:28AM
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True, condoms are often used improperly. I actually don't know if BF used a condom with this chick, but I doubt it since he says he didn't remember this night very well, which I take to mean, he was piss drunk, leading to his poor judgment. The whole situation was even more of a surprise since I thought he was fairly resposnible. For the first few months he and I were together he used a condom every time, unprompted, without asking me if I was on the pill (I am not). So, mkroopy's Russian Roullette analogy is very apt.

I expect someday there will be options for men as or more effective than the pill. Some are in trial phases in other countries, but FDA will probably hold that up for a few more years or decades here. Sadly, it's all too little, too late for BF and countless other guys in this situation.

See, if it was me, I'd have told this chick that several people in my family have a rare genetic disease and I've been told there is a 50 percent or more chance that my offspring will have it, too (go online and pick out the most godawful thing you can find). You can even go the extra mile to hire someone with a horrible medical condition as your 'sibling' to go visit and see how she likes changing colostomy bags or whatnot, before she makes her big decision. Guys, feel free to use that one!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:03PM
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"Guys, feel free to use that one"

I like the way you think!!

Seriously though, if I ever know anyone in that predicament, this will come to mind. OMG too funny...colostomy!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I really felt for your situation up until your posting about the "rare genetic disease" part. What does this say about your honesty/integrity here? I would HATE to be on the receiving end of news like that if I were to find out I may be on the receiving end of news like that!!!

Based on what you've written about your BF, there mere fact that he took a paternity test to confirm this child was his BEFORE telling you the whole story was totally responsible on his part. We all have past and histories and there is no need to tell everything to our partners.

I can not wait until men have more of an equal playing field in these situations. It sucks that a woman has all the rights right now and men have virtually none.

My belief is that if a woman chooses to have a child after a man states he wants nothing to do with it - she should carry on this responsibility completely on her own. There are options in life.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:12PM
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"Doesn't seem exactly fair to me ...."

I don't know that fairness is possible, that's just the way it is, & *everybody knows that's the way it is*.

Guys who choose to have sex & then whine about "fairness" get on my last nerve, & guys who whine "she *said* she was on the pill" get on the next to the last nerve.

If you don't want a child, do what girls & women have been advised to do since time began:
take precautions or keep your pants on.

& mckroopy, I just not too long ago agreed with you on something, can't remember what it was, somebody wanting advice about something...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:24PM
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It was on the thread titled

Need advice!!!! New step mom

You done good.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:49PM
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@shamrock, yes it'd be dishonest, but I wouldn't begrudge a man the attempt -- after all, his life will be permanently and significantly impacted if the pregnancy is carried to term. Prospective moms can be just as disingenuous (e.g. lying about being infertile to a sexual partner with the intent of getting pregnant). Not saying that would justify similar deception, that is a moral judgment he must make... but rather than whining about it (and getting on @sylvia's last nerve), he can try like hell to get the woman to change her mind.

The fact is, in choosing to carry to term, there is always a risk of the child being born with a disabling condition, especially if conceived with a virtual stranger whose family medical history is a mystery, so why not provide a reality check? Of course no one wants to receive such dire news.. but what if the kid does have serious issues, is mom prepared for that? There is prenatal testing for certain genetic diseases precisely because some parents prefer not to incur that additional hardship. If a guy is facing this impossible situation, I can't say I'd impugn his integrity if he tries like hell to get out of it with his wallet and life plans intact, and without bringing a person into the world that is unwanted by one of its parents.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:03PM
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"guys who whine "she *said* she was on the pill" get on the next to the last nerve"

Are you saying guys who say this as a cop out, or guys who say this because it actually happened? Big difference. Although it would be impossible to prove, because it would be one person's word against another, if there was a way to prove that a girl actually said this when it wasn't true, I think that would be enough to excuse him of all responsibilities for anything having to do with a child that came out of that encounter.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:24PM
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@Shamrock re: "mere fact that he took a paternity test to confirm this child was his BEFORE telling you the whole story was totally responsible on his part. We all have past and histories and there is no need to tell everything to our partners."

Forgot to respond to this.. not sure how you can complain about dishonesty but think its OK that I was led to believe BF was NOT a father when he may well have a kid on the way... I'm not saying I want to know every detail of his sexual past, but I'd say the liklihood of an impending baby is fairly significant info! No, he wasn't 100% sure but was a likely candidate for the dad, and I think I had a right to know about it as soon as he was informed of the pregancy. After all, what if I had become pregnant by him over the months when he was hiding his potential fatherhood from me? I'd not be in a position to make an informed decision about keeping the child or know what resources he could contribute given this prior obligation -- in fact, I wouldn't have taken the risk of getting pregnant myself by him had I know. And all this is aside from the fact that I'd have been able to choose whether or not to continue our relationship knowing I may soon be presented with the sudden news that he's a dad and if I stay with him, I may be in for the life of a stepmom (instead, I found this out only after investing significant emotions and time), which is why this is now so hard.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Jesausta, my apologies to you. I just went and reread your original post. I did not see "This girl told him a few months after he and I started dating that he may be a dad..." and do agree that he should have told you of the possibility long ago. It absolutely negates my comment.

It's all such a mess and I do feel for both YOU and your BF. I am sorry you are BOTH going through it all.

As you will see going through all the posts on this forum as well as others - it's a hard situation for everyone due to the way things are in life right now.

I've been in my "step situation" for almost 12 years now and I can tell you from my personal experience that it's been a very difficult road to travel.

I wish you all of the very best in whatever you decide to do!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Sorry again, Jesausta = Jecausta.

It's been a long day.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Fair or not, sexual encounters do result in pregnancies, & everybody knows this;
everybody also knows that sexual partners sometimes fib, lie, & stretch the truth, & everybody knows that, if you father a child, that child's mother has the power & you don't, *fair or not*.

Knowing these things, it's your responsibility, guy or girl, to protect your own best interests.

If your boyfriend swears he had a vasectomy, take your pill every day anyway.

If your girlfriend swears she's on the pill, use a condom & spermicide anyway.

Whether the other person realllly said it makes no difference;
if the "aggrieved party" didn't look out for his own best intersts, he can't claim innocence or ignorance;
the pregnancy is his fault or responsibility as much as it is hers.

Think of it in the same vein as what the instructors always say in defensive driving:

if you have a green light, you're entitled to drive through the intersection, & the other party is supposed to stop, so if you drive on through, you're right.

but having the right, or being right, doesn't mean you can drive through the intersection without looking;
if an oncoming car runs the red light, you could be "dead right".

Tricking a woman into aborting what is likely a healthy baby is not admirable.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:21PM
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My point is not that a male BC pill is bad; indeed, if one crops up, more power to the male who uses it. My point is that right now proper use of a condom greatly decreases the odds of getting pregnant. I'd rather stand in front of a gun with one live round out of fifty than the one with nine rounds--which are the odds when looking at a woman not in perfect compliance when taking the pill. Birth control is not an all or nothing issue-it is about both women and men taking responsibility to decrease the odds. In hook-up scenarios, that comes down to individual responsibility.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 8:26AM
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@Sylvia "Tricking a woman into aborting what is likely a healthy baby is not admirable."

I never said it was, but it may be the lesser of 2 bad alternatives. I also don't find it admirable for someone to make a selfish decision to have a child to suit their own preferences, even though it means setting the child up for disadvantage in life and negatively impacting others (including both parents' future children and other relationships). E.g., if BF moves in with me as planned he'll be an hour away - that means 2 hours driving for each person to visit the kid, and an hour in the car every time the kid visits the other parent, plus packing, unpacking, etc. That takes time and money. Plus each parent has to buy stuff for each household (crib, bedding, other furnishings, etc.), which doubles some costs that would be incurred only once in a 2-parent household. All of these duplicate purchases, gas/mileage, and time could all have gone toward items that would actually enrich the child's life (education fund, sports/hobbies, etc.) That is, if father chooses to have role at all -- he could always just pay support and hope the kid lives a more stable life (of course, not getting any benefit from a parent-child relationship himself). In either instance, any future children that he planned to bring into a loving home with a willing partner suffer by having less access to him (either money or time, both important resources to a child), less time spent as a family unit with this child or subsequent children, etc. The same goes of the mom (she would preserve her resources to dedicate to the child/ren she plans with her fiance or future partner, and all those children would benefit with none of the wasted costs--not to mention she could go to college and increase her earning capacity in the interim). So even if the result is based on some measure of deceipt, there is still a benefit to be had by all in not bringing the child into the world (granting that there are those who are anti-abortion in general, but that is a whole other topic).

So yes, none of this is admirable. I don't admire the child, my BF, the mother, or anyone involved in the situation -- myself included.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 12:19PM
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If you are 25 or younger, will you continue this relationship?

No point to talk about "fairness". This is just one of the consequences even having one enconter could have, such as the BF could have AIDS and gave it to this woman.

Pros and cons wise, it seems the decision of keeping this relationship is a no brainer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 5:16AM
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Jecusta, it sounds like you have been thrown a curve ball and really don't want to play. What on earth was your BF doing in the first place? He's 30?!? Come on. The child is already here. You marry him, you're a step mom.
You know, maybe he should consider going for custody? If mom is young, and unmarried, and you and BF marry, it might be much better for the child.
Surely he wants to at least see his daughter ? Babies are easy to love.
If he doesn't want this one, why would he want another?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:18PM
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@laVerne: You're right, who would want to be dealt this hand? Yes, BF is 30 and should have known better, but was drunk and made a bad decision. It was a casual encounter, so obviously not something BF wanted to result in a child, as opposed to planning to have a kid with someone he is actually in a serious relationship with (or even accidentally having one w/someone he cares for).

I told him I don't want to be the deciding factor in what kind of relationship he has with his daughter, since I don't want to be responsible if he decides to play a minimal role and later regrets it. He asked the BM for visits to which she initially agreed, but only supervised, and then cut down to only 1 hour, 1-2 times per week, even though on week nights she is working so BF has to go to her parents house to visit the baby. BM got upset when BF wouldnt agree to the support amount her lawyer proposed (so now that issue will go to a hearing), and said she'd not allow any more visits until the court orders it, but has since backed off and let him keep visiting. So, BM is clearly unreasonable and immature. She is early 20's and engaged to the guy she is now living with, who obviously spends much more time w/the baby than BF, and whom BM refers to as the child's dad.

BF actually did file for custody, and BM refuses to mediate (her lawyer is an unsufferable prick) so that issue will go to a hearing as well. BM clearly just wants BF's $ and would rather raise the child with her new fiance w/o BF's input (in fact, she's already planning to have another kid despite not even having custody resolved for the 5-month old girl).

So yes, this is a trying time for BF, who apparently picked a real winner in BM... but it's been no picnic for me and I've been inclined to keep my distance. BF's mom is already in love w/her new grandchild, and I feel kind of worthless and irrelevant in this whole ordeal. I have offered some advice and feedback to BF, but am at the point where I'd rather let him sort out these issues, establish a routine, and then see if it's a life I can (or want to) fit into. BF and I have lived an hour apart since we met and he was talking about moving to the city where I live/work, but then the baby came along and lives out his way. We havent even lived together as a couple, and now there is a baby in the picture -- his not mine, meaning a BM that will always be there... So I'm torn between cutting my losses w/a guy I have really come to love and care deeply about, or sticking around long enough to see what a life as a potential step mom would entail and whether I think I am up for the challenge. It's no easy decision.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:16AM
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Jecusta, what questions are you asking yourself? Like: do I want to be a step mother, do I want to help support all the lawyers throughout these court hearings? What would be the ideal resolution for me? How will I respond if this happens or if that happens? Write down possible outcomes, all you can think up, and then write down your thoughts about them. And then write down your feelings about them. Then decide which is more important..... Give yourself the best life you can.
How is BF responding to you through all this?

Did you visit the baby? I'm sure BM has her friends visit baby. BF should have the same choices. I am glad your BF has stepped up and decided he won't just stay out of the picture and dish out $. BM is far more likely to allow termination of parental rights if the father insists on joint custody. If he decides he wants that.
Best to you! Let us know what happens.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:42AM
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"BM clearly just wants BF's $ and would rather raise the child with her new fiance w/o BF's input"

I am seriously hoping, from a guy's point of view, that this is not allowed by the courts.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Thanks for the update, Jecausta. Your BF needs to educate himself as to his rights as a father. Child support and visitation are not tied together.

If BF wants to be a part of his daughter's life, he needs to go for joint custody. Worst case scenario he'll get the standard every other weekend, one night a week visitation plan, but that's better than being pushed out by the BM's fiance.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:34AM
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This is not looking good for the child. This BM appears to have little concern for anything/anyone in this situation other than her selfish self and an immature 'love' to play family.

It's unlikely a judge will give OP's BF sole custody, but he has a good chance for joint legal with primary residence going to BM (based at this point on child's infant age). Vistations would then likely be amended when child is toddler.

But in the meantime this BM is preparing to do an extreme disservice to her child and with absolutely no regards to the child's best appear BM is all about 'me me me', what 'I' want. Seriously, after reading Jecausta's last post, it makes me just want to reality check this Bm and shake sense into her young stupid head. I hope OP's BF's lawyer is good enough to go in pop this little lady's bubble world wide wide if if is truly what OP's BF choice is (to be a part of the child's life as father)

This child is going to be so confused (not to mention that as years go by the confusion very well could turn into detrimental anger and acting out). You can pretty well bet the only reason OP's BF is being allowed an hour here and there is because her lawyer informed her she can not cut the father out yet continue to chase a support check. Poor little babe, will begin to wonder who the nice man is that swings by and gifts Mommy with a check a couple times a month. On the otherhand, if OP's BF is successful and obtains a normal infant vistation schedule (usually no overnights at this point but certainly rights to more than an hour a week and free to take child on outtings and bonding trips to child's other side of the family), what does OP's BF call himself? She'll be being raised by her BM to think the other man is her father. And then what happens when and/or if new man exists the picture? Baby will then have the 'stranger who gets to visit' and the 'daddy who dumped her' (BM's BF).

I see nothing but interfighting and drama in the future for this babe. And it is not going to be due to her biological father or the fact the child was created by a one-night-stand. It's going to be due to her birth mother who still seems to believe babies are toys and something to play 'house/family' with. This BM is screwing with her child's mental health and well being and this baby girl is going to need all the prayers she can get that Mommy 'grows-up' and faces reality before she destroys an innocent child (and all the people surrounding the situation).

This mother goes into a courtroom with this childish make-believe attitude and I hope the judge b*tch slaps the crap outta her.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:13AM
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The fact that the BM already is referring to her BF as the child's dad would infuriate me if I was the OP's BF. That is so wrong, in so many ways. She sounds like an immature little girl playing house....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:43AM
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@Amber/Kroopy/JM2 -- BF now has a lawyer and has court Tuesday. Apparently it is a very 'traditional' (old, male) judge hearing the case, so hopefully he sees beyond the mom-knows-best mentality. True that support/custody are treated as separate, although that is a load of garbage, IMO. Support is given to the custodial parent b/c of the costs they incur in food, diapers, toys, etc., yet if BF gets more custodial/visiting time it doesn't mean he pays any less (even if it's 50-50, in NY the rule in that case is the higher income-earner pays support to the other). In any event, the 'standard' visits Amber described should only be for dads who are OK with being friendly strangers that show up every so often vs. real father figures. BM just won't let BF play that role because of her selfishness (spot-on observation from JustMeToo and mkroopy).

BM works nights and has baby in day care noon-5, when BM's mother picks her up. Because this is over 4 hours, the day care counts it as a full day, so weekly payment is twice what it'd be if BF picked baby up at 4pm after work, which he can and is willing to do (he already has car seat, crib, the whole set-up in his house). BF pointed this out to BM and she first denied that there was a cost difference until he said he spoke to day care director, then just refused to agree. So, grandma on mom's side gets more time than dad despite his willingness to step in, and of course BM wants the full-day price for child care included in support. The latest is, BF's brother has his bachelor party this weekend out of town, so he asked to move the visit up from Sunday a.m. to p.m., but BM said no -- she is taking baby to her 'other' grandma's (meaning her fiance's mother's), so he and his mom miss out on their 1 hour visit.. she left a voicemail telling him this and saying 'we'll discuss it in court.'
So yes, BM is an immature, selfish brat who wants her way, and has no interest in fostering baby's relationship with dad. By the way, BM's parents are paying for her lawyer so she has no incentive to make things easier or try to settle. One hopes a judge would see through her charade, and if this case was pending in my county vs. the rural county w/the 'traditional' judge, his prospects would be that much better (at least, according to my collagues here that practice family law). There is pending legislation here that would make 50-50 custody sharing the standard, and if parents want to deviate from that they'd have to show good cause, but right now the law is just the 'best interest of the child,' which is ambiguous and depends on the whims of the judiciary. If a judge says that the kid being in day care and then going w/grandma while dad is forced to the sideline is in baby's best interest, I'll have lost all faith in the system. BF can fight for more time, but will pay dearly for it in legal fees, and the result is still uncertain. Nothing like seeing family law in action to remind me it is a complete travesty.
@LaVerne, that is helpful advice and I have been asking myself those questions all along. I have tried to look ahead to what scenarios I can live with, of course none are as ideal as if this never happened.. but it is quite hard to predict the future and all the factors that go into your partner raising a child with a stranger. I've not yet visited b/c BM is controlling the schedule, and usually only permits it during the week when I'm working (I'd have gone this weekend with BF but BM is taking the baby to her fiance's mom's, per above). BF has been overwhelmed in all this, and it is very discouraging seeing how immature, selfish and controlling the BM is and will likely be from here on out.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:03PM
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So the bachelor party is more important than seeing his baby?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 10:33PM
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@susanjn - I sort of resent the implication of that question, and here is why:

BF is his bro's best man and the 'bachelor party' is really a gathering of their family (e.g. his bro, their mom, bro's fiance, their new baby-BF's neice), and friends to visit and plan wedding details. Bro is 2 hours away, so BF and his mom planned to ride there together (mom would also help out bro and bro's fiance w/their new baby while all the guests are there) then go home Sunday a.m., hoping to see BF's baby later in the day. On the other hand, BM has nothing precluding her from taking the baby to (ahem) her *fiance's mother's house* any other time that weekend to be back by Sunday afternoon. So, BF would have either had to miss the gathering, or drive separately to bro's (4-hour round-trip in his gas-sucking truck) to make it back for the arbitrarily-dictated time BM set up Sunday a.m., just to be able to sit there and hold his kid for an hour while BM, fiance, and her family watch him like a hawk -- which is what they do each time he visits. BTW, BF told BM when she dictated Sunday a.m. that this time was not good b/c he usually saw me on weekends (I live an hour away), whereas he's in town every single weekday and can visit then, but she refused to allow other times.

So I'd ask instead, is taking the baby to see her "other grandma" (yes, that's how BM refers to her fiance's mother, who sees kid more often that BF's mom - her REAL grandma) at the only time BF can see her without missing a significant family gathering more important than being flexible and letting her father come visit a few hours later on Sunday? Or, agreeing to make it up another day during the week when BF is there, which BM also REFUSES to do? Is it MORE IMPORTANT for BM to be afforded every convenience to come and go as she pleases? BM lives w/her fiance and just bought a house in another town; she sets the day care hours despite BF being free to care for baby while she's working; she dictates visitation times without even discussing what works for BF... Basically, she continues on with her life as if the child is hers with her fiance, and acts is if BF should just cut the support chec and thank his lucky stars she "lets" him see his child at all.

Hopefully, the judge will take all that into consideration when they appear tomorrow for court, and BF will actually get meaningful time with his child and input into the parenting scheduling w/out having to bend to BM's every whim.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Sssshhh, don't let her rattle you, Jecausta.

--"just to be able to sit there and hold his kid for an hour while BM, fiance, and her family watch him like a hawk -- which is what they do each time he visits."--

Obviously 'visitation' has currently been scheduled and carefully orchestrated to make it very difficult and extremely uncomfortable for your BF. My guess is BM was and still is hoping to make the 'visitation' as undesirable as she can in hopes your BF will 1)not come to begin with and now 2) grow rapidly fed-up with the climate and cease coming. Seriously, who actually sets up a one hour Sunday morning visitation (especially undiscussed and agreed to)? It's just another intimadation card for BM to use.

For now she gets away with it, and yes, hopefully court will help change this. Be sure your BF has talked to his lawyers about agreed parenting plans. I have a hunch with this particular BM the plan should be over-the-top detailed (leaving no room for interpretation glitches). Don't leave open language that BM will be able to 'get around' and force your BF back into the courtroom wait game over issues loosely implied (that a rational person would view one way but language actually leaves wide open for 'oh, I don't think #1, or #3 means THAT'.)

Think of everything (even things which seem trivial or usual non-issuses to most co-parents) and have them discussed and agreed to going into developmenting the parenting plan. And don't forget to consider some clause of 'right of first refusal'.

Good luck to your BF. No, he should not be feeling guilty in missing one 'visitation' under the current circumstances of their arrangement. If BM were being truly reasonable (in a true fashion of co-parenting and encouraging opposite parent relationships) even under the current set-up she would have offered another lousy hour...surely baby isn't going to fake Gma's for the entire day and evening.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 5:21PM
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"even if it's 50-50, in NY the rule in that case is the higher income-earner pays support to the other"

Actually, what my ex and I found (and we are in NY) is that according to our mediators there was no set formula for couples that want to do true 50-50 custody (legal and physical, share all costs equally, etc.), because all the support formulas were based on the concept of a "custodial parent", and in our case there is none. According to the agreement, whoever the children are physically with is the custodial parent at that time. We were basically left to figure out our own support. Based on the fact that at that time, she was just starting out her nursing career and I made over twice what she was making, I had no problem giving her something so she could afford to keep the house, but I thought it was insane that there was no set support formula for this situation, maybe it's changed, but it was only 5 years ago that we did this. And yes, as awful as getting divorced was, I thank my lucky stars that we were able to stay out of family court....I've heard too many stories over the years of guys who have gone through hell in the courts.

"So the bachelor party is more important than seeing his baby?

Yeah I thought that statement was a bit of a reach too.....I am glad the OP cleared it up and jmt agreed. While the implication is usually that the bachelor party is just a bunch of guys and booze and strippers, more often than not it's just guys being their for their friend....same as a bridal shower. And it's usually a scheduled thing involving lots of other people, so not so easy to do it at another time....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 7:06PM
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@JMT -- you are right about the detail. When I helped my cousin with his issue, that's how his parenting plan had to be (and his BM seized on every ambiguity). Given that experience, I have tried to help BF think of every contingency, and I've generally got a pretty good eye for detail... did I mention I'm a contract lawyer?

@kroopy -- That is correct mostly, with the caveat being that 50-50 'shared parenting' is typically only allowed in NY if both parents *want* it and can work together well enough to pull it off (i.e., they are not so embittered by divorce or break-up that they are unable to communicate).

Here, BM has already indicated she will NOT agree to such arrangement voluntarily -- meaning in our backward state, she can create the very uncooperativeness that would prevent a joint custody/50-50 arrangement and then benefit from it by being awarded sole custody because it's in the 'best interest' of the child not to have the parents fighting with each other. I am hoping BF's lawyer is competent enough to point out this ridiculous hypocrisy, push them into mediation (where any reasonable person should be able to see what her game is). Failing that, if the court won't give them joint legal custody with reasonable equally physical custody after a haering, I hope it awards BF sole custody so as not to let BM and parents like her get away with such behavior and pervert the intended purpose of the law in protecting the child. BF has a lot of facts in his favor, so I am crossing my fingers for him...

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Yes, it is indeed a f*cking shame that a system exists where it is extremely in a mother's self-interest financially to NOT have a civil relationship with her ex.

As much as my ex screwed me over in the things she did to me, I have always considered myself very fortunate that she did not take this approach, and that she has a strong sense of independence and wanted to work and be able to support herself, rather than just have me pay her way....which quite honestly, she could have, based on my earnings and that fact that she was a stay-at-home for most of the kids's lives before we split.

And of course she always tells me this...looking for appreciation or something. I tell her it's like stabbing someone in the back, and then looking for gratitude because you stitched up the wound....not happening.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Just wondering what happened in court on Tuesday ?
I am really hoping baby's father got joint custody. And a visitation plan that will allow him to be a father.
Still, Jecusta, what's going on with you?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:10AM
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@kroopy, it sounds like you were lucky to keep things as amicable as they are where your kids are concerned. At least the 'back-stabbing' your ex did was constrained to your relationship with her, and did not extend to how you interract regarding the children.

@laVerne, it was a 1st appearance. The judge set 2 visits per week, 3 hours each, returning to court next month. BM wants to 'inspect' BF's house to make sure it's set up for in-home visits, and he agreed. His lawyer said it made him look better to the judge. They didn't get into many other details. BF asked BM to reschedule 1 day so he can attend a wedding with me out of town. BF's mom also plans to give BF a baby shower, so he asked to take the baby Sat. p.m. that day instead of his usual a.m. so his family and friends can finally meet her. So far, BM's response is, "we'll see." Oh, BM also asked BF and his mother to sign an 'attendance sheet' on last night's visit, though the court didn't order any such thing. How condescending...

I am planning to go on his Sat. a.m. visit with BF and his mom this weekend to finally meet the baby. BM's mom will be watching baby, but BM will stop home on her lunch break so I can meet her, too. I am sure it will be very awkward, but it will finally make the situation 'real' to me. I am kind of in a holding pattern right now and not sure what will happen long term. BF/BM go back to court next month, hopefully he'll get a schedule that not only allows him to see the baby but me as well. Like I told him, I got involved with (what I thought was) a single, unattached guy with no baggage who could pick up and move in w/me if we stayed together. That is not the case now, and I don't really feel that our continuing to live an hour apart and seeing each other just on weekends is sufficient for a relationship.

In the meantime, anyone know what is an appropriate gift to buy your BF's child he had with another woman at a baby shower thrown by his mother? Suggestions welcome :-/

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 10:28AM
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"BF/BM go back to court next month, hopefully he'll get a schedule that not only allows him to see the baby but me as well."

This is why I said BF needs to educate himself as to his rights as a father. BM can not dictate who sees the child on the father's time. Your BF needs to be careful not to allow the BM too much power. He'll be setting a precedent. If BM is allowed to always get her way now, she will fight any attempts BF may make when he tries to assert his rights later on. I know he doesn't want to cause waves, but he needs to gently but assertively claim his rights and not allow the BM to control what goes on in his house.

BF should keep his own records as to how much time he spends with his daughter. If BM gives him a headache about changing the visitation schedule it may be best to just go by the temporary court order for now.

Good luck meeting the BM. My advice - keep the meeting short and cordial. After you meet her there is no reason for the two of you to ever talk again. All communication with BM should be handled by BF. It will help keep drama to a minimum.

And an appropriate gift for the baby - diapers!!

"Like I told him, I got involved with (what I thought was) a single, unattached guy with no baggage who could pick up and move in w/me if we stayed together. That is not the case now ..."

I agree with you that seeing each other only on the weekends is not enough for a relationship. Especially if your end goal is to live together, you want to get an idea of how life would be during weekdays. Aside from the BM drama, that is another issue you will have to consider.

It would be wrong to expect him to move to be closer to you and away from his daughter. Moving away would also affect his changes in his current custody battle. So that means you would have to move in with him, or get a place in his area. Which means you might have to leave your job. If you do that and things don't work out, or issues with the BM cause stress in your relationship, you may resent the sacrifice you've made to be with him. Something else to think about.

Just re-reading your post, you state that ya'll currently live one hour apart. In the past year that the two of you have been dating, how much time have ya'll actually spent together? Has it just been on the weekends for the past year? How did ya'll meet? I would strongly caution against putting all my eggs into a basket with someone that I've only have a long distance relationship with so far.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:31AM
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It sounds like your BF's mother is being very supportive of her son...which is good considering he was afraid/ashamed to tell his family just a short time ago.

If I wore BF, I'd have his mother do a quick run through of his home prior to the 'inspection'. BM will be looking for anything and everything to note during her go-through. Perhaps BF is aware of all the 'little' things, but having never had a baby nor one in his home, I think a female who has raised children through all stages (infant/toddler blah blah) might spot areas that a single new father may not. BM will not only be looking for a crib (bedding, bottles, changes of clothing, bath supplies ect) but she'll look at carpeting (spotless and fresh as baby will be crawling soon), sharp edges (a matter of months about crawling baby starts pulling herself up on edges of furniture ect). Basically have him read a good 'baby proofing your home' book.

The shower sounds fun. The gift should be whatever you would buy a good friend's baby if you were attending someone else's baby shower. Some parents even register at shops for baby shower gifts. It's not the child's fault how she got here, she's here and should be treated no differently than any other baby at a shower. Actually you might phone Gma and see what she already has planned she is giving (grandma's tend to go overboard) and you'd be able to maybe think of something other than the standard things everyone else will gift ( a baby can only use x amount of clothing, blankets ect but you might be surprised how welcomed a gift card for a round of the boring stuff like diapers and formula are appreciated). A more personal gift suggeston also might be a photo of Dad holding little baby in a nice picture frame (perhaps even engraved).

As far as the baby/BM meet, head up, shoulders straight and be yourself. Your a mature intellignt young lady, I'm sure you can handle yourself in ackward meetings for a few hours. Polite and civil. If they use the opportunity to 'attack' you and/or discuss topics you feel you'd rather not be a part of, excuse yourself (take the car and go have coffe or something and come back to pick up Gma/BF) just don't let them use this meeting to set up BF and his chances of obtaining his goals of being a part of his daughter's life (more visitation, his home visits blah blah).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:04PM
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I did not mean to sound troll-like. That's just how I read your statement:

BF's brother has his bachelor party this weekend out of town, so he asked to move the visit up from Sunday a.m. to p.m., but BM said no -- she is taking baby to her 'other' grandma's (meaning her fiance's mother's), so he and his mom miss out on their 1 hour visit.. she left a voicemail telling him this and saying 'we'll discuss it in court.'

BM had other plans for that afternoon. You are assuming his plans are more important than hers. She didn't agree.

I'm not siding with BM. She obviously feels she has more rights than your BF.

Just remember that YOU have no rights in this, except to accept the situation or leave. This guy is not unencumbered like you thought (and he thought) when you met him.

I wonder why BM told him about the baby at all, if they were never going to see each other again. Evidently she wasn't advised that there's more to it than the money.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 4:37PM
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@JMT - good suggestions, I will see how it goes Sat., and see what BF's mom thinks re shower gifts.

@Amber/susan - as to BM trying to have all the power, I've told BF to stand up and be firm, without being pushy. No, BM shouldn't dictate who else sees baby on BF's visits, but it's at her house and she legally can deny entry if she wants until BF gets visits at his place. Yes, she can make plans too, but never is flexible for BF, whom she allows so little time w/baby already, no matter how special his plans are or the ease with which she could change hers to accommodate his if she chose to. BM clearly "gets off" on her control of the situation.

@Susan -- BM only involved BF for the money. She has said she'd not have allowed visits at all, but her lawyer said she must. So, maybe she was advised that there is "more to it," but now that baby's here it's too late and she's done all she can to direct the course of things.

True, I have no *legal* rights, but I can (and should) voice my concerns to BF and if the situation does not reach a point I can 'accept,' yes, I'll have to leave. The fact that BM has been immature, unreasonable, controlling and condescending so far makes me think it'll be very hard to accept and live with it...

@Amber -- BF and I would see each other every weekend and sometimes once mid-week. Before I knew about a baby on the way, BF talked about moving here. No way I can leave my (well-paying) job, there are no similar opportunities in his small town and I have student loans to pay, plus I work long days already so commuting for me is problematic whereas he gets mileage to/from work. Best I can do is move to westside (now on east) and he'd have a 35-40 min commute. Assuming BF and BM split driving so each picks up baby on their days with her, that's not a horrible drive a few days a week, but it's certainly not as convenient as now. On the other hand, schools out my way are *much* better than the crap district BM and fiance moved into, so one would think in the long run it'd actually be best for BF's daughter, if she can get a superior education.

Anyway, I won't sacrifice my career for this uncertain situation, not having ever lived with BF or knowing what future with child and BM holds. I also can't continue living an hour apart, feeling more like I have a pen pal than a partner. BF now of course has even less time for me, which wasn't much to start with, but I shouldn't have to put my life on hold while he sorts out his issues. I may suggest taking a break so he's not half-assing being a dad and a boyfriend, and see what happens.

Thanks for all the helpful advice. I am still going to meet BM Sat., see what happens on the return court date next month, and take it from there.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 6:12PM
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So visitation takes place at BM's house - ugh - that does throw a monkey wrench into things.

Well, it doesn't sound like moving closer to BF would be an option for you, so you are sort of in a holding pattern until you figure out what you want to do. I can see that BM is going to be a thorn in BF's side for a long time.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:54AM
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