March 27, 2008,
D.B. asks from Houston, TX on March 26, 2008
My 8 Year Old Her Step Dad, and Her Biological Absentee Father, Please Help!
my daughter is 8 years old now, until recently, at age 7 she met her bilogical dad and his mom. The last time she saw them she was 1 year old so literally she had to meet them again. In the meantime i moved on with my life went back to collge, got a degree, recently got engaged, my fiance has been with me and my daughter since she was 2. He truly loves her like she was his own and she identifies with him and will tell anyone that he is her daddy. since she didnt know her biological father when he came into her life it was very negative for her, right now, he is no longer in her life, she hasnt seen or talked to him and doesn't want to. She will tell anybody that he IS NOT her dad and will say that her step dad is. He bought her a couple of stuffed animals and she beats the hell out of them, recently we moved and she chose to throw them away, she does things that she never used to do before, walk around saying that he is not her daddy, she doesn't like them, and that his mom is not her grandmother (grandmother did the ulmitate, she promised her a gift for x-mas dec 07 and a gift for her b-day feb 08 and she still hasnt gotten it yet) my daughter is totally turned off from them. I dont know how to respond to her, I cant make her accept them. Recently, at the beginning of march one of my cousins said she went to Marshalls in Meyerland and he was working in the store? Said he ran up on her, digging in his pockets trying to give her $100 to give to me, my cousin told him no it's too spontaneous, (he doesnt pay child support, owes over $20k) but all of a sudden is trying to give? My cousin explained to him that he would do better giving her something tangible, like buying her a dress b.c easter was coming or taking her to toys-r-us. he was then trying t0 buy her a dress out of marshalls but my cousin told him she didnt know her size. Then she called me but I didnt answer, I did call her back but she left the store and explained everything to me, said he was trying to bad-mouth me, and she had to stop him and remind him who has been there for our child, she said she exchanged numbers with him to get in contact with me but then he told her he does not want to talk to me b.c. I changed my phone numbers on him, (i didnt, i moved) she then called him back and told him what size our daughter wears and told him she is playing softball and needs equipment, he said he was going to buy it, then she told him to loose her # b.c. he needs to talk to me about "our" child, he got mad, but to no surprise he has not done anything, I bought my daughters easter dress and I got her equipment for softball, I know his mom has my cell phone # b.c it never changed, yet he claims he doesnt have it and his mother called on her granddaughter's birthday??? I told my cousin if she ever sees him again, whatever, they discuss is between them, don't call ME just because you saw him, or based on what he says he is going to do, what should I do????
So What Happened?™
I want to thank everyone for giving me thier advice, I think at this point after I get married I will file to have my husband adopt my daughter and then seek to terminate his rights. i noticed a lot of moms telling me to go to court about the child support issue but the answer is I did, I went through the Attorney General's office to file support and I went to court about four or five times to enforce support but to no avail. Good luck to anyone else's who uses them at this point I can say the A.G. never helped me. Thank you all so much for providing me with a clearer path.
R.C. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
D., first of all you have a beautiful name! Secondly, I agree with Arlene B. She gave you some great advice and is someone who knows exactly what you are going through.
R.H. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
This is my advice on the situation cause I know first hand what your daughter is going through.I would just tell him and his mom to leave you and your daughter alone cause she don't wanna have anything to do with them.I'm saying this because my biological dad wasn't ther for me either and then he tried to come back into my life when I was in middle school.That wasn't happening cause you haven't been there and you all of a sudden wanna have part in my life.No go take care of your other kids and be apart of their life and leave me alone.Then to make matters worse I got in trouble in Middle School and my mom decided she would call and tell him about it,he wanted to talk to me so I get on the phone and he asked me what was I doing and I'm like you can't tell me what to do so I hung up the phone.When that man was in my life it was a living hell and right now today the man only knows about 1 of my kids because of my Aunt.I'm 31 years old with 3 kids and still don't want anything to do with him what so ever.Let your daughter be the judge if she wants them in her life and go to family court to ask them to tell him he needs to give up his rights to her,and you might wanna take her with you so she can talk for herself and let them know she wants nothing to do with those people.Good Luck
Z.L. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
First you can not just terminate this man's rights, as you know.
Second, for your daughter, I sense that she just needs to be reassured that you and your fiance are not going to abandon her or leave her. She may fear that her "dad" will not be allowed to be her dad anymore.
Children are able to understand and deal with a lot more than they are credited with. What causes them the most fear is when adults hide facts from them. Perhaps you could sit down with her and explain in easy terms the legalities around divorce and child custody. Is there a chance that he will want to exercise his visitation rights? Can he do so, even while not paying child support? These are things for you to find out. BUT the most important at this time is to let her know that her life with you and her dad is not threatened. Also she needs to understand that who he is and what he does has nothing whatsoever to do with her and her value and everything to do with who he is choosing to be.
L.B. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
i think you need to make up your mind - do you want the biological father in your daughters life or not? If not - and if he is willing to give up rights - then cease all contact - forget about child support, quit whining, and move on. If you are as successful as you say you are - you can make it without the additional money.
Since your daughter knows about her biological dad - she probably unconsciously feels hurt because a child can never understand why their parent does not want to be with them or love them. In the meantime, you and your fiance, her future step-father, can create the loving family unit for her. As she gets older and sees more of life - she will come to understand peoples shortcomings better and may desire to get in touch with her dad at that time. If so - you should allow it and not throw around the bitterness that a lot of moms do - because he has not "supported" her for all the years. Your daughter will not cease loving you because she will be aware of who has been there for her.
About me: i am a married 31 years and was a working mom. My kids are now grown. With all the convenient birth control options on the market - i am constantly amazed at all the "unmarried moms" who are then surprised when the "biological father" does not step up to the plate. Had i ever been in that position, i personally would rather raise a child myself without financial assistance if the biological is not totally "on board" with the father role. To me - it is just not worth it - for you or your child. Now - if you are divorced and the child is from that marriage, that is another story...
L.W. answers from Dallas on March 27, 2008
i did not read your entire blog... let your daughter decide for her self what she wants to do about the relationship between her biological father/grandmother. she will learn who is important. the empty promises signifies a lot about the grandmother's personality. you can go to court and get your ex-s wages garnished and if he does not have a j o b, you can go to the grandmother. i would seriously check into this. my ex would only come around when he had a new flavor of the month. i never would tell my child when or when not her father was coming or whatever. he has not seen her since she was 5 years old and she is now 25. it's not like he lives 100s of miles away... only about 40. why stress yourself out over people that do not keep their word. concentrate on your child/yourself and ditch the garbage.
A.B. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
I have been through exactly what you're going through. My son is now 14. He stopped seeing him when he was 4 and came back into his life Nov 2006. He also owes over 20k in back child support. Life's kinda funny. My husband ( his step-father) has been in his life since he was 4 years old. I remember nights when my son would cry and ask why his biological father didn't want him. It tore me up. My son had a lot of anger, bitterness and resentment toward his biological father and who could blame him. I wanted to ease his pain and make this guy disappear for good. There was nothing I could do. This is something your daughter will have to work out over time. Pray with her and ask her to forgive her biological father even though he doesn't deserve it. Explain to her that she didn't do anything wrong and that he's just making bad choices. She's 8 years old and I'm sure she's made some poor choices and will understand what you're saying. Never bad mouth him to her because that will always come back to haunt you. As far as terminating his rights, first you have to be married. In the state of Texas, even if the biological father is consenting, they will not terminate the rights of a parent unless there is an adoption by another parent to take the place of the terminating parent. It's called bastardizing a child. Go figure. Today, my son has somewhat of a relationship with his biological father and has forgiven him more than I have ( a work in progress I say) People change as time goes by with maturity and /or guilt. You never know what the future holds. Just always let your daughter know that she is loved by so many people and whatever the outcome you guys will always be together. Good luck and God bless.
M.P. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
I went through a similar situation. My husband now had been in my daughter's life since she was 2 and my daughter doesn't even know her biological father or his family (mostly by his choice). To her, my husband is her father. He has done EVERYTHING for her and is wonderful father. He wanted to adopt her when we got married (she was 6yrs.old then, now 14) Her biological dad never paid any child support and owed over 15k in arrears. So as we went forward with the adoption proceedings my attorney made a deal with her real dad. If he signed over his parental rights then I would waive the back child support (seeing that I would NEVER get it anyhow) unsurprisingly, he agreed. We finalized it in court and the adoption hearing was so wonderful for both my husband and daughter. It was the right & best thing to do. When she turns 18 & decides she wants to see her biological father then she can, until then he is non-existent. I think that the issue of your child seeing her biological father shouldn't be pressed because obviously there is a lot of resentment, maybe you should look into other options. Best of luck to you,
L.D. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
You need to be very sensitive to this matter. Kids always blame divorce and abandonment on themselves. Especially, since her birth father promises her things and then he doesn't deliver. She may have real resentment issues. Never bad talk her father. He is still a part of her and that hurts. All you can do is give her positive reinforcement. Let her know her Dad's problems have nothing to do with her. One more thing, I was bothered by the statement "your daughter has never been without". Be careful. Children who get everything grow up expecting everything. They don't understand the concept of earning. She will be a much better person if she earns what she wants. Good luck to you and your family. If her father does want to be in the picture and she is willing, let it happen. it never hurts to have two loving fathers. (step and birth)
T.E. answers from Houston on March 27, 2008
Co ntact a family lawyer.