Whoops_there_he_is's picture
Whoops_there_he_is

Paternity Test was positive .Now what?

My partner and I recently found out that he fathered a child 3 years ago.  And the dust is finally settled and now we get *parenting time*...... our question is.......How should we (he) start the process of bringing this 3 year old into our family - without completely turning his little world upside down?  We don't have any other children in the home.

Any one else going through this process?

Thanks!

Carol



acitez's picture
acitez

I'd start by staying in his environment, with his whole family as he understands it. After a while--don't know how long, take him out for hot chocolate at a restaurant. Then you could go to the park without mommy and play in the snow.
I'd have mommy come with him the first few times he comes to your house.
I'd never give him any half-siblings on my side.

Or--I'd just pay the child support and not disrupt his family at all if there is a stable male role model there.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

This same advice would not be given if this were a mother wanting to reconnect to her child after a long absence. Dad needs to work with the mother to allow the child enough time to get to know, and trust him. If there is a stable male in this child's life, tell him thank you for all he has done. This father obviously wants to be part of his childs life, nothing should prevent that. The child and father have each been cheated out of three years that can never be recovered. Good luck.

tamz's picture
tamz

Well, congratulations! You should start by being objective and remind yourself to deal with each issue as it comes up without distortion by your personal feelings of jealousy or entitlement. Trust me, you will have certain feelings, such as these, throughout this process. We all have these feelings at times with situations like this. So, just be aware in advance and try to be open minded and put the childs needs first.

Once you realize this is going to be "work" and sometimes emotional then jump in and support your partner.

I believe you should start by visiting the child in his environment if possible. NEVER NEVER engage in conflict with his mother in front of him. If everyone agrees then it is best to start slow and get to know him before you take him out of his environment alone. If everyone does not agree then meet them out at the park or a restaurant a few times to get him comfortable with you.

That's a good start ... Good luck and remember be patient and supportive, this stuff is not easy.

Whoops_there_he_is's picture
Whoops_there_he_is

Thank you for your responses!!

The current plan is..... my partner will be spending time with the little guy in his home, with his family there for first two visits, then they will visit the third time at the little guys favorite playland. If all goes well, the 4th visit will be back to our home for the afternoon. Overnight is not scheduled as yet. Keep us in your prayers that the little guy is comfortable and confident with his *new family*.

Carol

*just paying child support and staying out of his life IS NOT going to happen. That would just be too hard to explain to this young man when he gets old enough to realize that dad's wallet was available, but dad wasn't.

Whoops_there_he_is's picture
Whoops_there_he_is

Picked up the little guy for the weekend.
He is a great kid..... mom sent along his new medication.
1. antibiotic for the infected toe that had 7 stitches.... *mom replied I don't have to tell you that, after dad asked what happened to his foot.
2. Trazadone (?) what the heck!! He is 4 years old and shows absolutely NO SIGNS of depression or insomnia.
Should we feel bad about going to the doctor's office and getting the medical records re: the injury and the diagnosis for the use of the antidepressant?
Dad's attorney will be made aware of these issues.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I'm confused. How is an antibiotic for a toe related to antidepressant medication? Is this little guy taking 2 different meds? And depressed at 4? Dad needs to get a second opinion. Definitely consult a lawyer as you mentioned. This whole thing sounds really strange. Dad has every right knowing what's going on w/ his son. If mom says none of your business and something happens to this boy, she'll have a lot of explaining to do. Even dad can be held accountable if he doesn't look into the situation further.

acitez's picture
acitez

I was depressed at 6. It could be that the medication is effective and that is why you don't see signs of depression.
Yes, dad does need to know what is going on. The injury--if it is not part of a pattern I would not be concerned, but the fact that someone said it's not your business kind of makes me think it is your business.

Whoops_there_he_is's picture
Whoops_there_he_is

We have had the child every Friday and every other weekend for the last two months.
The toe injury though scary looking, has healed nicely and the course of antibiotics has taken care of the infection.
The Trazadone medication is the newest thing going on. Don't know for sure exactly what date that was started, but, he didn't have it in March when we had him for overnight visits.
My partner received the *none of your business* response when he inquired about the injury, and again when he inquired about the Trazadone prescription. Mom slammed the door on dad when he asked what is he on trazadone for, and she replied *his anxiety issue* just prior to slamming the door.
This parent is the one that says to her 4 year old, while he is crying, while getting ready for his visit with us, * I know you don't want to go with this guy*! Our attorney suggested we give it a few months then, go back into court and discuss the issues that have arose.
Dad will be visiting the childs' doctor and medical records after the Holiday.

acitez's picture
acitez

Maybe it would be good for the child to go back to just daytime visitation, as he has anxiety issues that started after the overnight visits began.

His mom is probably just acknowledging what he has told her--he doesn't want to leave his home to spend time with his bio-dad. You are strangers.

I also repeat one item of advice from my original response. He does not need half-siblings. If you stay in this relationship, you need to be committed to this kid, not have some of your own.

I think his world is turned upside down. I am genuinely sorry.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I don't think it's fair to say this couple shldn't have children of their own b/c of dad having a child from another relationship. I understand how it may complicate things more at first, but it doesn't sound like dad wldn't give his son equal amounts of attention. He sounds like a well intentioned father who cares about the well being of his child. Otherwise, why wld he fight for visitation or show concern about his son's health issues?
Maybe having more children at this time is not the best idea, but when things settle down a bit and dad builds a stronger bond w/ his son, why not? Maybe having more children around to play w/ is a good thing for both dad and his son.
I do agree that this boy is probably exhibiting some anxiety about having to get to know a new family, but I don't agree that he shld be put on meds for it, especially at 4 yrs old. Of course I'm no expert and I don't know this child personally. And as acitez said, she was depressed at 6, so there are real cases that shld be explored further. I just feel that other options shld be explored first, such as seeking counceling w/ a child psychologist.
Another thing: I think that mom feels resentment towards dad for coming into her son's life and turning things upside down. I think the 'none of your business' comment was said out of anger b/c mom may feel a bit threatened by dad's presence in their child's life. I can understand that b/c we can't deny that dad has complicated the situation for this little boy, but we have to accept that he has a right to be in this child's life if he chooses to. It's the law, and mom just has to deal w/ that. I don't think she likes it, but she knows she can't do anything about it.
For the sake of this boy, mom needs to accept that dad wants to be in his son's life. Any friction between these parents will only make the boy more anxious. As for dad, I only hope he remains commited to his son. It's very important that both parents are in his life, even if they are apart. As long as they work together for the sake of their son, I don't see why this young man can't grow up to be a well adjusted individual.