I am going to reveal details of a personal nature here. These details may reveal who I am to anyone looking to finally expel me from the organization - but frankly that it of little importance compared to what I am now having to decide. I ask those who here - with either the qualifications, or who can direct me to those with such, to respond. I can make this decision without your aid - but I know there are many here who could and will add insight that has not occured to me. So here goes;
My only daughter is the mother of three children - all have different fathers. She is currently incarcerated for a non-violent crime, but one that will see her behind bars for some time to come. Wifey and I have become the 'parents in abstensia', both out of a sense of obligation to keep the kids together, and out of natural love of family. The girls are 6 and 4 years respectively. The boy is just 18 months old. We have had them in our custody pretty much since the day he was born.
The girls are having 'identiy issues' already - questions like "Why do we not have the same Daddy?" or "When is my Daddy going to come over and see me?" Things like that - but it is on their minds. The grandson has no idea at his age of any of this - He calls me 'Pa' and his grandmother 'Ma'. He has only seen his mom a couple times due to distance.
Herein lies the rub of the moment: Last nite we get a letter from our daughter informing us that the boys' Dad has been in touch with her, and that he may wish to initiate contact with his biological son. He has not ever seen him to my knowledge. He has been a 'sperm donor' at best. Anyway - in anticipation of our surprise at this she has asked us to 'treat him with kindness' should he show up here. Of course, we treat all with kindness, so this goes unspoken. But this guy has no legal rights at this point - he has never claimed patternity, he is not named as father on the BC, and I don't even know the guys name at this point.
Wifey and I are of opinion that we should take the position that if he wants to be a 'father' to this child, he needs to legally establish his paternity, then obtain legal visitation or custody as the law allows, before we will allow him contact with the child. Otherwise we are not going to allow a virtual stranger into our home. We are further concerned about confusing the role model issues with the girls.Their 'fathers' [can you say sperm donors] are not involved in their lives much at this point. One is a dead-beat dad most of the time, and has only seen his bio-daughter a few times. The other is also in jail on unrelated matters.
I think this is the way we should go. But I don't know the law in this regard. We have legal custody of the child, have supported him and the girls 100% for the past year and a half, provide well for them in all regards. In short, we are doing our best to be good parent/grandparents in a very emotional and difficult time for these children. Seems as though the state agencies have little helpful advise - apparently the problem is so widespread they are just content to leave good enough alone if the kids are together and well cared for.
I know this must sound like we are a messed up family. Not really so. Our daughter has lead a seriously dangerous lifestyle in rebellion against all things in authority, and has brought a host of problems on all of us - but wifey and I are solid, hard-working, respectable people. We live in a decent neighborhood, have a dog and two cats, care about our neighbors, have a good reputation, and spend too much time on apostate websites. [just a little levity there to lighten the mood].
Sorry for the length of this post - please advise if you are qualified or experienced in matters similar. Of course all opinions are ok- but we really want to have some sound advice in this matter from those 'in the know' so to speak.
I will be away at work most the weekend - but any thoughts on the matter are appreciated and I will check them later today also.
Thank you all for listening - though this is not a pity party - I know that good advice can come from the fine people here, and that is the reason I post this matter.