I am faced with serious decisions here - Can you help me find the answer?..

by AK - Jeff 24 Replies latest social family

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    I did a short internship with a county Department of Assigned Counsel-Dependency Unit..not really familiar with the laws...only slightly. You have a serious situation on your hand. Most states have laws mandate that their first priority is to keep the family unit together. In this case, the "family" is your daughter, this gentleman, and your grandchild. You MUST seek to obtain legal guardianship of your grandchildren.

    As the biological father, many states will be obligated to grant him visitation and/or custody should he legally request it. However, you can raise questions as to his fitness to parent, i.e., is he a drug abuser? If so, he will have to provide UAs to prove he is no longer using. Does he have a history of violence? Then ask for supervised visitation. This most likely WILL trigger involement by your local Department of Social and Healther Services.

    Your daughter's opinion will play a large part in any visitation/custody arrangment also. Hopefully, he is unable to manipulate her negatively. I can not over emphasize to you the seriousness of this situation. Please seek legal counsel.

    May Jehovah bless and protect your family.

  • Honesty
    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.

    That is exactly what I would do in the same situation.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff
    After that, both parties lost interest. ; In their case it seemed they were just curious and dropped their plans to pursue a relationship after they met once.(

    rebel8 - I think this is a possibility that may happen- he may not even show up here. he has shown 0 interest till now.

    I agree you should make him prove paternity and also with the other person that said not to let him come to your home.

    Yes, ferret - as a matter of fact, wifey and I just discussed when she got home and agreed to that if he shows up.

    and so hard for your grandchildren to understand everything that's going on.

    Yes, Becka, our greatest concern at this moment.

    You MUST seek to obtain legal guardianship of your grandchildren

    Justitia - yes we do already have legal guardianship - the bio dad is not proven to be the dad yet - he is not named father and no paternity has been established for him. I think he will back off if it comes to that - he will need to prove paternity before anything else happens. As far as keeping the family together - the best situation for that is in our home - all the father's are dead beats - and our daughter is in prison. Thanx for the support Bob -appreciate it much. jeff

  • jwfacts

    I think that if the father wants access then he also should accept some responsibilty. He should start making child payments to you.

    I would feel uncomfortable having a person with such little respect for responsibilty and natural fatherly affection into my house, or even knowing where I live. It would be better to arrange visitations at some other location.

  • blondie

    Hi, first, I'm not a lawyer, but I have worked in this area in the past.

    First, never assume that because his name is not on the BC that he has no rights. Unless he legally signed away his rights, or the state has legally ended his parental rights, there can be a legal problem. Parents tend to be given consideration above other relatives unless it has been proven that they pose a danger to their child. Also, legally, your daughter is still their parent. Thus, she can make decisions regarding their care you may not like but can do nothing legally about.

    So check what the laws are in your state.

    For him to get legal guardianship, you are right, he has to establish his paternity, and be financially responsible for his child to the degree determined by that state. I doubt he wants to take on that responsibility. It would be good to check legally what your daughter's wishes play in this.

    Second, do a check on him. Many states have a website where you can see what crimes they have been convicted of. Check with the police department (sheriff or court) where he lives to see what they will release on his status in the community.

    And, be sure to check with child services and a private lawyer to see what your legal rights are and the rights of the child; the child's rights can supersede what your daughter wants.

    Good luck.


  • jgnat

    I like all the ideas about the steps the sperm donor should take earn some visitation. I'd take the attitude that you would like to help, but your primary concern is this man's son. You want to do this the right way.

    Perhaps this young man has done some soul-searching, and identifying with his child is part of the reason he wants to grow up. If so, he'll stay the course. Also, here in Canada there are usually third party agencies that can assist with the first meeting and give advice on how to prepare your grandchild. Perahps there is something similar there in the states.

    The child's interests must come first.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Thanx jwfacts, blondie, and jgnat.

    Most everyone agrees with the basic premise here. At this point I think the course we will take is to force the bio-dad to establish paternity or take whatever other legal steps he thinks he might have before we allow any contact with either us or the child.

    Whatever the law allows, we of course are of neccessity obliged to abide to, and will of course. Our daughter has assigned us 'custodial rights' and that legal position is key at the moment I believe. She has no ability to make decisions regarding the day-to-day affairs of her children while in prison. That assignment is ours at the moment, both pragmatically and legally. The bio father has never been named, and I believe it would be impossible to convince any judge otherwise without paternity testing.

    At this point - our hope is that this is a momentary whim by the bio-dad that will soon pass and we may never hear from him. If he pops into the picture, all the support we have had here has aided my confidence that I am seeing the picture from several angles. I honestly believe that awareness that we are just not going to 'roll over' and let him enter the boy's life without legal establishment of his right to do so, and the obvious awareness that it will mean financial committments from him to accomplish that, will most likely be enough for him to forget the notion. If on the other hand he has grown up and really wants to take on the honest responsibility of being a full time dad - or a part time one while careing for part of the financial aspects of that - then does the right things to assure that he is a man and not just a sperm donor - that would be the right thing to do, although it would require great changes all around. The primary consideration is not what any of the adults want - but what is best for the child. Ultimately the courts may have to decide that - but we hope that it will be a moot point in consideration of the above and past conduct of the 'father', who has shown precisely zero interest till now.

    Thank you all for your support. I can truly say that in more than four decades of being a Jw, I never recieved as much support on anything, and with such honest concern displayed. It does my heart glad that you all care. It restores my faith in people to have such kindness displayed. Others have pm'd me with similar suggestions and they remain anon by choice - but I thank you also.



    I just wanted to state what the others have...you and your wife are doing a noble thing to raise those children and give them as stable a life as possible. I keep seeing programs where this is happening more and more...grandparents are raising their grandchildren. I'm just thankful for the kids that they have you and your wife!!! I hope everything works out for the best....


  • bikerchic

    Ditto what SWALKER said:

    I just wanted to state what the others have...you and your wife are doing a noble thing to raise those children and give them as stable a life as possible. I keep seeing programs where this is happening more and more...grandparents are raising their grandchildren. I'm just thankful for the kids that they have you and your wife!!! I hope everything works out for the best....


    You are both hero's in my eyes and your grandchildren are very lucky to have such caring grandparents.

  • Thegoodgirl

    I'm no lawyer or psychologist, so I'm just speaking as someone's daughter.

    My dad had an undiagnosed psychological disorder, which was finally diagnosed at age 52. (He had been in rehab 4 times before it was diagnosed.) Once diagnosed and treated with meds and rehab, he became a different person. He has always been involved in me and my sisters' lives, but only recently has established consistant contact with my half-sister. I'm sure my half-sister had a bad opinion of him for years, and for good reason. But he now calls her often and is always willing to visit, though she is usually hesitant, which is understandable.

    Basically I'm saying don't throw this guy away as a total dirtbag, he may have good intentions, and if he is ever able to pull his act together, he may have a positive impact on the boy's life.

    BUT, that said, I totally agree with doing this legal beagle. He may just be "curious" and not really interested in taking a responsibility at this time. So I would get a lawyer, but like you said, be amicable.

Share this