My daughter married her husband “Fred” last summer. Fred is a Sargent in the US Army and is currently deployed in Iraq. Prior to dating my daughter, Fred had a girlfriend “Betty”, whom he casually dated for a few months. While Fred was fighting overseas, Betty, who is still unmarried, posted on Facebook that she had just had a baby. She contacted Fred privately to let him know that she believed the child was his. While Fred was skeptical that he was the father, he acknowledged that it was possible that he was the father.
Once my daughter became aware of the situation she pushed for both parties to have blood tests to determine whether Fred was or wasn’t the father. Since Fred was still in Iraq this made it logistically challenging, but blood was drawn and sent to a lab for testing. My daughter learned this week that Fred was in fact the father. Fred has stepped up and agreed to take responsibility, including paying child support, which will be mandated by the state. He also wants to be part of the child’s life, as does my daughter, since they don’t have any children of their own yet. My daughter is contacting a lawyer to find out what rights and obligations they have in regard to this child.
While I applaud that everyone seems to be comfortable with this arrangement, the question comes up what is my relationship to this child? I suppose to my daughter this child is like a stepchild, even though Fred and Betty were never married. And I realize, of course, that Fred’s parents, my daughter’s in-laws, are now grandparents, but I don’t feel like a grandparent myself. While I have no blood relationship to this child, someone might say that I now have a step-grandchild. In fairness to the child and my daughter, should I treat this child as a grandchild? It somehow doesn’t seem quite right given the circumstances.
What say the teeming masses?