When baby-daddy refuses to acknowlege daddy-hood.

Needing some advice here on behalf of my daughter.

(Caveat: she is currently applying through the Australian courts to assure paternity according to the laws as they apply here as the daddy refused to sign the Birth Certificate)

My daughter met this amazing fella :rolleyes: a few years back, and consequently had her first child to him nearly three years ago. They split as a couple only a few weeks later, and since then he has been somewhat lacklustre in terms of regular contact with the child, and child-support has been also not necessarily forthcoming on a regular basis either.

However (and yes, she is a dill) she found herself pregnant to him again…and the new little babe is now 3 months old. She now lives close-by to the daddy who wants to maintain bi-weekly access to the FIRST child, but refuses to acknowledge that the little baby even exists. And we all doubt that even DNA evidence will persuade him to take on this baby as his own…even though the poor little tyke is a dead ringer for his daddy.

This is not about money. The daddy-person (being self-employed) has managed to minimise his taxable income to the lowest possible scale, so any child-support he would be legally liable for is minimal. My daughter is not wanting or needing extra income. It’s about accepting that this new child is his, and is deserving of having a daddy put his name on the Birth Certificate, and to be able to visit him with his big brother on equal terms.

There are current arrangements for access to the kids twice a week, but the daddy is loathe to take the little fella, even though he doesn’t need feeding in that time, nor much apart from a bit of coo-ing and baby play. He’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want anything to do with him AT ALL. :frowning:

My concern is that if he continues to see the older child on a regular basis (as he has requested) it will play havoc with the family relationships at home with his mum and little brother. Playing favourites is doomed to screw up everyone, and I wonder whether this is his ploy.

Any similar experiences or advice welcomed!

Seriously, Kam, she needs to apply for full custody and get this deadbeat out of their lives completely. He was being a jackass three years ago and nothing has changed. At best, he should have supervised visitation. Also, a call to the tax office is in order.

All of the above have been done Eliahna. She has full custody, has contacted the ATO (yeah, that was a complete wank of course…he claimed his income was $23k pa, but it’s more like $223 pa) and as you might know the Child-Support Agency are toothless tigers so to speak…

Yeah, he was a complete shit with the first kid, but he’s being an even BIGGER arsehole with babe # 2. She’s just all soppy that he won’t acknowledge the little one as being. He’s such a grouse little baby, I find it hard to understand how anybody, let alone a DADDY could reject him. And seriously, he is a dead ringer for Dad.


Damn. Is she open to the idea of emigrating?

The main concern is that he (Daddy) is more than happy to maintain contact with the older kid, but wants nothing to do with the little bloke. My advice to my daughter was for her to cut ALL contact for both kids, but I’m curious as to others’ experiences with this sort of situation, where the non-custodial parent wants to see one but not the other.

Emigrating ain’t an option at the moment for my daughter, but the baby-daddy might flee home to Chile to escape child-support obligations, coward that he is and as light as they are. :rolleyes:

Sounds like the guy’s a loser but I imagine you’ve already figured that out.

Tough situation. You can use the law to force a father to take financial responsibility for his children but I don’t think you can force somebody to accept emotional responsibility. If this guy has decided for some reason he’s only interested in the older child, I don’t think you can make him take a similar interest in the younger one.

So what do you do? Threaten to sever his relationship with the older child if he doesn’t show an equal interest in both children? You may end up in a situation where the older child loses what paternal connection it has without the younger child gaining anything. Or you might convince the guy to go through the motions of being a father to the younger child while not having any real interest. And being exposed to a disinterested father might be as bad for the child as not having any father at all.

Yeah, this!

But also I wondered whether the older child, having a relationship with his father, might impact detrimentally upon the younger child who has no such relationship…has anybody had such a situation??

I know bub is only three months old, but perhaps family counselling or similar can help your daughter work out what she will tell the child and when, to help him grow up with an acceptance of his father’s behaviour and an understanding that it’s not his fault. I did consider doing something similar with my daughter and her absentee father, but I’ve been muddling through it on my own. When we talk about him I tell her that he doesn’t think he would be any good at being a daddy and he’s too scared to try, and that I think he’s a little bit silly because we should always try to do important things even if they scare us. I try to emphasise that he’s not a bad person, but that I think he made a bad decision, and I tell that that I love being her mummy and that I feel a bit sorry for him because he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on. I hope I’m not screwing her up with that, but it’s hard to know what to tell a 4.5 year old. I don’t want her to think he’s evil, so I’m shooting for misguided.

I honestly don’t know how I’d go about explaining your situation… That one’s a stumper.

That’s such a poisoned chalice he’s offering kid 1 - yeah I’ll be your (weekend) dad but only at the expense of stiffing your little brother. And IME even minor amounts of favouritism in families ( much more minor than that) can have enormously destructive effects. I don’t think what he’s offering the big kid is nearly enough to compensate for the wedge he’s going to drive between the boys, if he’s allowed to get away with that crap.

Normally I’d be in favor of baby daddy being involved with his child…but not when he’s so obviously favoring one child over another. This guy is positively toxic, and I think that he’s going to poison the whole family if he’s allowed to interact with the first kid and ignore the younger one. I don’t see how this can benefit anyone in the family.

Now maybe, MAYBE he’s one of those guys who are intimidated by infants, and he’ll warm up to the second child later on. Still, baby daddy needs to realize that he can’t just waltz into a child’s life after ignoring him for the first couple of years.

It’s strange how everyone assumes he’s the father to both children He obviously doubts the second child is his.

I suggest you all get that figured out before you take any other advice here.

Unless this child arrived as a result of an immaculate conception, it is indeed his child…as a bonus, the kidlet is a dead-ringer for his daddy. :stuck_out_tongue:

Daddy is in denial mostly because he doesn’t want to be hit for child-support payments. In Australia, one can deny all they like, but at the end of the day the courts have final judgement. He has refused to acknowledge paternity re signing the Birth Certificate, but as I mentioned upthread, there are other methods that can be employed…as it stands, a DNA test is in the pipeline, but that is not really the point of this thread. It’s the emotional impact rather than the financial one that worries me…

I’m more concerned about the impact of daddy accepting ONE of his kids but not the other, and I appreciate all the advice here. My initial advice to my daughter reflected that of Aspidistra and Lynn, and I guess I just needed some affirmation of that viewpoint. Thanks :slight_smile:

Unless they were both on a deserted island when she got pregnant the second time around you don’t know that for sure. I know your saying it’s his, your daughter is saying it’s his. But obviously he has his doubts.

I’m sure once the DNA test is done , and it comes back that he is indeed the father. I’m willing to bet his attitude is going to change.

Get the DNA test done.

He sucks. Favouritism between kids is evil shit. It screws up BOTH kids, not just the non-favoured one.

Optimistic view: He may be more into Kid 2 once paternity is proven, and once the kid is a bit older (some guys just don’t do well with the baby stage but once the kid is walking and talking they’re fine). If he was the same with Kid 1 (distant while it was a baby, but warmed up as the kid grew up a little), it’d be a good idea to go with the flow for now, so that there will be contact later with both kids.

… But if proving paternity makes no difference, and if he didn’t behave this way with Kid 1 (i.e, there’s no reason to hope he’ll include Kid 2 once it’s mobile and verbal), I would hope Daughter grows a backbone and completely removes dad from both kids lives. Because ignoring one kid while visiting the other will damage both kids and needs to stop, IMO.

I’d just lose this guy entirely. Have him sign away his parental rights to the first kid, drop the action on the second, and move on.

I dont understand why so many women insist on naming a father for their kids, when the father is such an awful person. I can’t see that having such a tool as a father is in anyway more beneficial than having no father.

When I got pregnant at 18, I never named a father, and did not pursue child support. I can’t see how my daughter was negatively effected by it.

Also - talk to your daughter about an IUD. She probably shouldn’t be having any more kids until she gets it together.

That’s neither here nor there. Unless you have a DNA test, we don’t know, and truth be told you don’t either. But it doesn’t matter.

Here’s your OP summed up, with all the irrelevant details taken out:

“The father of my grandchildren is an absolute jackass. What could we do so that he is not an utterly irredeemable pile of festering shit?”

The answer is that you can’t. Your daughter, and her children, are screwed. Now they have to make the best of a situation where the father’s a jerkoff. He is NOT going to completely accept that he second child is his, whether or not it is. That simple fact must be accepted.

If it really is all about the child support, a DNA test and subsequently a court deciding he needs to pay, will take away any incentive not to acknowledge the second kid. He might have a grudge and decide he doesn’t want to deal with either kid, but he wouldn’t have any reason to ignore the baby.

Unless the laws are significantly different there than in the U.S., there’s probably nothing you can do. You can’t have him sign away rights to his child unless there is a step-father willing to adopt and you can’t keep either child from him. All you can do is take him to court and get child support, you can’t force him to be a good person or father.

Again, this is based on how things usually work in most U.S. jurisdictions, but I bet it holds up there.

Will he fight her if she cuts off contact and doesn’t allow visitation with the older boy? 'Cause, honestly, that’s what I’d do (assuming the DNA test doesn’t cause some sort of revision in attitude, of course.)

Yes, legally in the US, Fubaya’s right, and you can’t withhold visitation. But as a practical matter, if the non-custodial parent is largely disinterested anyway, and doesn’t take you to court, you just don’t answer the phone when he calls. If he calls.

My son’s last visitation with his father when he was 5 or so. Hadn’t seen him for 2 years before that, and before that there were visits once every 4 or 6 months after countless phone calls from me begging him to visit. I decided that such sporadic visits punctuated by broken promises were more emotionally damaging than the $125 a month for 4 months I got out of him was worth. So I stopped calling him trying to set up visits, and he never called me. Easy-peasy. And a lot easier to explain to my son (much like Eliahna) that “Daddy just wasn’t ready to be a father, and that’s pretty sad, 'cause you’re such a cool kid.” when he wasn’t filling his head with lies and broken plans periodically.

When my son was 15, his father Friended him on Facebook. That was…awkward. Okay, I was pissed as hell. But by that point, my son had the maturity to figure out his own relationship with him. He did accept the Friend request and exchanges emails periodically. He has, in the intervening 4 years, met his stepmother, stepsister and half brothers and likes them quite a bit. We’ve even had his stepmother and stepsister over for a party. He met with his father once, a couple of years ago, and has no desire to see him again, although I believe they still email.

It’s seeing the pictures of his half brothers with his father on Facebook that bothers him the most, though. Seeing him being a Dad to them and not to him…that hurts more than his not being in his life at all did.

Which brings me back to your situation: spending time with one and not the other Will Not Work. That way lies disaster, and honestly, I’ll say the same even if he isn’t the baby’s genetic father. When you have two kids, especially same gendered kids, especially that close in age, they’re a package deal. A good man wouldn’t care if the baby was “his”, he’d accept him because he is his son’s brother. Maybe not for the paying of child support, but socially and emotionally, you just don’t accept one brother and not the other if you are a decent human being.

Where is Gleena when you need her?