Question: Dear Luise: I am married to a woman who had a child from a previous relationship and I have grown to love the child as my own. She was six months old when I started dating her mum and is four years now. We now have a son together. Her child’s father is out of jail and keeps calling my home everyday and anytime claiming he wants to talk to his child, which I let him do. What worries me is they were still together when he went to jail and I wonder if opening my door to this man is bringing my wife’s boyfriend into my home and secondly I don’t know how to tell the child I’m not the father. I feel so heart broken as if someone is trying to steal my child from me. How can I deal with this situation? Please help. G.
Answer: Dear G.: It seems to me that a lot of this should be decided between you and your wife. You are not alone. In addition, I would suggest you talk to an attorney. I have no idea what the law may or may not offer you in your situation. I also can’t imagine why your wife didn’t encourage you to adopt the child, since she was not married to her father and he wasn’t present in her life during the last four plus years. I also don’t know why he was in jail but he may not be seen as an acceptable role model, legally. He may also be using the child to try to re-enter your wife’s life since you say they were together when he went to jail.
You have a huge emotional investment in this little girl and seemingly no protection. You are the one your wife chose to marry…your home is her child’s home. How can she stand by and see you so miserable and threatened?
You need to stand together on this and you need to know what your rights are and enforce them. To do that I honestly think you need not only legal help but I would also suggest that the two of you see a counselor to help you with the issue of how you should tell your little girl, together, about your roll in her life and when that should be done. You are the only “Daddy” she can remember. If she is getting calls from her biological father, she may already be seriously confused.
I would strongly suggest that you not try to wade through this without getting all of the professional assistance you can possibly find. Blessings, Luise