Question: Dear Luise: Try to make this as short as possible. Years ago I got my girlfriend pregnant. We stayed together till about 4 months into the pregnancy then she left. I have been trying to find her about 12 years now. Well, I found her on myspace and contacted her. She works in a carnival and told me everything about my daughter. Even sent pictures. The bad thing is she said her x’s parents stole our daughter. She gave me their name address and phone number. I will be honest and say that I think of my daughter every second. I want my daughter to know me and that I’m her dad and try to build a relationship with her. After all this searching found my daughter is living only an hour away. I’m so confused and don’t know what do. I thought about writing a certified letter and sending to the address. Please let me know what you think. G.
Answer: Dear G.: You may be walking into a hornet’s nest. The people who have your daughter may not welcome you. They may not even know about you. Was your name on the birth certificate? Does she have your last name? What has your daughter been told?
I think you should first try to get as much information as possible from your ex-girlfriend about the lay of the land. What does she mean…they “stole” your daughter? What has she done to get her back? Have to police been involved? If she knows the address, why isn’t your daughter back with her mom?
Think of as many questions as you can and get as many answers as possible from her. Then, go to an attorney to find out what your rights are, if any. Also, what are your obligations? Do you owe 12 years of child support? You need to know all of that before you make your first approach or they may just shut you out or try to exploit you. Go slowly and carefully. Blessings, Luise