Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

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Star
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Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Star » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:21 am

Hello,

I am wondering if anyone can help on offering advice on behalf of a friend who is suffering a horrible and cruel situation where he is being prevented from seeing his baby girl who is a few weeks old. The legal route or any other other thoughts as to what he should do would be very helpful.

This baby was conceived accidentally and due to a fling. The mother who is almost 40 told him she was medically infertile. My friend was subsequently told he would be a father and he vowed to be involved but could not be in a relationship with her. The mother decided to move to Oxfordshire with her mother who has proven to be a very controlling woman and has an alcoholic husband. My friend was present at the birth and found himself deeply in love with his New born. However the mother and her mother in particular have made it apparent that his is not welcome and have been preventing him from making contact with her, ignoring his texts and any attempt to visit o the weekends. He had stayed with them for a week after the baby was born.

My friend received a phone call from the mother distraught late last Friday saying the baby girl was rushed to hospital because she stopped breathing for a few minutes and this was under her grandmother's watch.

My friend wants answers and the right to be involved as much as possible. He has become furious with his baby's mother's family and the mother herself and I worry this is going to work against him.

Please let me know how he can best resolve this situation.

Many thanks

Annabel (admin)
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Annabel (admin) » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:53 pm

What an awful situation.

I've no idea what his legal rights are but we'll mention this in the email tomorrow and see if we can get some guidance for you.

Star
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Star » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:54 pm

Thank you. I don't seem to be able to advise him due to my poor legal knowledge but from trying to investigate it seems the law is stacked against unmarried fathers and for someone in his situation especially if she chooses not to have him on the birth certificate. It seems the baby is already being used as a weapon and I find this so cruel as children need both parents. Also he doesn't feel comfortable with the people around his baby.

I hope someone from the legal profession will have some advice. Otherwise I have advised him to look at Fathers for Justice.

Many thanks

Alchemy
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Alchemy » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:05 pm

If he isn't named on the birth certificate, he doesn't have parental responsibility unless there is an agreement with the mother in place, or a court order has been made.

It sounds like the only option open to him is the court order.

If he is concerned about the child's wellbeing he may want to involve Social Services, although this will obviously escalate the conflict further -- but it may be in the best interest of the child.

petal
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby petal » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:37 pm

This is a horrible situation for him. Fathers have little rights, especially unmarried fathers.
I was really surprised when I had to sign an NHS form recently for my child for flu vaccination at school.
They list who can sign the form and it seemed like an unmarried father did not have automatic parental responsibility!
Wonder if unmarried couples realise.
So for him with a woman who is pushing him away, it looks like he needs to get to court asap and assert his parental rights.

It's the age old problem of men not taking responsibility for contraceptive.
I wouldn't trust a man if men were taking the pill.
I understand that she said she was not fertile, but ultimately if you don't wish to have a child with someone you need to use port

petal
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby petal » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:38 pm

* protection

shaftesburyparker
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby shaftesburyparker » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:23 am

I felt really annoyed reading this post.

Your "friend" has unprotected sex with a stranger. He then blames her for the pregnancy saying that she "was almost 40" -and said she was infertile. Did he think women who are almost 40 can't conceive? If so, he must have led a sheltered life. And why would he believe a stranger's comment that she was infertile? If a woman posted something along these lines she would be told she was an irresponsible idiot - and that would not be far from the mark.
Do you know that the woman's mother is controlling and that the father is an alcoholic? Or are you just relaying what your friend has told you? If he genuinely believes the child to be at risk he should already have engaged with social services rather than whingeing to you/posting on social media. But it sounds unlikely to me as a seriously ill infant would be in regualr contact with doctors, nurses etc and any risks would be managed. Have you considered the possibility that "your friend" is just maligning these people because he dislikes them?
If he wants access to his daughter he should approach a solicitor. The fact that he has not already done so suggests to me that he is not that concerned. Perhaps he does not want to have to contribute financially until the daughter reaches the age of 18 and prefers to grumble and complain, paint himself as a martyr and win sympathy from his friends?
Sorry if this sounds a bit harsch. But I really have no sympathy for him. At best he is an idiot. At worst he is trying to manipulate you and bolster his victim credentials.

BarnesMummy2014
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby BarnesMummy2014 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:08 am

"The mother who is almost 40"... how is that relevant? What a bizarre detail to add. Is that meant to garner more sympathy for your "friend"?

As an unmarried mother she does not have to register your friend as the baby's father and so he will not have Parental Responsibility. His only option is the courts. I'd be very surprised if the mother wasn't given full custody of her new born. If your friend can't prove it, he should be very careful about slandering her family. It hardly shows great character.

Star
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Star » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:29 pm

Thank you for the responses Petal and Alchemy.

I am gobsmacked at the 2 last commenters. I have no idea why my friend who I have known since primary school has become my "friend". I know his mother and they knew mine who passed away. He is well liked by our mutual friends and my family and he is highly intelligent and kind As for being sheltered and naive I suggest YOU are. The deceipt on the mother's side is highly likely. Yes he was extremely stupid for not using protection. But he wanted to be involved and financially from the start.

I think courts and solicitors seem the only option and such a shame as he has been trying to have a civilized parental arrangement for the past 8 months. He even suggested she move in with the baby at his place but she refused because he was adamant he couldn't be dishonest and be in a fake relationship with her.

Calling Social Services is not clear cut and the breathing incident can happen but really they should not be shutting him out and only hear from them when the baby is being rushed to hospital. On the week he stayed with them he was very worried about the fact the grandmother insisted the New born be put on a 3 hour schedule and he instinctively knew that was wrong. Those of us who have breasted know that is completely
ridiculous. The little girl had not been growing in the last few weeks and he had to watch her hungry. When returning to London he wanted updates on her weight gain and his calls and texts were ignored until this Friday midnight when they were rushing the baby to hospital.also the grandmother's partner is an alcoholic, drinking 5 or 6 pints everday while going to the allotment is not a normal amount. Several male family members warned my friend about the grandmother being controlling so I think I'm pretty sure she is.

The statistics speak for themselves the rates of alcohol and drug abuse and low self esteem are high among adults who did not have a father around growing up. Life is not clear cut but I do believe adults can raise a child while not being together in a sensible communicative and caring way where the child's interests are put first.

Courts and and solicitors it then. A shame.

LJFamilylawyer
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby LJFamilylawyer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:51 pm

Hi - if he is not named on the birth certficate he would have no formal Parental Responsibility. He can however apply for it, via the courts and that will give him a legal position with regard to decisions for the child and the child's welfare and at the same time as making that application, it can cover putting in place arrangements to see the child too. PR can be addressed by an agreement between him and the mum as another option but it sounds as though that may be unlikely. If he has welfare concerns he ought to contact social services as although he may not want to aggravate the situation, the little one's welfare has to come first. I hope that helps and that they can find a way to co-parent together for the future.

Star
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Star » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:07 pm

Thank you Family Lawyer. That sounds sensible.

Mumof3Balham
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Mumof3Balham » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:08 am

Hi Star - I read your initial ask or help with much sadness and also as shocked as you at how vitriolic some people can be in their responses.
My Mum worked for years in difficult child care situations and my advice is as follows:
1) There is a charitable organisation called "Families need Fathers" - they are probably the best place your friend can go for proper advice - they will know his legal rights, what to do etc etc.
2) If your friend is genuinely worried about the baby's safety then yes contact social services - if there has been suspicion around why the baby was admitted to hospital they will already know.
Hope that helps and good luck to your friend.

MagnoliaMum
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:43 am

I used to work as a family law solicitor and dealt with a lot of these cases. If your friend were to see a solicitor (choose one who is a member of 'Resolution', ie a specialist and in favour of a conciliatory approach), then the first thing the solicitor would do would be to write to the mother, explaining that your friend would like to have Parental Responsibility and regular contact with the baby. Sometimes this can be enough to get channels open, without taking the next step of court proceedings.

However before he does that, I would urge you to get your friend to calm down for a minute and think about his own behaviour, as that comes through to me as the critical thing that is upsetting the mother here. Initially she allowed it; he stayed with them for a week after the birth and the contact has only stopped since then. From what you write, he and the grandmother were arguing over the 'right' way of feeding the baby, and he clearly doesn't like the grandmother or her partner. Think of the mum in the midst of this; a first-time mother, single parent. It's going to be tough anyway with a newborn baby with health issues; would you want people arguing and fighting around you? If she is forced to choose between her blood relations and the baby's father who is talking about his rights and telling her she's doing it all wrong, what would you expect her to choose? Your friend is clearly worrying and panicking because he cares for his baby, but he is going to have to deal with the problem of the influence of the relatives, even if he has court orders.

So my advice would be for him to breathe deeply, swallow his pride and his dislike of the grandmother and partner (however justified), apologise to the mum if needed in a nice letter, focussing on what he might be able to offer to do to support her. Even with on-demand breastfeeding, babies get hungry if the mum can't produce enough milk because she's tired or not eating enough. So offer to take the baby out in the pram so the mum can sleep, or bring/cook some nice food. Under no circumstances criticise the mum - she's probably doing the best she can. The more he can provide support, the less she will need to rely on her relations and the better the co-parenting relationship will end up being in the future. And they can be good, but it takes tolerance and understanding on both sides.

Good luck to your friend

Star
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Star » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:51 pm

This is really valuable helpful advice.

I will copy and paste both of these and email it to him. I am in no position to advise him on whether he should get social services involved and only he knows if that is necessary.

I absolutely agree he needs to be understanding and sympathetic towards the mother of his child. In spite of what I have written I have said so as much to him (and so has his own mother; a very lovely, intelligent, dignified lady). I do understand his initial panic and concerns though with the grandmother and her partner.

He has visited his baby one time since she had to go to hospital and the little girl seemed fine, only exhausted and very sleepy from the breathing incident.

I think it is unlikely he will be on the birth certificate and the baby could have been registered already as she will be around 5 weeks old now.

I really hope too the parents of this tiny little girl can work out how to co-parent and give her the best chance possible in life. I have no doubt my friend can be a great dad - I would not ask if I thought otherwise - and also her mother.

Thank you so much Balham mum and Magnolia.

Ames85
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Re: Advice for a Friend. Recent first time father being prevented access to his baby.

Postby Ames85 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:10 pm

Wow- that is a pretty shocking reply from shaftesburyparker! Talk about jumping to conclusions... All in all a sad situation, I hope it works out for the new father and most importantly the new born.


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