Monday, January 17, 2011

"Paper" Dad Asked to GIve Up Parental Rights

A member of the DI Dads Yahoo Group is going through a divorce and as part of that proceeding his soon to be ex-wife is asking him to give up his parental rights to their child saying he is only a "paper" dad anyway. I don't pretend to know all of the facts and any divorce is a private matter as to what caused that marriage to end.

In this case this woman is asking her husband to give up being a father arguing he never really was the father anyway because he did not share blood with their child despite the facts, I am assuming, that he was there when the child was born and has been there for every act that has been part of their raising that child. I won't state the child's age as that is not important for this post. But the child knows their father, this DI Dad, and that child's mother is looking to sever that tie legally.

There are certainly issues of identity etc that may be issues for any child conceived via DI but this mother if she were to successfully force the father to give up his rights will further compound these issues by ripping the only father this child has known away from this child.

As for the father my understanding and support is there for him to fight his ex 100% to maintain his legal connection to this child. My greatest fear for him would be if she severs his ties she could then move anywhere she would want and it is possible, as the child is still young, that the child would not remember the only father she has ever known and the father will lose his child and the joy of being a father.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Things My Brother said....And who is this brother you ask?

Over the last few weeks my kids have referred to their male half sibling as their brother when talking with friends or adults. Now granted they just had a visit with Z when he was here in early December and over time and distance between visits the references seem to dwindle. But as they get older it takes longer as their half sibling stays in their current memory.

It is interesting and amusing to watch how they describe who this brother is depending on the reaction they get from their audience. I have tended to stay quiet when this has occurred in my presence in order to see what they say and how the other party reacts.

Very often when it is classmates or kids at school the other kids asks who the brother is and the reply is simply my brother Z who lives in Colorado. Most kids just accept this and move on. It is usually the adults who are left more confused knowing that neither I nor the kids mom were married previously. Or perhaps they are wondering if either of us had a prior relationship where a child resulted.

For my kids referring to their half siblings as their brother or sister is now as normal to them as anything. I no longer try to correct them or direct them to another term. Whether their relationships to each other become deep, rich relationships in the long term is another matter. But for them they know and feel that they are siblings. To them at this age full or half means nothing. They just know.

I believe this is healthy for them. Knowing their are other kids out there who are part of who they are. It may be confusing to them when they enter those confusing adolescent years. But it just may give them additional anchors to work through the period of questions.

Added thoughts:

My kids have not seen T their "first" half sibling in a year so they have never said sister to her directly and I know T's mom does not use that terminology. In truth the kids all act more like distant cousins despite the terms 3 of the 4 use. Hopefully this is never a problem as the kids grow older in dealing with each other but I suspect as they get older and better understand it it will not be. At least I hope so.