need some non fibro related advice

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone,

i am finding myself with a small issue on my hands, and thought i'd come here and ask all of you lovely people what you would do if you were in my position.

some background info:

i got pregnant with my daughter at 19. the father was a loser, basically, and although i tried to make a go of a relationship with him (we did have a child and all), it just didn't work out in the end and we broke up when she was just over a year old. he visited her on and off for a couple of years after that, but ultimately disappeared from her life completely when she was 4. we haven't seen or heard from him since.

a few years after the father disappeared, i met and married my husband and had two more children with him. for the past couple of years we have kicked around the idea of him adopting my dd. she was almost 8 when our relationship started and the two of them got off to a very rocky start (she resisted the intrusion), but over the years, they have smoothed out their differences and become quite close. she considers him to be her dad and he considers her to be his daughter. the only problem with the adoption has been that we haven't had any idea where her biological father was and since he needs to sign away his legal rights to her, we haven't been able to go forward with things.

oh, another piece of the story-i never had any interest in going after him for child support as i didn't want him to have visitation rights (he didn't seem to want them anyway) but since my dd has been on medicaid for the past several years, the state of michigan has gone after him for child support on my behalf. i've gotten checks here and there, but nothing regular and i've never had any contact with him about any of it.

well, today in the mail i received a copy of a court document from my local circuit court. apparently dd's bio father is in jail in northern michigan for failure to pay child support, and he sent a letter to my local friend of the court requesting that his child support obligations be suspended while he is incarcerated. (the court granted his request, which makes sense). however, they also sent me a copy of his letter and in it he states that he will be in jail until february 20th. the court documents also include a p.o. box for him, so i now have an address.

so, now we know where he is and now monday morning i can call my local friend of the court and start the adoption process. my question to all of you, though, is this: since i do now know where he is, should i write him a letter myself telling him that we are seeking the adoption? part of me feels like-to hell with him! he's been m.i.a. for all this time, let him find out when he gets the paperwork. but then the other part of me feels like contacting him directly would be the right thing to do. yes, he's been a deadbeat, but he is her biological father and as such, doesn't he deserve to know our plans (especially since they do involve his legal ok)? i have to admit that i also have half a mind to write him a long, detailed letter telling him just what an amazing person our daughter is and just what a total and complete **** up he is for ditching her, but that's probably a bad idea..(what purpose would it serve other than give me a moment of revenge filled pleasure)

so what would you do? send him a personal letter, or just go straight to the court and bypass him all together?

thanks in advance for any thoughts you all may have! :-)
love and hugs

this being human is a guest house.
every morning a new arrival-a joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awarenewss comes as an unexpected visitor.
welcome and entertain them all!
even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably
he may be clearing you out for some new delight.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Unless you want to make nice with him, which from your letter it sounds like you don't, I'd bypass him and go straight to court. Several people in my family are adopted or have place a child for adoption, and the courts always handle it best.

Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Danielle, what an interesting situation you have here. You did ask for input and so I will toss in my two cents. Remember that I am a social worker, but I am not a lawyer or family advocate, so these are my thoughts only, out of instinct and not legal training. First may I ask the age of your daughter?

If you truly want this to happen, then it makes sense that you need things to be as smooth and non-interrupted as possible. Information is power. In my opinion, giving thisd man information of ANY kind gives him power and therefore keeps him deeper in the equation than you are going to want him to be. I think its wonderful of you to see this as a moral imperative, and want to make sure he has the opportunity to know what a wonderful young woman she is. He asked you for a world of space when she was small and you gave it to him, no questions asked. I would continue to keep that space because my gut feeling is that the closer he is to you, the messier this has the potential to be. Let the attorneys and court handle every step of the way. Don't seek him out and don't respond if he attempts to seek you out. Keep your home and family safe- as the saying goes- don't mess where you eat.

Good luck- and also let me tell you that I am proud of what you have done for your daughter and providing a stable, loving home for her. She will grow up knowing what stable, loving parents feel like, and her children will have so much going for them because your daughter received the gift of safety in life from you.
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its metamorphosis."
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh Danielle,
Only YOU can answer that question. 
But I'll keep you in my thoughts, I know its a difficult decision, so maybe you should speak to a councilor or someone in the clergy.
Be well,
Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Heart Disease, Bi-lateral Carpel Tunnel.  (Still being tested for other disorders/or whatevers).

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Why change the status quo of your relationship with him now?  I'm sure there have been other important things that have taken place in your daughter's life through the years, and he has never expressed any interest to be involved? And you've never contacted him along the way.  

I would just let the courts do their job - don't make it out to be anything more than what it is at this point - a formality.  She already has a daddy that has raised her. 




Still learning how to manage my Fibromylagia, and all the lovely gifts it brings.   
I had severe spinal stenosis, had fusion done on C5-7, and my life has changed. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/11/2009 1:04 AM (GMT -6)   
My sister had a very similar situation. She decided to write to him and explain what she wanted and how important it was to all of them. He then decided to see how important it really was and demanded money before he'd sign the papers. He wasn't interested in seeing his kids, he just wanted to see what he could get out of them. It turned into a big mess.

He eventually signed the papers but added about 2 years to the process.

He was obviously a jerk so I couldn't tell you if he would have tried this if she hadn't contacted him first.

Good Luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/11/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I feel for u as my eldest daughter is to another relationship and i i since married. The biological father never played much of a role in her life and my husband would always nag me to let him adopt her....To me if she is treated as his daughter and he loves her that way than why take her biological father out of the picture...Maybe his time in prison will change things and you never know. Her father may be a dead beat but he is her blood father....She has a Dad, a loving supporting Dad and that is all that matters, not paperwork and ownership. Let her make her own decisssion when she get old enough i say.....Just give her biological father and option if u guess he will not go for it. I do believe she is still in his heart but obviously has a lot of issues that keep him from her.   Sorry if this is to abrupt....but dont be pressured either way!!!  You are the mum and you know what is right.   Stay strong!  P.s Thanks for the support really did help me. gillxx
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 1/11/2009 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I am with the others on this one, I would let the courts handle it. He hasn't been around, I don't think he is entitled to have any personal correspondence with you right now. I know that you are trying to be fair about it, but enough is enough.

Though this is ultimately your decision, make it easy on yourself and let the legal system handle it.

Luv and hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
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Irish Babe
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1371
   Posted 1/11/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Danielle, my situation is different from your in many ways, but in others it is similiar. My DD is adopted, my DH and I adopted her as an infant. She came to us thru an agency. I prepared all the paperwork for her adoption and we brought it to court ourselves. We have no idea who her birth parents are. My DD is 20 yrs. old, when she was growing up we told her what info we had, when she approached 18 she mentioned she might be interested in finding her birthmother. I gave her the address of the agency and told her we would back her on anything she wants to do. I believe her birthmother tried her best, just by giving birth to her and putting faith in God that she would be given to a family that would love her forever. I do not hold the same affection for her birthfather. Yet I never said as much to her. I believe a father is more than a sperm contribution. Her father and I love that girl to death, as we do her brothers.

I have 2 BIL's (same sister) both not worth squat, never worried about the children they brought into this world. IF the children ate, it wasn't because of them. Your ex may be her birth father, but that man is no DADDY. I would keep every thing thru lawyers and the court. He hasn't put himself out for your DD, keep it very formal.  

This is just my feeling about the matter, I wish you the very best of luck in your situation.

God bless.  Alice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 1/11/2009 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Danielle,

This is a topic very close to my heart. I was adopted at birth and I was very fortunate that my 'parents' were wonderful people. I was a very lucky one! At age 40 I decided to search for my birth parents and was successful. There's a very long story involved there but it's not applicable to this topic. After I met my biological relatives I volunteered for many years with a major organization and worked with the courts to reunite people separated by adoption. I do believe it's a personal choice that needs to be respected. I do have a counselors license because of working with the triad of people involved in every adoption.

I wanted to share my background so you know where my opinions come from. IMHO, a 'parent' is the one who raises you. The one who kisses the booboos, attends your school plays and gets you ready to go to your first prom. One thing I often saw happen was the wishes of the adoptees were often not taken into consideration. Even at a fairly young age, maybe early teens, their opinion matters. You obviously have your daughters best interest at heart and your motives are honorable. I applaud you for your loving concern.

Now, for my true feelings on what you are doing... yes, the biological was the "sperm donor" but IMHO that's all he is. I would guess he laid low to avoid child support. In the mean time you and your hubby dedicated your lives to raising your children together. To me the 'sperm donor' gave up his rights when he walked out on that baby and didn't look back. At this point I don't feel you owe him anything. This is just my opinion here and may not be that of others...ok?

I would keep this all a very low profile in your household. Find an attorney that you trust and let them deal with the biological father. Do not contact him yourself. It's easy for innocent contact to backfire and to cause you more grief. I've seen that happen more than I care to mention...even in normal support disputes. Also, your daughter has deep feelings about this subject....if not yet, then at some point in her life she will. Even if adoptees don't verbalize it, inside there are a mixture of feeling that are not easy to deal with. I've seen people well over 50/60 crumble into a puddle of tears over this issue. If your daughter wants to talk, then answer her questions. I would not go into any more detail until you get things settled with this 'man'. After the legal stuff is over then feel free to share with your daughter and at some point in her life, if she desires, introduce her to her biological father. When you don't know a biological parent it leaves an empty spot in the mind and the brain does not like these 'holes'. It can affect all aspects of their lives.

OK, I've prattled on and likely confused the issue even more but everything I've said is out of love and concern for your daughter's well being and ease of handling this transaction. If you'd like to chat more please feel free to email me. Just click on that little envelope under my name <---- and my time is yours!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 1/11/2009 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have an adopted granddaughter that came to my son and ex DIL at 18 mos as a foster child very sick and malnurished. Her parents had every chance to get their act together to get her back but chose not to. However they spent the states money and five years fighting to keep their parental rights. Yes, here in Illinois they can take it clear to the Illinois Supreme Court at no cost to them to fight for a child that had they put that much effort into taking care of the first 18 mos of her life wouldn't have been in the system to begin with and sure wouldn't have the problems she has today and the rest of her life because of them.
I have no pity for these people nor your ex. If these children want to know their birth parents when they get older that is their right but you owe this man nothing.
luv and hugs
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 1/11/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you so very much everyone for your wonderful insight. i appreciate it more than i can say!

i am still chewing on this and want to comment directly on everyone's comments, but i am so, so tired right now. i will come back in the a.m. when my head's a bit clearer and give everyone the responses you deserve!

thank you all again for taking the time to give me such thoughtful, kind advice!
love and hugs

this being human is a guest house.
every morning a new arrival-a joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awarenewss comes as an unexpected visitor.
welcome and entertain them all!
even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably
he may be clearing you out for some new delight.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17061
   Posted 1/12/2009 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone here...especially Chutz!  Besides, I don't think you'll have a problem because he will know he won't have to pay any more child support. 
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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