Struggling to get access, can't really afford the legal route.

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  • #19693 Report



    I was wondering if anyone out there has experienced a similar situation. I am losing my mind not knowing what the right thing for me to do is. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    After a very casual relationship I found out that I might be a father. We weren’t together ever together as a couple and I wasn’t the only person that she slept with so it was never 100% if I was going to be the father. When I found out I freaked out! I said I wasn’t ready to be a father and I didn’t want to give up moving away for work (which I was supposed to be doing later on in the year). However, I couldn’t stop thinking about that poor kid growing up without a father so I eventually came to terms with it and decided I would give up the opportunity for work and stick around for the DNA. I’m glad I did because he was my kid. I fell in love with him straight away.

    Things were going well, I was visiting the baby at the mothers and he was really healthy and she was doing great. My family met him and we all fell in love with him. We never really discussed the plan and were just trying to go with the flow. We didn’t really talk much apart from talking about baby stuff and it was clear we both didn’t really want a relationship as it was clear we didn’t have that much in common.  Anyway I started to get a bit worried as the mother is here on her own in another country and it was her first time living on her own, now she has a child and she is also studying. We are from very different families, myself a poor working class British family and the mother from an upper class, religious Asian family. I suggested that he could stay with myself and my family  (as all my family and lifelong friends are close by for support) whilst she studies so that there isn’t as much pressure on her and we can just work out what happens in the future as we got there. I invited her and her mother to visit and we had a nice Sunday lunch and I felt like we’d begin breaking the awkwardness a bit!

    I kept on visiting but it began to seem like she didn’t really want me there and seemed more concerned protecting her family image than letting me be a dad. Every time I visited they would want photos looking like we were a happy family etc to send back home. It is my understanding that this situation is very much frowned upon by her family. I just wanted to do what is best for the kid, I didn’t really care what anyone else thought. I then learned she was telling her friends back home we were together as a couple and the whole situation started to feel very off. It then became clear that the only time she wanted me to look after the baby was when she wasn’t able to. I didn’t want to just be a baby sitter I wanted to be a proper part of his life. I sent a strongly worded message outlining that I would like regular access, for him to stay with me on a regular basis when he is old enough, I will pay child support and that I am not looking for a relationship. I had started to see someone else and I didn’t think it was appropriate that she was telling her friends we were a couple or for me to stop at hers overnight which she was asking me to do.

    She did not respond well to this, maybe I should of been kinder but I was overwhelmed trying to cope with this, work and just life. She used vulgar language and all sorts then denied me access for a week. Eventually she came around and invited me to visit to which she pulled out a contract that her sister lawyer wrote that was incredibly unfair to me, which included paying well over the child support amount, very limited access and basically giving up my rights. I obviously refused to sign it and then I was told I wasn’t allowed to be part of the child’s life because I didn’t sign it. I sent a message apologising for it ending up like this and offered to pay to go to mediation but she won’t attend and now I don’t know what to do. It is likely that she also wants to move home once she has finished her studies so he could be moved to a different country.

    I am emotional exhausted after this whole ordeal and don’t really know what to do. I could of definitely acted better at times but everything was so confusing with the cultural differences and I can honestly say that my intentions were only ever to make sure the kid was going to be ok and to be part of his life. I had signed up to Mandarin lessons and really wanted to learn about the culture as I knew it was going to be an important part of his life. I feel like I may of been ignorant to certain things without realising. I am thinking it might be best for me to leave it, I can’t afford the legal route and she might end up moving away anyway. It will break my heart but I know he will be well looked after as her family is very well off. They can probably give him a better life than I can anyway.

    Any advice will be very much appreciated!


    #19700 Report


    Hi Liam,

    I haven’t really got much advice to offer but couldn’t not reply.

    Please don’t give up on your son. There will come a point where he’ll want to know his dad (if the worst does happen and they move away etc) and you need to be able to tell him you did everything to keep seeing him. My son’s father hasn’t been there for 5 years, you can see the turmoil he’s going through trying to reconcile the dad he thinks he loves but doesn’t know enough to actually love (if that makes sense)

    I’ve found these guys invaluable, 0300 330 5480 child law advice line. You don’t need a solicitor, you can represent yourself, take advice from them, CAB, anyone else you can find. Do you know any friends who could help? Friends of friends? Also phone the csa (or whatever they’re called now) and set up an arrangement yourself if you can. If you do get to court further down the line that can only go in your favour.

    I hope everything works out and you can come to an arrangement with it all. Message me if you need a chat 🙂

    #19701 Report


    Hi Jess, thanks for reaching out!

    I’m sorry to hear that your son is suffering, I am sure as he gets older he will understand though.

    It is heartbreaking to think he will grow up wondering who his father is when I am more than happy to be part of his life. It sounds like the legal route may not be as unrealistic as I first thought and I didn’t know about the child law advice line – that is super helpful, thankyou! 🙂

    #19724 Report

    Hi Liam94.

    I’m sorry to hear you are going through a tricky time currently but I am glad to see there is support being offered by other parents here. At Gingerbread we have a Single Parent Helpline which consists of a team of advisers who can explore what options are available to you.  The number for this is 0808 802 0925.  Opening hours Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10 – 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4.  Hope that helps but please continue to use the forum to make connections with other parents.

    Take care  Justine


    #20320 Report

    Hi Liam,

    Sorry to hear you’re in this situation. If I were in the fathers position as you are, I would do absolutely anything to keep regular contact with my child. I would be kind, humble, I would apologise, I would look after the baby when the mother couldn’t even if it didn’t fit in with my own schedule or I felt like I was babysitting. It does sound like you’re being really supportive to her and I’m not too up on fathers rights in this country – but I hear they aren’t great.

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