My baby girl is 7 years old now and her father lives in other state. He has not been in contact with my baby from the age of 2 and now he wants me to send my baby to his state for the summer. I told him i will think about it but i don't feel like its in the best interest of my child due to the fact i dont know who will be around my child and she doesn't know him and i don't have the extra money to travel. I've allowed them to talk on the phone a few times to try to grow some type of bond but all he talks about is him wanting to just buy her things but i just have a bad feeling if i send my child something may happen or he wont bring my baby back home. What should i do? We went down this road when she was a newborn and he didn't follow court visitions but i cant remember what was the outcome with court due to the fact i was 15 and he stopped showing up to court.
You cannot just terminate his rights unless a husband, if you are married, wishes to adopt your daughter. It sounds as if you should file for sole custody of your daughter. That would give you a court order and should prevent him from keeping her on any visits, if he decides he wants to see her.
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There are many factors involved in custody and your question touches on too many for anyone to give you a complete answer. Ms. Gray has given you a good answer. I will add to it by saying that if this man is trying to be a father and is asking for the usual partial custody arrangement -- which it sounds like he is -- then you probably will not be able to terminate his rights even with another man ready to step in. That said, your concerns are valid and I urge you to file for custody. Do it! If you give your child to him without a custody order, he does not have to return the child to you because he is the biological parent and has the same rights as you. So go to court to protect yourself and your child! My last comment to you is that everything you have said that concerns you is valid and the court will make him answer each of those issues. Since he has no had contact for five years, he will probably not be allowed overnights until he has come to Phila at his own expense and gotten to know her. You certainly do not have to pay to costs for her to visit him.
As difficult as it may seem to you, I encourage you to explore your daughter's father's desire to get to know his daughter. I know for a fact that she is curious about who her father is...even if she tells you she has no interest in getting to know him. She is telling you what she thinks you want to hear. I think you should consider asking him to meet you in some public place (without your daughter) and explain to you his intentions and how he intends to go about establishing a relationship with her. It would most likely involve some joint counseling with her. The fact is, if you are open to working with him, then you can control the situation. Once a court gets involved, it gets taken out of your hands. Talk to your minister or spiritual guidance counselor, and try to see this as a good development for your daughter, not as an attack on you. If your entire life revolves around your daughter, it is time to develop other interests, so you won't see this as a threatening development.
You don't have to send her to him if you are afraid something bad would happen. You can file for custody to establish your primary custody or wait for him to file.
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