Our expert says:
Gosh, this is a complex situation. Do I understand correctly that you are based in England, with a current boyfriend who is HIV positive, and despite the comparatively generous availability of welfare support in Britain, lives in a destitute style, in a dreadful room and not maintaining a healthy diet ? That sounds odd. Dos he have a job ? If not, why not ? Is he receiving ordinary British social benefits ? If not, why not ? Even if he is an illegal immigrant there, he could receive healthy housing and an allowance for food. How does he spend what he gets ? Is he spending on alcohol and/or street drugs ?
You're absolutely right that if he can't manage to properly care for himself even in a country with good welfare services and much available help, he is very unlikely to be able to care properly for a child.
Apparently he fathered a child with a girlfriend in some other country 9 maybe in Africa ? ) : was he a tourist or visitor there, or is that his homeland ? It sounds as though his girlfriend has died, perhaps from AIDS, and the child is being looked after by her family. How is he so sure that the child is not being rather better looked after by them, than he would be able to do, if the child joined him ?
There would surely be complication and expenses involved. The local welfare authorities wherever the child is would ( and should ) be cautious about letting the child leave a caring family of relatives to join a strange man in a strange land. Has he been legally registered as the child's father ? If not, trying to arrange this could be difficult and expensive and time consuming.
If those authorities are competent, they would want to be sure that the child will be better cared for by this man, and that would be hard to prove.
There would be suspicions that he is wanting the child with him to perhaps increase the amounts of welfare benefits he might receive in the UK, and that might not be easy to refute. The child is 8 : why has he only now decided that he wants the child to be with him ?
How would he pay for the child's travel expenses to come to Britain ? Has he been officially ensured that the child would be allowed entry to Britain ? With what passport, and what sort of visa ? Is the child healthy ?
You both seem to greatly underestimate the needs of the child, which are very much more than sharing a bed in a damp room and sharing and already inadequate diet. Where would he go to school ? What educational qualifications does he have from his home country, & would they be recognized in England ? Does the boy speak fluent English ?
Would your friend want to and be allowed to adopt the boy ? How would the boy adjust to being uprooted from the only community and family he has known all his life, to a strange and much colder country ? This is potentially seriously psychologically troubling for such a child, much more so that worrying about his dad's troubles. Indeed, how well does he now this "dad" : how much time have they spent together in this boy's life ?
From your comments I don't think you fully understand the situation, but it sounds as though this man hardly understands the true situation at all. Don't feel sorry for him, for announcing a rather daft plan with needless risks for the child.
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