Posted by: Anon | 2008/09/03

Advise needed

Hi Doc,

I am at my wits end. My husband wants to adopt my son - something we have been working towards for a while and my son (10) wants to be adopted by him. The biological father left when I was 4 mnths preg and didnt have anything to do with him for 10 years (cept pay a minimal amount of maintenance). Now that we want to start the proceedings of the adoption he suddenly has an attack of remorse and wants to get to know him. My son wants nothing to do with him and has told him so.

The magistrate suggested we approach the bio father for consent again - so I did and he agreed - said he wouldnt stand in the way of the boys happiness - my son was ecstatic. So I approach him to ask when it would suit him to sign the papers and he says now AGAIN (third time) that he is not sure and wants to change his mind. My son hates him now. After all this time why is he playing this sick game? We are a secure family unit (together 7 years) and this is my sons greatest wish - why is he doing this to him?

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Our expert says:
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At this age, I believe that the child's views and interests should be paramount. Any father who can ignore his child for a decade, not even paying full maintenance, hardly has any claim for consideration now. Get a good lawyer, and ensure that the magistrate recognizes this, and hears from the child, and acknowledges the sheer cruelty in agreeing, refusing, agreeing, refusing, etc. The magistrate needs to be reminded that his central duty is the best interests of the child, not the wishes of a persistently absent bio father. It hardly matters WHY he is doing this, but how to stop him from doing it and getting away with it.

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