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RoseRed135

The Out-of-Wedlock Grandchild

30 posts in this topic

Recently, we've had some posts voicing concerns about out-of-wedlock GC (grandchildren). So I'm opening this thread as a place to explore those issues. If you have a GC born outside of marriage and you have some concerns about the situation, please share them w/ us.

 

Also, if you're an unwed parent having issues with one or more GP (or other relatives), please tell us about your scenario, as well.

 

And, all others, of course are also free to comment...

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My ODD's first DD was conceived before she was married. They were engaged so moved the wedding up a bit. YDD's DS was also. Was I happy about it initially? No but I would not trade in any of my grandchildren for the world. They are all little souls that should be here and just couldn't be stopped whether there was a slip of paper or not.

I will say that they are now finding how difficult life will be as single parents. ODD is separated and will be divorced soon. YDD and SO are having difficulties. The one thing I will say that both girls are totally able to emotionally and financially support their children. That will make it somewhat easier. My DH & I will help where we can. They all are currently living with us, paying rent and contributing to the household.

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I am an out of wedlock child.

My parents were never married and were not even a couple within my lifetime, though they had dated on and off for a little less than a decade prior to my birth. Please don't let that statement fool you, however; their relationship was never stable and while they were both decent people with relatively good intentions, both had some serious underlying problems.

I grew up 700 miles away from my father, near my DM FOO, and thy were not co parents.

The BEST, SMARTEST and KINDEST thing my parents ever did for me was to NEVER get married or even attempt a life together. This assertion is 100% specific to my family, but without question I would not have benefitted in any possible way from my parents trying to co-parent or be married, and I believe I would have suffered significantly and my life would have been destabilized.

My father was too self centered and wild to the time; he would not be emotionally prepared to be a father to anyone for 20 more years, though he is great at it now.

My mother had an undiagnosed anxiety base personality disorder that, at the time, appears to have been largely, spontaneously in remission, but let's just say she is an exceedingly difficult person with whom to have a relationship of any kind. She is a different story.

Not to lead anyone astray, I had a happy, reasonably stable childhood. My mother was loving and responsible, I spite of her underlying emotional problems, and my life was almost entirely lacking in harm associated from my parents unmarried state, excepting several circumstances where outside adults belittled me to my face and rejected me because my parents were not married. So even had a pastor ask a family friend to remove me from his church because I was a "b...st..rd." I was standing right there.

I consider those people to be hideously ignorant and unkind anomalies and their existence is no excuse for unworkable marriages.

Anyway, my point is that the "out of wedlock" part was the very smallest and most inconsequential problem surrounding my birth. No marriage license or rings would have made my parents stable people.

However, There was no custody agreement, no visitation except at my DMs behest, which she was typically free with if she was also getting what she wanted. This stupidity, short-sighted ness and selfishness on their parts caused endless trouble as I grew up. Sure, a divorce decree would have resolved this omission, but to what cost to me? How long would they have tried to maintain a miserable marriage before calling it quits? Not worth it in my book, under MY circumstances.

I will say it again: no vow, no marriage license, no amount of couples counseling would have made my parents stable or compatible for marriage, and I was not substantially damaged because I was born out of wedlock. I believe I would have suffered more and been significantly worse off had my parents married purely to "do the right thing."

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When my 1st GC was conceived, it was less than ideal circumstances.   DS announced that we were going to be grandparents at a birthday dinner for DH.  We thought he was joking and was talking about a dog about to have puppies.   When we realized he was serious, I asked how the girl's parents were taking it.  She hadn't told them yet and she was 3 months along AND hadn't seen a Dr. yet.   I was told that she was afraid of her parent's reaction to the news.

 

I offered to make an appt with my gyn IF THEY WANTED me to.   I offered that if she was kicked out (DS said she thought that was a possibility) that I'd be willing to let her live with us.   They were both 20 YO at the time.      I admittedly overstepped when I told DS that she had 2 weeks to tell her parents or I would, but given the same situation I would do it again. 

 

I crocheted a blanket for the baby and we participated in his Baptism.  Unfortunately we are all (including DS) CO.  The mother has since married and is raising DS's son as her husband's.   I know she has 1 other child and possibly another.  She never put DS on the BC (she claimed there wasn't a space for his name) and DS never followed up to get paternity established.

 

DSS also has a son who he was cut off from.  I don't have the full story, but I know that he wanted to be involved and was for a time, but was then CO by the mother's family.

 

DD has 2 girls, both out of wedlock.  The father of the elder girl is fully involved including buying her clothes and paying CS (as he can, his job is in construction so he doesn't work steadily, but when he does, he pays).  Frankly, I'm glad they never got married.  At the time he was an active alcoholic which many of you know can be a nightmare on many levels. The breakup was a mess and it took them a good 4 years to settle into a routine where the parents can actually talk to each other without rancor.  (BTW, he's been sober for 7 months now!! GOOD FOR HIM!!! )  This now 6 yo and I have a very special relationship.     The younger girl is now 1 yo.  They live with FSIL and his daughter (my 4th granddaughter... who was also born out of wedlock).  DD and FSIL are planning on getting married someday. 

 

DS has a DD who was born while he was married.  He's now divorced and in a wicked custody battle.  He does get supervised visits and from what I've heard the reports on his visits have all been excellent.

 

From my point of view, marriage doesn't mean the relationship will last.  It just means the break up will cost more money (cost of the actual divorce, lawyers etc).

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My oldest grandson had a son with his first love.  He supported her throughout the pregnancy & was in the delivery room.  Within 6 months, the relationship failed.  She had not put his name on the BC, claiming that her father's insurance would not have paid if the baby had a different name.  She then tried to stop all contact with my GS.  At this point, he sought legal counsel.  He fought for & gained his rights to his son, now having every other weekend unsupervised visits & additional visits at his request & also pays child support & the child's health care.  It was a long & sometimes bitter fight, but family is & always was important in our family.  GS is now married to a wonderful girl who loves his son as much as he does & they have had another son together.  The mother is also now married to someone else & has had a daughter.  They continue to share custody & are now able to communicate with each other civilly.  Their story turned out well because they both had a lot of family support.  And best of all, because they worked together on parenting, this son is a well adjusted & happy child who is a joy to know.

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Why do unmarried fathers allow the mother of their child to NOT put his name on the birth certificate? This young mother LIED. The insurance company doesn't see the birth certificate. They just see the hospital report of a birth under this unmarried mother's name. And it wouldn't matter what anyone names their child....your last name could be Smith, the father's last name Jones, but you could name your kid Chihuahua Garbanzo and have it be legal.

 

Good for your son for asserting his rights as a father.

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In my son's case, he was also with the young woman through out the pregnancy, with her during labor and birth was allowed to visit whenever he wanted to, including overnights before the baby was born.  As soon as the baby was born she began to cut him out.  I believe (no proof) it's because  she realized that he loved the baby enormously, his feelings for her were still friendship and weren't changing to love.

 

DS did not "allow" her to not put his name on the BC, but was not at the hospital at the time the BC was being filled out.

 

DS was young and stupid and did not take my advice to consult an attorney.  He thought it was my job to do so. I did not.  I would have backed him up any way I could have if he'd only taken on the responsibility to try to get legal help.

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Why do unmarried fathers allow the mother of their child to NOT put his name on the birth certificate? This young mother LIED. The insurance company doesn't see the birth certificate. They just see the hospital report of a birth under this unmarried mother's name. And it wouldn't matter what anyone names their child....your last name could be Smith, the father's last name Jones, but you could name your kid Chihuahua Garbanzo and have it be legal.

 

Good for your son for asserting his rights as a father.

 

I don't know if it's still the case, but where I live, if the parents were not married to each other the father's name could ONLY go on the BC IF he was present to sign it and acknowledge the child as his. Otherwise, the "father" portion was simply left blank. The rationale is that otherwise the mother could put ANY name on the BC - making that man responsible for child support, even if the child wasn't his.

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New York State health Law originally did not allow the mother to put the father's name on the birth certificate.  She could call the child anything, but could not use the father's last name or put his name as the father.  Now, State Law allows the mother to call the child by any last name, but unless both parents have notarized statements allowing it, the father's name cannot be on the BC UNLESS there is an order from a judge. 

However, in many cases now, the court orders paternity tests and requires naming the father, so as to obtain child support from the father --especially if the child is to be on "social services"    (i.e. welfare). 

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I , myself have had a child out of wedlock----in the days when it was definitely not cool.  I did try to establish paternity for the child's sake , but he would avoid the court dates.  So in the end the boy was solely mine----and I brought him up as a single mother.  He had two older brothers who were his mentors and a loving grandmother.  I always carried guilt about it---but one day when he was 17, I asked him if he would rather have been adopted into a two parent family---like I was suggested to do by my pastor.  He replied he was very happy he knew one parent and was deeply accepted, so this put my fears and guilt at rest.  He now is happily married with 3 children of his own and is the best , most involved father ever!!  I can't say it has been easy, but it was worth it!

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Here's the thing- any mother has the immediate proof the she is the mother of her child by virtue of said child coming out of her body. Dads don't, because their contributions of DNA happened months before, presumably without legal, signed and swearable witnesses (!!!).

In my area, married parents are both put on the BC. Unmarried fathers are not, unless mom chooses to, dad doesn't get a say. Dad can refuse to sign, which leaves hom off the BC if they are not married, but cannot force his way onto a BC without a test and a court order.

DNA tests take time. The legal system requires the best available proof before legally binding an alleged father to a child. This protects, and cuts both ways. Protection from having legal responsibility to a child born out of wedlock that is not theirs, but that few months waiting on a test is the cut if the baby is his.

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Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to this thread!

 

@ cfish and orrangem - Welcome! Glad you came in to talk w/ us and hope you come back soon.

 

Meanwhile if that's your active email addy in your username, you may want to change it for greater privacy. To see how to do so, just click on this link:

 

 

Edited by RoseRed135
to give link to updated info on how to change your username

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I feel so deeply for those of you who have gone through a hard time - or had a loved one go through a hard time - over the birth of a child, something that's supposed to be a beautiful and joyous event. And Skatie, I'm so horrified and sorry about the people who put you down b/c you were born out of wedlock! Especially that pastor! Ugh! But kudos to you for being able to put it all in perspective the way you have.

 

IDKY some women CO the dad and his FOO after the baby arrives. Perhaps in some cases, that's what they planned to do all along. But, IMO, it usually happens b/c of issues between the parents, many of which the GPs don't even know/don't have the full story about. It also occurs, I think, in some instances, when the dad finds a new GF and the mom resents it. Or when she has a new guy and decides to raise baby as his, as Beth has told us about. IDKY some young parents don't seem to understand that their relationships have nothing to do w/ a child's connection w/ their bio dad (except perhaps, in those cases where he gives up his rights and the new guy adopts the child).

 

Like Mame, IDKY some guys fail to fight for the rights to their child. It may be b/c they simply don't know how to go about it and believe a lot of misinformation that they get from the mom and other people. It could be b/c they're not sure they're ready to be a dad or to pay CS. It could also be, I suppose, due to the fact that they need to prove paternity and, hey, that's not cheap. But again, IMO, sometimes, there are so many other issues going on that the young man - esp if he's very young - loses sight of the separate issue of whether or not this is his child/he wants to have a relationship s/ this child... sigh... I know quite a few stories of a dad trying to come into his child's life in later years, sometimes successfully, other times not. 

 

Regardless, I totally agree w/ PPs who say that the marriage certificate does not really make a difference. It might make visitation and CS a little easier to arrange if the couple splits up, as these are often part of the divorce process. But other than that a baby is a baby, love is love, couples can have problems and break apart whether they were married or not.... FWIW...

 

@ Ninja - I don't recall it's taking "a few months" for YDD and DGD's dad to get the results of the DNA test. A few weeks, maybe. Not sure, though - would have to check w/ her. What took "months" was his deciding to go ahead and do it. He kept vacillating" ("I wanna do the test"... "I don't have to do the test, I know she's mine"... "I can't do the test yet, I don't have enough money"... etc.  There was no real reason to doubt (they were together 4 years) and some women would have been offended that a doubt was even expressed. But YDD was cool w/ his taking the test - he was the one who stalled, for a while ) But no matter how much time it takes, IMO, knowing is better than not knowing, as you suggest, yourself.

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This seems like an old thread, but I just joined and am hoping for some words of wisdom. My 29 year old son called me a few days ago and informed me his gf is pregnant. They live together but he is very uncertain about marriage, especially now, because a recent pregnancy scare led to my son being crystal clear with her that he is not ready for a child. She promised she was taking her b.c.faithfully. He told me he had been checking her bc pill dispenser yet he says now he knows well that didn't mean she was taking them. BUT he thought she was and trusted her to do so. I know accidents happen, but she has been pressing marriage for awhile. Over the holidays, I heard some comments from her that made me think she had baby-itis. She also stated marriage and children do not have to go together. I noticed she didn't say these things in front of my son. I now wish I had relayed this to him, and told him to condom-up. She got pregnant  shortly after this.They've been together about a year and a half. He is an MD, with one more year as Chief Resident in a major city university hospital. She has a very lucrative career in the same city. They are both very well educated. This is not how I envisioned the announcement of my first grandchild. It is also the first time in years that my son ended up in tears on the phone. He feels used and betrayed. I know I will adore the baby and I know my son will be a responsible father. I am so worried about so many aspects of this scenario, I can hardly think straight. I live 1500 miles away from my son. He is my oldest and we are very close. I was raised that marriage should accompany childbearing and so was he. But...

Thanks in advance.

Salgal

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Welcome Salgal.  We usually ask members not to bump/reply to threads more than about three months old, but I will leave it to the lead moderator in this forum and the person who originally opened this thread to make those decisions.

Now just my two cents worth...IF your son is an MD, doesn't he know how babies are made and what he needs to do if he isn't ready to start a family yet?  Why would he trust anyone else to make those kinds of decisions for him.  Birth control is as much the mans responsibility as it is the woman's IMHO.  Why place all the blame on his lady?

This is not how I envisioned the announcement of my first grandchild.   Well, sorry but their timing isn't up to you.  I suggest that you keep your opinion to yourself and not even share with your son no matter how difficult that may seem to be to you.  IF they should get married and live happily ever after, you might not be forgiven for anything negative you might say now.

Congratulations is a complete sentence.  As for announcing the pregnancy, that really isn't your place anyway.  Let the expecting couple do that themselves.

And if you are curious, I am the grandmother of three...one conceived on the wedding night apparently. 

 

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I believe one should be able trust the other person in a relationship.  I believe that if one party states they are using birth control, that the other party should be able to trust them. I do believe that people can be "tricked" into pregnancy.  In most relationships BOTH parties do not use birth control.  One person does.  We personally used condoms.   I personally did not want to take birth control pills.  And yea  if I did become pregnant,  I would accept some responsibility in that, UNLESS the other person purposefully tried to deceive me.      I think most "accidents" are from carelessness or subconscious desire.

However, in this case your son is an MD.  He already suspected his partner capable of deceit.  He did not trust his partner to the point that he was acutally counting her birth control pills.  He must have suspected that pregnancy might happen.   So  IMO this wasn't an accident.   But he must have wanted this baby, or he would have severed the relationship or used birth control himself.

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Since this has had several replies to the most recent request, I'll leave it open.

That said, Welcome Salgal. Please feel free to read it all, but as Sue said, don't post in threads more than 3 months old. 

Your son should be able to trust his partner. However, in situations where any "accidents' or other funny business significantly impacts his life, he should be taking his share of the responsibility in preventing pregnancy. In this day and age he doesn't have to marry this woman. And I'd caution him to think carefully before doing so. However, he will be responsible for this child and I hope he goes into fatherhood with an open heart. 

As these are adults, please keep your comments to yourself. No matter what you think of this woman, she will always be your grandchild's mother. Maintaining a cordial relationship with her will get you far more of what you want than being condescendingly dismissive because of the way she's treated your son. If they do choose to marry, the only advise I'd give him to get premarital counseling so he can air out his feelings of betrayal in an open honest manner.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome, Salgal! Sorry the coming of your very first  (grandbaby) is so surrounded in worry and heartache. (((Hugs!))) But glad you brought your concerns to us.

I totally understand that this is "not how (you) envisioned the announcement of (your) first grandchild" and that this is upsetting for you.  I also get how hard it must have been for you to hear DS (dear son) "in tears." It must be sad for you, also, IMO, to know that DS can't fully trust his GF.... sigh...

Something's "off" here, though, I have to agree w/ PPs (previous posters). DS and GF are not kids. She shouldn't have lied about the BC pills (if she did - I have heard of some freak situations where women got pregnant while on the pill). But if he was at all suspicious - and it seems he was - then he's old enough and knowledgeable enough to have known what to do. I feel as if he may have wanted this baby more than you know - maybe even more than he admits to himself. The tears on the phone might have been a result of his confusion - or his sense that you were unhappy w/ the situation. Yes, he may feel "used and betrayed"... and yet... possibly he's conflicted.

If that's the case, it might be a good idea for him to seek counseling to help sort out his emotions. And yes, I agree w/ Mame that if he and GF decide to marry, they would do well to seek premarital/marriage counseling. In fact, IMO, they should go for couples counseling even if they stay together w/o getting married.. But while you can suggest these things, in the end, it's up to them.

The good news is that, unlike many young, unwed parents, they are financially set. So, as I'm sure you realize, this baby won't lack for any necessities or "advantages." Nor will they have to look for monetary help from you.

Beyond that, please trust these 2 bright, educated adults to decide what they believe is best for them and the baby. And try to accept whatever that decision is, whether they choose to marry or not. Any negative comments or interference from you could easily lead to your being distanced from your GC in the future.. Not something you want, I'm sure.

Here's hoping all works out for the best and that little doll brings you all much joy!

Edited by RoseRed135
typo
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Birth control fails. Even for the most faithful of women on the Pill. I know a woman that had TWINS on Depo. Things happen.

The fact that he was counting her Pills squicks me out. That his MOTHER knows he was counting her pills is even worse. First off all, if he's counting pills, he doesn't trust her, and probably should've ended the relationship, or at the very least used condoms. And he should NOT have been discussing such personal info with you. What a violation of the relationship for him to have done.

If your son is responsible enough to have become an MD, he's ABSOLUTELY responsible enough to have taken responsibillity for birth control, or to end a relationship w/a woman he didn't trust. He did neither.

This isn't her fault. Your son has an equal share. He's not a victim.

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Well, thank you for the responses. I am sorry I posted on an old thread. This was the only place I found online to discuss and vent. My son fully acknowledged that he was foolish to not protect himself. I know the son, not just the "doctor." He is not going to shirk his responsibility. I know he will love his child very much and so will I. My first remark was positive - "the child will be amazing!" He made a mistake in judgment. I have not talked negatively about the situation to him. I have a good relationship with his gf and will continue to nurture that. I encouraged couples counseling right away. They need it to iron out trust issues if they are to successfully parent. My post was mostly about my feelings, I guess. Thanks.

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Airing your feelings is a good thing. As well, you aired them here (a very safe place to do so) rather than to your son & his girlfriend or to your family/friends who might stir a pot that doesn't need any outside help.

 

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33 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

Airing your feelings is a good thing. As well, you aired them here (a very safe place to do so) rather than to your son & his girlfriend or to your family/friends who might stir a pot that doesn't need any outside help.

 

Ditto!

Sounds like you're handling this very well, Salgal.. Kudos!

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I think our "job" here is to point out pit falls to others when they are in no position to view a situation from all sides.

I'm sure you'll do fine going forward.  Just stay positive.

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Salgal, I think that when you have an AC who is as successful as your DS, who seems to have his life in order, then something very human happens such as an unplanned pregnancy, it feels somehow very shocking to him as well as to you. Try not to worry too much, trust the couple to figure things out. Reassure your DS that he can be a good Dad however they choose to continue their relationship. Don't be surprised if your DS starts to pull back from you a bit as he works out all the new relationship and parenting responsibilities. There will be things he shouldn't share with you. Just continue to be his safe place and save your venting or worries for here to protect your family. And congratulations on becoming a grandparent!

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