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What to do?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am really unsure about what to do in this situation involving my daughter and her bio dad.

Her bio father and I seperated and divorced when she was only a few months old. He has always been very erratic in his visits and contact. He is only allowed supervised visitations (I have sole legal custody) and I have never kept him from seeing her. Except for once, he was really having a hard time with his addictions and was so screwed up that I wouldn't allow him to see our daughter until he checked into treatment. He did and I took her to the treatment center to see him the day after. He saw her once more after that and then disappeared again. He used to huff paint, I made that decision after he gave me a box of clothes his sister had sent down for our daughter and one of the little dresses I took out of the box had silver spray paint all over it and you could see the impression of his nose and mouth in the paint.

The only things I ever asked from him were to never show for a visit or call when he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to be consistent in his contact with her so she has a chance to actually get to know him as a constant in her life instead of a stranger that bounces in and out every once in a great while. And to give me advance notice of his visitations so I could work our schedule around his.

For the first three years of her life he lived about twenty miles away and really made no effort to see her, or to call. Now he lives in another state and he still doesn't call or make any effort to see her. When he does call he seems to be more interested in what I'm doing (especially in regards to my husband and how we are getting along) than how our daughter is. He will say how he cries at night because he misses her then in the same breath he will go on about how screwed up his lovelife is or how much money he made (or lost) betting on the horses. He has only seen her about ten times since we seperated (the longest visit was about two hours long) and the last visit was almost two years ago. He calls maybe once every six months (give or take a month or two sometimes) and speaks to her for maybe a minute or two, and thats only because I tell him here is our daughter why don't you talk to her, he rarely asks me if he could talk to our daughter. He will talk to her for a minute and then she will hand back the phone and he will change the subject and talk about something totally unrelated to her. I have begged him to call regularly and he always promises to call her once a month at the very least and he never does. I even offered to shoulder the bill for those phone calls, so he could call collect if he wanted to. I offered to call him but I don't know what his phone number is most of the time it changes once every couple of months and I have no clue what his address is. The last time he called our home was last April and he was drunk and belligerent. The man has never even called her on her birthday, not once. I happened to be on the phone with his sister a few weeks ago and he showed up there and she pretty much forced the phone into his hand, he didn't sound very happy to be on the phone and told me that his girlfriend was being a psycho and he would call and talk to our daughter in a few days. It's been about three weeks and he hasn't called.

Her bio dad cannot legally make decisions for himself. Long story short. He 35 years old and he has a custodian to handle the majority of his affairs (including financial) because legally he is not mentally capable of making those decisions on his own, the mental handicap is due to severe drug and alcohol abuse and a head injury that was caused by drinking and driving and wrapping his car around a tree. He still abuses drugs and alcohol and the last we spoke he told me he would never quit. I know from first hand experience if he is drinking and taking drugs and not taking his perscribed medications properly he can be very dangerous. There were several occasions of violence in our marriage. I do feel bad for him to an extent, however, he has made no attempt to try to help himself and his handicap is the result of his own addictions, no matter if it was intentional or not it was still self induced.

I met my current husband when my daughter was about a year and a half old. He has been called daddy by her for most of her life, and is her father in every sense of the word except biologically. He stepped right up and loves her as he would his own (and she loves him dearly too). The bond between them is just as strong as any biological child and parent. We have worked hard to provide a stable and loving home for our daughter. She is a very happy child and we really want to keep it that way. My husband wants to legally adopt our daughter and I really want him to be able to. We really feel it would be in her best interest since her bio dad can't make decisions concerning himself how could he possibly make level headed decisions affecting her? I have been concerned that our daughter will be hurt because of his indifference towards her. We have only one picture of him taken the day she was born but even with that she really doesn't know who he is. She can't recognize his voice, let alone the love he is supposed to feel for her.

What options are available in situations like this? How is the best way to deal with my daughter? I don't want my daughter to be hurt by him, but I dont' want to do anything that will hurt her either. I really don't wish any ill will towards her bio dad, even though I despise how he has neglected his responsibility to our daughter. His lack of interest in her just confuses the hell out of me.

I want to make the best decision possible for her and her future.

I apologize for the long winded post, this is a very emotional situation. I lose a lot of sleep worrying about this. I greatly appreciate any advice, and I thank you in advance.

Shadow
post #2 of 3

I have similiar situation

Hello - my 10 dd has not had contact with her bio dad since she was 6 or 7 yrs old. And before that it was here and there. He to has a drug problem, finance problm, girlfriend problem, etc.. married my current husband when she was 9 and i wish I would have married him when she was alot younger and the bonding was more natural. Dont get me wrong he is a good step father, great example - he even tattoed her name on his arm next to his sons names, but she is older and understands the relationship - she gets shy about calling him dad, but wants to, etc.. I do feel sad for her sometimes because i know she craves that male bonding, she will ask about her bio dad, etc..I grew up without a father and wonder and miss what it would have been like as well, but what is worse than that is the memories I have when I was 10 when i visited him (which was rare) - he could be mean. so I think it would hurt your daughter more to have contact and when she is older she can make that choice. Anyway what I do with my daughter is all I can do, apologize for my mistakes, make sure she knows she is sooooo loved, and I am honest about her biodad and his issues. We also changed her last name to our new family last name which is alot easier and cheaper than adoption. She was very excited!!
post #3 of 3
The only advice I can give is to talk to a lawyer: I don't know if his "issues" make it harder for him to relinquish parental responsibility, but in your shoes I'd probably do exactly the same thing. My boys have a stepdad who loves them to ittle bitty pieces, and they're richer for having him in their lives.
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