I'm telling my story and asking for advice. (TRIGGER WARNING) :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

 

I've been lurking here on MDC for a long time, and I've seen you ladies give fantastic advice time and again. I think I need some help. I'll be changing a few minor details for anonymity.

 

Last year, I was working at a music store. I had a regular customer who I talked to frequently when he came in. I had a piece of equipment I was selling, and he said he'd buy it. This was all fine until he came to pick it up at my house. He came in the basement door (the amp was down there), and was looking at it while we were talking. 

 

He starting coming closer to me while we were talking, so I kept inching away from him. He pushed me into a corner and kissed me hard on the mouth. I don't want to go into too many details here, but to summarize, I was raped. 

 

I told no one. I didn't go to the hospital. I didn't go to the police. I just wanted to pretend it had never happened. 

 

A few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. It had never crossed my mind to take a Plan B or something similar because I have pretty severe endometriosis and was under the impression that I would have great difficulty conceiving. I could not bring myself to have an abortion. If this was my one chance to have a baby, I was going to take it. 

 

Anyway, fast forward. I have an absolutely beautiful, wonderful, silly little baby who I love more than anything on this Earth. He has not tried to contact me, and I've quit that job. However, I panic whenever I go out in public. I'm terrified of running into him. I don't want him to see something of himself in my child and want to be involved. I'm so so scared, and the absolute worse case scenario would be for him to have some sort of rights to her. Since as far as I know, he doesn't know I have a child, I almost feel like I don't want to risk trying anything for fear that he'll retaliate. For some reason I think he might be the kind of guy who would get all "that's my blood/family" about it and try to sue me for rights. This would be the worst possible outcome. 

 

I talked to my lawyer, and she said it is too late to report the rape. She basically shrugged and said she has no idea what to do since if he fought me for rights, I would have an impossible time proving him unfit. There have also been a few public "false rape" cases in my area recently, and I would hate for me to get prosecuted for bringing it up. 

 

I'm fairly certain he has a criminal record. He does drugs. He drinks, he smokes, he swears. He gets into knife fights. He raped me. He is NOT the kind of person I want to have access to my precious child. Looking back, I should have never let him into my house, but this is a decision I cannot change.

 

So, mamas, what would you do in my situation? I've been having nightmares and anxiety attacks and I just don't know what to do anymore greensad.gif Sorry for the wall of text, I just had to get this off my chest. 


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#2 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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I am so sorry that happened to you.  I wonder if it's too late to report just to have your story on file even though they won't prosecute.  Have you considered going to the rape crisis center to get counseling and advice?

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#3 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have. All they focus on is the "not living in fear." I've talked to several lawyers, and no one can seem to answer my questions. It's been incredibly frustrating.


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#4 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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That is horrible. I'm sorry that you were raped. I would report it, just to make an official record of what happened. What are you going to tell your DD about her biological father in the future? I would definitely seek professional help from a psychologist to help alleviate some of your anxieties and to plan for the present and the future.

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#5 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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I'm sorry, this is awful.

 

I don't know anything, but would you consider moving? If you move somewhere and never see him again, I can't imagine this would ever come up later. Especially since he doesn't have any idea the child is his.

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#6 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 02:59 PM
 
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This is a horrible situation and i am so sorry that you have gone through it. You did not put his name on the birth certificate did you? I am just assuming no. I dont believe that this man simply seeing your child could put any claim to them being his. If i were you i would personally speak with a close male friend you can trust and see if it is possible to list him as the father on the birth certificate because that would greatly make it more difficult for him to even suggest the child might be his. This man does not sound intelligent and for him to even have a shot of being involved would cost him a lot lot of money and lawyers. In my belief i am not a lawyer so take it with a grain of salt but if he is not on the birth certificate and you do not tell anyone he is the father and you do not admit when asked that he is the father then no chance of him becoming involved you just have to keep your cool and know and believe that.


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#7 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

That is horrible. I'm sorry that you were raped. I would report it, just to make an official record of what happened.
I'll have to look into whether or not they will inform him if I report it, and if the statue of limitations has passed.
What are you going to tell your DD about her biological father in the future?
I've thought about this a lot. I've decided that when she's really young I'll give her the "every family is different" speech. How some kids have a mommy and a daddy, some have two mommies, some have just a daddy, etc. When she's older (old enough to understand the concepts and not freak out about it) I'll tell her the truth. It's a pretty big deal, and I wouldn't want to be lied to about it. 
I would definitely seek professional help from a psychologist to help alleviate some of your anxieties and to plan for the present and the future.
I am, but it doesn't seem to help. I have a laundry list of coping strategies, but nothing has really made me feel better as of yet.


Thank you for your reply :)


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#8 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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After your second post...I think that of I were you and it was at all possible I would strongly consider moving.  If he ever contacts you I would record it, as long as one party recording is legal in your state, in case he admits anything.  

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#9 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Absofreakinglutely. However, I'm on my last year of my degree, and I can't figure out how it would be logistically possible to move away from my school. The INSTANT I'm done, I'm so completely out of here. I'm just trying to figure out what to do in the meantime. 

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I'm sorry, this is awful.

 

I don't know anything, but would you consider moving? If you move somewhere and never see him again, I can't imagine this would ever come up later. Especially since he doesn't have any idea the child is his.



 


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#10 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No! No, no, no, no, no. Haha.

 

Finding someone else to put on the birth certificate is actually a really good idea, but I don't want it to get me in trouble. Also, I'm trying to think of someone, but all my close friends are not at all white. And this baby is about as white as can be. I wonder if that matters? 

 

Thank you so much. Every person I've talked to has seemed to imply that he's going to hunt me down and sue for rights. It makes me feel much better to hear that, even though I know it's probably true that he wouldn't try. 
 

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This is a horrible situation and i am so sorry that you have gone through it. You did not put his name on the birth certificate did you? I am just assuming no. I dont believe that this man simply seeing your child could put any claim to them being his. If i were you i would personally speak with a close male friend you can trust and see if it is possible to list him as the father on the birth certificate because that would greatly make it more difficult for him to even suggest the child might be his. This man does not sound intelligent and for him to even have a shot of being involved would cost him a lot lot of money and lawyers. In my belief i am not a lawyer so take it with a grain of salt but if he is not on the birth certificate and you do not tell anyone he is the father and you do not admit when asked that he is the father then no chance of him becoming involved you just have to keep your cool and know and believe that.
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#11 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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You are in such a tough spot.  Can you avoid any areas where he would be?  I'm sure you're already doing that...  Wouldn't it be nice if his hard living caught up with him and took him off the earth.

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#12 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Doesn't it take a paternity test or an adoption to get someone added to a birth certificate?  

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#13 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I honestly have no idea what it takes to get someone on the birth certificate. 

 

I'm avoiding everywhere I think he might be like the plague, but it's a smallish town and I've seen him driving a few times. Makes me sick to my stomach. :(


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#14 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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First, so sorry you had to go through this!  It must be very conflicting and confusing to love your baby so much, yet was the result of such an awful heart wrenching experience.

Of course it's not too late to report.  While each state has different statute of limitations for prosecuting rape, there is no time limit for reporting a crime and getting it on record.  You do not have to prove something in order to report it.  Proving a case is needed only if he is prosecuted and it goes to trial.  It's completely in your best interest to get it on record...if for some (unlikely, but possible) reason he comes back and demands parental rights, you have a record stating it was rape.  If you do NOT report, and he comes years down the road, you have nothing to point to and he can more easily say you are stating rape just to avoid his parental rights.

You don't need a lawyer to report rape.  Just go directly to the police station yourself and be prepared to make a statement detailing the particulars of time, date, place, any possible witnesses who saw you together, any friends you told afterword who can verify your story has always been the same, etc.  Was there any other employees at the music store who saw him hanging around you?  Do you still have the ad for the amp?  Any little detail will be helpful for them to know--as well as make your story more convincing to them.  Take some time beforehand to write everything so you don't miss anything important.  If you don't wish to prosecute, you can let them know up front.  You can ask them first if prosecution is mandatory upon reporting.  Of course your baby is the DNA evidence needing to prove that "something" happened.  It's up to you to make it clear the "something" was unwanted and not consented.  Let them know your concerns about his finding out you reported it...that you feel threatened he might retaliate.  They must know to treat this with sensitivity while keeping you safe.

 

I'm a big believer in standing up for yourself and calling a spade a spade.  It's not about revenge or making trouble, but about finding your own strength, your own voice in what was a helpless overpowering situation.  Outwardly things look the same, but inside you will be your own hero and begin to regain your confidence.  Do everything you can to protect yourself and your child...reporting to the police is a step to protect yourself.  It is tough...it will take all the strength you have to walk into the station and speak up.  Go there with no expectations of them resolving the crime, or even taking you seriously.  Your goal is only to speak up on your and your child's behalf, and to get it on record.  If you find it in yourself to demand prosecution, you should officially press charges.  The police have their own detectives who will look into it and try to uncover proof they would need in court.

 

Personally, I would not be concerned about him demanding any rights over the baby, but as there is a possibility, do everything you can to document your "relationship", or lack thereof, with him.  Emphasize in the police record that you did not have a dating relationship, but he was only a customer.  Make it very clear he was never part of your life, and never available for you emotionally or financially while you went through pregnancy and gave birth.  Keep your doctor and hospital records showing you paid for everything yourself...no assistance from him.  Document his complete lack of involvement in your baby's life.  And keep all these records for as long as you fear he may intrude on your life.  Any decent lawyer could use these documents effectively to keep him clear away from you and your child.

 

I am hoping the best for you, it's a long road, but I know you can make it through.  I also agree with another poster about moving.  It might not be possible now, but it's never too early to begin planning and making arrangements.

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#15 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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I can imagine.  I was raped by my supervisor at a party after work when I was young and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack when I went back to work.  Thank god he was fired a couple of days later.  

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#16 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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Her top priority is keeping the guy from ever putting one finger on her precious baby.  If the police do any investigating at all he could find out.  Its a difficult position she's in.  If she can't prove rape and he does go after custody, either out of machismo or  because it's another way to hurt and control her he could get visitation.  It doesn't matter if they had a relationship or if he supported her during or after her pregnancy.  All he needs if a positive paternity test and to express interest in a relationship with his child.  It's horrible but it's true.

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#17 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This. The law's top priority is making sure there are two parents legally responsible for a child. It sucks, but they'd probably take his side. I went to a rape crisis center and talked about what happened, so there is some record out there, I guess. I don't want my LO to ever see his face. This is just so hard. I mean, I knew it would be, but man. I love being a mother so very much. LO brings an incomprehensible amount of joy to my life. I just wish I didn't have him and thus baggage to go along with it.

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Her top priority is keeping the guy from ever putting one finger on her precious baby.  If the police do any investigating at all he could find out.  Its a difficult position she's in.  If she can't prove rape and he does go after custody, either out of machismo or  because it's another way to hurt and control her he could get visitation.  It doesn't matter if they had a relationship or if he supported her during or after her pregnancy.  All he needs if a positive paternity test and to express interest in a relationship with his child.  It's horrible but it's true.



 


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#18 of 28 Old 01-20-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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I would not go to the police station and file a report. Ifyou did that you would have to trust that they wouldnt try to investigate or anything and one of our amendments gives the person a right to face their accuser. If you filed a report i think that would fall under the category of accusing and i imagine he would have the right to know who accused him which would bring this whole thing to his attention. Not to mention that by filing that report you would be providing evidence on his behalf that the child could be his. If you want to have some kind of proof i would suggest writing a letter to yourself and mailing it because that would prove when it was written like now and it would provide the same evidence that a report would as long as you do not open it.

See the thing here is that it is veryveryvery hard after a child is born and the birth certificate is filed to chane the parentage. In your case since you listed no father that might make it slightly easier but even still. In order for them being he and his lawyers to even suggest that he might be the father they would have to give a blood test and because you are thenmother they have no right to force you to allow them to take your childs blood. I think you could very simply not consent. Which is why i mentioned that it would cost him so so soso so much money. This is a situation that as long as you admit absolutely nothing and do t talk to anyone and dont consent to anything that would spend probably years in the courts before he even had the tiniest chance and even getting to see her or claim any kind of rights because they would have to make a court order to overule your wishes against the blood test. They would have to have so much probable cause and reason to do that though its just hard for me to fathom. Ijust really dont believe it would happen. He can not just walk up and say hey she looks like she is mine and have rights. If you ever run across him just get out of there if he pursues at all call the police he has no rights whatsoever as it stands at this point in time.

Really your rights are protecting you right now whether you realize it or not. As long as you knownwhat they are and you dont incriminate yourself for lack of better terms the chances for him are very bleak if not non existententirely imo.

I know a little bit about this process because my friend has a daughter who she conceived with a man she was not married to. When the baby was born she simply put who she was married to as the father. Even though both she and he knew that it was not true. Later when they got divorced it took her several years because she had put that mans name on ghe birth certificate because not only even though they BOTH knew and understood he was not the father they had to prove it to the court. Beyond just that they forced them to find the real father who lived out of state and wants nothing to do with his daughter to have a blood test to prove it was indeed his. He has refused to take the blood tests.so she will never get child support even though they tracked him down. This is obviously a very different situation but its a little i sight to how seriously paternity is taken and the kind of proof needed before anything is granted.

If by some amazing freaking craziness that again i really just dont believe would happen you could go ahead and pull out that dated letter offer it as evidence and go straight to asking for a polygraph test. Or even go and have one done now. It would help to discredit himif it ever managed to get that far.



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#19 of 28 Old 01-21-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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Personally, I would report, but I can certainly understand your concerns.  Unfortunately the law is not usually supportive of women. 

I think the best place for legal advice and who can discuss the ramifications with you is your local chapter of NOW.  I've worked with lawyers and members of their organization and they fight like anything to stand up for women.  Their website is now.org.  Do please look up their local chapter and discuss your situation and concerns with them...I know they won't steer you wrong! 

It's tough to keep telling more people what you went through, but you are doing the right thing looking for ways to face this!

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#20 of 28 Old 02-16-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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Honestly?  Move to a different state.  Can you?  I'm not saying you should have to!  By all rights, a sinkhole should just swallow him tomorrow, instead.  But your fears are understandable.  You have  admirably made lemonade from lemons.  You and your daughter have a right to the happiness you created, by letting her have life.  No longer living in the same, small town as your rapist will alleviate your fears of him invading your life a second time.  You deserve that peace.

 

If moving is not possible, take comfort in how unlikely it is that he would assume the child is his.  To pursue parental rights, he'd have to see you with her for a moment (after all, it's not like you're going to stop, chat, introduce her and give him time to study her face), then:

1. Accurately guess her age (Can this guy really tell a 12-month-old from an 18-month-old?  Half the men who've raised 4 kids can't do that, when looking at other people's children!)

2. Quickly do the math - PROPERLY - to figure out when she was conceived;

3. Accurately remember when he raped you (which may not burn in his memory the same way it does, in yours);

4. Assume you weren't sleeping with anyone else at the time, who might be the father;

5. Overcome his fear that if he speaks up, you'll accuse him of rape.  He knows he committed a crime.  Don't you think he has a little fear he'll be found out?

6. Be willing to start spending his drug money on child support (including BACK child support, which his attorney will warn him about); and

7. Be willing to rearrange his self-centered life to be responsible for a child, part-time.

The odds are in your favor.

 

If you trust your attorney's advice (that you can't prove rape at this point), then I tentatively agree with other posters that if you report it, you risk that any investigation might tip him off to the fact that he's a father.  And I think the goal of protecting your daughter from him supersedes the moral imperative to report the crime.  By keeping and loving this child, you have already gone way above and beyond what anyone might have expected of you.  Just take care of yourself, and her.

 

I don't think putting someone else on the birth certificate is relevant.  If the rapist wanted to prove he was the father, it's easy enough to prove it, regardless what's on paper.  Besides, unless you put down your fiance, your daughter will someday wonder why the man on her birth certificate hasn't acted like a father to her.


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#21 of 28 Old 02-17-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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All the advice here is good, but the only thing I have to add is to find out if the Rape Crisis Center runs a support group.  Many times other survivors can offer up better coping strategies than a counselor who hasn't been through it.

 

And I second the idea of finding yourself another counselor- there are low cost or sliding scale ones around- and see if you can find one who knows cognitive behavioral therapy- strategies to help you with your PTSD.  Hugs.

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#22 of 28 Old 02-17-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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If you want a second opinion you could always call the police station and ask to speak to an officer and see how they handle reports. My state offers an informational report where they'll take the information down but it's just filed. Even outside of prosecution I would ask lawyers about what type of evidence the court accepts and whether there is any other way to document it in case you needed it (i.e., letter, polygraph, friends, etc.) The fact that you told some friends would probably help because you could call them as witnesses. Also could you get a copy of your file from the rape center just to prove you reported it to someone?

 

As a lot of the PPs said if you left him off the BC then he will have to go through the legal process of proving paternity and then will be responsible for cs. In my state it wouldn't include back support because it only starts when the request is filed.

 

Throwing this out there since you said you were in school and wanted to move. Is there somewhere you could move so that the likely hood of seeing him would be smaller (like campus housing)? Or is distance learning an option for next semester?

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#23 of 28 Old 02-17-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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sucks, but i wouldn't report it and i'd probably move tomorrow if possible bag.gif


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#24 of 28 Old 02-18-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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I agree completely with Jeannine's response. The likelihood of him going to the expense & trouble of filing paternity is slim to none. How can you get past your anxiety regarding the situation? I've had anxiety attacks & they're no fun, to say the least. I think, in your situation, I'd look for ways to alleviate my anxiety regarding the issue. I am always reminded to focus on "one day at a time" - the present - and not to telescope out into the future and worry about things that are beyond my control, and, not to worry about things that may or may not happen. Easier said than done, though.
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#25 of 28 Old 03-26-2012, 04:36 AM
 
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I would make a report.  That being said though... what are the chances he'll figure it out? I mean, this guy really doesn't sound like an Einstein.  If, on the chance you were out and bumped in to him, and he saw your LO, and somehow sniffed out his genes... THEN I would start packing my boxes and bracing myself for a fight.  It sounds like you're really anxious about this and while I think you should take a couple of precautionary steps, it sounds like the pp's are really helping to work you up. 


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#26 of 28 Old 03-28-2012, 07:18 PM
 
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I would just lie about your childs age, honestly. This is a horrible situation that no one should have to face and it absolutely sucks that there's not much you can do about it right now, but I think your best bet would just be to subtract or add a dew months to your childs age so that there's no way he could even hallucinate that she's his.

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#27 of 28 Old 03-28-2012, 10:20 PM
 
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Oddly enough, a paternity test is not required for someone to establish paternity or be put on the birth certificate. How it's possible without establish paternity is beyond me, but a friend of mine had it happen to her first hand. A man she had been dating raped her and they conceived a child, now he's pushing for paternity; it's a mess. Unfortunately, she didn't report the rape and now deeply regrets it. As another commenter mentioned, it would look fishy if she reported it now. :-/ 

 

 

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#28 of 28 Old 03-28-2012, 10:24 PM
 
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I would definitely suggest reporting the rape. In many states, if he doesn't pursue paternity within two years of the child's birth, he loses his right to be involved in the child's life. So, maybe that will work to your advantage, depending on the age of your child. Like you're already doing, I would avoid going to places you think he may be. As for the birth certificate, no man needs to be on it, actually. Unless your state requires it for some reason, which to me, is unheard of. I'm not an expert on all state laws, though. It sounds like you're already of the mindset that moving, one you're done with school, is the best option for you and your little one. Your story hits so close to home and my heart is breaking for you. Sending good and healing vibes your way. 

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