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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my attempt at Reader's-Digest-version-of-really-long-story:<br><br>
At 30, sick of waiting for Mr. Right, swore off men (except in dire circumstances <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) and adopted. As foretold by my adoption agent, when dd was just months from turning 3, met THE ONE. Amazing man, dd loves him, he loves her, we married after 3 years of dating. (Yeah, yeah, I'm overly cautious). We moved one month before the wedding to a new state which, we discovered, requires 1 year waiting period after new marriage for step-parent adoption and 1 year after moving to the state, so...we had to wait one year.<br><br>
Fast forward to August of last year (5 months ago), we reached 1 year of marriage. I didn't think about the 1 year thing or the adoption until I took dd for her back-to-school physical (she's now 7) and the whole name issue reared it's ugly head again (I took his last name, so my name now doesn't match hers - REALLY hate that and wouldn't have done it had I known...)<br><br>
After the physical, I made a few calls, got the paperwork, found out it's not too expensive and pretty easy (since no father who needs to sign off) and skipped home merrily.<br><br>
Since then Dh has been avoiding the subject. When I finally 'blow up', he says "I'm her father, so this paperwork is just a formality. We'll take care of it when we have the time." I've pointed out the issues with the name (and all I go through at doc office, dentist, school, etc.) and the (heaven forbid) ugly scenario of something happening to me and her ending up in state custody (which would require me to return to haunt him), b/c in their eyes, he's definitely NOT her father.<br><br>
Dh does tend to avoid things he's unfamiliar with, but I'm about ready to take back my maiden name until we either get this resolved or I leave. I'm truly not sugar-coating things when I say he's a great guy, very supportive in all other ways, true 'partner' in finances, laundry, parenting, etc. I was QUITE particular about who I dated before dd came along and didn't 'settle' afterwards. So, 1) why is this so 'hard' for him, and 2) why am I - with all the other positive attributes of dh, which I'm well aware don't come along but once in a woman's 38 years of life - feeling like this may be a deal breaker?<br><br>
Thanks for reading that really long 'short story'! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Well, since I'm not an expert at adoptions, the only thing I could suggest would be that maybe your DH just isn't looking forward to all the red tape that I'm assuming would be involved? If your DH is anything like mine, I've discovered that some men just drag their heels when it comes to paperwork.<br><br>
Is there a way you could fill out the majority of the paperwork and then go over it with him one night once the kiddo is in bed and you have a nice pot of coffee/tea and some peace and quiet to go over all the details?<br><br>
I'm just throwing ideas out there as again, I have no experience whatsoever with this topic. But, I sure hope your DH gets on the stick to make this work for you all.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Well, have you presented it to him in just this way? Have you said, "Here are three stacks of paperwork. The first is the stack of adoption papers. This is what we need to do to complete the process, and this is what i have done thus far. The second is the stack of papers required to go to court to change my name back to smith, so that MY daughter has family with the same name as her own, until you choose to do what is required of you to complete the first stack of papers. The third are divorce papers. They will be filed exactly one year from today, if you have not completed the necessary steps to take care of stack number one." If you truely DO feel as if it might be a deal breaker (and I understand...she was your DAUGHTER before he was your husband, your job is to protect your child...in the end, he can protect himself...and if he isn't "in it" enough to want to be her father in fact, not just name, well then...he'd lose in the end in my book too...sounds harsh...but not, really. What happens six or eight years from now when she asks WHY he hasn't adopted her? "Well, dear, it was just too much work for me to complete the paperwork needed"????), then make HIM understand it. You might lose him over taking a stand...but then again...do you want to continue life with a man who doesn't care enough about your child to want her to KNOW that he will always be her father?<br><br>
I don't know that I would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Skimama, You're right. DH avoids things that are 'outside his comfort zone' regularly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It's not that he doesn't want to or that he doesn't care, but his engineer brain makes him evaluate EVERY angle before jumping in. Frustrating for me, at times, since I follow my heart and not always my head.<br><br>
Courtenay_e, I like your idea of the '3 options'. As an engineer, he responds well to that type of thing. You typed what I feel. She does (and always has) come first. I married my husband b/c I WANTED to, not b/c I NEEDED to. I was financially secure, owned my own home, adopted her on my own, etc. I could easily live without him again.<br><br>
Thank you both for your input! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I agree that if he's not ready to adopt yet, you should take back your maiden name for your daughter's sake.<br><br>
I'm curious as to why he isn't ready to do this. He ackowledges that he's the father...the one and only, so what's the big deal with changing her name?<br><br>
I hope it all works out<br>
Lisa
 

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Thinking about it for a while, it seems to me that there might be a bit of "guy psyche" going on here, too.<br><br>
My husband will absolutely not consider that something might happen to me. Could this be some of what is going on? Just a thought.<br><br>
THe choices thing...something I learned in childrearing, and my husband is an engineer too, and it works well for him. Not comparing him to a child, mind you, but that PEOPLE like choices. And in giving choices, we should choose outcomes that work for us... I'm glad it works for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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What a stressful situation. I wish you all the best and hope it works out the way it's meant to.
 

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Did he say he would adopt your child before you were married? If my husband wanted me to adopt step son I would say no at this point. We also have been married a short time. If something does happen to my husband I don't want the legal responsiblity at this point to take on my Dss. Since DH doesn't have custody it is not the issue. I do love them both but legally the child is not mine. Your husband may need more time for all this to sink in. I don't think giving him ultimatums about this subject is a good thing to do. Discussion and counseling are called for. Again, I have to ask if he agreed to adoption before the marriage. If he didn't or it was just assumed, he may feel panicked and in a corner. You could make a will and leave him custody or in a guardian situation if something happens to you. And you don't have to divorce to take back your former name. Since he is a great guy and you know how hard it is to find one, realize that this is a huge decision for him and give him kudos for all the great things he has already done for you and your child. It just may take some time. I had a friend whose dh never adopted her children (their dad was dead) but he supported her and them as a true daddy should and now helps with his step grandchildren. He loves them completely but will not adopt. It doesn't mean he is a bad guy or that he is lacking in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>courtenay_e</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10274802"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thinking about it for a while, it seems to me that there might be a bit of "guy psyche" going on here, too.<br><br>
My husband will absolutely not consider that something might happen to me. Could this be some of what is going on? Just a thought.<br><br>
THe choices thing...something I learned in childrearing, and my husband is an engineer too, and it works well for him. Not comparing him to a child, mind you, but that PEOPLE like choices. And in giving choices, we should choose outcomes that work for us... I'm glad it works for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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I definitely think this is a big part of the issue. Talking about this does mean we have to think about 'worst case' scenarios. It's funny, I've always done the choices thing with my daughter but hadn't really considered it with my dh. The one time I did it I got 'the look' and was informed he wasn't 5. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Now that I've had the chance to rant a bit and hear some rational feedback (bless you all!), I really think it's just more discussion and getting him comfortable. I was having a bad day all around, then the "name issue" came up again and when I asked where the paperwork was he couldn't remember, so I lost it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><br><br>
I'll keep working on this and let everyone know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>angilyn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10277797"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Did he say he would adopt your child before you were married? If my husband wanted me to adopt step son I would say no at this point. We also have been married a short time. If something does happen to my husband I don't want the legal responsiblity at this point to take on my Dss. Since DH doesn't have custody it is not the issue. I do love them both but legally the child is not mine. Your husband may need more time for all this to sink in. I don't think giving him ultimatums about this subject is a good thing to do. Discussion and counseling are called for. Again, I have to ask if he agreed to adoption before the marriage. If he didn't or it was just assumed, he may feel panicked and in a corner. You could make a will and leave him custody or in a guardian situation if something happens to you. And you don't have to divorce to take back your former name. Since he is a great guy and you know how hard it is to find one, realize that this is a huge decision for him and give him kudos for all the great things he has already done for you and your child. It just may take some time. I had a friend whose dh never adopted her children (their dad was dead) but he supported her and them as a true daddy should and now helps with his step grandchildren. He loves them completely but will not adopt. It doesn't mean he is a bad guy or that he is lacking in some way.</div>
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Yes, his adopting dd was a discussion and agreement before marriage. I adopted as a single woman and didn't NEED a father for her. I was financially secure, owned my own home, car, etc. and would have been content to remain a couple, but as we grew closer and she became so attached we both felt it was the best thing to get married and provide her a mother and father (not the ideal for all nor my original plan, but it seemed the right plan for us the further down our 'path' we went). Since there is no 'father' he is, for all intents and purposes other than legal, her father. My concerns (in typical mamma bear fashion) are mainly 'worst case scenario' type things. The biggest frustration is that, due to our HMO, her legal name must be on all medical paperwork which has to match her school papers, which leads to confusion, etc. You're right, he not 'lacking'. As I posted above, I was definitely having a bad day and admit this got the best of my (not a proud moment). However, it WAS an agreement before marriage and, while not the only, definitely a deciding factor in my decision to marry.<br><br>
I guess we all have those 'things' that just eat at us and this is one for me. However, as one pp stated he probably just needs more time to deal with the red tape and paperwork involved. Even though we discussed it, I think some part of him believed the world would just all of a sudden see him as her father (in every way) and not require paperwork (oh, if only it were so).<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Janansmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10282677"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I definitely think this is a big part of the issue. Talking about this does mean we have to think about 'worst case' scenarios. It's funny, I've always done the choices thing with my daughter but hadn't really considered it with my dh. The one time I did it I got 'the look' and was informed he wasn't 5. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Now that I've had the chance to rant a bit and hear some rational feedback (bless you all!), I really think it's just more discussion and getting him comfortable. I was having a bad day all around, then the "name issue" came up again and when I asked where the paperwork was he couldn't remember, so I lost it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><br><br>
I'll keep working on this and let everyone know what happens.</div>
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Yes, usually what happens with us is that I ask. And ask. And discuss. And discuss some more. And then I finally give him "options" and he realizes that I'm really pissed and does something about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br><br>
For us, it's the "okay, if asking you to be a grownup doesn't work, how about this" moment...and he LIKES to be a grownup, and usually behaves accordingly...sometimes it just takes a nudge for him to realize that he's not, uh, manning up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
laughup You know, as a newlywed, it's nice to know I'm not the only one repeating myself on infinitum to my dh. I often say dd's cuteness saves her even after repeat #100, but husband loses his after #3.<br><br>
Thanks for your level-headedness in my moment of extreme emotionality (I have those often). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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*giggle* yes, "they" say marriage is a lot of work. They are right. It's constant, CONSTANT tweaking on both of our parts, and I really DON'T see it ever ending. Frankly, I don't know that I'd want it to...growth is a good thing!
 
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