Question:

I am a single mother with a young son. The child's father and I are not on speaking terms. However, I have started growing closer with the Lord and looking at life differently.

First, my child is an infant andthe issue between his father and I began while I was pregnant. When my son was born, I placed the father on child support. The father made one child support payment since the support order was established. Because of this his license is suspended. I also believe there is a warrant for his arrest.

I have a great relationship with the grandmother on his father's side and my son knows everyone on both sides except his father.

I recently tried to reach out to him, let him know I have no animosity, and would be willing to work together so he can be a part of his son's life. But because I know his father's lifestyle, I asked if I could see the house where his father is now staying. He had an issue with that and wanted me to meet him in public. We couldn't agree, and I told him that I wouldn't be bringing my son to meet him. We haven't talked since -- not to mention his number was disconnected after that.

He then contacted me via text from an unknown number saying I should close the child support order because he doesn't intend on paying and, since I won't let him see his child, it's pointless anyway. I replied that if he surrenders his parental rights, then I would close the support order -- no response.

But now I think that maybe the child support idea is a worldly concept. God will handle him not taking care of his son. But I feel I need to be practical as well. If I closed the case, what's the worst that could happen? I mean I already don't receive the financial assistance, and he doesn't make an effort to see him. If he wants to be there for his son, heshould do so on his own. Not mandated by the state. Should I close the support order and leave the rest to God? I feel maybe the child support is thelast chain on my heart between him and I because he hurt me really deep. Maybe closing the support is letting go completely. I want him to know I am not the enemy and have truly moved on from what happened between us. More importantly I don't want, 15 years from now, my son thinking I am the reason his father is absent. If I can do anything to make sure he knows his father, then I want to because his father is not a bad person and can be a good father. I just don't agree with his lifestyle on certain things and his relationship with God is not aligned with mine, so we have conflicts. But, again, I don't want to be the reason his father claims he can't or doesn't get the opportunity to be a father to his son.


Answer:

The real issue is that your son's father does not want to be involved in his son's life. The fact that you listed him as the father did not cause him to shirk his responsibilities. His lack of involvement is shown in his refusal to pay child support and not wishing to see his son. Notice that even though he has gotten in trouble with the state for not taking responsibility for the child he caused to be conceived, it has not caused him to want to be involved with his son. Therefore, your concern that you don't want to have the father forced to be involved is false because he isn't involved even under pressure.

You hint that this man's lifestyle is not safe for a child to be exposed to. Yet, you turn around and want this man involved in the boy's life? Why? A bad father is not good for a child. I don't care about what the father could be. The only important question is what kind of man is the father at this moment. What you are telling me is that he will be a bad influence on this boy.

I very much doubt the man will get involved in his child's life if the order is dropped. Oh, he might show up once in a while, but that is about it. I have seen in similar cases where a deadbeat parent undermines the real parent. The deadbeat parent paints a fantasy world for the child where the real parent is the mean person, the deadbeat parent is the victim, and how life would be wonderful if only things were different.

It bothers me that while he doesn't want responsibility, he also doesn't want to give up his parental rights either. It sounds to me that he wants to do as he pleases without responsibility.

Let's get back to the basics. You two sinned by having sex without being married. Sins have consequences and children are the natural result of fornication. No one made you two have sex. That is something the two of chose to do in violation of God's Law (Hebrews 13:4). Neither one of you can reasonably claim that you do want responsibility for the child because you didn't intend to have a child. The simple fact is that by engaging in fornication you made yourselves responsible.

You shouldered your obligations. The sperm donor rejected his obligations. That sinful choice also comes with consequences as society, represented by the state, requires parents of a child to be responsible for child. I don't believe it is possible to withdraw the father's name. So long as you receive aid from the government for the child, the government will seek reimbursement from the father. In the government's eyes, visitation and child support are separate issues.

The child needs a real father in his life. I hope you will find a good man to marry, one who doesn't insist on having sex prior to marriage, and one who will accept your son as his own. Meanwhile, I would suggest that you continue to pursue having the father's parental rights terminated, which may take a while since he refuses to cooperate. Keep his family involved if you wish and so long as they will be a good influence on the child.

Your focus needs to be giving this child the best home possible so that the mistakes of your generation are not repeated in his. It isn't your job to make his father comfortable in his irresponsibility.

Thank you for your response.