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  #41  
Old 09-11-2011, 07:54 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
How is it possible that your role as biological father was so ignored that you lost even partial custody?
The Dad has no rights in England or Scotland (different legal systems, but similar in this respect) unless either the parents were married or the Mum voluntarily puts the Dad on the birth certificate.

(Talk about dumb legislators: before that that law was passed, most Mums would put the Dad on the certificate, which was nice for the child. Now any Mum planning to be awkward simply refuses to say who the Dad is when they fill out the birth certificate)

The Dad would usually get some contact, if paternity can be proven, or is admitted, but even then not shared residence. (custody is called residence over here).

In my case, ex admitted to the courts that I was the Dad (one thing I do have to remember to be grateful for, she could have made that one difficult too), but did not put me on the birth certificate.

However if the Mum really kicks up a fuss for years on end, eventually the system gives in and lets her have her way.

In between seven and eight hours time as I write this, it will be exactly two years since I last saw my daughter. We said goodbye, see you in three weeks (five hours every three weeks was the contact I got), then even that failed.

I can't answer your other questions: I am posting here under a recognisable name, and I have not yet given up on the Courts. One thing that really annoys them is discussing the cases in public....

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... how could you prevent that in future?
only by picking someone I'd trust and getting that decision right next time around...and my track record there sucks. I want too much to believe it is going to work this time

And that is part of the pull towards polys: the habit of honesty in other parts of their lives has got to be an advantage.


Quote:
Keeping in mind that you are 56 and with a cultural life expectancy of 70ish, if you met a woman tomorrow and she got pregnant on your first date, you'd be ailing or dead by the time the kid was in her mid teens...
Yes, big problem. That was why in the early 2000's I decided to stick with the relationship with my ex, and my uncle/father role with the step d, rather than continue looking for what I really wanted.

It was the thing we discussed most when ex became broody: was it fair to the child to have a father so old? My Dad died when I was 14, so this is quite personal for me.

But having given up on the dream once, and had a surprise reprise of the dream, and then having had it snatched away again, I am finding it much harder to give it up this time round.

And at the same time I describe it as a 'hope' not an 'expect'.

But it is not quite as bad as you suggest, working from the cultural expectation of 70. In fact, the older you get, the later you expect to die, because you proved you didn't get one of the early deaths. When I last did the quiz, it predicted that someone of my gender, age, health, and excercise diet, drink, smoking (never) habits would on average make it to 81. If I want to see my child to age 18, that gives me 7 years till s/he needs to be born. But still the sooner the better, because an average is only an average, I could last longer, but equally could go sooner...


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Ach. It's hard enough being up several times a night when one is in their 20s and 30s, healthy, vital and strong. Personally I work as a nanny, and am usually exhausted after 4 or 5 hours caring for the infant twin boys, and their 5 year old sister. Never mind being up several times a night for feeding and soothing... Hence my "awe."
I am up several times a night anyway. I usually spend 8-9 hours in bed, but only sleep for about three bursts of two hours each. This has crept up on my nighttimes in the last few years. But suddenly, I understand what Marge Piercy was getting at about the sleep patterns...

Twin infants, maybe a challenge too far....

And yes, I say I'd do it all, but I have always always said that 50-50 is better, and a multi-way split even better still. Several parents, either a group of monos or a polytangle, has always seemed the ideal way to me... even tho I accepted a different arrangement with my recent ex.
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Last edited by trueRiver; 09-11-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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  #42  
Old 09-11-2011, 08:58 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Oh, my statement didn't come out right at all now that I see it again!
I am glad you posted that line before I responded, nycindie.

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Of course, I know there is a wonderful bond that happens between a parent and their biological children, and I don't think it's egotistical in general for people to want children - of course not! What I meant was that those who are obsessed and so focused on that aspect, as if who the child comes from is the most important thing about having a child, comes out of ego. ....
But I stll think this is unfair. Many many many women feel like this, and it is totally accepted. When one in a whatever many women feels exactly the same as all the others, but has reproductive problems, people say she has an ego issue if she goes for the full technology. I say she's as entitled too use tech to become fertile as other women in other situations use tech to prevent fertility. We are no longer as a species dependent on nature for controlling fertility, and that works both ways...

And as for me, all I can tell you is my brother was born just five days before my third birthday, and by the time he was a few months old I knew this was what I wanted to do. And because it was seeing my mum look after him, I wanted to be as close to being a mum as a boy can get. And Mum gave me every encouragement, and never warned me that the world ain't set up to allow that to happen easily.

And in my experience, it seems to be the feminist women, rather than the mainstream system, who do most to prevent it happening.

And there are huge numbers of women who tell a bloke that is good, that they wish their fella would want to do more (or even some) of the childcare, but it always seems to be on the basis that the man has no right to be there as soon as the woman changes her mind. She has a right to her own life, it is said, and to take the children along with her in that life.

Several people posted that I overreacted against what you said earlier in this thread, and I took time out to think.

I do owe you an apology.

But I want you to understand that it hurts when you bond with a child or a step child (I have experience of both) and then the bond is broken simply because the woman changes her mind. It has happened to me several times, it has happened to most of my male friends, many of them more than once...

And nobody nobody nobody even dreams of expecting that of a woman.

And maybe it really is better with the Na, but the idea of still being dependent on the Mum for contact with the child, even if the mum is my sister not my partner, still leaves me fearful. And then do I miss out if I only have brothers (as is the case?).

No, for me the solution is to move towards more equality, not back to a system that was invented before men's part in producing children was understood.
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Last edited by trueRiver; 09-11-2011 at 09:12 PM.
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  #43  
Old 09-11-2011, 09:37 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I do owe you an apology.
Was that the apology? Usually apologies are worded "I'm sorry" or "I apologize." I think you're kind of acknowledging an apology is due but you don't really want to.

It doesn't matter, anyway. I don't actually think one is necessary because I didn't take anything you wrote personally and I wasn't offended. I just found you frustrating, exasperating, and irritating to converse with because you kept twisting everything I said as if I had some dastardly purpose other than sharing information and another viewpoint.

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Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
But I want you to understand that it hurts when you bond with a child or a step child (I have experience of both) and then the bond is broken simply because the woman changes her mind.
How arrogant to think I don't understand. You know nothing about me. Now that I am divorcing, I will probably never see my stepson again. The fact that he did not come from my womb does not make it any less of a wrench from my heart. You think you're so exceptional and special for having these experiences? Geez, get off your high horse.
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Last edited by nycindie; 09-11-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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  #44  
Old 09-11-2011, 10:17 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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But I stll think this is unfair. Many many many women feel like this, and it is totally accepted. When one in a whatever many women feels exactly the same as all the others, but has reproductive problems, people say she has an ego issue if she goes for the full technology.
Well, which is it? Are a woman's feelings about having biological children "totally accepted" or do "people say she has an ego issue"?

Quote:
I say she's as entitled too use tech to become fertile as other women in other situations use tech to prevent fertility. We are no longer as a species dependent on nature for controlling fertility, and that works both ways...
We are still a little dependent. For some women, nothing technology can do can render them able to carry a child. For all men, technology can also do nothing about this. Both men and totally infertile women have to accept, somehow, that they will never carry a child.

There's nothing we can do to get you pregnant so you can carry your own kid, so you'll have to just get over that. You have other options available to you:

1) Adopt or foster parent
2) Convince some woman to carry your biological child by being in a relationship with her that encourages co-parenting
3) Convince some woman to carry your biological child by having her be your surrogate, and bring up the child yourself

All three of these options are really difficult to get going and require a good amount of hurdle leaping. Well... yeah. Welcome to everyone's world. Children and successful co-parenting relationships don't just fall out of the sky for anyone.

In some ways, men have an advantage in this. I was talking to my dental hygienist, who is in her 50's. She dated an older man through her 20's and 30's, and he didn't want children, and so they refrained from having them through all her fertile years. He left her when she was in her 40's, and she regrets not having a biological child. She feels like she missed out on kids all for this guy who left her.

Both you and my dental hygienist had life experiences that maybe didn't work out the way you or she wanted. Both of you had relationships that turned sour, chances for kids or parenting that didn't work out. Both of you regret that now.

The difference? You are still fertile, and she is not. You have a chance, and she doesn't, because you are a man.

So don't go around saying that women have all the biological luck here.

Quote:
And in my experience, it seems to be the feminist women, rather than the mainstream system, who do most to prevent it happening.
Really? Feminists prevent men from parenting their children? Woah, buddy. You seem to have alienated two women, the mothers of your two children, to such an extent that they won't allow you to have contact with them. Was that because they were "feminists"? Because I am beginning to suspect it is because they just plain don't like you.

I think a man has a right to partial custody of his biological child, provided it is determined by the courts to be in the best interests of that child. But you're saying that you don't have legal rights to your children in your country. So... isn't that the "mainstream system" preventing you from contact, not feminists everywhere?

Generalized vitriol against women everywhere is hardly going to get you one step closer to your dream of finding a woman willing to carry your child and then co-parent with you. I suggest you reconsider your attitude, pronto.

Quote:
And maybe it really is better with the Na, but the idea of still being dependent on the Mum for contact with the child, even if the mum is my sister not my partner, still leaves me fearful. And then do I miss out if I only have brothers (as is the case?).
Again, no-one is suggesting that you adopt the Na system as a practical solution to your problem. It was just a different way of looking at genetics and parenting that was food for thought for you as you mull over these issues.
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  #45  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:08 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post


And maybe it really is better with the Na, but the idea of still being dependent on the Mum for contact with the child, even if the mum is my sister not my partner, still leaves me fearful. And then do I miss out if I only have brothers (as is the case?).

No, for me the solution is to move towards more equality, not back to a system that was invented before men's part in producing children was understood.
If you were in a small village, there'd be rugrats running around everywhere. You'd be free to bond with any or all of them as you chose, I'd reckon. And if you died, they'd still have lots of "mommies/aunts" and "daddies/uncles" to depend on.

I'm sorry your ex and you became so estranged she prevented more than occasional contact with your daughter right from the start, and now somehow has not even allowed the court ordered visitation. Good luck with that.
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  #46  
Old 09-13-2011, 01:48 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
...
I'm sorry your ex and you became so estranged she prevented more than occasional contact with your daughter right from the start, and now somehow has not even allowed the court ordered visitation. Good luck with that.
Thanks M.

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  #47  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:18 AM
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This thread is filled with people who are deeply hurt and wounded by others it seems. Its a shame that there is not some kind of coming together over those similarities rather than more hurt and wounding going on... I find that people spend far too much time involved with their own feelings to adequately empathize and express their concern for other peoples feelings... too bad really as it seems to me that healing happens when people empathize.

I am left feeling very fortunate that I choose to let my roll as a parent be shared with the two men in my life. My boy has three parents as a result and none of us are giving that up, nor are we taking it away from the others... my point of view has always been that there should be abundance of love in my relationships rather than scarcity. A child should be loved by whomever is there to love them and care for them. The more the merrier when it comes to loving a child (or anyone for that matter).

If my child was taken away because of circumstance, the most I would want for THEM is that they be loved and cared for by SOMEONE,,, or MANY people. It doesn't have to be me, but I would be damned hurt and angry if it wasn't. I think I would grasp on to the notion that that is my ego talking and that has nothing to do with the care and love my child gets. In time I would like to think I would be able to participate again in their lives.... I think I would work on letting it go rather than regretting and holding anger and my dream of parenting in the way I originally thought I would or should.

I feel for you Trueriver. You sound like a man in deep pain over this and I wish you relief from it. I don't know if that is possible by making another child and raising it the way you would of preferred however.... it does sound like you would be using the situation to fulfill a deep rooted need you have and I would wonder if it would be healthy. I would wonder what would happen if things ended up similarly as your other children's situations! More pain, more hurt.... perhaps you should cut your losses and spend time with children who have no men in their lives who desperately could use a decent role model. I would think it would almost be guaranteed that there would be positive results from that in terms of getting your needs met to parent...
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  #48  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:11 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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@Redpepper,thank you for your kind words.

You are exactly the Mother I wanted for my child/ren [this is not a proposition by the way] and exactly what I thought I'd found 25 years ago. Sadly in those days the distinction between swinging and poly had not been recognised; it was all called open or swinging. The recognition that some open couples were open to additional loving relationships and others only to explicitly non-loving relationships was only just forming in people's minds. The importance of very careful negotiation was not yet recognised to the extent it is now (for example in this forum)

But you have put your finger on another big issue for me: I wanted my child to have multiple parents (ie more than two) as well as wanting to be one of those parents.

In the early years of this century I made the precise decision you are now suggesting: I focussed on being a step parent to someone from age five onwards. I fully intended that to last till she left home. I can't say much more, but it was when the mother of that child suddenly went broody (totally against my or her previous expectations) that we decided to go for a child together; and then that failed almost as soon as she was pregnant and I not only lost the unexpected chance to have a second chance at helping care for a baby, I also at the same time lost my step child of ten years age and of five years of bonding ....

So the step child rot looks as dodgy as any other option, from where I now find myself.

Logically, what I decided in 2001 or 2002 still makes sense, just the way you say, and just the way Magdlyn syas too (cos she gave other good logical reasons for the same conclusion).

Unfortunately, I am not a robot or a dalek, I have these awkward things called feelings too. And having given up my first best dream ten or so years ago, only to have it unexpectedly handed me on a plate and then snatched away again, leaves me feeling it very much harder to give up on the dream this time round.

Perhaps I will never get the chance, perhaps I will. But if someone offers me the opportunity, and if I feel I can trust them to actually keep promises after the baby arrives, I really cannot imagine me saying no. And that is even with the mindful understanding of the logical validity of your advice. It all makes logical sense; it makes no emotional sense to me at all.

So what seems much more useful to me would be advice on

- what promises are reasonable to ask for,
- whether other poly people feel promises in these situations should be kept or whether ultimately it always remains up to the woman if she feels differently later to just ignore what was promised (I have found both strands of thought within poly, and not just in this kind of situation)
- and how do I tell the difference between those who make promises to keep and those who make them relying all along on being able to change their minds later (which I now feel one of my previous partners did)

because those kinds of advice are more likely to affect what I actually do, and more likely to make the difference between there being a new happy child with 3+ parents or another child with a single mum and and no relationship with any dad.

And poly, as it has now developed, does seem to offer some hope: there is all this emphasis on negotiation and agreements, and I find myself hoping that that makes a better chance of long term plans actually working out long term, as indeed they have for you. Your success in building what I want makes me enormously envious, and at the same time enormously hopeful.
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There are two Rivers here now: which one is this?

see
quaker poly experiences and poly: a quaker perspective

I hope other British Quakers who are poly (or wonder if they are) will contact me here, thanks, Friends.

Last edited by trueRiver; 09-17-2011 at 05:26 PM. Reason: clarity; typos
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