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'AITA for refusing to allow my son's biological father in my son's life?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to allow my son's biological father in my son's life?' UPDATED

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"AITA for refusing to have my son's bio-father in my son's life?"

I'm 40F, my son is 5, his bio-father (M) is 41. Background: I never wanted the typical, socially approved life of dating -> marriage/cohabiting -> family, which is the preferred model in my country. I wouldn't mind children but considered both IVF and adoption instead of going through the motions of a romantic relationship just to have them. I would have also been okay with coparenting.

6 years ago, I had a fling with M. He works for the same company but a different department. He also comes from the same small town as me, which is how we actually got involved. I was on BC, he was using condoms but we became that small percentage statistic anyway. I found out early bc of my yearly gyno exam. As I said, I wasn't opposed to the idea of kids so I decided to keep it, in part bc of my age.

My country has a decent maternity leave system, my job pays well and allows me to work from home and my parents wanted grandkids so much they were not just willing but eager to help me. I was in a really good position to be a single parent if it came to that. I still told M out of courtesy and made it clear that I wasn't expecting anything financially or emotionally if he didn't want to be involved.

If he wanted to be, we would be coparents, nothing more. He declined, didn't want to be a father at all. Okay, his choice but I made it clear that no obligations also meant no rights. He agreed and signed his parental rights away a few months later (I wanted to be fair and give him a chance to think it over in case his first reaction wasn't what he really wanted).

I moved back home with my parents, weathered the minor scandal (small towns love their gossip), gave birth, took care of my son. "You don't have a dad because some kids only have a mom" has been enough of an explanation for him so far and my dad and brothers serve as the male role models so he doesn't feel the lack of that kind of figure in his life either.

Conflict: As I mentioned, M comes from the same town. Our company sent everyone to work from home in March and he moved back in with his parents. He contacted me recently about wanting to meet my son and possibly acknowledging him as his own. I told him no.

He hasn't been around before, why would he want to start now? He tried to tell me seeing the kid around town woke up his parental instincts but I happen to know that his parents has been after him to settle down (small towns really love their gossip) so I'm sceptical of that claim and find it more likely he sees my son as a way to appease his parents with a ready-made grandchild.`

I refuse to have my son used like that. As far as I'm concerned, neither of us need M in our lives and he seems to only want to be around for selfish reasons, not because he really wants to connect with us. One parent who wants the kid 100% is better than two parents where one of them only sees the kid as a means to an end. AITA for refusing to have my son's bio-father in my son's life?

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

Rnin85 said:

NTA-he signed away his parental rights. He doesn’t get to reinstate them on a whim to appease his parents.

Loljackieee said:

NTA keep this man away from your son. You have custody for a reason, he doesn't get to swoop in when he feels like to do the easy shit.

All_Conquering_Sun said:

Whatever you want, just know your child may feel differently as he grows older and want a relationship with bio-Dad. Consider keeping lines open so that it could be easier on your boy as he grows. . .

Abby_B_Dazed said:

NTA He decided a long time ago he didn't want to be involved and completely signed away his parental rights. He doesn't get to come in years later changing his mind. Seeing a kid doesn't awaken something in you and suddenly make you a parent.

Being a parent is work that you do every day with your kid. It is sometimes hard and sometimes tedious. But it is important above all else that you are there. He hasn't been there for five years. He isn't a parent.

Verdict: NTA.

Later, she shared this heartbreaking update:

M had a car accident in late October and passed away. I was upset by this for various reasons, mainly related to my son. I mentioned in my responses to the original post that I was willing to facilitate their relationship if I saw proof M genuinely wanted to be a present father and it felt unfair to have that chance torn away like that, regardless of what I thought about its likelihood.

In early December, I was contacted by M's parents. It turns out M told them about my son after all. When I asked why they didn't come forward earlier (as in before M's death), they said they felt like the situation was of M's doing and he should have been the one solving it.

Plus, they knew me in passing and even more from my aunt's stories so they hoped we would be able to reach a compromise, either me with M or eventually me with them. I took my son to meet them on St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day). They got him some gifts (consulted by me) and we broke the fact they were his other grandparents.

We spoke of his father in terms of him having had a very busy work and then having an accident and going to Heaven before he could meet him. He was upset but it seemed to be more of a sadness at the loss of an idea than the concrete person. I'm currently looking up child psychologists to help deal with the whole thing. He seemed to get along well with his new grandparents, if a bit shy.

My son will never know his bio-father personally but he will have his grandparents who certainly want to know and love him. And for him to be loved and never doubt it is everything I could ever want.

Sources: Reddit
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