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'I told my ex-husband he’s not allowed to see his biological son because he left me when I was pregnant. AITA?'

'I told my ex-husband he’s not allowed to see his biological son because he left me when I was pregnant. AITA?'


"I told my ex-husband he’s not allowed to see his biological son because he left me when I was pregnant, AITA?"

Hi everyone, there’s multiple people involved here so I will give everyone fake names. Me (33f), my current husband John (35m), ex husband Tom (39m), my son Luke (15m) and John’s daughter Julia (16f).

I met my ex Tom when I was 17 and fell pregnant at 18 when he was 24. I initially did not want the baby but Tom convinced me to keep him as Tom was finishing a graduate scheme in his current job and was going to get a massive pay rise and can afford to look after us etc. I was naive and young and stupid and took his words seriously.

We essentially had a shotgun marriage, my parents at this point were deeply religious (they are more liberal now) and so was Tom’s so everyone thought this was best. 7 months into my pregnancy, Tom just left me, his parents stopped speaking to me, he said he didn’t want to give up his youth to be a father and he made the wrong decision. I was devastated but over time got over it with the support of my parents and family and I didn’t speak to Tom ever again. Tom is not on the birth certificate.

When I was 25, I met my current husband John and he was a single dad, the mother of his child tragically passed away and he’s been raising his daughter all alone. We bonded over being single parents and eventually fell in love and married. John treats Luke like he is his son and I treat Julia as if she is my biological daughter, she is my daughter in my eyes and Luke is John’s son. We have a wonderful family unit and as far as I know, both kids are happy. Luke calls John his dad and introduces him as dad to everyone, I have told Luke the story of his biological dad and he has told me he has no other dad than John.

Two weeks ago, I received a Facebook request from Tom and out of curiosity I accepted and told John about it immediately and he thought it was strange. I think I messed up here by accepting it. Tom told me he’s sorry and leaving was the biggest regret of his life. He told me he married a second time and they got divorced because it turns out his health decisions have made him infertile (I don’t know how true that is but that’s what he said) and Luke is the only child he has.

He said he wants to bond with Luke and Luke deserves to know who his real dad is. I went absolutely crazy and told him he’s not allowed to go near Luke whatsoever and he’s not allowed to see him.

I told him he is not on the birth certificate and he has no legal right to see him and the cruelty in his actions when he left me whilst pregnant showed me his true character and I’m not letting him near my family. I deleted him from my friends list on Facebook and John has been supporting me through this and reassuring me that everything will be ok.

Yesterday, I received an email from Tom, how he found my email I do not know, but he’s threatening legal action and called me a vengeful b-h. Am I wrong or an ahole for not letting him see Luke? Luke has told me many times he sees John as his dad and has no interest in even looking for his biological dad. To add, I have let Luke know some of the situation (not the calling me a bitch part) and he does not want to see his biological dad.


Sorry I wrote this post quickly and in a panic, my marriage with Tom was annulled as we did not consummate the marriage. We live in the UK where it seems like rules may be different for leaving a name off the birth certificate. Luke knows Tom has been in contact with me recently and DOES NOT want to speak to Tom. After reading the comments, if Tom wants to take me to court then he can and I will lawyer up.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Far-Season-695 said

NTA. It’s pretty telling he only wants to connect because he found out he’s infertile. Seems like he is now wanting to play “dad” because he can’t father any more kids.

jabronimax969 said:

NTA, even Luke can see through his bullsh%t. He had 15 years to be in his sons life and instead he choose to be a young turd who ended up sterile. He only wants to be involved for selfish reasons and for that alone he should not be allowed near Luke. Not to mention your son knows who his true father is and already expressed no desire to see Tom.

Big_Zucchini_9800 said:

NTA if he were to take you to court he would have to prove paternity, backpay child support for everything he would have owed, and then come to a settlement on custody during which Luke would get to have a say in who he wanted to see. Luke is old enough to make this decision on his own, but if he does want to have his sperm donor around you should absolutely get all the money you are owed, not because you need it but because Luke should have it for college and your ex should bleed green for his selfishness again and again.

Simple_Reception4091 said:

NTA. Tom had a chance and walked away. He doesn’t get to insert himself into the lives of people who don’t want to see him just because things didn’t work for him elsewhere. If Tom is not on the birth certificate, I don’t see a path to him claiming any legal rights unless he tries to sue and uses your messages as evidence. Best to lawyer up here.

Apprehensive_War9612 said:

NTA this man has no legal or moral right to your son just because he found out he can’t have kids. However/ it is up to your son, he is old enough to make this decision and he has decided. So email the jerk, tell him to her a lawyer and bring it on because No just will ever force your son to see him, but if he wants to push it he cam try & pay you 15 years back child support while he’s at it.

HarleyBlade said:

I was ready to come in here and say YTA, but I'm happy to be wrong. Usually, I wholeheartedly disagree with keeping a child from their parent, as they deserve that chance to bind, no matter what you and your partner went through (except abuse/assault).

However, your child not only knows what's currently happening, but also what happened in the past with his father, and HE chooses to keep NC with his father. So no, you're NTA, and I'm happy to hear you're getting a lawyer for your situation, as well as the fact there seems to be a good amount of evidence to support your case legally! Good luck love!!

Later, OP provided an update:

Thank you everyone. I have reached emailed several lawyers I found online wanting advice. Some googling of UK laws say that: "If not named on the child's birth certificate, a father has no legal/parental rights regarding that child. However, a father can apply for a Parental Responsibility Order, or enter a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child's mother to gain parental rights to the child."

I will hopefully have updates when I manage to speak to some people tomorrow but so far it looks like he has no rights and needs to apply for parental rights.

Everyone was unaimously on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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