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My 18 yr old son met his father for the 1st time

15 years ago

I have to give a brief history to understand everything that has happened, so bear with me.

When I was 19, I dated a guy for a few months. We broke up. I found out I was pregnant after we broke up. He already had a new GF and asked me to leave him alone. When an old friend from high school heard about it, he stepped up and said he wanted to take care of me. In his 19 year old immaturity, he thought he'd marry me and everything would be okay. He stayed while I had the baby and we (stupidly) put his name on the birth certificate. He knew he wasn't the father... the real father knew from the beginning but didn't want to take responsibility. Two months later I was alone. The guy that thought he wanted to marry me bolted because it was too much responsibility for him. The child support department had already started a case against him and he defaulted (didn't challenge it) and they declared him the legal father. I tried to contact the real father and his answer was, 'he's the legal dad'. He has never denied being the father but over the years, fell back to 'that guys name is on the birth certificate' or 'he's the legal dad'. I even filed a court case when my son was 2 in hopes that he would demand a DNA test prove one way or the other. Legally, I couldn't force him to take a DNA test because, legally the other guy had already been adjudicated the father. I told the court several times that it was wrong but they couldn't do anything about it. When my son was 8, we saw his father but he refused to talk to us. When my son was 15, he was hospitalized and having problems. IMO, he needed a dad to talk to. Again, I tried to get his father to see him or talk to him. I filed a second court case and by luck, a new law was passed to get the default order thrown out against the wrong guy. I followed through, proved the wrong guy wasn't the father but it took me almost two years. It wasn't easy because he had moved to another state.

My son turned 18 last July. The day of his birthday, I was in one courtroom vacating the default order against the wrong guy. The next day, I was in another courtroom to get the right guy to take responsibility. He stood there with his attorney, arguing why he should NOT have to take a DNA test. He said the child was 18, no need for a test. The court disagreed since I had filed my case(s) before he turned 18. They ordered him to take the test & for me to pay for it. I did and we got the results proving he is the father in late September or early October. Our hearing was in November. We went to the hearing and his attorney argued that the case that I filed when my son was 2, should be thrown out. (he didn't want to pay support back to when he was 2. He was going to have to pay back to when he was 15) It wasn't just about the money, it hurt that he refused to have anything to do with his son all those years, knowing it was his son. (he says he didn't know for sure but if I were a guy and there was even a small chance, I think I would want to know, not fight taking the test) Anyways, we had to wait over two months for the courts ruling and we got it a couple of weeks ago. He lost getting the older case thrown out, although the court hasn't ordered him to pay the support for that time period yet. They are trying to make me file an appeal. (trial court says he won't order it unless the appellate court directs him to)

We got that ruling two weeks ago. Two day later, his father called me and asks for him. I didn't talk to him at all, just gave my son the phone. They've been talking almost everyday. A few days into it, I guess my son mentioned that money is tight and he's struggling to pay for school and his car. His father told him that he was going to take out a loan and pay the child support directly to him after he does his taxes. My son came and told me this and I told him that if his father wants to discuss child support, he needs to talk to me. (any money he gives my son directly is a gift) So, his father called the next day and asked him if he told me about the loan and my son apparently told him to talk to me. (He also told him that I was going to file the appeal to make him pay back to when my son was 2) So, he immediately called me and asked me what is going on. He was trying to rewrite history... he said he was at the hospital the day my son was born and that I told him to go away, it's not his son. That's such a lie & I don't know if he believes that but he made mention that I'm lucky he doesn't tell my son the 'truth'. I told him to go ahead, I've never lied to my son. He remembers his father walking away when he was 8. He knows some of the legal battles since he was 15 and since he is 18 now, he has full access to the court file. He knows his father got the DNA test results when we did and didn't call him until he got the court's ruling three or four months later. When his father first called him, he came to me and wanted to talk because he told me he was unsure of whether to trust him or not. He was angry with him for everything but still curious about him. During their first conversations, his father worked in telling my son that he has a young son that suffered a stroke and he doesn't work because he has to stay home to care for his son. My son got the feeling his father was trying to make him feel guilty about the child support issues. (The court has ordered him to pay the minimum amount, imputing minimum wage to him as income, which I know he is capable of earning more but I don't want to financially ruin his other family either, just want him to take responsibility for his son) It upset me that he brought up his son that had a stroke when part of my case against him was for his medical history because my son had a tumor and needed surgery. He didn't even call to see if he was okay, let alone go to the hospital when he was having the surgery. He still hasn't apologized to my son for staying out of his life, he has told him that he wants to move forward in getting to know him and forget the past.

Well, this weekend, he came to visit. They met for lunch with his wife and three other children. He bought my son an ipod, external hard drive for his computer, a package of re-writable CD's so he can record music, and took him to the mall and bought him expensive tennis shoes. My son doesn't know how to feel, he's very mixed up right now.

I'm trying not to be angry but my biggest fear is that he is not sincere in wanting to see my son, that he is trying to make us feel guilty so I will drop the back support. My son has also said this to me, he doesn't trust that his father is going to continue to see him once the support issue is taken care of, even if I drop it. (I'm not willing to drop it since my legal fees are more than the ordered child support at this point.)

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