Dorothy, I can’t help but feel suspicious about your ex’s motives. First, he drops his daughter from his life for almost three years. How can any parent abandon a child for all this time? Then, he reappears just when another man has taken his place. I’m concerned that he’s returning not because he loves his child, but because this other man threatens him, and he wants to work his way into a controlling relationship with you. I could be wrong, and I hope I am. However, if I’m right, you need to consult an attorney to protect your daughter.
If I’m wrong, and your daughter’s biological father has just suddenly realised he doesn’t want to lose her child, you need to take another course of action: make sure a healthy relationship is established between your child and her father. You can’t just suddenly turn your daughter over to a man who is a father only in name. She doesn’t know him, she’s not attached to him and she doesn’t love him. She may in the future, but it’s going to take time. If you trust that he has honorable intentions, let him know that both of you have to go to counseling to find a way to work things out. It has been six months, and your daughter continues to be upset. Your ex runs the risk of losing his daughter if he continues to force himself on her. You have to protect her. Also, don’t worry that he can take your daughter away. A man who has abandoned his child is not in a good position to convince a judge that he should have custody.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.