Archive | January 10, 2014

The Biological “Father”: Wouldn’t Acknowledge Paternity, But Signed My Niece Away Anyway

I never liked this guy from the start. I only met him a few times but I just didn’t like him.

I didn’t like the way he talked to my sister, I didn’t like the way he treated my sister, and I hate the way he abandoned my sister in her most desperate time. It was his child she was carrying, he was well aware of it, although he blatantly denied it.

He left her to fend for herself, not being there for her in any way, emotionally, financially, or otherwise.

He was a little boy pretending to be a man, and he was more than willing to walk away from his responsibilities.

But that isn’t the worst of it.

Our families had no choice but to speak over the phone the night before we went to court to determine the custody of my niece. As the head of the family, my father placed a call to Daryl’s mother, Paula. After a long discussion, Paula told my father that yes, they would help us to have Nevaeh returned to us, and Daryl would not relinquish his rights. They agreed that this baby had much family to love and support her, my father even stated that we would draw up papers relinquishing Daryl of any payments for child support.

I remember all of us sitting around the kitchen island at my parent’s house while they were on the phone. I can’t even find the words to describe the desperation we all felt, and still feel. It was just not an option to have one of our own be taken off to be raised by strangers when our family was more than willing and capable. Never in a million years did I ever think we would be in a battle for our own baby.

After sitting on pins and needles, feeling like the room was spinning, all of a sudden we saw a look on my dad’s face, he lit up and said, ” oh thank you, Paula, this baby needs to be with her mom and family and we’ll handle everything.” A little more discussion which I can’t remember because I was so elated, and that was that.

He hung up the phone, we all cried, we laughed, we were love drunk. We breathed a sigh of relief, our baby was coming home to her rightful place. We had already gotten her a diaper bag, clothes, and blankets, which still sit on a shelf in my mother’s private closet.

Everything was going to be okay, we started talking about everything we were going to do. Painting her tiny toes and when she got bigger, out for ice cream. A simple but beautiful love and bond was already there. We saw a wonderful future and we looked at each other and were never so strong or in love with each other. We were a family that rallied together, just as we still do. We look after each other and take care of each other.

It was a long night. We were all so physically and mentally wiped out that by the time we went to sleep it was almost time to get up for court. I’ll never forget that morning. It was the worst day of my life.

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We arrived at the courthouse.

I remember standing there, looking around. Lawyers, suits, briefcases. I felt sick to my stomach then, and I feel sick thinking about it now.

Our lawyer came over to us, and said, ” he signed away his rights this morning.”

My sister screamed.

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All these years later, I still can’t believe how that went down. Daryl denying over and over that he was the father and wouldn’t even submit to a paternity test, but signed her away like nothing. Paula, his mother, already had more than one son under her roof paying child support for kids they didn’t see. I guess they thought it was easier to give her to strangers, rather than keep her with her family than for them to possibly have to pay a dime for her.

They signed her away to avoid any responsibility, although we needed nothing from them. I don’t know who is worse, Lupita who set it up and profited from the adoption; or Daryl and his family, that knew the situation and turned a blind-eye.

Daryl never lifted a finger for my niece, and when he did, it was the middle one. He’s simply pathetic, no excuse. We stood up to fight, and he put his tail between his legs, just like his mom showed him how to do.

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