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Fatherhood/Why would an 18 year old

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QUESTION: Why would an 18 year old woman, have a child with a man that wants children, but only if he is the custodial parent (does not have to pay the mother child support)? The mother gives the father custody of his daughter a few days after birth. The mother says that he daughter is very lucky to have a very good father? She does not care that her daughter that is born in California will live in Belgium with the father and her daughter’s native language will be Dutch, but will also learn English. Her daughter will visit her mother in California about three times a year.

ANSWER: It seems that these days, a lot of younger women are choosing to have children out of wedlock with varous custody agreements.  Perhaps this woman just wanted to have more freedom in her life without all the responsibilities of being a full time mother.  If the mother was not ready it may be the best situation for the child.  In some ways I feel there are far too many people becoming parents without really thinking it through and making sure that they are prepared to be the best parents they could possibly be.  They take it for granted often at the expense of the child and once those formative years have passed by they are gone, there is no going back if you screwed up.  Let's hope that the father is well prepared to do his best.

Take care,

Marcos

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Why would the mother be happy? She sees her daughter playing with other children in Belgium and is having a fun. She knows that her daughter favorite subject in school is learning Dutch. Her daughter is every happy to see her mother, and has no trouble speaking English to her mother.

Answer
I have seen many children who grew up in very abusive and neglectful homes and what not usually happy, it was what they thought was norman until they were old enought to recognize the difference.  I have seen many abused women continue to go back with their abusive parter.  What makes us happy or sad is not something that can be easily answered as a general question since we are all different, grew up in different environments and so on.

I have to tell you that your questions do not seem to be comming from your personal problems since they are not very specific and too general.  I am presently recovering from pneumonia and will no longer answer your questions unless more specific information is supplied.  

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Marcos Torres

Expertise

I can answer many questions regarding child development, best practices in child care and the fathers role in his children's development.

Experience

10 years as a child protective services investigator, 10 years administrator of a residential nonprofit program for developmentally disabled adults and children, 2 years working with parents facilitating a parenting group of first time parents with my wife using the MELD curriculum in the early 80's. Co-wrote and Administered a fatherhood grant working with young fathers and incarcerated fathers. Ran a fatherhood program in a Texas State jail and was Director of Incarcerated Programs for the National Fatherhood Initiative for a year and a half. I also raised two children now 22 and 26 who have excelled academically which I believe is from our learning the best practices in child rearing from the start.

Education/Credentials
BA in Social work in 1980 from New Mexico State University

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