Ask Kim – April 5

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Dear Kim,

My son just turned 18 years old a couple of weeks ago.  He and his girlfriend had a baby three months ago.  He has been in and out of juvenile court for a few years now, and it’s pretty clear he doesn’t make good life decisions.  The girlfriend has a restraining order against him.  They got into an argument, there was no violence, but she felt scared.  She continually calls him to come over to see her and the baby.  He goes, even though it’s a violation of the restraining order.  I am certain this is going to lead to additional legal trouble for him.

I think he wants to maintain the relationship for the baby.  I don’t think he’d go if he didn’t have that tugging at his heart.  Here’s my dilemma.  I don’t believe he is the father of this child.  My son has really strong features and the baby bears no resemblance to him at all.  I have asked him to do paternity testing, but he says no.  My husband and I babysit regularly.  I’m thinking of doing a DNA swab myself.  My husband says that’s a horrible idea.  I’m really just trying to help.  If the baby isn’t his, why should he have the responsibility?  If the baby is his, then I have no problem.  What do you think?

Michelle

Topeka

Dear Michelle,

It certainly sounds like your son has his hands full.  My own experience tells me that mothers frequently don’t know the complete story.  We only listen to what our hearts allow us to hear when it comes to our children.  We always want to see the best in them.  Believe me, I’ve heard some pretty lame excuses for bad behavior that I’ve let slide.  We love them.  Whatta you gonna do!?

As far as babies go, I can remember hearing someone say, “I know my daughter’s children are hers.  But, I can’t say the same for my son’s (children)”.  Translation, it was clear that when her daughter had a baby, it was hers.  When her son’s wife, partner, etc. had a baby, she couldn’t be sure her son fathered it.  If you think about it, it’s a valid point.  She made these comments long before there were DNA tests to confirm such things. 

Seriously though, I wish I knew your motivation for wanting to confirm paternity.  Do you hope he isn’t the father to get him away from the girl and the baby?  Will this make all your son’s trouble magically disappear?  Would you prefer he walked away?

Your son seems satisfied that he is the baby’s father.  What I can tell you for certain is that some of the best fathers in the world weren’t the sperm donors.  Most importantly – there is a baby, who through no fault of its own, is caught in the middle of your family issue.  Regardless of who fathered this child, can’t you simply love it?  It’s a baby.  The more people who love it, the better chance it has to thrive in this tough world.  Put your grandmother heart on and enjoy that new baby.  Not everyone gets this chance.

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