I had just started working when I met this guy. His father was a partner in the company. He was so handsome and tall that most of the women at work wanted to catch his eye.
But he was not flirty or aggressive. We became friends when we met at a party of a common friend, and he started asking me out for drinks.
On our fourth outing, he casually asked me to his bachelor’s condo and I accepted. I knew something was going to happen and I was okay with it. I was single and liked him enough.
It was all casual sex to me and nobody was promising anything at the end of it. But being a romantic at heart, I was soon falling in love with him. When I found myself pregnant, I took it as both good and bad. Good because I was having the child with someone I love. Bad because I knew he had no feelings for me.
I told him anyway. I knew he wouldn’t like it and he told me so. He said he’d pay for the abortion and, if I did not do it, I’d have to take care of the baby myself. He even said he’d refuse to recognize his paternity if I pressed the matter.
I went abroad to my sister who is an OB-Gyn and gave birth to a very beautiful baby boy. He was the spitting image of my casual lover. I didn’t care if my friends knew I had become a single mother. I started posting my son’s photos on Facebook a few weeks after his birth, and regularly after that.
He is now starting to walk and is really cute. Soon, I heard rumors from my friends in Manila that my casual lover’s parents and siblings had all seen the baby’s photos and are regularly following his growth. They are so enamored by him that they want him to be part of their family. They’re pressuring their son to ask me to marry him, or have a say in the baby’s upbringing.
I cannot deny them their grandchild—but to have a say in his life? After their son wanted him aborted, and threatened not to recognize him as his son? Probably not. I just want to know if he and his family have any rights to my child.
No, they don’t. You have the law on your side on this very contentious matter. The father cannot just automatically claim paternity for him. Clearly he can go through science by having DNA tests, but he must show more convincing proof to validate his assertions.
Did he send you love letters, give you gifts perhaps, to affirm his connection to you? Intimate photos perhaps? Anything to show that you were an item prior to this child’s birth.
Your casual lover should not have been abrupt with you or even pompous when you told him of your condition. He may not have felt much affection for you, yet you got into your state of single motherhood through him. You were two consenting, conniving adults, and he should have shown more empathy, if not commitment, at the very least.
Unless and until you feel you have comfortably reached the upper hand in this evolving drama and believe in your gut that he has changed and truly wants a connection with his child, maintain your dignity and go on with the life you are pursuing.
You didn’t need him then, so there’s no hurry to welcome him into your lives now. Let him prove he can be a father in name and in deed.
Don’t you just relish the freedom you have? As a line of a song goes, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”