A father that is no longer in the picture

by Mariana Cruz
(Miami, Fl, US)

I am a mother to a beautiful 15 month old baby girl that the father is unfortunately no longer in the picture. After finding out that Briana's father is addicted to cocaine and had stolen money from me; as-well after finding out that while I was working he would take Briana with him to buy drugs and he would use it while taking care of her I broke up with him. I told him that he could still be in Briana's life but he chose to not be involve physically and financially.

Briana's father is not in the Birth Certificate making me 100% custodial parent. I've haven't pursued child support because I am afraid that he would get some rights over her and ultimately harming my daughter. My question is if I should pursue child support or just completely forgetting he exist and continue supporting and raising my daughter by myself as I have been doing since she's been 3 months.

Comments for A father that is no longer in the picture

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Child Support or No?
by: Ask Sara

Hi Mariana,

Thanks so much for writing. I have to confess that I was in the very same spot as you. My son's father decided he was not interested in being a father, and he was not listed on the birth certificate either. I was determined to leave things that way, and to bypass child support. I was making $6.00/hour, paying rent, a car payment, child care, and all the other things that we pay to run a household and raise a family. It was a struggle.

One day my boss and I were discussing the issue and he said something that made me think. He said:

"That money is for your son to have a better life."

I realized in that moment that it was not about me and my preferences. It was about the life I could give my child, and more money would certainly improve that life. I pursued support, we did the blood tests, and my son's father was very angry with me. It wasn't a lot of support, but it was more than I had on my own and that allowed me to give my son just a little better life than I could do by myself.

I think this decision is very personal to your situation, but perhaps I have given you a different perspective to consider.

My best,

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