What would you do?
What Would You Do?
By Aldona Bird
A baby was born to a loving, self-reliant mother who did everything right.
The baby’s father wanted very little to do with her, was emotionally abusive to the mother and terrifying to be around. And the judge gave him custody.
And the question is, if it were your baby, what would you do?
Please tell us in the comments below…
Ms M and Mr. G were never married, co-habited, or in a long-term relationship. Ms M became accidentally pregnant while casually dating.
After that Ms M did everything right: She considered abortion, but found that she was not able to take that life. She worked through her normal but exceptionally fatiguing pregnancy saving money for the baby, and borrowed to make up the shortfall. She laid out concrete plans for the future for herself and her child. She didn’t want to fight with Mr. G, so paid all her pregnancy, birth, and child support bills, and provided everything her child needed. She found freelance work which she can do while caring full time for her child, whom she nursed for 18 months, until the judge and Mr.G forced a violent weaning.
She allowed Mr G to come to the birth of her child and invited him to visit after, even though she broke up with him. When the judge ordered visitations, she missed only one, when she had a stomach flu and Mr. G chose not to come himself. She waited at visits when Mr.G was late, and when Mr.G did not bother to come or cancel.
Mr. G did everything wrong. He provided absolutely nothing financially or emotionally for the pregnancy, birth, or support of the child. He reduced the amount of time he worked, and declared that he planned to quit work entirely after the child was born. While not exercising any parental responsibility after the child’s birth, he wandered from job to job for the last 18 months: failing at Certified Nursing Assistant certification and losing a job at the Omni Hotel.
He did not complete a paternity affidavit, and did not visit the child for nine months after the birth. He took Ms M to court. The court ordered a modest child support payment, and he fell behind starting the very first month. Although the court ordered visitations entirely on his terms, he used less than half of the visitation time he was given. He interacted with the child so little and so badly that at 18 months he has no relationship with her, and she fears him. After Ms M refused to return the child to the horror of the unsupervised visitation, he took her up on her offer of supervised visitations only once in three months.
Then Mr. G filed for contempt, and, even though he had violated numerous court orders for months, the judge held Ms M in contempt, and said he is now inclined to switch custody of the nursing baby to Mr.G. Meanwhile, he ordered that the baby be separated from her mother and turned over to the Mr.G for two days and two nights — he wanted to order more, but that is all Mr G was up for.
Mr. G’s behavior qualifies for child abandonment (he did not visit, did not legally acknowledge in a timely manner, did not financially support) according to the West Virginia code, citations of case law by the West Virginia Supreme Court, and and the US Supreme Court.
If Ms M had acted in the way Mr. G did, she would now have her parental rights terminated. If Ms M had acted in the way Mr. G did, the child would not even be alive.
This judge declared Mr. G more fit to care for a child than the mother who gave her life and all her support. The baby has been sentenced to separation from the only caregiver she has known. Separation from a loving and secure family and a safe and caring community. This baby is now in the power of a man who declared his intention to teach her the lesson he himself was taught as a toddler: “you can’t rely on anyone, not even your own mamma.” Exact quote, documented. Intention achieved, compliments of family court judge.
The judge ordered Ms M to leave after dropping the baby off. She wasn’t allowed to check the carseat, which the father has never been able to install himself. The last time the mother had to ask a police officer to install it for him. Today, after fifteen minutes he was still in the parking lot, fiddling with the carseat. She had to leave without knowing if it was correctly installed.
Maybe this doesn’t seem so bad. Seeing someone get hit is clearly abuse. But the stress of being afraid of someone’s temper, what they will do or say, who won’t be loving and caring to your child is as traumatic.
Here’s a partial transcription of recording taken at a mall play area, where a visitation was held.
Mother: You pushed me. You did. You put your arm into my chest and shoved me away.
Father: Right, ok, whatever. [Unsure, quality is too bad]. I swear to god if you try saying anything like that in front of the judge I’ll fucking destroy you.
Mother: Wait, I’ll put her down, please don’t touch her while she’s in my lap, I’ve asked you not to do that.
Father: Like, that’s exactly what [Unsure, bad quality] that I’m talking about. I’m very clear about what I said and then you try and make it into a threat? You know [raising voice] please, PLEASE let your lawyer know. Please let your lawyer know. I’ve had it up to here. You have absolutely no reason to be hostile with me.
Mother: Please don’t stand over me waving your hand at me.
Father: Oh, oh, oh yeah, you’re so threatened.
Mother: All I ask is that-[Speaking to baby] Hi! Look at you!
Father: All I ask is that you leave me and my daughter alone, that you allow us [yelling] to have a fucking relationship instead of trying to [Unsure, bad quality] you don’t let any of that happen. N0.
Mother: I just ask-
Father: [yelling] NO. NO.
Mother: I just asked that-
Mother: Please stop waving your hand at me, I feel like you are going to hit me.
Father: No you don’t.
Mother: Yes I do.
Father: No you don’t.
Mother: You’re standing over me waving your hand in my face.
Verbal and emotional abuse take the form of trying to make the victim feel powerless, discounting her right to her feelings, and belittling her.
There are over a dozen recordings, all the same. All a constant stream of insults, using bad language, blaming the mother, all in front of the baby.This matters. It’s damaging.
Would you put your baby in a situation where she was alone with this man?
Make Family Court Safe for Kids
Aldona was raised in West Virginia and went to school in Pittsburgh. She has spent time traveling in Europe and was living and working in Pittsburgh when single motherhood led her to return home to WV. She lives near her parents, working at homesteading on the family property and as a free lance journalist while being a full time mom. You can follow the full story of the court case here: https://familycourt-abuse.com/