Age 16 or 18 to try and contact Father

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Wondering if anyone can advise me I have a nephew who had a very brief relationship The girl became pregnant but she refused to let him see the baby or to put his name on the birth certificate. They wanted him to put his name on the birth cert but refused as they would not even let him see the baby She did not want him to have anything to do with him Refused financial help with pram cot etc and would not accept any maintainence which he offered but she decline
He opened an account for the baby at that time and has continued to put money aside with the hope that the boy would contact him when he was 18.
She moved away and he has heard nothing until yesterday.
Out of the blue he got an email with a photo saying that the boy is asking about his father He is now 16 and studying for GCSE. He is unsure of her motives in this and torn about what to do
My Sister has told him to ignore it and to let the boy come looking for him when he is 18 My Nephew lives at the same address so no problem in getting contact. At the time his parents tried to reason with her parents but they were not prepared to give him any access. He lives either in Wales or England She is obviously married with 3 other children.
Any advice regarding age is it 16 or 18 that the boy can have contact My nephew has no problem in meeting him but the mother has been very sly and he is concerned about her motives. Could someone clarify contact re age 16 or 18 My nephew just does not know what to do . Advice from anyone ? Thanks Sue
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  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    If this is his son, and his son wants to see him and he wants to see his son, why would he do anything other than meet up?

    I don't really understand what your question means about what age the boy 'can' have contact. Can you clarify? There is no law dictating when parents and children can see each other!

    The 16 year old may have some difficult questions for him though, such as why didn't he go to court to get access and parental responsibility?

    As for the ex's motives, what is he worried about? If its that he might have to pay maintenance, well he should have been paying it for 16 years so that would be fair enough!
  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
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    Bit confused by the OP - did he refuse to put his name on the birth certificate, or did the mother not allow it? It reads as if he refused.

    Also, what has his mum got to do with it? If he's old enough to have a 16 year old son, he's old enough to make contact with him without checking with his mother.
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    Does it really matter what the 'official' age might be? (not that there is one)

    If the boy wants to know about his father he should be allowed to. At 16 he's more than old enough to make his own mind up.

    Just how do you think the boy will feel if your nephew follows your sisters advice to ignore him? To refuse to have anything to do with him until he is 18 could just make the boy give up on his father all together.

    Your nephew can't let the mother's motives stand in the way of letting his son contact him.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • Susan1942
    Susan1942 Posts: 1,401 Forumite
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    Thanks for that I think the problem is that it is the Mother contacting him rather than the boy himself
    My thoughts would be to reply and say to ask his son to make the contact. He has always wanted this and as I say she would not accept any maintainence from him. He tried with the help of his parents meeting with her parents but it was an emphatic no. She then moved away but no contact till yesterday
    He always hoped that one day the boy would seek him out. As I say he opened a bank account putting money in it all these years so that when the boy did contact him he would have a lump sum to give him
    I think my sister is wrong telling him to ignore it and wait until they boy is 18 and makes contact himself. She seems to be married and to have 3 further children I have not seen the message but I understand that she has said they boy is asking questions about his Father. I have no idea what she has asked for and if she wants him to contact the boy. He would be happy to do this but his parents are telling him to ignore it He is very upset about it all and I want to try and give him some sort of advice
    Is 16 or 18 the age that the boy can make contact with his father ? My sister seems to think it is 18 My nephew is very upset by it all and I think he would like to make the contact but is torn by what his parents are telling him . He does not want anything to do with the mother as she hurt him very badly . Hope this clarifies the situation He has got a substantial sum of money put aside for his son the same as if he was paying maintainence. My Nephew is single with no girlfriend in his life but has got very assertive parents. He does not want to hurt anyone
    Could the boy contact him if so then he could reply and tell the mother this Sue
  • Susan1942
    Susan1942 Posts: 1,401 Forumite
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    I think I am going to speak to my Sister and my Nephew and say that they should simply tell the boy to make contact himself I don't know if the mother has told the boy who his father is and just testing the water'
    What happened with the registration He agreed to go with her to register the birth When they arrived and he was very excited about it all They came in two cars with the mother in one They wanted him to go in the other car and that he would not see the baby or have any contact At that time his parents said that he should not do this He had no further contact with any of the family
    His Parents went with him to offer to buy a pram cot etc and to pay maintainence I think at that time there was a letter from her lawyer to which his lawyer replied I don't know what that letter was about or its content
    I feel very sorry for my Nephew He still lives at home is not very assertive and is very upset about it all He has got no problem with meeting his son .
    Sue
  • balletshoes
    balletshoes Posts: 16,610 Forumite
    edited 5 April 2016 at 11:07AM
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    I agree with the others here Sue, it doesn't matter whether his son is 16 or 18, either way he's a young adult and it will be him who has asked about his Dad, not his Mum.

    I'd keep the money side out of it altogether, no decisions need to be made about that at all at the moment.

    In a way it makes sense to me that his Mum would make the first contact with your nephew - what if his response is "don't contact me until he's 18"? How do you think that would go down with his own son? I'm appalled to be honest that your sister would even think of stopping her son having contact with his own son now.

    I think the sensible thing to do now, for your nephew, as he does want to have contact with his son, and always has, is for him to reply to his son's Mum saying he's glad to hear that his son wants to know more about him, and asking her to pass along his contact details to him, so that he can contact your nephew in a way and timescale which suits him best. Maybe even ask Mum if son has an e-mail address, and nephew can send him an email saying anytime he's ready, his son can contact him?
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    The boy can make contact at any age, why are you getting hung up on that?

    Perhaps the mother wanted to test the water first, which would be the sensible thing to do. She has no idea after all these years whether your nephew will want to see the boy, for all she knows your nephew could be married with a family who know nothing about her son and wants it kept that way.

    It would be incredibly cruel to let the boy make first contact only to find his father didn't want anything to do with him.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
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    Your sister needs to seriously butt out before she ruins any chance your nephew has of ever having a relationship with his son. It sounds as if he'd have been on the birth certificate if she hadn't kicked up a fuss.
  • seven-day-weekend
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    Just contact the boy. Do not tell him to wait until he is 18. He may not bother if he thinks he's been rejected.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    The son may well have asked his mother to make contact for him, he may be worried about what reaction he'll get, he may just be really nervous, or shy, after all, his dad is a complete stranger to him!

    He shouldn't put pressure on the 16 year old to make contact himself, that's not fair, he should act like a grown up and speak to the mother to arrange a meeting.
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