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Poll - Inheritance for Illegitimate Child?

Inheritance for illegitimate child?

  • Nothing - why should another woman's child have a share of what we worked towards together?

    Votes: 19 26.4%
  • Half of what my own children are getting - after all, half of what we have is my husband's, isn't it

    Votes: 12 16.7%
  • A share equal to that of my own children - the child is not responsible for how she came into the wo

    Votes: 29 40.3%
  • Other - I will explain below.

    Votes: 3 4.2%
  • I really don't care - just show me the results, please!

    Votes: 9 12.5%

  • Total voters
    72
  • Poll closed .

diva rose

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This is one of those topics/situations where people will have their own views and are totally entitled to them. I strongly feel there is no right or wrong - because people are different.They will respond differently to their partners cheating and having a child. So I really feel until we've been there and done that - it's one of those things that you can't say for 100% you will respond in a particular way. We all have methods we'd like to take - however when life throws something as big as this, you might be surprised by your own actions.

My biological father cheated on my mother and got the other woman pregnant. I remember clearly how all parties responded and how difficult it was for my mother. She is a very forgiving woman and loves children. She decided to stay with my father. In our situation, the pregnancy was not followed through (the other woman's choice entirely). However..if she did follow suit ~ I'm not sure if my mother would have coped. Throughout their marriage, she was never able to fully forgive him, hence they broke up a few years after.

Just a few of my thoughts:

Having a child from an affair involved in your life is a constant reminder of your partner's infidelity and his mistake. His betrayal to you and your other children. I really do feel a lot of us here will probably find it extremely difficult to be so accepting of the other child. Yes the child is not at fault but he/she represents something you and your partner probably wishes never happened.
Not only does it impact the couple, what about your other children? Pretty sure they will emotionally feel the impact also.

If we live in an ideal world, sure - we'll all get along, we can forgive & forget, and accept the child. In the real world, the pain will be harder to mask and the scars probably won't heal for a long time or most likely never heal completely.

If you don't have any children with your partner, I can imagine this situation will be even worse knowing the only child your partner has is with another woman from a result of an affair.

I also feel being the man (sperm) doesn't mean you are entitled to be the child's father. For me, being a father doesn't mean it needs to be biological - it's about being there for the child and raising the child. If it is just based on biology - that means sperm donors at clinics should be leaving inheritance for the children they have helped bring to this world. This is not the case.

Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
 

Gypsy

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The poor decisions of the parent are not the child's fault. I would want my husband to at least atone for the disservice he did to the child my committing adultery by providing for the child in a responsible manner. I think it would be the least he could do. Would I be happy about the affair, NO of course not, but if the decision was made to bring a child into this world then I would expect my husband to do right by that child.

Also, I find the word "illegitimate" a bit out dated and kinda offensive :wink2: . I guess I prefer "out of wedlock" .
 

Haven

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diva rose|1308886358|2953747 said:
Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
Your entire post resonated with me, Diva Rose, but I particularly agree with this last bit.

I'm surprised that so many responses seem to be based on the assumption that a parent *should* leave his money to his children. I strongly disagree, especially if the children are adults at the time of the parent's death. Children are not entitled to inherit anything from their parents, IMO. I have seen a lot of adult children who neglect their aging parents (IMO) yet still expect to receive an inheritance from them when they pass away.
 

Gypsy

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kama_s|1308848211|2952999 said:
NovemberBride|1308845819|2952964 said:
I have to say, I am shocked by the number of PS'ers who say they would want their husband to have nothing to do with a child born as the result of an extra-marital affair. While I don't know what I would do in this situation (I'd like to say I'd leave, but real life is much less black and white), I would not condition my staying on my husband having nothing to do with his child. In fact, it is just the opposite. I would not want to be married to a man that would want nothing to do with a child he fathered. I would never be with a man who had children that he did not take care of both financially and emotionally. A man who can just walk away from a child is not a man I would want anything to do with, let alone love. If this happened in my marriage, we would have a lot bigger issues than who inherits our estate. That said, I think the right thing to do is for the child to get an equal share of the husband's share of the estate.


You have such a fantastic way with words. I wish you replied before I did, because I wholeheartedly ditto your entire post.


I agree with Novemberbride. I would not stay with a man who was willing to walk away from his responsibilities. I certainly wouldn't force my husband to walk away from the child.

ETA; I also wouldn't stay with a woman who forced me to chose between my child and her's. Pandora, I also think your position is morally bankrupt.
 

diva rose

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~

Haven|1308887149|2953754 said:
I have seen a lot of adult children who neglect their aging parents (IMO) yet still expect to receive an inheritance from them when they pass away.

Haven ~ Yes I totally agree with you. :) It's pretty disgusting behaviour.
 

Trekkie

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Pandora|1308864269|2953310 said:
NovemberBride|1308857777|2953158 said:
Pandora|1308856638|2953139 said:
As someone who would want them cut out completely my reasoning is as follows: it is hard enough to pay a mortgage, bills etc and give your child the kind of upbringing you would like for them without extra payments going out for something like this. I waited till my late 30's to have a child because I wanted to be able to provide certain things. I will not compromise on those because my husband fathers a child with another woman - why should my child pay for what their father did?

Secondly, abortion is free and easily available in this country, there are also plenty of people looking to adopt. If the mother chooses to have the child then she should also expect to supply a standard of living that she is happy with. She is responsible for her child and the choices she has made.If the child wanted to meet it's father at 18 and have some kind of relationship I wouldn't be averse to that - but I don't want to spend 18 years with the mother on the phone all the time and endless contact visits messing up our life.

Very hardhearted on my part I agree but that is the way I am when it comes to things like that.

Pandora, in your opinion, is the father also not responsible for his child and the choices he has made (i.e. to have an affair that resulted in the birth of a child)? Are you truly suggesting that a woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock's only choice should be to have an abortion or provide for 100% of the child's needs herself?

Yes the father is responsible, but he may have to make a choice if he wants to keep his existing family. I don't actually think that being a 'sperm donor' is the same as being a father and sometimes children are better off not being passed from pillar to post.

I see that situation with BIL's family and the little girl finds it very hard that she comes to stay every other weekend and the other 2 live there permanently. They have their own bedrooms and she shares when she comes over (it's not feasible to have a bigger house) and she feels that she misses out on having siblings (her mother doesn't have any other children).

My sister decided to tell the father of her child - for the sake of the child - and now somewhat regrets it. He doesn't really care but his mother does and is pushing for considerable access. The father says he has no money and is 'working' but my sister still has his log-in details for FB and knows that he comes down to the area where she lives and yet makes no attempt to make contact (he lives over an hours drive away) and he has no money because he is endlessly out getting drunk with friends when he is supposedly working. Despite my sister having very tight finances she isn't asking for a penny - nor has he offered - and yet he and his mother are banging on about his name going on the birth certificate and father's rights etc. My sister now feels that she may have made a mistake and it might be healthier for a child to be in a stable family where they feel wanted than being passed over every other weekend to someone who is a lay-about and couldn't really care less. Her current boyfriend - who is also the ex's cousin and has a child himself - even offered to pass her baby off as his. It's fairly likely they will end up together permanently and it would have been better for the child to have a stable family and a 'father' who already adores him and treats him as his own rather then being exposed to a father who doesn't really want anything to do with him but wants his 'rights'.

I don't think it is the mother's only choice, but if you choose to have an affair with a married man and get pregnant then you have hard choices to make. An 'unmarried mother' due to an affair with a married man is, I think, slightly different from being an unmarried mother is other circumstances - where an existing wife and family don't enter the equation.

I actually asked DH this scenario - and he thought I was taking a very tough stance and said it would depend on the relationship with the child etc until I turned it round: what if I had an affair and got pregnant and decided to keep the child. Would he be happy bringing that child up alongside our own, feeding and clothing and educating them. Would he be happy about our weekends and lives being disrupted by access visits? His reply was that he'd deal with it as long as the biological father was contributing enough money to cover all expenses, childcare and the cost of a bigger house. If this wasn't going to happen then there would be a choice between keeping him and the family or keeping the child. And no-way would the child have any share in any inheritance.

I found everyone's responses very enlightening. Yours in particular stands out to me, Pandora. You are very forthright in your opinions and even though I don't agree with your point of view I admire your ability to share it so frankly.

I find it interesting that you are comfortable with another man raising your sister's child as his own. I assume that you would be equally comfortable then with your nephew receiving an inheritance from his adoptive father? What if this disadvantages the adoptive father's biological child?

What if your husband had an affair, had a child with another woman, you left and had a subsequent relationship/marriage with someone else. Surely that partner's resources (not necessarily money, but possibly time?) would then be spent caring for your child. How would you reconcile that with your current feelings?

What if, in scenario number 2, your ex-husband then decided not to have anything to do with your child and refused to pay mandatory child support, like your nephew's father? After all, you feel it's your responsibility as a woman to care for the child you brought into this world?

I'm enjoying reading the different viewpoints. It is very eye-opening.
 

swingirl

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diva rose|1308886358|2953747 said:
Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
I agree. A child is legally entitled to child-support from his biological parents until he is 18. But inheritance is not a given.
 

Trekkie

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swingirl|1308897953|2953823 said:
diva rose|1308886358|2953747 said:
Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
I agree. A child is legally entitled to child-support from his biological parents until he is 18. But inheritance is not a given.

Yup. Who is it on here who says "expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments"? It is so true I find myself saying that on an almost daily basis!

However, in a situation like this, where there are millions - possibly billions - on the line, would one expect the child of an affair to receive an inheritance in line with that of the other siblings?

Of course, if Graff (or Joe Bloggs down the road who is in a similar position and only has a house and a few personal items to leave) intends to leave everything to charity, and nothing to his children, then it would be silly for the illegitimate child to expect something. But if all the other children are receiving something, why discriminate against the illegitimate child?
 

Trekkie

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AmeliaG|1308877666|2953584 said:
The scenario where the biological mother is wealthy and the wife and kids relatively poor is not the usual scenario, an intriguing idea to prove a point in concept but I think more times than not, it fails the real world test.

Indeed! More often than not, the single mother is the one in financial difficulty and even with child support, that child would go without.
 

diva rose

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Trekkie|1308898393|2953827 said:
swingirl|1308897953|2953823 said:
diva rose|1308886358|2953747 said:
Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
I agree. A child is legally entitled to child-support from his biological parents until he is 18. But inheritance is not a given.

Yup. Who is it on here who says "expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments"? It is so true I find myself saying that on an almost daily basis!

However, in a situation like this, where there are millions - possibly billions - on the line, would one expect the child of an affair to receive an inheritance in line with that of the other siblings?

Of course, if Graff (or Joe Bloggs down the road who is in a similar position and only has a house and a few personal items to leave) intends to leave everything to charity, and nothing to his children, then it would be silly for the illegitimate child to expect something. But if all the other children are receiving something, why discriminate against the illegitimate child?

I don't think it's discrimination. I think it's purely based on involvement. Like I mentioned above, just because you are related by blood doesn't mean they get inheritance. That is just how I feel about inheritance money.

I think it's silly to want inheritance money from a man you don't even know, just because you are related by blood.
The man needs to be actively involved in your life to be considered a real father figure. If he isn't, then why would the child get inheritance? You don't even know the guy.

Tables could be turned - child gets rich and has millions. Should the father get inheritance money from that child? His reason, cause I helped bring that child to this world? I don't think so.

Inheritance money should be based on what the individual wants to do with it. If he wants to give more to another child than the other - fine - it's that person's business.
 

Trekkie

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diva rose|1308899883|2953833 said:
Trekkie|1308898393|2953827 said:
swingirl|1308897953|2953823 said:
diva rose|1308886358|2953747 said:
Finally, I strongly feel inheritance money is something that doesn't go automatically to children. It is up to the individual what they choose to do with that money. So the children are not 'entitled' inheritance. Does this make you a bad parent? No it doesn't.
What you do with your money is up to you.

In addition, by the time most people get to their inheritance money - they are usually not children anymore. People should be able to stand on their own rather than rely on their parents' money.
I agree. A child is legally entitled to child-support from his biological parents until he is 18. But inheritance is not a given.

Yup. Who is it on here who says "expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments"? It is so true I find myself saying that on an almost daily basis!

However, in a situation like this, where there are millions - possibly billions - on the line, would one expect the child of an affair to receive an inheritance in line with that of the other siblings?

Of course, if Graff (or Joe Bloggs down the road who is in a similar position and only has a house and a few personal items to leave) intends to leave everything to charity, and nothing to his children, then it would be silly for the illegitimate child to expect something. But if all the other children are receiving something, why discriminate against the illegitimate child?

I don't think it's discrimination. I think it's purely based on involvement. Like I mentioned above, just because you are related by blood doesn't mean they get inheritance. That is just how I feel about inheritance money.

I think it's silly to want inheritance money from a man you don't even know, just because you are related by blood.
The man needs to be actively involved in your life to be considered a real father figure. If he isn't, then why would the child get inheritance? You don't even know the guy.

Tables could be turned - child gets rich and has millions. Should the father get inheritance money from that child? His reason, cause I helped bring that child to this world? I don't think so.

Inheritance money should be based on what the individual wants to do with it. If he wants to give more to another child than the other - fine - it's that person's business.

Yes, that's how I feel too. In my life I make a very clear distinction between "family" and "relatives". Some people are family even though we have no blood tie and others are merely "relatives" even though we are related by blood.
 

Pandora II

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Trekkie, I think that there is a big difference in entering a relationship with an existing child. The other partner has to decide whether or not they can cope or are happy with this situation or not. How much they are prepared to spend in time and money and love on a child who is not biologically their own. The inheritance issue would have to be discussed by the parents and a lot I think would depend on factors such as a) does the child have a relationship with their biological father and stand to inherit, b) the age of the child when the non-biological father became their 'father' and the situation with other children etc.

I had a fairly serious relationship with a man who had a 5 year-old daughter and it taught me that I was not cut out to be a step-parent and that I could not cope with the constant phone-calls and issues with the ex-wife. I'm also not that keen on children - I have my own and I absolutely adore her but I am not the sort of person who goes out of my way to play with my nephews and nieces or other random kids so I wouldn't get warm and fuzzy about the thought of another baby.

For me, my husand's potential contact with the other woman and her child would be a constant kick in the teeth and reminder. I would not have either in the house except over my dead body. Also what happens if the mother is someone who spends all the maintenance money on things she shouldn't and is constantly asking for more?

In the same way that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy whatever the biological father's views (or at least that is how it stands in the UK), a father has the same right to say here is the direct debit payment, but I want no further contact. Otherwise as someone else said above, every sperm and egg donor would have moral responsibilities which is just ridiculous.

I do have a very strong stance on things. I can agree what many of you think is morally correct etc but I don't honestly believe that I could apply that to a situation that was personal to me (which is what was asked). If I was merely asked about random man then I might have a very different answer. I'm probably very influenced by the exhausting involvement that has been going on around my sister's situation for the last few months.

Trekkie you asked if I was happy with another man raising my nephew? My sister split up with the ex around 2 weeks after she must have got pregnant and started dating the current bf about 6 weeks later. He was the one who she first told she was pregnant, he was the one who drove over to support her when she was going crazy suddenly finding out she was 7 months pregnant and he has been at her side ever since. She gave him the option of walking away many times and he has chosen to stay (my nephew is also his first cousin once removed!). His family and the ex's family haven't spoken to each other in over 30 years so it's not that difficult from that point of view.

The baby's biological father was not exactly someone you would choose as a sperm-donor to be perfectly honest. He's in his mid-30's, has no house, no car, no job, no education and spends all his money on drink and drugs. If he gets the right to contact visits then the baby will be going to his parents house where his father sits and smokes dope all day - he gave up working when he got married in the 1970's, telling his wife he just wanted to get stoned all day. My sister isn't exactly thrilled at the idea that the courts may order her to let her little boy spend every other weekend in that kind of situation. Not exactly the role models you want!

Current bf's ex-wife already had another child from her first marriage and now she and the two children live in my sister's boyfriend's house while he lives with his parents... so all a total mess to be quite frank.

Fortunately the chances of my being in any mess of this sort are extremely slim - and now DH knows the score on the door... :bigsmile: (although when I ran the scenario past him, his one question was 'Is she hot, this woman I'm having the affair with?'... lucky he can run fast!
 

AmeliaG

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I hear ya, Pandora.

FWIW, I wouldn't get involved with a man that has a child from a previous marriage. I know many women have to their happiness, but I can't imagine starting a marriage - a new life, with a man who already has financial/emotional obligations from a previous marriage.

TBH, I couldn't see myself staying with the man if he fathered a child out of wedlock while married to me. At the very least, he's shown he can't be trusted protecting the financial assets of his wife and children, among other things. If I'm not likely to get involved with a man who legiminately has financial/emotional obligations from a previous marriage, I'm hardly going to be giving the guy in this situation a second chance.
 

TooPatient

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Trekkie|1308898556|2953829 said:
AmeliaG|1308877666|2953584 said:
The scenario where the biological mother is wealthy and the wife and kids relatively poor is not the usual scenario, an intriguing idea to prove a point in concept but I think more times than not, it fails the real world test.

Indeed! More often than not, the single mother is the one in financial difficulty and even with child support, that child would go without.

I can speak from personal experience --- this DOES happen.

Also, as Pandora pointed out there are women who will choose to use that money for stuff other than the needs of the child(ren).
 

AmeliaG

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TooPatient|1308932134|2954052 said:
Trekkie|1308898556|2953829 said:
AmeliaG|1308877666|2953584 said:
The scenario where the biological mother is wealthy and the wife and kids relatively poor is not the usual scenario, an intriguing idea to prove a point in concept but I think more times than not, it fails the real world test.

Indeed! More often than not, the single mother is the one in financial difficulty and even with child support, that child would go without.

I can speak from personal experience --- this DOES happen.

Also, as Pandora pointed out there are women who will choose to use that money for stuff other than the needs of the child(ren).

TooPatient, obviously it does happen. I'm just saying its not the norm. I understand you have a unique perspective because of your own experience but your experience is just one example - not necessarily indicative of the majority or even a good portion of cases out there.

The argument that the mother may spend money on things other than the child while it can be true, is particularly weak. If the courts have determined that the child deserves a certain amount of money and his/her mother spends it inappropriately, that is a matter between the mother and the child - not between the mother and the biological father. Children have successfully sued their parents for misappropriating funds meant for them in their minorhood. Whether the child decides to pursue it or not or is even successful if he decides to pursue really shouldn't have a bearing on the biological father and whoever he is with at the time.

I've seen this argument used so many times to justify not paying child support, etc. While the statement is true, it is irrelevant if the courts have already determined that it is fair and equitable for the child to get a certain amount. If the biological father and his wife want to argue the amount is too high - the child doesn't need it, the father can't afford it, that's fine - let the courts decide - but to use the argument that the biological mother will mispend the money as a reason for lowering child support, etc. to me is despicable.

This is why I don't get involved with men who have children from a previous marriage - I never want to put myself in a situation where I would be even tempted to go this route.
 

Pandora II

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Amelia, I wasn't meaning that the biological father shouldn't pay maintenance because he thought the mother wouldn't spend it appropriately.

What I meant was that if the biological father felt obligated to ensure that his child had a certain standard of living - and the mother was spending the maintenance money inappropriately, then he might feel obligated to contribute a higher amount.

For example, if my husband was having to pay out 18% of his salary to another child we would be unable to afford our mortgage payments. This would mean we would have to move to a considerably worse area and depending on the age of our own child we would have to pull her out of school and send her somewhere else thus disrupting her life. If he was then wanting to spend more money so as to give his other child a standard of living on a par with our child's then it would be an impossible situation.

That is why I have such a hard-line over this - my life and that of my children be extremely negatively affected. Add to that my husband works extremely long hours and I would not be prepared for him to take the limited free time he has away from our children to spend it with another woman's child.

What happens if my career means that we need to move to another area of the country or overseas? Should I sacrifice all that for his mistake?

I probably seem very selfish in my outlook, but then the mother has made a very selfish decision as well.
 

VRBeauty

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Pandora - I totally get that you're responding as the mother of the children that you and your husband have conceived/adopted/whatever together. I'm curious though about how your position translates into the lessons that you'll be teaching your children. What will you be teaching your daughter... and your hypothetical son... when they reach the age at which you need to start talking about the facts of life?
 

suchende

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Pandora,
1) In this hypo, the father made a very selfish decision: to risk becoming a parent to a child he couldn't afford to support alongside its mother. I completely disagree that the mother's selfish decision was terminating the pregnancy. Trying to survive on 18% of most men's salaries would be damn near impossible, so the mother likely has quite a struggle ahead of her. That really doesn't strike me as "selfish."

2) There all kinds of ways a husband could screw up that would negatively affect his wife and children. Frankly I think you're casting the blame on the wrong actor here, and inexplicably seem to think the innocent child should have to suffer for the wrongs (if they even are wrongs, depending on if she knew the man was married) of its mother.
 

AmeliaG

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Hi Pandora,

I understand. Your posts in this thread have been very enlightening to me; we usually agree on things. In this situation, I think we're both hardliners but in different ways. I'm dating a guy right now with no children from a previous marriage or relationship and that's the way I like it. Other women may make other choices which work for them.

Now what happens when he unwittingly takes on an obligation to a child after we are married is a whole other kettle of fish. I'd have to first deal with his irresponsibility before I could worry about the intentions of the mother of the child.

I totally understand the pitfalls of women trying to use a child to get more money out of a man. To me, its a matter of where you deal with a problem I'd expect the man I marry to make reasonable efforts not to get into situations that could compromise the financial wellbeing of me or my child so with me, the problem would be with the man I married, not the mother.

There is good reason for a man to keep it in his pants once he's married that goes beyond emotional intimacy and all that pop psychology BS. Sex exposes you in more ways than one. Financially, if you father a child out of wedlock; medically, if you get a veneral disease and spread it to your wife, and probably more risks than I am thinking of at the moment. A wife in the marriage faces the same risks if she has sex outside of marriage.

I wasn't always a hardliner like this but the risks of sex in the wrong context have taught me this.
 

Pandora II

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VRBeauty|1308941633|2954194 said:
Pandora - I totally get that you're responding as the mother of the children that you and your husband have conceived/adopted/whatever together. I'm curious though about how your position translates into the lessons that you'll be teaching your children. What will you be teaching your daughter... and your hypothetical son... when they reach the age at which you need to start talking about the facts of life?

Contraception, contraception, contraception! It is free and freely available in the UK so there is really no excuse. I will in particular be promoting the 'Double Dutch' - ie two methods at all times - condom + bcp etc

We have two stellar examples of what happens when you don't take proper precautions in our immediate family - both from the male and female perspectives. My sister in particular is going to find it very hard financially to bring up her son if she goes it alone - I predict impossible without assistance from my parents.

I do think people need to take responsiblity for their actions but I want to make darn sure that they understand the full implications for their lives and the lives of others if they get in this kind of situation.

I've never understood why there is all the emphasis on teaching girls about not getting pregnant and not an equal amount spent on teaching boys the consequences of fathering a child.

Until 2010 I was a publicaly elected representative for the area of London that I live in where we have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Europe (IIRC we were the highest in 2009).

On my suggestion it was one of the issues that we concentrated on the most within the Health portfolio and I sat on the various committees involved, so I have a fair idea of the issues behind it and the examples of best practice from around the world in encouraging children to abstain or at least have safe sex. One of the sad facts that came up, although I admit that we did laugh in a rather despairing way, was that over 50% of the babies born to teen mothers in the borough had been fathered by one of 3 boys! We also had a massive problem with the local Catholic girls school who refused to allow sex education lessons and instruction on contraceptives... until we showed them the data that indicated that they had the highest rate of pregnancy of any school!

Suchende - I don't mean by a selfish decision the decision not to terminate the pregnancy, I mean the selfish decision to have unprotected sex with a married man with a family. The blame also lies equally with the father, but my loyalty would lie solely with the interests of my child.

Gosh, I don't know how I seem to have got so invested in this thread... very strange as it's not exactly something that I will ever need to worry about. :rolleyes:
 

VRBeauty

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Of course contraception, but... what if someone gets pregnant in spite of having that drilled into him or her? Presumeably the hypothetical husband didn't set out to father a child with the other woman - and yet there is a child. What do you teach your son (and yes, daughter) about their responsibilities if someone gets pregnant in spite of contraception, "abstinence", and their best intentions? Because it does happen.
 

Pandora II

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VRBeauty|1308949909|2954304 said:
Of course contraception, but... what if someone gets pregnant in spite of having that drilled into him or her? Presumeably the hypothetical husband didn't set out to father a child with the other woman - and yet there is a child. What do you teach your son (and yes, daughter) about their responsibilities if someone gets pregnant in spite of contraception, "abstinence", and their best intentions? Because it does happen.

My husband and I did discuss this situation when what happened to my sister happened last year.

He actually had a tougher line than I did concerning our daughter. His feeling was that if she found out very early on that she was pregnant and decided to keep the baby rather than terminating the pregnancy or having the child adopted then she would have made her bed and would have to make the best of it without our financial support. Whether she wanted the father to be involved or not would be her own decision. If it was the situation where the father was married with another family then she would find a very unimpressed audience in her parents. We would certainly advocate terminating the pregnancy for the sake of all involved.

If she found out when she was 7 months pregnant like my sister did and was unlikely to be able to support the child then we would encourage her to look at adoption.

Again a lot depends on age, relationship with the father, whether she is independent or not etc.

With a son I would tell him that he had to contribute financially but any other involvement was between him and the mother.

I think it's much harder to know how you would deal with such a situation with your own child where you have little real control or influence over their feelings and actions. I would also find it very hard not to try my best to ensure that my child and grandchild were not suffering if I had the means to help out financially.

I know my parents are struggling with this. They are both retired, live on my father's pension and my mother is severely disabled with MS. They have had my sister to live with them since November last year until she goes back to work next January (you get a year's maternity leave in the UK) and have paid for everything. However it is very unlikely that her income will cover the cost of childcare and housing let alone bills, food, transport and everything else. My father doesn't feel that he has the ability to pay the excess - he's also in his 70's and he and my mother had plans for their retirement money... for a start my other sister lives in Australia with her husband and 3 children and financially supporting my sister would mean that they couldn't afford to go out to see them. The biological father lives on welfare and the most he could be legally forced to contribute is $10 a week...

I hope my child(ren) grow up to know that affairs with married people are morally wrong and that children should be conceived and born to couples, married or otherwise, who truly want that child and can provide for their needs and happiness in a responsible manner. I can only do my best in that, their lives are their own to lead but as a parent you do have to be prepared to pick up the pieces...
 

partgypsy

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Maybe if I had to actually experience this I would feel completely differently, but I don't understand the vehment hate for the offspring that some people are expressing. On the very remote chance (pretty much none at this point, because he always used protection and then had a vascectomy after we were done having children) that my husband had a child out of wedlock, yes, the knowledge he cheated would rock our world and possibly cause us to divorce, but I don't get feelings of hatred towards that child. Maybe the woman, but not the child. And I wouldn't want to be with someone who forfeited responsibility for their child, that is grotesque.

Not related to cheating, but my brother had a relationship with a woman lets just say we all extremely disliked, who was manipulative and abusive, and two times tricked him into having a child (looong story). We have a lot of negative affect towards her and the situation in general due to all the cr*p this person puts our entire family even now, but that in no way affects the way we feel about the children who we adore.
 

MyDiamondSparkles

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I guess there are different degrees of illegitimate. Illegitimate as in not married, but in a loving, exclusive, monogamous relationship? Or illegitimate as in you were married and found out your spouse cheated on you and the result of that relationship was a child? I feel totally different about each of those. For the former I say inherit their fair share. For the latter...well..

edited because venting about it made me feel worse. :(
 

Gypsy

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part gypsy|1309291977|2957252 said:
Maybe if I had to actually experience this I would feel completely differently, but I don't understand the vehment hate for the offspring that some people are expressing. On the very remote chance (pretty much none at this point, because he always used protection and then had a vascectomy after we were done having children) that my husband had a child out of wedlock, yes, the knowledge he cheated would rock our world and possibly cause us to divorce, but I don't get feelings of hatred towards that child. Maybe the woman, but not the child. And I wouldn't want to be with someone who forfeited responsibility for their child, that is grotesque.

I agree.
 

mayerling

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Caveat: I came late into this discussion and only skimmed through the responses, but as far as I can tell nobody (at least I think nobody) has discussed the situation in which somebody fathers a child before they even meet their spouse and knows nothing of the child until after meeting the spouse - maybe not even until his own death when the child comes forward to claim an inheritance. Do you think that child is entitled to something in that situation? The man hasn't cheated. The man has not put your health and life at risk (assuming he used some kind of protection at the time). The man did not choose to be an irresponsible parent. Is that child entitled to something - especially given that they have received nothing from the father while he was alive?

Now, my own personal view on inheritance. I think children should definitely be entitled to their parents' inheritance - regardless of whether the parent dies when the child is an adult (I'm actually shocked to see how many people believe that children deserve nothing from the parents - but this might be a cultural thing - and even more shocked when I come across situations like "He left all his money to his favourite cat charity"!). I definitely think that children born from past relationships or one-night-stands (I'm not using the terms "illegitimate", "out-of-wedlock", etc.) should be entitled to an equal share of their father's assets, but not entitled to a share of joint assets.
 

Pandora II

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mayerling|1309342238|2957790 said:
Caveat: I came late into this discussion and only skimmed through the responses, but as far as I can tell nobody (at least I think nobody) has discussed the situation in which somebody fathers a child before they even meet their spouse and knows nothing of the child until after meeting the spouse - maybe not even until his own death when the child comes forward to claim an inheritance. Do you think that child is entitled to something in that situation? The man hasn't cheated. The man has not put your health and life at risk (assuming he used some kind of protection at the time). The man did not choose to be an irresponsible parent. Is that child entitled to something - especially given that they have received nothing from the father while he was alive?
Now, my own personal view on inheritance. I think children should definitely be entitled to their parents' inheritance - regardless of whether the parent dies when the child is an adult (I'm actually shocked to see how many people believe that children deserve nothing from the parents - but this might be a cultural thing - and even more shocked when I come across situations like "He left all his money to his favourite cat charity"!). I definitely think that children born from past relationships or one-night-stands (I'm not using the terms "illegitimate", "out-of-wedlock", etc.) should be entitled to an equal share of their father's assets, but not entitled to a share of joint assets.

In the UK, under current law, they would be entitled to nothing IF the father had left a will and it didn't name the child. If the father died intestate then the child would need to prove paternity and then fight the case in the courts - which wouldn't be worth it unless the estate was worth a lot.

If the father was married it is more than likely that the bulk of his estate, bar a few small personal gifts, will have passed to his wife and so it will become her assets to leave as she wishes after her death.

Should they be morally entitled? Not sure... the man's own children may well have done without both in financial terms and in terms of time with their father if he was busy setting up a business or something and they would have in some ways 'earnt' the rewards of their inheritance. They have also had a relationship with the man whereas the other child has no knowledge of the person. I'd be more inclined to say that I think it would be nice for them to inherit a share if they were still a young child. If they are a middle-aged adult then I think it's a bit ridiculous and they should have thought about seeking their parent out when they were still alive not now after they are dead.

ETA: I never said that I would 'hate' the child. I would just not wish to see them or have them as part of my life. I'd probably hate the mother, I might get past hating my husband for the sake of our own children but I would be merely indifferent towards the child. I know what I feel isn't a 'popular' choice but I'm trying to be brutally honest rather than just saying what I think is probably right on paper.
 

Jennifer W

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Pandora|1309351672|2957851 said:
In the UK, under current law, they would be entitled to nothing IF the father had left a will and it didn't name the child. If the father died intestate then the child would need to prove paternity and then fight the case in the courts - which wouldn't be worth it unless the estate was worth a lot.

If the father was married it is more than likely that the bulk of his estate, bar a few small personal gifts, will have passed to his wife and so it will become her assets to leave as she wishes after her death.

Should they be morally entitled? Not sure... the man's own children may well have done without both in financial terms and in terms of time with their father if he was busy setting up a business or something and they would have in some ways 'earnt' the rewards of their inheritance. They have also had a relationship with the man whereas the other child has no knowledge of the person. I'd be more inclined to say that I think it would be nice for them to inherit a share if they were still a young child. If they are a middle-aged adult then I think it's a bit ridiculous and they should have thought about seeking their parent out when they were still alive not now after they are dead.

ETA: I never said that I would 'hate' the child. I would just not wish to see them or have them as part of my life. I'd probably hate the mother, I might get past hating my husband for the sake of our own children but I would be merely indifferent towards the child. I know what I feel isn't a 'popular' choice but I'm trying to be brutally honest rather than just saying what I think is probably right on paper.
:-o Um, the highlighter bit certainly wasn't right on paper... :bigsmile:
 

vsc

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Having lived on both sides of the pond, I think what I see here between Pandora and other posters is a major difference in culture between Europe and the US. In the US, there is much more tolerance for the lack of use (or misuse) of contraception compared to Europe. There are many reasons for this difference, from education, availability and level of health care, to moral concerns.

I am not saying that unplanned pregnancies don't happen in Europe, but the general attitude towards them is less... "chummy", because it is assumed that people have free (or nearly) access to contraception and are educated about it, as well as to morning after pill/abortion in case there is a failure of contraception. So even if you get pregnant accidentally, in the end, having and raising a child is a choice.

Personally I think all children should have equal rights to inheritance unless stated in a will... but the implications of an extramarital child are much deeper IMHO than just "oops, it happened" - it means that in one way or another there was a decision to have a child, by both people. So it would be a whole other can of worms.

Just my 0.02...
 

Pandora II

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Jennifer W|1309355624|2957912 said:
Pandora|1309351672|2957851 said:
In the UK, under current law, they would be entitled to nothing IF the father had left a will and it didn't name the child. If the father died intestate then the child would need to prove paternity and then fight the case in the courts - which wouldn't be worth it unless the estate was worth a lot.

If the father was married it is more than likely that the bulk of his estate, bar a few small personal gifts, will have passed to his wife and so it will become her assets to leave as she wishes after her death.

Should they be morally entitled? Not sure... the man's own children may well have done without both in financial terms and in terms of time with their father if he was busy setting up a business or something and they would have in some ways 'earnt' the rewards of their inheritance. They have also had a relationship with the man whereas the other child has no knowledge of the person. I'd be more inclined to say that I think it would be nice for them to inherit a share if they were still a young child. If they are a middle-aged adult then I think it's a bit ridiculous and they should have thought about seeking their parent out when they were still alive not now after they are dead.

ETA: I never said that I would 'hate' the child. I would just not wish to see them or have them as part of my life. I'd probably hate the mother, I might get past hating my husband for the sake of our own children but I would be merely indifferent towards the child. I know what I feel isn't a 'popular' choice but I'm trying to be brutally honest rather than just saying what I think is probably right on paper.
:-o Um, the highlighter bit certainly wasn't right on paper... :bigsmile:

Sorry... In England! Forgot that you Scots have your own laws. :bigsmile:

Vsc - that's very interesting - I'd never thought of it in that way.

I did put the scenario to a couple of female friends and all of them reacted the way that I did. So it may well be that because we have free contraception, free morning-after pills, free abortion (and there's not really any great dramas here with pro-life/pro-choice - the vast majority of our politicians are pro-choice) that it would be seen more as the mother of the child very much choosing the path and on her shoulders be it.

Most of my friends reckoned that she would have got pregnant deliberately and if she then kept the child it would be because she either wanted to split up the marriage or wanted money.
 
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