Sorry if this is too long but there are many facts here and I donít know where to start or if I can get them all in. My ex-girlfriend, which I've known since 1995 has lived with me, upstairs apartment, in my momís house, since 1998. (Iím 34, single, and youngest child, from a stable typical Italian family, My mother needs assistance and my father passed away, therefore Iím living here to assist my mom, and maintaining the house). My ex, on the other hand, comes from a unstable, troublesome broken household, with many issues, such as foster care, when she was young.
We had many issues in our (on and off) relationship. She was arrested in '99 and '05 for assaulting me, domestic violence. I tried to get along with her, but her bossy, know it all, attitude just turned me off. In Oct. of 2004, when she had just come back from work (over the road truck driver, YES tractor-trailer driver), she told me she was pregnant. At this point our relationship was not good at all, but I dealt with the situation in good faith, and did what she desired. I supported her throughout the entire time she lived here, before and after her pregnancy. Drove her to all her doctorsí appointments, I went food shopping, did laundry, cooking, and yeah, just about everything.
She continued with her attitude as she stayed home, watched TV, internet, and I went to work. I bought a mini-van for her to use, but the thing just sat in the driveway, while I still had to do everything. So much for helping me out. In Jan '05, I found out that she was with another guy, while she was on the road, and it was about the same time she got pregnant. This just made me feel empty inside, but I didn't tell her I knew until after the baby girl was born in July 05.
I had to make a decision to sign the paternity papers. I was told that if your not sure, to not sign them. So I didn't, and told her that I wanted a paternity test. She refused to give me one, and from that point on, even though I pretended to get along with her, I wasn't happy, but she knew, and didn't care at all. The fact that she slept with another guy didn't bother me one bit, but not knowing if I'm the father of this child, and her refusing to give me a DNA test, really upset me.
I had no rights to the baby, or knew if she was my daughter, but I didn't treat baby any differenet, I made sure they had what they needed and spent as much time with the baby as I could. I was getting up most of the time at night to feed and change the baby, untill she decided I couldn't do it anymore. I made sure the baby had plenty of formula, diapers, and many baby wipes. The baby always had plenty of everything. At one point she changed the babys schedule on purpose, so the baby would be sleeping when I'm home from work and she would be awake when I'm working. Therefore I couldn't spend anytime with the baby. It came to a point that I had to ask her permission to feed the baby or even pick up the baby.
She refused to let my mother see the child, no less my sister or my brother, who are both married and both have children of their own. She has done nothing but put me down as a boyfriend, as a father, even as a human being, even put down my entire side of the family. She has always something negative to say to me and my side of the family, as if sheís a perfectionist, when she is not at all. I did mostly everything, work, pay the bills, support her, the baby and my mother, and I don't deserve to be treated this way, I did nothing wrong in anyway.
In Aug '05 she assaulted me with a piece of broken glass and cut my forearm while we were arguing. She was arrested but the case was dismissed. CPS (Child Protective Services) got involved in the case, but it was unfounded and closed, because no harm was done to the baby. CPS was involved on other numerous occasions because of her attitude to instigate arguments for stupid reasons, and accusations she created against me that were proved false, and unfounded. She liked to play games, and she did, too many times.
I needed to know if the baby was my daughter so I took an anonymous DNA test of the baby and I, and YES she is my daughter. She knows I took the test, but she says that the test is bogus and I used my mothers DNA, and that she's not my daughter, but then she would change her attitude and says that I should own up to my responsibilities and that she is my daughter. She still refuses to get a court admissible one.
In May 06, we again got into another argument, but this time she decided to leave with the baby at 12:30AM (midnight), walking, with the stroller and diaper bag, nothing else. She left for 6 weeks, and I don't know where she went. During the 6 weeks, I received threatening phone calls, from her and some other guy, about how I'm a dead beat dad, and I haven't done anything to support the baby. During this time, she made me miss the babyís first birthday.
She comes back and as if she did nothing wrong. I told her that itís not a good idea that we live together anymore, and that she should find another place. So she moved out 4 weeks later and I helped her and the baby with whatever they needed. I was seeing the baby, but only on her terms that I cannot take her anywhere, especially my house, and only visit her when she says so, but it got to a point we couldnít even agree with that, and the arguing started all over again.
At the same time she always interfered with my relationship with the baby. We tried to discuss paternity, child support and other issues on our own terms, but she wonít give me any rights to the baby, and I wouldn't make any agreements with her. I stopped talking to her in Nov 06. She changed her phone number, now she just started calling me again, at work, the passed few days, threatening me that I'm a dead beat dad and haven't done anything for the baby, and that I abandoned the baby, so court will get me no where, and that I should sign off on her, to have nothing to do with the baby. She wonít tell me where she is, except that she says not in NY, and that she wants to know what my intentions are.
Enough is enough. She played too many games and just using the baby against me over and over. Itís impossible to be a father to a child this way, with the mother always interfering. I need to do something now. If I knew things were going to get like this, I would have taken her to court when she was still in the hospital. I should have known, because she always had this type of an attitude. I just tried to make things right overtime, hoping for the best, but she was always against everything. I honestly think she needs mental help and I'm really worried about the baby.
What do I do now? The baby is now almost 20 months and I miss her terribly. She accusing me of abandonment. Can my parental rights be taken away? At this point I will be seeking legal advice ASAP, but what can be done? A paternity test will prove I'm the father, but will I have to pay back child support? She was approved for Medicaid, which paid for medical, but only because of a letter stating I was paying her $400 a month and provided support. Would a paternity test be more in her favor so she can get child support, because now she wants a DNA test? Will that give me any rights to my daughter? Do I also need to go for custody hearings? What if sheís out of state or they cant find her to serve her court papers, does everything come to a pause? Is there a NYS law website that I can refer to regarding my sitiuation?
Thank You for your time.