Alabama Family Rights Association

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Real World Stories    
Another Woman's Child  

              On march 15, 1989, I became introduced to a completely foreign subject ---- stepdaughter.  Can you believe a grown woman could be afraid of a 9 year old child?  I was terrified that she would not like me.  This should have been the last of my worries.  This loving child would become as much a part of me as if I had given birth to her.  So what was the problem.... the "real" mother.  She was so jealous of the fact that her daughter responded to me with both love and affection, that this vindictive mother chose to take out her jealousy in the form of harrassment. 

Suddenly, we were confronted with countless expensive court appearances, harrassing phone calls to our employers and as well as to ourselves (we finally had the phone disconnected).  She even chose to tell her daughter "not to do anything" I told her.     This type of action continued for several years until we had a "belly full" and filed for custody.  At that point we were suddenly faced with charges of kidnapping, interference with custody and even grand theft auto because her daughter drove a car bought for her to drive to school to our house.     After we were given custody things settled down a little bit.  We were denied child support from the mother as the court said it is a fathers place to support the children.   Why is this titled "another woman's child"?  Simple---as much as I love my stepdaughter and as much as she loves me, she has a real mother and this must be respected.  A step-family can be a source of joy, as mine has, but I had to realize that both parents need to work together and not try to keep a new relationship from forming with the stepparent.   My step daughter is now 19 and living on her own. She maintains a loving relationship with us as well as a seperate relationship with her mother and stepfather.     If all parents and stepparents would work together instead of fighting each other, a lot of problems we are facing today with our children could be partially avoided.   Would I do it over again?  You bet your life I would!


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