Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock?

Sharing an email.

Hello,

I wanted to share my experience with you.

A year ago I started dating a boy that I used to work with.  We made a choice we shouldn’t have and he got me pregnant. I had our daughter a few months ago. We were not in a serious relationship and I went through the pregnancy alone. Although his family is from India he was born in the usa. I am not Indian.

In the beginning of my pregnancy he told his mom and she traveled to meet me. His parents do live in the usa. she was nice and welcoming, but despite that he was so scared and I was scared too so he left me alone.

On the urging of some friends I let him know when she was born. he met her but was so wishy washy like always. He wanted to be involved and then he didn’t. so much back and forth. finally he said he wanted us to be together but after having me do a DNA test took it back. When he got the results he had his parents come and meet her. I was so scared. They were nice but I could tell his dad was very apprehensive. In the end he wanted to sign away his rights which I would have let him do if it were possible. This is because every time I talked to him I felt like he was bullying me into doing everything his way. Then I wondered if maybe he was just used to hearing men talk to women in a controlling way. In the end he told me he would trust that I wouldn’t file child support on him ever “since I already had done everything he told me to do”.  So I haven’t talked to him again.

That was in May. I’m too scared of him and I don’t want any drama in my life. He emailed me recently asking for pictures but I didn’t respond. He hasn’t tried contacting me any other way. No phone calls, no visits to my home. But we do have mutual friends. One of our friends was telling me that during a visit with him he was telling her he never wanted to be a deadbeat dad and that he sounded earnest and confused about me. It really upset me.

My question to you is… do you think that a part of the problem was that he didn’t want to marry me? His mom wanted him to but I dont think his dad approved. Do you think that because of that he couldn’t be involved? Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock? I’m thinking I upset a delicate order.

Thanks for any input :)

In response to my email: 

I don’t know why he suddenly wanted a DNA test. It really confused me. He treated me really badly during my pregnancy. I would invite him to prenatals and he would always cancel. Finally we just stopped talking altogether.

I think he was urged by his friends to do a DNA test. They thought maybe I was lying. I did take offense to this at first.

At first when he met our daughter he said he couldn’t be involved. Then he said he wanted to be but that the dna test would help him have proof for his father. He told me his mom thought the idea was stupid and she knew it was his baby, but he wanted to have real proof for his dad. It was very humiliating for me and during the test he kept thanking me and apologizing for it. Ironically it was the first time I had sex after a very long period of celibacy.

In the US DNA tests are standard for child support but it wasn’t my intention to file for child support and he knew that. Especially after the way he had treated me it was more of a pride thing really. I figured that with my education I could take care of my daughter alone even if it meant I would struggle a little.

I’m afraid of him because of the way he would talk to me. It was at times threatening and controlling. He had a way of talking in a bullying way that was known to have made two grown people cry that he worked with.

I don’t want to marry him. After he said he wanted to be in a relationship with me I considered it. I did the DNA test because he said it was for his dad and I thought it meant we would then be able to be together. I thought maybe he changed his mind because his dad didn’t like me.

When his parents met my family I was honestly offended at how much his dad spent asking my family about our education background. I am a college educated girl and it made me feel like he felt I was unworthy of his son.

I’ve been looking online to see what Indian people would do in this situation and I found other people who had similar cases to mine. I really want and hope that he will leave me alone.

I did not put his name on the birth certificate so he doesn’t have any legal right to our daughter right now. He wanted to sign away his rights, but he still wanted me to invite his family to visit with our daughter when they were in town. This made me angry, one because no US judge would allow a man, after confirming paternity, to relinquish his rights thus bastardizing his own child. Second, if he could have been able to sign away his rights I wouldn’t have any obligation to let them see her whenever he wanted. I felt like he was always trying to “have his cake and eat it too”.

I wanted to ask you about Indian custom because I’m hoping that he will leave me alone. I started to think that maybe he is leaving me alone because this would make it hard for him to marry an indian girl if he were involved. that’s why I wanted to know what the likelihood would be of an Indian girl marrying an Indian boy with a baby out of wedlock.

How would this have been different if my daughter had been a boy?

57 thoughts on “Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock?

  1. I can’t say anything nice about this prime example of the great Indian male behavior abroad, so I will just say “Dear lady, I commend you on your intelligence and foresight at ensuring that your daughter will not have to kowtow before men of desi origins. Do not allow her father to have his cake and eat it too. Bring her up well to be the person she ought to be. I applaud you.”

  2. Vis a vis your question, most probably, the young woman would marry him – he and his parents will ensure that his future bride and her family know nothing about your daughter.

  3. //This made me angry//
    aah…Finally?, you are just so nice. You don’t need to oblige to his demands. Seriously, he/they should just stop visiting – when he/they haven’t cared. A child is a relationship that you develop, not a property that you have rights to. You should avoid him/them totally and let him know that.
    If he is bullying, you can even get a restraining order . But as I read his personality, this noble non-dead-beat dad would just need the “mentioning” of the restraining order to leave you alone.
    //“have his cake and eat it too”.//
    ooh…, won’t everybody want to do that.. if we let them do?. And many men have been used to this for quiet a long time. Its your cake!
    //DNA Test//
    I’m thinking… if you haven’t filed for child support, or not begging him to protect your honor by marrying you :) , he is such a disgusting person to ask for this. Absolutely disgusting – I could find no rationale.
    //what the likelihood would be of an Indian girl marrying an Indian boy with a baby out of wedlock.//
    Arranged marriages are such sneaky businesses, so they might get one done without this news being known. But if parents are in US, most probably it is not going to be the usual arranged marriage in distant India – and in that case, I guess it is a huge negative point. In Indian arranged marriage market , guys are the gold diggers. They always look for the highest(socio economical) alliance they can reach… and this might decrease their bargaining capacity.
    And if it is not an arranged marriage – then …it is dependent on the other merits of this guy . He can always paint you in a bad picture and keep his name clear.

    • I’d think the LW has dodged a bullet here. Her “baby daddy” comes across as a real scumbag. He’s a terrible father and a pathetic human being. She’d have gone through much worse if she’d married him.

      I hope he doesn’t spread his cowardly genes around anymore.

      Another case of bad Indian parenting? How can the man’s parents visit their grandchild but refuse to be involved in the child’s life?

      LW, if your daughter turns out to be the next Nora Jones or Hollywood A-lister, these very same people will want to proclaim to the whole world that yes, its THEIR child/grandchild.

      Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

    • i pity the other girl. what is she getting into? marriage with such an irresponsible man! girl, you and your baby are better off without his stinking presence. i know it’s not easy but do take care of yourself and your baby and move on.

  4. I think the OP has done a very intelligent thing by establishing distance between the child and this non-dad. This man is far from a responsible and reliable co-parent and will only provide uncertainty in the child’s life.

    I think his actions are not to do with possible future bride reactions. He was hoping to “have his cake and eat it too”, exactly as you put it. Not taking responsibility for his own actions, classic of deadbeat men. That and the underlying hypocrisy. Anything goes, as long as it is ‘behind closed doors’. A baby is proof of the ‘behind-the-door’ activities, hence his confused reaction. Asking for a DNA test when you get pregnant.. is pretty low. He did contribute to the baby-making, but acts like a jerk when faced with the consequences.

    I’m sure men (and women) of all nationalities exhibit lack of responsibility and hypocrisy and there are also plenty of Indian excuses to act that way (since he’s Indian). Many in India don’t really become independent adults for a long long time after becoming adults. This can possibly explain his insistence on his father’s approval. We also practise hypocrisy. Sex before marriage is fine (at least mostly condoned) but babies before marriage are not. If they do happen, they are the mother’s responsibility as ‘men will be men’. I suspect these are many of the same excuses that deadbeat men give everywhere in the world.

    It actually comes down to the guy though and I would place most of the blame squarely on him. It’s clear that he is happy to abandon Indian ‘values’ when it suits him but hides behind them at other times. Potentially controlling behaviour on top of such callousness? The OP and her baby are certainly better off without him. I wish them lots of happiness ahead.

    • Sex before marriage is fine

      As a matter of fact, it’s not considered to be fine, nor is it condoned in any way or form (at least in North India).

      Indian middle-class and upper-class parents tend to deeply disapprove of any kind of romantic relationship that a man has before he is ‘settled’, and only seldom approve of a non-marital one once he is settled.

      A man who has sex before marriage is seen to have ‘gone astray’ – although, of course, the woman is often blamed for that.

      • Actually, the full sentence was ‘sex before marriage is fine (or at least mostly condoned)’.

        I’m familiar with north Indian attitudes as well and I do that think sex before marriage for men is reletively condoned with a ‘boys will be boys’ (even if it is not encouraged). They are not seen to have irrevocable ‘destroyed their/the family’s honour’. Going astray is a tame judgement to what awaits most girls who are ‘caught’. Rapes are mostly condoned with the same attitude and mostly the victims are blamed for their ‘role’ in it. You only have to look at the knee-jerk reactions to rape or pre-marital sex stories in the media to see the different reactions to the man and woman involved.

        The family living in the US seem to have grudgingly accepted that their son has pre-marital relationships (or he would have never told them of the baby). I think they would accept this much less readily than if it was their daughter involved. However, a pre-martial child is still not really accepted and is seen even more are only the woman’s responsibility.

        As I said, I think this is actually about a hypocritical jerk who is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions, so good riddance.

        • Whether or not it is a relatively tame judgement (it is, no doubt) is beside the point. I do not disagree that female sexuality is far more tightly controlled

          I just don’t agree with the assertion that male sexuality isn’t controlled in India, or that the Western concept of ‘boys will be boys’ is the same as the Indian one in terms of socially acceptable sexual ethics.

    • Then we agree to disagree Praveen. I have already said what I believe and I have no reason to change my mind, so it is a difference of opinion. My primary point of contention anyway is not whether the degrees of control over male and female sexuality in India differ.

      Even without considering that at all, there is still hypocrisy at play here. The man himself was happy to have sex but he poses questions over her character when she gets pregnant (asking for the DNA test). So in any case, he is a really shitty person in my view and I have said that I want to hold the person accountable and not consider any excuses he makes based on being Indian. If he can choose to abandon some ‘Indian’ values , he does not get to hide behind Indian-ness now.

      • We can agree to disagree if you like, but really, it’s a matter of opinion only to the extent that the existence of sexism or racism, for example, is a matter of opinion – in order to deny it, you’d have to deny and negate the first hand experiences of a huge mass of people. If Indian society was that forgiving towards men who dare to interact and have intimate relationships with women outside of marriage, we wouldn’t have any male victims of honor killings. Surely, those people weren’t killed by accident.

        I absolutely agree that there was hypocrisy here, for the reasons you’ve mentioned and I also agree that being Indian is no excuse for being unethical. However, both those points are irrelevant to the objection that I raised.

        • I do not agree. Most of the male victims of honour killings in the media are victims of the girl’s families, who want to kill the couple as they broke their honour. If what you say is true then the men should have been victims of honour killings from their own families. Most of the times it is the girl’s family that goes on the kill, not the guy’s.

          I think that men’s sexual exploits are condoned (not encouraged, but condoned) and women’s are not. I don’t mind if you don’t agree, but an opinion does not make a fact, neither mine nor yours. If men’s pre-marital sex is not condoned, we should be seeing harsh punishment for rapes and ‘eve-teasers’ being shunned by society. I simply don’t see that around me. I have not said that our society encourages men’s pre-marital sex entirely, but I stand by my statement that it is condoned. In fact to me it seems like male sexuality (unrelated to marriage) is seen as inevitable, hence all this victim blaming in sexual crimes (‘of course he got turned on’).

          I agree with anon’s ‘you break it, you own it’ mentality comment actually. It also does not apply to women though. If you claim to have slept with someone’s son, his parents will likely want nothing to do with a ‘characterless’ person like you. Quite unlike when rapists are offered to their victims in marriage by our society. Not all women’s parents will marry their daughters to their rapists, but it is common enough that it is presented as an option in court by rapists.

        • Most of the male victims of honour killings in the media are victims of the girl’s families. If what you say is true then the men should have been victims of honour killings from their own families. Most of the times it is the girl’s family that goes on the kill, not the guy’s.

          That response defies logic.

          I did not claim that male sexuality is controlled in the same form as female. In India’s feudalistic sexual dynamic, women are seen as possessors of honor, and are hence often blamed for destroying it (whereas men aren’t). I asserted that the parental disapproval does exist for men too. You disagreed, and that’s fine, because I cannot prove such an assertion. However, control doesn’t come only from your own family.

          Surely, the fear of being killed for ‘abetting’ the destruction of another family’s honor is a very strong form of control.

          How come the girl’s family does not go with your claimed ‘boys will be boys’ mentality?

          If men’s pre-marital sex is not condoned, we should be seeing harsh punishment for rapes and ‘eve-teasers’ being shunned by society

          It does not follow that because rapists and street harassers are not condemned strongly enough, Indian society is okay with premarital sex in general.

          As a matter of fact, we do have very stringent legal punishments for rape (by international standards).

          Of course, rapists are often let off the hook in social terms, not because it is considered okay to have premarital sex, but because of a number of widespread myths regarding rape, including but not limited to a belief that rape is a crime of passion that a man perpetrates when he ‘loses’ control, as well as a belief that it is somehow a ‘normal’ outcome of a situation where the victim ‘provokes’ the perpetrator (in the subjective perception of perpetrator himself). I once wrote a guest post regarding rape on this very blog, where I advocated more open discussions of sexuality, and less restrictions on male-female socialization as a first step to correcting the many popular misconceptions on rape. Do have a look, if you please.

          Eve-teasing is not premarital sex in any case, but is largely excused for reasons similar to rape.

          Men are also often excused for such things as domestic violence on the same grounds (they were provoked and couldn’t help it).

          In fact to me it seems like male sexuality (unrelated to marriage) is seen as inevitable, hence all this victim blaming in sexual crimes (‘of course he got turned on’).

          You are correct. It is seen as inevitable – which is why everyone feels qualified to tell women how they should dress, what times of the day they should not go out and so on and so forth.

          However, the stated, socially-acceptable ‘solution’ for it is marriage, not a mutually consensual, non-marital intimate relationship.

        • @ Carvaka
          Praveen pretty much summed it up. Some points, I’d like to elaborate though. Your idea that tolerance of eve teasing and rape follows a social condonement of sex defies both logic and actual cultural trends.
           
          First, your argument falls into a traditionalist trap, where premarital sex is equated to be as morally degenerate as rape. I find it rather weird, no wait, awkard that you made such a connection. Second rape and molestation apologists in India often used ‘repressed male lust’ as their basis for justifying rapes and molestations. Hence their obsession with women’s dress sense, some of which supposedly provoke male lust. If the society really condoned pre-marital sex as you claim, there wouldn’t have been any grounds to rationalise eve teasing or rape, since male sexuality wouldn’t be unsatiated in a sex positive society, would it?
           
          I am not sure if you are familiar with those corners of the country where pre-marital sex is, for the record, considered the norm rather than a perversion. In such cultures, rapes are pretty much unheard of. The biggest outrage to the Guwahati molestation came from, hear it – Assamese people. There were no voices from the Assamese society justifying or even trying to excuse the behaviour of the people involved. No political leader from Assam commented on her dress or her timing (which would have been a political suicide). Compare that to how the Karnataka responded to Mangalore incident or how Haryana responds to the rapes that go on a regular basis.

        • I agree with a lot of points Praveen makes, but I think Carvaka makes a valid point that Indian society condones male sexuality, but does not encourage. This is based on my own personal experience. I was very young and dating this chap, whose sister was about to get engaged off and he was telling me that she was not allowed to go out anywhere on her own (even before the engagement). Eh?!! But the same parents seem to have told him that having a girlfriend was ‘okay’ as long as he doesn’t get serious about her. Ehhhhh??!?!!! Needless to say, I dumped him, but that kind of thing makes it clear that society condones male sexuality, but suppresses female sexuality.

    • I have to agree with Praveen here. While you have fair points and I agree with your outrage against the man’s callousness, I can’t get my head around your whole idea that “sex before marriage is fine” for men, Indian or of any Asian ethnic group. Or at least from what I have observed in the real world and believe me, I have seen far more than what the average internet activist Indian/expat does.
       
      While men’s sexual trysts do not supposedly affect a family’s honour to the same extent as men, it is only because there are far less systematic strictures to control a man’s actions compared to women (who usually stay indoors and thus, are more ‘under the eye’ so to speak).
       
      Also, the assumption of a monolithic Indian Culture, that everyone can define, explain and speak for every other Indian, regardless of the culture or individual situation, is an errorenous assumption. My experience of Indian culture is different from yours, so I’d disagree when you talk of your idea of ‘Indian Culture’ which does not match mine.
       
      Also, even though the man’s actions are really hypocritical, I don’t think he was unusually blameworthy for asking for a paternity test. Paternity tests have become rather commonplace in United States, especially considering the prevalence of paternity/fatherhood frauds in North America. Unless Americans adopt my native Khasi system where *only* the mother is ‘responsible’ for the child’s finances, custody and upbringing, I think paternity tests would be the norm in the United States as long as a woman’s sexuality is considered her own perjorative AND men are supposed to pay for child support.

      • I have to agree with Atheist Indian and Praveen; Indian culture really isn’t sexually permissive when it comes to men. There are patriarchal shame-and-honour societies that actively encourage male pre- and extra-marital sexuality while holding women to the highest standards of chastity (this is true of Meditteranean societies in particular), but India doesn’t really fit that paradigm, imho. India has its own flavour of patriarchy, and in order to combat it we have to face it on its own terms, without borrowing vocabulary and concepts from other societies that may not fit.

        Anyway, I’m an Indian living in Canada, and I’ve seen the same sort of weaselly, cowardly behaviour from Indian men with non-Indian girlfriends that the OP describes. I think this behaviour is a sign that, on some level, these men are ashamed of their actions.

        • I did not mean to say it is encouraged (as I have already clarified before), but that it is condoned. By definition of that, it is allowed even though considered morally wrong. I was referring to this in relation to attitudes to female pre-marital sex, hence ‘relatively condoned’ as explained in my later replies. So ‘pre-marital sex is fine’ on it’s own is of course bizarre and not true in the Indian context. Poor choice of words on my part.

          In my experience though, it’s much more ok for men to stay out late or go out with friends, etc. These are activities that are restricted for women, lest they stray. I also do see a pattern in honour killings and obviously *I* don’t see it as defying logic. To me, if people thought their sons having pre-marital sex is an absolutely and unbreakable taboo, they would be killing these sons, as they do their daughters. Instead the men that die are a sort of collateral damage from the woman’s family and honour. As Praveen says, this is a form of control, but the control is not from men’s own families so I think they condone it.

          You have all raised valid points and I have considered them, but I still personally feel that pre-marital sex for men is relatively condoned (not ‘fine’ or encouraged, I agree with you there). Maybe my experiences don’t reflect yours. You don’t have to agree, as Atheist Indian says, Indian culture is very big thing and I am not speaking for anyone else.

        • “In my experience though, it’s much more ok for men to stay out late or go out with friends, etc.”
          In your experience? I though you are a woman, how could you experience that?
           
          “…the control is not from men’s own families so I think they condone it.”
          The absence of honour killing or keeping men chained to their homes does not equal condonement of male pre-marital sex.
           
          To a third person observer who did not experience the personal family dynamics between a man and his parent, it looks like they çondone it. But more often than not, they don’t condone it – they are either i) unaware of it, ii) try their best to ‘reform’ their son with threats and religious brainwashing and iii) if ii fails, they just give up and pretend they don’t care (while keeping the occasional ii active, just in case it works).
           
          If men were considered as ‘disposable’ as women are in North India and if they weren’t seen as old age security, I am sure we’d have seen a far more prevalence of male honour killings in the cow belt.

  5. In my opinion, you should do what is the best interest for you and your child. If you dont want a relationship /marriage from him, then it doesn’t matter what he wants.
    About his role in your daughters life, well, either he has to take it up fully with all the accompanying responsibilities (including child support), or he can walk away completely (this only because you are ok with it).
    Whatever choice and agreement you make with him, I suggest in having it in writing or documented somewhere.
    Dont let him and family bully you into this “having cake and eating it too” nonsense. Be firm with them.

  6. You, lady, are very lucky to get rid of him.
    //Would an Indian girl refuse to marry him knowing that he has a child out of wedlock?
    Yes. So, his parents would hush this all up. This whole episode will never be mentioned in front of his prospective bride. They will all forget it like a bad dream.
    To answer your last question – Yes, things might have been different if it was a boy. But didn’t I tell you how lucky you are? Be glad that it was a girl.
    Stay miles away from him. That is your key to happiness.

  7. And yet again, we have the Great Indian @#$#%!! Male making us proud!
    You and your daughter are much better off never ever seeing his face again. The very thought that he’d ask you to get a DNA test done speaks volumes of his paternal instincts – do you really think the guy could do any good to your daughter? And believe me, EVERY second parent in India has a superiority complex becasue their child has an extra appendage between his legs….. so yes, they would have made you feel inferior to the precious son of theirs. Finally, do make him sign off rights if you can – that will leave you and your daughter safe from him, if he decides he suddenly want a ‘family’ he does’t deserve.
    And currently, we are quite adept at hiding relationships, and children born out of them – so I’m guessing your child’s father will very soon have a big fat Indian wedding with a fat dowry… hope that answers your question.

  8. If this guy was a potential partner for a relative of mine, this is what would happen (I think my family is fairly liberal, and things might be different in other families).

    A potential spouse with a past relationship that didn’t work out would not be a problem . But if there was a child from that relationship, it would be too much of a complication (why take on future trouble with inheritance and so on) to agree to in an arranged marriage situation. His proposal would be rejected very early on in the selection process. But if it was a love marriage, and the girl was not bothered, no one would protest too much (after making sure she is aware of the whole situation). On the other hand, if it was known that this person abandoned his child, I can’t imagine anyone in my family welcoming such a person into our family.

    If I was in your shoes, I would tell him that,
    - I will not marry him
    - he cannot have his cake and eat it too
    - If he wants to be involved in his daughter’s life he has to do it in a consistent fashion so that she is not traumatized by an uncaring father
    - he has to take on responsibilities too (you may not need the child support, but if the money is placed in some kind of investment or account, it could be useful for her future- it is her right)
    - If he doesn’t want to be involved, then he has to cut off all ties. It is definitely not OK to ask for visitation rights for his family!

  9. From your words – he sounds a) too wishy washy b) manipulative. That’s enough reason to stay away from him. You’re being too nice to this guy. If you have the wherewithal to bring up your duaghter alone – dont let him be involved in anyway. That’s not the kind of father you want her to grow up with.

    Let me answer your question directly:
    > that’s why I wanted to know what the likelihood would be of an Indian girl marrying an Indian boy with a baby out of wedlock.
    Very less. If they *know* about it. The guy and his parents are extremely unlikely to tell a prospective bride about it. No girl/her parents would go for it – UNLESS they are desperate ie unable to find any other groom for her or want a green card or things like that.

    >> How would this have been different if my daughter had been a boy?
    The boy, and esp his father, would’ve given it more thought. They would’ve very likely wanted a male heir. and most probably been “proud” of having a ‘white’ male heir.

  10. This is both typical and depressing.

    Really, I think you’ve taken far too much of his nonsense already. Take a firm stand and take advantage of the nuisance-protection mechanisms that your country grants you. A shut-up call from your side is certainly called for, failing which an order of protection (or a restraining order, or whatever else they call it in your jurisdiction) will do the job very nicely.

    About his parents’ questioning, I’d advise you not to take it too personally. Many Indian parents feel quite entitled to asking what might seem like very personal questions from their children’s partners. My own marriage was completely by choice, and my wife’s parents are actually quite liberal, but even they didn’t seem to feel coy about asking questions regarding exactly how much I was paid, my college performance, my parents’ education levels, the kind of work my siblings did, and so on.

    As far as your question is concerned, many orthodox Indian women would indeed refuse to marry him on those grounds if he decides to go for a traditional arranged marriage. If at all possible, he will try to hide the fact of your pregnancy from potential partners, and if he cannot hide it, he will likely try to portray himself as an innocent victim and you as a scheming, evil person. There is an off-chance of him admitting to his past honestly, but given what we know about his personality, I sincerely doubt he has the self-assurance to pull that off.

    The choice marriage scene is different, and an Indian woman may or may not marry him if she knows about the kid – it would depend on how traditional her own beliefs are.

  11. Move on. Build a beautiful life for yourself and your baby.

    His mom seems to be a very decent person, unfortunately, her decency did not reach her son. I understand one feeling scared at the prospect of becoming a parent, especially when one is not prepared. But I’m assuming if one has a decent ethical standard, one would do the right thing. Of being supportive, of discussing the future with the mother – even if the future meant not staying together. After all, this is his baby too – his flesh and blood – the result of a conscious act.

    Yes, I suspect had it been a boy, things would have been different. In the sense, they would want the rights over the child. In either case, trust me, they wouldn’t want anything to do with you.

    DNA test? You are talking of an Indian son – who is usually considered as virtuous by family members and friends..even if he can’t stay zipped up for two minutes. The DNA test was to check if you’ve been sleeping around (because the virtuous son could not do something like this). After all you are not Indian, and you don’t know the meaning of ‘virtues’, and surely, you are used to ‘casual sex’. Yes, that is how most Indians view ‘westerners’. And, most parents feel they are superior to the rest of the world simply because they have sons. His father’s ‘questioning’ was inline with this – are you and your family ‘worth’ his son? In all probability, the father was looking apprehensive because he was thinking of how to keep up his ‘honour’ in his social circle. What will his family say? what will his friends say? Won’t they laugh at him because of what his son has done? How will he EVER hold up his head with this non-Indian non-virgin daughter-in-law in the family?

    Your ex boyfriend’s fear does not seem to be about how his own child will grow up, never knowing her father. His fear seems to be about you turning up later in life and laying claim on his money. That kind of sums up his priority in life.

    Yes, as Ritu has mentioned, they will get him married, and will forget all this as a ‘bad dream’. He’s a boy, they’ll say. Young blood, went out of control. It happens. It’s okay, they’ll say. The girl mesmerised him and tricked him into it, they’ll say. There are enough parents in India who will shove their daughters to this family. Even if they have to tell the truth, trust me, in their version the son will come out as a victim.

    You are lucky that you are in a country where the law is on your side, and privacy laws are really strict. I think you should make it known to your mutual friends that you will not appreciate anyone passing on news about you to him. It is enough that you fear him and his bullying ways. Your daughter does not need such a presence in her life. He cannot pop in and out of your life as and when he pleases, as and when his guilt takes over. Being a father is not just about releasing a sperm. He had a chance to be a father. He blew it. He is now just the anonymous ‘biological father’. IMO, legally and morally he has forfeited any claim on his offspring.

    Until your daughter reaches an age where she can legally take a decision of contacting her biological father, because she has the right to do so – I think as her parent and guardian, you have every right to put a restraining order in place in case he tries to forcibly get in touch with you or your daughter.

    Take care and god bless. Wish you all the best in your life.

    • “because the virtuous son could not do something like this.”

      Oh yes, Indian sons are so “virtuous” that their brains don’t know what’s going on downstairs. “Consensual sex? So that’s what it’s called huh? Mama never told me….”

  12. Dear LW: IMO whether you need it or not, you should most definitely demand child support from that rotten ex. He should be held accountable for his actions and given his actions post you getting pregnant, he deserves to have a very hard time. Extract the most that you can from him, drag him to court, make sure common friends ‘mention’ your past relationship to any future partner of his(preferably before she says yes) , etc, etc.

    • I like the spirit of this comment and Radha’s comment below as well about getting child support from this guy. So he owns up to his own responsibilities and makes a contribution to your baby’s welfare (even if you/ the court decides he should not have visitation/ custody rights).

      My only word of caution would be to get professional legal help if you go down that route and never put yourself in a vulnerable position with the man. There have been a few cases in the UK of south asian men harming ex-partners that had babies with them pre-marriage and tried to tell their families/ ask for their due. I’m not saying he is a psycho that will do it but protect yourself if you go down this route and don’t quite trust him.

  13. Wow you are nice. here’s my 2 rupee advise…
    1. Make sure your daughter knows who her dad is,
    2. get his medical history – family history .
    3. make sure he pays support. don’t use it if you don’t want to, have him put it into a college savings fund or something that you have control over but cannot use , she can use it when she is 18+ .this will ensure he doesn’t do a repeat of this.
    4. do not get married to him even if he falls at your feet.
    5. raise your daughter with pride and let yourself love and be loved, you never know what life hold for you, you may meet the passion and love of your live, but for then keep your mind and heart open.

    As for him , yes he will con an unsuspecting girl and get married, yes the thruth will come out, she will be hurt and pissed that she was lied to. there is a 50% chance she’ll dump him and run or there is a 50% chance she will live with him and suffer — depending on how they pick the bride and from where.

  14. There are so, so many different issues tied up here that I would strongly suggest you get yourself to a lawyer.

    First off, it is generally accepted these days that children are entitled to know their biological origins – even in the case of adopted children, children of fertility treatments, donated egg/sperm situations etc. A few years from now your child is going to want to know who her father is – for curiosity (especially since she is of mixed race!) but also for medical reasons, or to claim her cultural heritage. It’s not right or fair to keep her father a secret from her. It is up to them, then, to see if the two want to maintain a relationship going forward.

    Second, child support is not *your* right or even privilege to decline – it is your daughter’s right and her inheritance (and yes, you can take care of her now, but also what if you lose your job, or misfortune strikes tomorrow in the form of ill-health, etc?) The guy and his father may have bullied you and weaseled out of paying, but the child is both your and his responsibility (the “choice” surely was of both, correct?). You should re-think your (legally invalid) promise to not ask him to pay child support. Speak to a lawyer about how best to go about doing this. You can do this with minimal direct contact with him; there are provisions all across the US for people to pay child support directly to the state or to your lawyer so you two needn’t even know each other’s addresses.

    Third, visitation rights – clearly, the guy wants some kind of visitation rights if he’s emailing you to bring the kid around each time an Indian relative pops by. If he is as selfish (no help at all during the pregnancy? I’m so, so sorry for you…that had to have been tough!) and insensitive and emotionally abusive as you describe, it may be a good idea to ask for sole custody and/or a restraining order because he’s unlikely to be nice to a child if he is a bully to a fully-grown adult. However, again, this is something you need to talk to a lawyer with and then to the guy himself. Does he want to visit her? With supervision, maybe? Can you deny him the right to access his daughter as long as he doesn’t bother you – do you even want to? (maybe he turns out to be a good dad, in which case it’s a pity she wont know her dad at all!) Maybe you could cut a deal like once a quarter visits for a day or so, for the next seven years, then re-evaluate? What about current and future foreign travel – it may be that you will need a document saying it’s okay to travel outside the country with her if you’re not accompanied by the father, unless of course you have the documents confirming you’re the custodial parent.

    Fourth – cultural issues. Ignore those totally. It doesn’t matter if he’s Indian or not – this child was conceived and born in the US (right? I don’t know if you explicitly mentioned which country you’re in) and unless you’re thinking of an on-going relationship with him, the Indian cultural aspects are not for you to account for – those are *his* headache. Yes, it’s likely that if word gets out of his prior “issue” that marriage proposals will be affected, but like Nisha said above, it’s not just because he’s had a child but also because he’s shown how callous he can be towards one child already. The family will likely want to keep his daughter a secret. Would things have been different if it was a son and not a daughter? Maybe yes, maybe no, but only marginally either way. I can’t imagine a situation where his family would’ve wholeheartedly embraced a son – unless they totally wanted to cut you out of the picture, deny your existence and making up some story about your death or disappearance. Remember, he still wants to go through the arranged marriage process – and that process is very cruel to previously married/committed men and women even if they don’t come with children. And they still have hopes, likely, that he’ll have loads of sons with his ‘proper’ wife.

    Fifth – this is way far ahead, but have you thought about what you want to do for current support as a single mom? Again, in the US there’re a lot of public programs and support available – financial as well as food/welfare as well as child support/developmental. When your kid is older and will need daycare/pre-school you’ll still need tons of help. Make yourself familiar with all these governmental/non-profit avenues open to you. You will also soon want to contact Indian-American organizations so your child can be emotionally taken care of, so she can proudly claim her genetic/cultural heritage and knows it isn’t something to be ashamed of. Also plan on what you want to do in case you want to get into a serious relationship/marriage and have other kids – all the more reason to get your stories and stances straight now before other things complicate this.

    I hope this helps. Parenthood is a tough ride, even for those with tons of support, and kudos to how much you seem to be handling alone. Parenthood is also rewarding, and I hope you get the fun parts often :).

  15. I just want to say that the nationality doesnt matter..the guy could be black white Asian od whatever..he is an asshole..n u are too polite..i understand that sometimes women have the habit of thinking that maybe they could ve done something to prevent the relationship go haywire..i dont know if you are doing that or just plain upset and over analysing, this guy is not worth it..

  16. I am an Indian girl born and brought up in the US. While reading the above emails, a couple of things came into my mind. I felt like if you take away the guy’s ethnicity, it could be any other couple who have a child out of wedlock unintentionally. The fact that he is Indian doesn’t really change anything. He seems very immature, cowardly, controlling and irresponsible. I don’t understand why the letter writer is not being firm in demanding what her wants, expectations and rights are. She is a parent now so she is not only fighting for herself but for the best needs of her child. Instead of trying to understand his background and having allowances for it, she needs to concentrate on her next steps. I don’t think there will be a cover up as I am sure everyone knows that this guy has a kid. I am sure they won’t advertise the fact, but, at the same time, people will know…Trust me, the Indian communities here still spread gossip =). It seems like his mom is decent and his father is not but there are a lot of people who have parents like that. I really don’t think the child’s gender played a factor as he never wanted to know anything about the child in the first place. I don’t think having a boy would have made him more responsible and his father being more accepting. Actually, his parents are not really her concern. It is the guy himself. He is a coward who doesn’t want to step up. It seems like there is no one really preventing him from doing that but himself and his culture is not a factor in this issue. For her to think that he will go away is really naive. If they have mutual friends, he will continue to know what is going on and if those friends are pressuring her to tell him stuff they are more likely sympathetic to his needs. At this point, she needs to know that he can reappear anytime in her life and she won’t be rid of him until the next 18 years are over.I don’t know why she is hesitant to go to court and get everything in writing. She made a mistake by sleeping with a crappy guy but she shouldn’t let him control her and the situations with her daughter in any way. There are so many resources that she can use to help her deal with the situation and once she starts asserting herself she will be fine. I just don’t think being Indian is the root of the issue here and I feel sometimes in these blogs people put a big focus on that when it probably isn’t the case. I am well aware of the negatives (and positives) of Indian culture.

    • Yup I agree, nationality is not the issue here. There are such guys everywhere. Have we all not watched enough Hollywood movies which show the guy breaking up after he discovers his gf is pregnant?

  17. Applause! Applause! Applause! I admire you for the strength you have shown in having brought your daughter into this world! It can only be a real lady who can take such a serious decision! This is the great Indian male, the man who is still throttling with his bibs tightly on and still holding on to his mom’s pallu! For starters, I felt nice about how his mom treated you! Again for an average Indian mother, this would have been a different ball game! Yes of course, girls will be ready to marry him only under conditions of anonymity or otherwise if he ever meets a girl who is desperate enough to find a groom for their daughter in this guy ! The wedding will last if this new girl in his life is typically traditional and has a family honour to uphold! Else she will dump him and leave! A 50-50 chance I say!

    As for my two paisa of advice:

    Please for the Almighty’s sake do not marry him, no matter how well he or his family treat you after this!

    Let your daughter get her share of the support, again I know you’re good enough to take care of her, but he must in some way not get away so easily! Again it is up to you. And get a restraining order thereafter!

    Most of all do not close the doors of your heart to a new man and a lovely father for your daughter! Do not for a moment consider yourself worthless, because you got in to all this mess! Cut off all contacts for the sake of your sanity and that of your daughter, after you extract the maximum amount of damages from him! While he goes on with his life, you make sure this filthy rotten crap doesn’t find a mention in your life, unless of course if your daughter at some time in the future might want to meet her father!

    Most of all I appreciate your courage! If i put myself in your shoes, maybe I would have never had so much of raw courage to have brought the child into this world! For Indian girls are that meek and measly!

    take care! God bless you always! :) :) :)

  18. I think the crux of the issue rests on one question: Did the guy initially agree with you about continuing the pregnancy and having a child? If the answer is no, then he CANNOT be held responsible for the child since he did not agree to having her in the first place.

    That does not absolve him however from being wishy washy on the subject. He should have signed away his parental rights instead of putting the lady and her new born child through this drama. The lady is right in not wanting to include him as a parent since a reluctant parents is almost never a good parent.

    Will the guy get an arranged marriage after this? I don’t know. He is legally not responsible for the child, but the situation may ward off prospective brides who may think that he is not responsible or caring. Or they may choose to just not mention it and proceed like nothing happened.

    • I cannot agree with that. Whether the guy objected to the letter writer continuing her pregnancy or not, nevertheless he played his part in bringing the baby into the world. So he whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the baby. If he didn’t want the responsibility, he should have kept his pants zipped.

      • Ah, thank you for saying that. I was inclined to say this, but wasn’t sure if it would be fair on the father if he’d opposed her decision to continue the pregnancy.

      • He played a part in bringing her into this world. But there was also ample opportunity to not allow it to continue. Also, from what I infer, the pregnancy was unintended, as in he did not consciously make a decision to father a child. Birth control is only 99% effective, so it may have been involved here and failed.

        The decision to continue was solely made by the lady after knowing the feelings of the guy towards this.

        • I have a dilemma in my head – if the woman who is pregnant doesn’t want the baby but the father does, is she obligated to carry the baby she doesn’t want for nine months? Which trumps which? The guys right to have the baby or the womans right to control what happens to her body? (Very rare case maybe, but not totally improbable) Ami being foolish even asking this question? :-/

          What research I have done online shows that in US and UK the fathers right to have the child doesn’t seem to come into the picture. Although, I have heard that the fertilized egg can be moved from the mother to a surrogate. Not sure if such a case has ever happened. We usually hear of surrogate motherhood only in case of childless couples.

          Link1 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/legal/fathers.shtml
          Link2 – http://www.chicagonow.com/chicagos-real-law-blog/2010/10/when-a-dad-doesnt-want-an-abortion/

      • @ sarkywoman
        Interesting perspective. I think it would be unfair for a man to assert his ‘right’ to have a baby if the woman isn’t willing, considering that it is taxing on a woman’s physiology to give birth to a baby; something a man doesn’t have to deal with.
         
        I also think it is unfair to impose child support on an unwilling and non-custodial father, since he didn’t have abortion rights, so to speak. I don’t agree with the presumption that “he had sex, so he must pay”. Sex is a two way street, unless you believe in the traditional notions of women being ‘receptacles of male sexuality’. Just like a woman has abortion rights, a man should have the rights to abandon his progeny, a legal ‘abortion’, so to speak. But I guess it wouldn’t happen any time soon, since the US and other such countries wouldn’t want to burden the state with more welfare payouts. Finding a baby daddy to shift the burden would be easier.

  19. Here is one blog on similar circumstance like yours the sad part is desi guy is deceased.
    Read it through may be you’ll get another perspective on your situation.
    http://haathi-and-saathi.blogspot.ca

    Parenting is commitment not hi fashion statement changing with seasons. Child needs stability.
    You know the answer in your heart. Though you never asked anyone’s opinion on this but every one chipped in.
    About the reluctant father finding a desi bride, chances are high. Nobody is sending a PI after him so don’t ask don’t tell will do the magic.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

  20. “If the answer is no, then he CANNOT be held responsible for the child since he did not agree to having her in the first place.”
    That is not how the US child support laws work. A court may deem a father responsible for child support payments even if he wasn’t consulted for his choice on fatherhood and even when he otherwise gave up custodial/fatherhood rights. I have a white American male colleague in such a trap. Technically, it is also possible for a man to become an unsuspecting father without ever having sex with the mother, but to be honest that level of skullduggery sounds a little far-fetched to me.
     
    I think in this case though, he wants to be the father and at the same time, he also wants to absolve himself of the responsibilities of father hood. A total and absolutely schmuck. These types exist in India as well, in the form of fathers who claim the ‘rights of fatherhood’ and at the same time, weren’t much of fathers when their kids grew up. Fatherhood or motherhood should be a commitment, but as far as traditional Indians are concerned, it is a biological inevitability; the ‘tax’ for having sex, so to speak.

  21. I’m an Indian girl, and I wouldn’t marry this man. Not because he’s had a kid out of wedlock, but because he’s a spineless, bloody coward.

  22. This really made my blood boil. IDK why non-Indians date Indian men given that even Indian women don’t like them. Yes, some girl might marry him even after knowing that he has a child out of wedlock. Fathering herr child doesn’t really make him miss any opportunities. But she can change that, I know she has her pride but IMO she should file for child support just so that it can be a lesson to those men who go about sowing their seeds mindlessly.

  23. The contributors to this forum all made good points. I am a German woman who has just returned from a trip to India. While men shying away from responsibility of parenthood/being undecisive about it is something that occurs in all societies, I think the specific behaviour of the child’s father and his family in your case are reminiscent of some of the destructively conservative views and hypocrisy that are still present large parts of Indian society when it comes to sex, marriage, family honour, social appearances, class thinking etc. While travelling India, I have often wondered if people who like to see themselves as decent, good people of high moral standard actually ask themselves how good they actually are when they oppress their wives, selectively kill female fetuses, blame rape victims for being raped, or sweep the reality of sexuality (and emotions) under the rug, sometimes in the name of tradition and religion. I must say that if discrimination and hypocrisy are excused by simply viewing them as “part of Indian culture”, then I neither respect nor admire that part of Indian culture. Clearly, equality of men and women cannot (yet) been taken for granted in that society. This, among other things, causes huge problems in Indian society today (if you read the news in Indian papers, you’ll see what I mean), and while not everything is great in modern-day Germany either, many Indians are too proud or too afraid to admit that some aspects of so-called “Western” society (whatever that means) may not be so bad after all.

    It seems to me that the father of your child and his family react the way the do simply because it is ingrained in them, and they were brought up that way. They live in the US, and if they take a look around, they should be able to see that a different approach is possible, that things can work out in a different way that they are used to, but it does take courage and the willingness to do things differently, to throw destructive misconceptions overboard.

    I think there is a potential that the father of your child could be involved in some way and be a good father, and that his family would be committed to accepting your daughter and play a role in her life. The crucial point is that this would require a courageous and mature attitude, and such an attitude requires, first of all, awareness. I think they should be given a chance to become aware of all the points discussed above, in a reconciling way, and maybe a solution can be worked out that is in the best interest of the child, i.e. family ties, identity, other means of support etc. – loving grandparents, and a loving father.

    I’m sure there are specialists such as mediators and family consultants in the U.S. who can provide expert advice and support, also by including the individuals concerned, and by talking openly in a “modern” kind of way.

    I would agree though that it’s ultimately in the best interest of the child to either have some sort of steady and positive commitment, whatever shape it may take, or else none at all. Wishy-washy is no good. Either way, I think that you are a smart and courageous lady, and I wish you lots of joy and happiness with your daughter.

  24. Pingback: An email: Child out of wedlock | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s