Dear Steve and Shirley,
I am writing because I have put my child in a terrible situation. I was in what I thought was a relationship with a man and he had told me he was divorced. I found out later that he is only separated. He has not been with his wife in years and I have been to his home, so I know they do not live together. He says that divorce is taking a long time because they have property together and he does not want her to take everything. We were in a relationship for over four years and I got pregnant. I talked with him about the situation and he told me the decision to have my son was ultimately mine and he would be there to help me. This is my first child and I am in my 40s so I felt that this was my last chance to have a child. He will not sign his birth certificate and my son cannot carry his last name. He does acknowledge my son to me, but not anyone else. He was not there for me throughout the pregnancy and he did not come to the hospital when I had the baby. He has not told his family or other children that he has another child. I am so hurt and I feel disrespected by this man. My child has a right to know his family. He does not pay child support. I know I was wrong for having a relationship with him, but I believed him when he said the relationship was over. I trusted that he was being honest with me. Do I just walk away from the situation and raise my son alone? I want to do what is best for my child. I want him to have a relationship with his father but I don't want him to feel the hurt when his father does not acknowledge him in public.