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Please help me bring my seven year old son home
$150 raised
3% of $5k goal
2 contributors
2 Years running

Many of you reading this already know me and know my family, but for those of you who don't, my name is Nathan. A lot of you also know my son, Brody, and you know what an outgoing, energetic, lovely, and awesome person he is. It's currently been almost three months since I've seen or talked to Brody because his mother will not allow me to. My last attempt to contact him was on Christmas day via a text message to his mother. She once again refused. I missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and his birthday in 2016 all because she will not let me see or speak to him. I have tried to be patient and find a solution, but she refuses to work with me, so now my only recourse is to take her to court. I believe that refusing to let our child see his father is abusive and, in conjunction with a number of other incidents on her behalf, has lead me to the conclusion that she is not providing a safe and healthy environment for Brody. I've started this campaign as a way to raise funds to make a legal challenge and try to get custody of him. I have already spoken to a lawyer, who has advised me to file as soon as possible and not let any more time pass. I'm asking anyone who reads this to help me meet my goals so that I can hopefully get my son home to me safely before any more harm is done. I need and hope to be able to file within a month.

I can't even begin to imagine how hard this has been on Brody. Up until the beginning of October we lived together in a shared apartment. His mother and I haven't been a couple for several years, but she and I worked together as a team to parent him. He and I have always been very close, he is very much daddy's boy, and to be completely and suddenly cut off from me, without any good cause at all, must be devastating for him. He and I both had the assurances of his mother for months prior to my move that even though we wouldn't be living together full time anymore, we would still see each other all the time. In actuality, she allowed me to see him once after I moved out, and to talk on the phone to him once, and then cut off contact. I can only guess at what reasons she's given to him for my absence and his inability to see me, and I doubt that any of it places the responsibility on her. In short, I worry that she has told him that I don't want to see him. Something like that would be devastating for a child, to be told that a parent doesn't want them any more. It's not at all true, and one of the things I hope to discover in court is what exactly has been said to him regarding my absence. 

The biggest hurdle that I am having to face in making a legal challenge is that I am not Brody's biological father. His mom and I never married (we planned on it at one point, but she ended our relationship by having an affair with an already married man) and she has never made me a legal guardian to him, despite my frequent urgings for her to do so. I've consulted with an attorney about this and have been informed that I will have an uphill battle the whole way because of this fact, but I'm going to fight for the well-being of my son regardless. When he was born his mother had been abandoned by his biological father, was battling mental illness and prescription drug addiction, and had no where to live and no one to help her. I was very afraid for Brody, afraid that he would be neglected or abused, and sure that this little baby didn't stand a chance of having a healthy life in the circumstances he had been born into. I found that I just couldn't stand by and let that happen, so I got involved. I've been his protection, his shield, and his rock all his life, through his mother's addiction, her abusive tendancies, and her mental illness. Now for the first time he is facing all of that alone. To make matters worse, his mother has entered into a lesbian relationship with a woman who I believe has instigated most of this situation in an attempt to isolate Brody and his mom and have complete control over them. She has, on more than one occassion, put my son in danger, including leaving him and his mother stranded in a parking lot in the middle of summer after the two adults had a fight. I believe that there is evidence of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse and need help getting to the bottom of all of this for the sake of my son.

As I said before, I'm going to have a hard fight on my hands. The law is not set up to handle cases like this, where there has been a parental relationship for the entirety of the child's life but no legal documentation or blood relationship. The first thing I'm going to have to prove is that Brody has known me as his father all his life, with the premission and approval of his mother. I have to establish our relationship first and then demonstrate that his current living situation is unhealty. It is going to be a long and difficult process, and I ask again for anyone reading this to please help me accomplish it. I need as much as I can get. I have set my goal at $5000, but I don't doubt that, all told, it will cost more than that. My first step is to raise the $3500 that I need for a legal retainer. At that point I will file the paperwork and his mom will be served with papers and we can begin the process. It is imperative that I get at least that $3500 as quickly as possible. I also intend to petition the court that Brody be examined by a qualified psychologist to check for signs of abuse and also to get on record his thoughts and feelings about the situation that's been forced on him. I know from talking with his maternal grandmother and former friends of his mother that he misses me and wants to see me. I know that he doesn't like the situation he's been thrust into, and I know that it is unhealthy. I want it all on record before the court. The court may order an examination on its own, but I want to be ready to pay for that and any other expense out of pocket if necessary. My son's well being is as stake. His mother is a drug addict and habitually uses around my son. Her relationship with her girlfriend is unstable and they are both prone to shouting, fighting, and emotional abuse.

If you're reading this, I'm begging you to stand behind me and support me, because what I'm doing is right. My son doesn't deserve to have his life ripped apart like this, and I can't even begin to understand the mental processes of someone who would do this to their child and think it's right. I've had to protect him from the anger and poor decisions of his mother before, and that is a heartbreaking thing, but this situation is by far the worst that she's ever put us in, and I don't intend to fail him now. I don't have any gifts or rewards that I can offer you other than my deep, deep gratitude and the knowledge that you will be helping a very sweet, very intelligent, very talented little boy regain the safety and security he needs to grow up strong and healthy. Even if you can only give a dollar or two, it will help, and if you can give more I will greatly appreciate it, more than I can put into words. Thank you.

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