May I see my child please?
A letter from a teenage dad to the mother of his child.
By Sipho Yanano
A year has passed and you’ve not let me see my child. I’ve begged you. I’ve cried but you won’t let me hold him just because I’m a teenage father.
Article originally in Parent24
I admit I made a mistake. I should have waited for the right time to bring a child into this world but what happened, happened. Don’t stereotype me because I am young and male. Just because I’m a teenage father doesn’t mean that I’m feral and going to father a string of children with different girls. Just because I’m single father it doesn’t mean that I am ‘deadbeat.’ All I need is time with my son.
I have the odds stacked against me – a system that focuses first on the child, second on the mother and totally ignores me. It’s as if all rights towards my son have been stripped away. I know you expect me to fail but I just want to see my child.
The people surrounding my child make it difficult for me to access him. In your eyes I am automatically an unfit parent, even before I’ve tried.
It’s a shock to find out that you are going to be a parent when you’re so young. I wish I had waited till I was older and probably married. But that’s water under the bridge now. I’ve had to learn basic parenting skills such as bathing and feeding a baby so that I can better care for my child. All I am asking of you is please may I see and hold my baby? I want to be a part of his life. I might be a teenager now but in a few years from now I’ll be a grown man and I don’t want to miss any part of my child’s development.
I may not be able to pay much in terms of child support yet but I have a lot of love to give. Don’t judge or deny me because I am a teenager who happens to be a father.
Do you think teenage fathers should have more access to their children?
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.