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May I see my child please?

 
A letter from a teenage dad to the mother of his child.
By Sipho Yanano

Pic: iStock

Article originally in Parent24
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.

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.

Read more on: behaviour  |  teen  |  development
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