One mother’s arranged custody agreement with her ex and their son went south after the ex dropped off the wrong baby. The mother quickly took to Reddit to ask for advice on what to do next and if she should take legal action.
“So this guy, ‘Sean’, and I have a… complex… history, but the important part of that history is that Sean got me and another woman, ‘Lydia’, pregnant at roughly the same time. Our sons are only about 6 weeks apart in age. Lydia’s son is currently just over 15 months, while mine is just under 17 months.”
“Lydia and I have identical custody agreements. We both had sole custody for the entire first year, with Sean only having visitation, and when both boys were a year old, it became 50/50 custody. Both myself and Lydia have our sons for the odd weeks, while Sean gets the even weeks. This means Sean has both boys at the same time. He pushed for this, as he wanted a week on/week off from looking after kids. He also requested this so his sons could bond, but his primary motive was getting time off.”
She then went on to share how Sean’s week had wrapped up and was dropping off their son at her house.
“Sean had both boys this last week. He brought my son back earlier today. I was on a work call and the baby was sleeping, so Sean just sort of placed the baby, carrier and all, down on the floor and left silently. When the baby woke up and started crying, I got off the work call and immediately noticed that this was not my son, as my son has blue eyes, and this baby had green eyes. Taking off the baby’s hat also showed dark blond hair, and not my son’s light brown hair.”
It was then that the mother realized that the baby was in fact, not her own.
“I immediately called Sean, in full panic mode, telling him to bring me the correct child right this second. It had only been about 10 minutes so Sean wasn’t far away and hadn’t gone by Lydia’s yet, but Jesus f*****g Christ it was the worst 10 minutes of my life. Sean came back smiling, carrying my son, and says in the most condescending tone of voice “see? He’s fine. No harm done.”
She was so upset that she decided she wanted to get the courts involve.
“I told him that we are fixing this custody agreement. He is not having both boys alone again. He couldn’t tell his own sons apart, so the solution here is for him to not be in a position to confuse them. I feel that this whole situation is already a total f*****g farce, and I should never have been in that position. I want to know that I have my child, not Lydia’s. I do not feel that this is a lot to ask for.”
But Sean had different thoughts entirely.
“Sean has said that I’m being unreasonable. Says it’s an easy mistake to make, and that there were times his parents brought home the wrong baby from nursery without a half sibling to excuse it, and that this was the first time it happened and the issue only lasted 10 minutes. He also says that I’ll be causing undue harm to all 3 guys in this situation, as the kids won’t get to bond with their half brother, and Sean won’t get any time to himself if he has Lydia’s son on even weeks and mine on odds, meaning that he’ll be more exhausted and it will decrease his income as he won’t be able to work overtime (which he currently does in his weeks without the boys).”
One person said: “Parents make mistakes, and this mistake had no one in any danger, just a bit upsetting. Grabbing the wrong kid is not an uncommon parenting move (folks with twins/triplets/etc often have to come up with easy ways to ID the kids at a glance). Separating the brothers because of a mistake is cruel. If you actually think this could occur again have an adult convo about ways to avoid it (meeting at the handoff for example). But really as the kids keep growing this will be less and less of an issue, and the kids spending time together will be more and more important. So if you do change the agreement, I hope you’d at least change it back in a year or so so the kids don’t lose each other.”
While another commented: “Yeah I mean everyone is assuming the worst out of this guy because he got 2 girls pregnant but kinda ignoring the fact that he is willing to handle 2 kids with 50/50 visitation and work overtime the weeks he doesn’t have them. He seems a decent enough parent and mixing up 2 sleeping 1 year olds that have their hair covered seems extremely plausible. Completely separating the half brothers from each other knowing it will also affect the mental state of their father and reduce his financial capacity JUST over such a mistake is either dumb or spiteful.”
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With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.