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Thread: s/o How much responsibility does a step-parent/parent's SO have to a child?

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    #1

    s/o How much responsibility does a step-parent/parent's SO have to a child?

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    The other threads (Impossible Choice and the one about child abuse) got me really upset but it made it wonder what exactly, these men thought that were getting into in terms of responsibility for care of a child?



    I personally feel like whether you are a biological parent or not you still have a responsibility to care about the emotional, physical and mental well-being of the child and to support your partner in being a good parent. If you don't want to have a responsibility to a child then don't date someone with a child until you are ready to take that on.
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    #2
    Yuppp.

    Like what is this? "Oh we can date and you don't have to give two shits about my kids and I'll still love you anyway!"

    Fuck that.


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    #3
    I think if you're going to live in a house with a child, you need to treat that child the way you would want your own children to be treated. If you see your girlfriend's child starving and sitting in her own shit all day, you are responsible as an adult to do something about it.
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    #4
    Maybe I'm biased, I think of my step-father as my father and I always have. My biological father is kind of still in the picture, but my step dad will always be my father. He took care of me just like any biological father would.

    I think at the least they have a responsibility to make sure the biological parent is doing what's right for the child, and if that's not happening, then they need to get involved, be it with child protective services, the police, or telling the mother (and making sure she follows through *more in the case of the impossible choice*) that she needs to step up and be a mom. My Step dad would have never made my mom chose between me and him... Period. Never. No Way.

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    #5
    I think an adult is responsible for the survival of the child, food, shelter, adequate clothing and care. The emotional responsibilities are a gray area in my opinion.


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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I think if you're going to live in a house with a child, you need to treat that child the way you would want your own children to be treated. If you see your girlfriend's child starving and sitting in her own shit all day, you are responsible as an adult to do something about it.
    Agreed. I think if the SO isnt living in the house, the dynamics are gonna be different, so not that they should care less, but are obvi gonna be less involved. But if someone sees/suspects child abuse or neglect, regardless of living the the house or not, they should act and say something/help the kid(s).
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JennyJennJenn View Post
    Maybe I'm biased, I think of my step-father as my father and I always have. My biological father is kind of still in the picture, but my step dad will always be my father. He took care of me just like any biological father would.

    I think at the least they have a responsibility to make sure the biological parent is doing what's right for the child, and if that's not happening, then they need to get involved, be it with child protective services, the police, or telling the mother (and making sure she follows through *more in the case of the impossible choice*) that she needs to step up and be a mom. My Step dad would have never made my mom chose between me and him... Period. Never. No Way.

    And see, I had the opposite experience with my ex step father. My ex step father only parented when he HAD to or when he felt it was best for him. He knew my mom came with 2 kids but he didn't really care. Even though my mom was married in the legal sense, it was like she was still a single parent -- she worked 2 jobs and going to school full time and had 2 kids (3 if you count how lazy, un-adult like my ex step father was). I don't ever remember him making me food, washing my clothes, or anything a parent should do. I do remember him making fun of me for playing and being a kid. I do remember him being an asshole and ignoring me and my brother most days.



    Step parents should take care of the physical needs of a child and try and form a bond with them. You already know there are kids when going into a relationship and if you don't want to take care of them then maybe you should rethink that relationship with the single parent
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    #8
    I feel when you become involved in the life of a child, you act as a responsible adult and put that child's welfare above all else. If you can't handle that, the adult thing to do is to remove yourself from involvement in the life of the child.


    In the case where the health and welfare of a child is at risk, you protect that child - period, end of story. "Not wanting to be involved" and removing yourself is not acceptable. To allow the suffering, neglect and abuse of a child is criminal.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by briannanoel View Post
    I think an adult is responsible for the survival of the child, food, shelter, adequate clothing and care. The emotional responsibilities are a gray area in my opinion.
    Can you expand on that a bit? I don't want to misinterpret what you are saying.
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    #10
    This is really a broad question.

    Are we assuming the SO isn't an affair?

    Its a hard question to answer because it depends upon the extent of the question. If we relate this to the child abuse thread, then yes I think any adult should have the common sense to know if a child is being neglected.. or at least feed them and change them. Do I think a bf/gf is obligated to ensure the basic needs of a child are met? No. Do I think they are responsible for getting child help when the parent is failing? Perhaps, but it depends on what kind of help.

    Do I think a step-parent should be more involved than a bf or gf? Yes. A bf or bf isn't solid, they can come and they can go, I think their involvement should be limited to just basic common sense (such as knowing if a child hasn't eaten for a bit of time). That's about it. I don't think a bf/gf should play any active parenting role.

    Ultimately its the bio parents decision to determine what kind of role and responsibilites he/she wants for their child(ren). If a bio-parent decides that a bf/gf is to have no involvement, then that is what should happen. If the bio-parent decides their spouse is to have minimal involvement, then so be it. I don't think a step parent or a gf/bf should overstep anything a bio-parent does.. unless it in cases where harm to the child(ren) has happening or is happening.

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