Heartbreak after father denied access to his child

A HEARTBROKEN mother and grandmother, whose son is being prevented from having any contact with his child, has spoken out on the profound impact parental isolation is having on their family.

The local woman has issued an emotional appeal to social services, and the family of her grandchild, to understand the damaging affects of keeping her son from his child, who is growing up barely knowing their father or his family.

In fact, since the child – who is now primary school age – was born, the local man has never had the chance to hug them or spend any time with them. All the child has seen is pictures of their dad.


The family has not even been allowed to give the child gifts, with the grandmother telling the Herald they have kept every Christmas and birthday card at home for when they hopefully finally get allowed access.

In the North, fathers do not have automatic rights over their children. Instead, the law is concerned with “parental responsibility.”

If a child’s parents are married they both have parental responsibility, and mothers – whether married or not – are always deemed to have parental responsibility. However this is not automatically granted in the case of unmarried fathers or those in civil partnerships.

If a father is named on the child’s birth certificate then they that parental responsibility can also be recognised. However, in this case the woman’s son is still fighting to have his name added to his child’s birth cert.

The battle facing the family has been going on for years, during which they have been working with social workers and a solicitor. Progress has been painfully slow, though, and was not helped by the Covid disruption, with the family barely hearing anything from social services for almost two years during the pandemic.

The woman described the feeling to the Herald as a type of “grief” for the living.

“I’m heartbroken, and he’s heartbroken,” she said.


“It drove him to drink, and the bad stuff, for a while” she continued, adding her son was now completely sober, and regularly underwent official testing to prove this.

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