Eight years ago, after living with a woman I ended it and went back to my wife. But I was such a horrible person that I left the woman pregnant. And more than four years ago she died unexpectedly…. Now I realize that, besides being a horrible person, I don’t deserve to live. I have even considered suicide as an option.

Now my daughter, whose mother died, lives with her maternal grandmother, and even though I began the legal process of getting custody, I stopped, thinking it might be better to give her up. I am too ashamed to face her relatives.

Dear Friend,

It is never too late to acknowledge the harm that you have done to others, though it is often too late to change the consequences of what you have done. We think that you realize that there is no way to go back and make this right, and that is why you have considered suicide. It seems easier to die than to live with the knowledge of what you have done.

Have you heard of the apostle named Judas Iscariot? He was one of Jesus Christ’s closest followers before he betrayed Him. When Judas realized what he had done, he killed himself. He didn’t have enough courage to go back and face the other apostles, so he chose the easiest way to escape.

When Christ died on the cross, He paid the penalty for all sin, not just the smallest or most socially acceptable sins. However, to be forgiven we must not only be sorry and ask for forgiveness from God the Father, but also demonstrate our repentance by living differently in the future. If we expect God to forgive our past, we must be willing to learn and follow His teachings.

If you decide that it is too difficult to face your daughter’s relatives, you will be acting as many cowardly men do. Instead of thinking of what’s good for their children, they think only of themselves. They justify their actions by imagining that their children will be better off without them, and yet that is very rarely the truth.

Your daughter has been denied a relationship with her mother, and now you want to also deny her a relationship with you. As a young child she may seem not to miss you, but as she grows up she will increasingly ask herself what she did wrong to lose both her mother and father.

Instead of trying to get legal custody, we suggest that you first start giving her grandmother monthly financial support to help pay for your daughter’s expenses. Then make sure that your name is on your daughter’s birth certificate. If it is not, then do whatever it takes to prove that you are her biological father so that it can be added.

The next step is to ask for supervised visitation. That’s because if your daughter doesn’t know you at all, you must begin by visiting her in her grandmother’s presence. If the grandmother won’t allow it, then it will be necessary to ask the court for legal visitation. Either way, we suggest that you consult an attorney to help you.

We wish you well,