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Guy Called ‘Deadbeat’ For Refusing To Pay Child Support Despite Waiving Parental Rights Years Ago

Man holding his arms in the air.
Dahl, Per/Getty Images

Before becoming a parent, one should think very carefully as to whether or not they are in a position to do so.

Even so, some people become parents without any planning, at very unexpected times in their lives.

While some are able to easily make the adjustment, and enjoy the tremendous gift they have been given, others are less lucky and find themselves struggling almost literally every which way.

Redditor Throwaway_79272 had always wanted to be a parent, which made him happy to discover that his ex-girlfriend was expecting his child.

Unfortunately, she and her new partner didn’t want the original poster (OP) to be remotely involved in the child’s life, and the OP reluctantly obliged their wish.

Shortly thereafter, however, when the OP’s ex called on him for help, he flat-out refused, owing to their previous agreement.

Wondering if he was being unreasonable for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I TheA**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not playing any child support?”

The OP explained why he was unwilling to help his ex-girlfriend with their child, despite his long desire to be a father.

‘My ex-girlfriend, Claire (35 F[emale]), got pregnant while we were dating.”

“Although she told me she just wanted to be friends, I was ready to be a father.”

“However, she met someone else, Becca, who didn’t want me around, so they asked me to cancel my paternal rights.”

“At the time, I was torn because I wanted to be there for my child, but I also felt that if they didn’t want me around, it was best to waive my rights.”

“After fighting for a while, I eventually gave up because it was clear that they didn’t want me there.”

“Fast forward 13 years later, Claire and Becca are going through some stuff, and they want me to pay child support.”

“However, the court had already ruled that since I waived my paternal rights, I am not legally obliged to pay child support.”

“Despite this, Claire is calling me a b*stard and a deadbeat, and she’s even calling my family and getting them involved.”

“While I understand her frustration, I don’t think it’s appropriate for her to be involving my family in this matter.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to pay child support.

Everyone thought that it was completely unfair for the OP’s ex-girlfriend to refuse to allow the OP to be part of his own child’s life, and still expect him to pay child support.

Many felt the OP did nothing wrong, even if there were some who felt the OP should at least consider it, not for the sake of his ex and her partner, but for his child.


“They wanted your parental rights and responsibilities terminated. They’ve been terminated.”-venom8599


“They didn’t want you to be a dad, so you aren’t a dad.”

‘They’re only regretting their decision now because they need money.”

“If you consider helping out financially, you need to insist that you also be allowed to have a relationship with your kid with no secrets about why you haven’t been around.”

“The kid deserves to know that the only reason you weren’t around is because of their moms.”-LadyF16


“Tell them your financial obligations ended after you waived your parental rights at their request.”-RoseTyler38


“When I read the title I was very ready to say you’re the AH, but in this situation you’re right.”

“You tried to be involved and they shut you down. They can’t come after you 13 years later for money.”- Narrow_Coyote8899


“So they only want you to be a dad when it’s convenient to them?”

“But yet they kicked you out of your child life.”

“Block them and get your family to block them.”- Serious-Day5968


“They didn’t want you involved, and by doing so, they forfeited the right to expect/request child support.”- thenameskat94


“You were coerced to waive your rights, and you are in no legal or moral obligation.”

“You were merely a sperm donor, at least according to your ex and her new partner.”

“If you want to pay child support, that is definitely up to you.”

“Personally, I’d ask to have some contact with your child, AND instead of just forking over money, I’d ask them what the child needs and get those things.”

“Not hand over money which may or may not go towards the child.”- SilverNeurotic

“NTA legally.”

“She and Becca told you to f*ck off, but now they want you as a bank.”

“IF you do still want a relationship with your child, put forth this offer:”

“Ask for split custody and parental rights instead.”

“No child support.”

“If there’s split custody, then your ex only has to house and feed him 50% of the time, which relieves a significant economic burden.”

“They’ll obviously say no, because it’s never about relieving their economic burden, they just want an easy way to your money.”

“At which point cut them out and rebut anyone that complaints with ‘I made them an offer, they refused’.”

“‘That’s the end of my cares’.”

“Though also keep in mind, you owe them nothing.”

“It’s just about not wanting the child to suffer.”- Diligent_Pride_7314


“They had you waive your rights.”

“Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.”- whereisthetvchanger

“The thing about waiving your rights is that once you do, the child is no longer yours.”

“You have no claim, but also no obligation.”

“Claire wants to have her cake and eat it too.”

“She wanted complete control, but now wants you to fund it.”

“Do not give any money without consulting a lawyer if you can to reinstate your parental rights.”

“Otherwise, she is asking for money for a kid that’s no longer yours.”

“Hasn’t been for years.”

“Hard as that is, this is a 14 year old kid you have had no part in raising.”

“Is that supposed to change now?”

“Think hard before giving any money.”- Shibaspots


“But it’s a crappy situation.”

“I don’t know how they made it clear ‘they didn’t want you around’ but it’s 13 years later, they can’t just change the rules because they’re facing challenges.”- EmptyResource1776


“That is no longer your child, even if it hurts.”

“They cut you out and are trying to use the child as a weapon.”

“Explain to your family the situation and that it’s legally the dumbest idea to pay, and your child is 13 already and doesn’t need a random stranger coming in playing dad.”

“When he’s an adult, maybe you guys can have a relationship.”

“This probably is difficult and painful as you wanted the child but were manipulated to back off, but what’s best for the child and yourself is to stay away from these women.”


“If anyone pressures you to talk about it, let them know they do not understand the situation and should not be listening to a bitter ex who demanded you legally stay out of your child’s life.”- Gangstalyn


“Just, no.”

“They wanted you out, so you’re out.”

“You know what’s an AH move?”

“Telling someone to beat it, and then a decade later telling that someone that they are a deadbeat.”

“Unless you want a relationship with your kid, block and ignore.”- Bo_O58

“Oh really?”

“She just happened to meet this other woman right after you fathered a baby for them to raise?”

“She needed a sperm donor, and she found one.”

“She was manipulative then, and she’s being manipulative now.”

“NTA.”- Thingamajiggles

“They still don’t want YOU there, they want your money there.”

“They fought tooth and nail to have you give up parental rights.”

“Thats what they get, and frankly thats what they deserve.”

“They took over a decade of bonding with your bio daughter away from you. They cant just wave a wand and give that time back to you.”

“NTA.”- Lubwurst


“She asked for that.”

“You reluctantly obliged.”

“And you gave up a relationship.”

“Tell her when you get all those years back where you could have had a relationship (had she not begged you), you’ll then pay child support.”- SpecialistAfter511

“Wow… that took a turn.”

“I was already to cast my opinion… but NTA!”

“You gave up parental rights, which means you are not obligated to pay child support.”- always-traveling

If the OP’s ex allowed him to be a present father in his child’s life, not only would one expect he would willingly pay child support, it would, in fact, be his obligation.

But for the OP’s ex to expect him to pay child support yet otherwise stay out of the life of his own child, which he clearly wishes was not the case, is absurd to the point of shocking.

Something the OP’s ex and her current partner should have seriously considered before demanding he relinquish his rights.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.