Your not wrong in sharing this gift with the family. Your stepson is much too young to have the power over who could play with it. It would surely cause more problems to allow him to control it. Not only that, families share. Your building a family, not a your's and her's house.
With all that is involved, I think have enough on your hands without one person being singled out in such an unhealthy way. If the court orders the gifts to be delivered, take them. Your idea to share them as a family is correct. It's up to you and your wife when and how these gifts are revealed.
It's difficult to have someone so negative and toxic that legally can be apart of your family. It's added pressure on you to do your job as a father, knowing that trouble is always near. Stay focused on your family unit, accepting that you knew the path would not be easy. If it helps, every family has it's issuses. Those of us that are combining families have a few extra. Outside influences that can pop in as they choose to. It's our job as stepparents to stay the course and be sturdy. Provide an example that the child can trust. Your, for practical purposes, this boys father. I doubt you would do less for him, than your other children. Be proud that you know your place with him and are working to raise a solid adult.
As for his father, there is no way around his involvment, unless the courts rules otherwise. He's a problem at best, XXXXX XXXXX is your stepson's father. That gives him rights. As long as you follow the court orders to a minimum, but legally. You and your wife can work around him for the most part if he's never around. Seeking advice from a professional about when and how to explain this to your stepson. It will help to have someone with experience with his special needs. Giving you and your wife a way to explain or at least ideas about how to go about it. There's no shame in asking for help with something this large. Sounds like you both are working hard to help him grow into a good man already. Your stepson will have to deal with all of this one day, he's lucky to have a father that care so much in you.
I wish you all the best. It's the future that makes this all worth it. Don't let anything get in the way of your hard work in building a family. Regardless of his bloodline, he is your son. His mother your wife. Together you are a family, your hard work is priceless for the future.
Best wishes and good luck.
Please know that I am a legal secretary/paralegal with 29 years experience in the State of California.
With a court order for the father to stay away, that is one thing....but, it is not healthy strategy to deprive the child of anything else that is being presented by the parent. Regardless of what the mental state of mind is / criminal act concerning the father...he is still the child's father and the child has a right to know - which can be presented in an appropriate manner. So many times, the single parent and other family members will claim that they are only doing certain acts to protect the child...but, in the long run, it turns out to be harmful. For the child grows up with hate and resentment and major psychological problems.
Absolutely abide by the court's order, keeping the father distant, but do not deprive the child of a gift which should be viewed and explained to the child that it's a sign of love and compassion from the father. Certainly, no one would go to such lengths in offering a gift if they didn't have a heart. The father may in fact have some problems and the mother and others concerned may have hard feelings...but that doesn't mean that the father's supposed problems and others' supposed hard feelings need to become the child's. Allow the child to receive a token from his/her biological father. The letters do not have to be presented at this time. Also, if ever it comes to the point where the father is allowed to see the child, monitored visits can be arranged - even for 15 min. As much as there is distaste for the father, knowingly, if it wasn't for him, partly, the child wouldn't even exist. Depriving the child of any such thing by the father - as the child gets older and eventually discovers the truth, will only put negative thoughts in the child's head about self.
My very best to you, the child and your family/loved ones.
Peace, Love & Happiness,
The Mystic Wave
Perhaps I misinterpreted your question concerning the actual gift received. I am under the impression that this is a child's gift, hence my response. If this is an adult gift, then certainly not.....until such time the child reaches the proper age. I apologize if I did, in fact, misinterpret your question. However, I still stand on the fact that anything presented to the child by the father (appropriate in age, of course), should be given to the child with proper understanding, as stated above.
I thank you very kindly for your response to my post. I am truly sorry for the situation. My prayers and thoughts are with all concerned.
I would have to say that the most appropriate way to deal with your situation/question is to consult with any and all authorities/psychologist/psychiatrist that are already aware of the case.
Please know that the information I provided in my response was partly from my years of experience as a legal secretary/paralegal....the other part was from my own experience with life, being exposed to children who have suffered severely. Besides the law in your situation, for which the father is not allowed to see the child at this time...and that the ones responsible in taking care of the child is abiding by same, by what you have stated though, it appears that it comes down to the fact, "to each his own"...how the guardians wish for the child to be raised.
However, sadly enough, I have dealt with far worse things in my life for too many years..I have been exposed to severely troubled children (not my own, thankfully -- my child has never had any difficulties), but children from acquaintances, children from friends, children from when I owned my own business for 20 years, children from my legal experience in family law and criminal.
Personally speaking, I don't believe in hating someone for taking the wrong path in life, making mistakes, having problems - no "ONE" in life is perfect....but, don't get me wrong, this doesn't necessarily mean that I condone one's actions for disobeying the law or hurting another. Certainly though, I don't believe that a child should be deprived of a connection with their biological parent(s)- however, in your case or cases similiar, there is an order stating that no visitations are to be at this time, that's understandable - but, I honestly do not see any harm in allowing a child to receive a gift from their absent parent(s) as a form of "connection" that helps with establishing one's self (meaning the child's self)....and it can be done in a very constructive/positive manner...which is with the assistance of the guardians for the child.
I believe that everyone deserves a chance - no matter what God awful thing they have done in life...but, I'm not saying that, in your case, the child should be exposed to the father, especially since, once again, there is a court order. But, if an adult - one who is supposedly mature, deprives or brainwashes (by the ugly truth or otherwise) a child against their own biological parent(s), there's a very strong chance that there will be disturbing consequences in the long run....for as the child gets older, they will be dealing with identity crisis, perhaps harboring resentment, hate for their parent(s) due to past actions, for them not being in their life while growing up, etc. Yes, this is my opinion as this is from my experience - not "textbook" theory.
Presenting a "gift" to a child from an absent parent(s) truly does psychological good, regardless of the "wrongdoings" of the parent(s)....for a gift, in itself, shows caring, love and compassion. If the adults who are caring for the child can embrace the child with care, love and compassion, as well - then the child grows up to be psychologically sound/stable. Perhaps sooner or later the absent parent(s) will come back into the child's life - but, if handled maturely, the child will have been properly taught to be accepting - and will be psychologically sound in which to handle any such encounter with the absent parent. The most important factor which many adults overlook is that children are born pure and innocent - it's the way one is raised that defines how we become as adults.
You do not have to agree with me, for this is certainly your prerogative - yet I offer my response which is based on my years of experience dealing with emotionally disturbed children and adults - very extreme cases....Hate gets one nowhere....but Love heals.
I also believe that one should do what feels right for them (what resonates with them)...not just because of what someone else believes - certainly, one's voice is merely an opinion...thus, everyone has their own opinion, there are many to go around.
With all my heart and soul, I do wish the child...and all concerned the very best...
Many bright blessings.
I thank you again for kindly responding and again, I am very sorry for your situation.
I'm very sorry but I do believe that you have truly misinterpreted my responses.....especially the one preceding this post. I have not responded based on textbook theory, my responses are based on years of personal experience dealing with emotionally disturbed children and adults.
I'm not here to tell you 'WHAT TO DO"......I offered my suggestion based on my experience....and I know that you must do what you feel is truly right in your own heart and soul - all of us, 6 billion plus people in this world, must do so. I truly feel for your situation and the child's and all concerned in your situation...I'm certainly not out to hurt the child...or you or anyone.
I do wish you the best.