Meeting step-child for the first time - FamilyEducation
Meeting step-child for the first time
08/06/2007 at 15:45 PM

My soon-to-be husband has a 1 year old daughter from a previous relationship. He and the baby's mother were never married. I am meeting the baby for the first time in a few weeks.  How should I conduct myself during this first meeting?  Should I bring something for the baby?

How can I make the transition smooth?  Because the baby and her mother live in another state, my fiancee' will have very little contact with her for the first few years.



Hey alex


Welcome to the boards.  How exciting for you to be getting married and also to be getting a step-daughter in the mix.  You are lucky to be coming into her life when she is so young, the transition is so much easier when they are young.  I would say just treat the child as you would any other child in your life.  Play with her, give her attention, just enjoy her.  I don't think you need to bring her a present but if you want to I don't think it would do any harm.


Does your fiance have any ideas about what you should do or how you should handle it?  The only other advice I have is try to make friends with the child's mother---it will be so much easier on you, your husband-to-be and the child if you and the mother can have a good working relationship.


Good luck, keep us posted.




This will be a difficult situation.  The mother lives in a different state and has made visitation difficult.  At this time she is unwilling to set a schedule that can accomodate his ability to take time from his job for visits.  Do you have suggestions for those fathers who do not live in the same state?  What can he do to come to an amicable arrangement?  I'd hate to have him only see her once a year.


Hey alex,


Does he have a custody agreement set forth?  If so I would do everything I could to make sure that she adheres to it.  If they do not have one, then I would suggest getting a lawyer.  If she won't agree to anything between the two of them then I don't think you have any other recourse than to take it to the courts.




He is in the process of setting up first child support payments for the future. Once the paternity of the child was determined, and he learned he was the father, he worked to make the necessary payments and any backpayments that were required.  He is now trying to work with the mother to set a reasonable child support payment schedule in place.   I think the complexity of the case due to geographical issues, will require a family law expert that can help navigate the rough waters ahead. 

At this time, I'm not sure how feasible and reasonable it would be for him to have the baby for any kind of extended visits out of state.



My husband and I have been married for fours years and have a 3 year old son together and a step son that is 9. Between this time he had another child. She is now 5. Well we want to see her and I'm nervous becuase I want her to like me too. I got real lucky with my stepson's situation so I don't have to worry about a crazy ex or anything like that. Do you think this is natural? What can I do to make her comfortable towards me? I know she will like my husband because that's her father, but along with her father comes two brothers and a wife. I just don't want this to be a bad situation. We are going to spend the day with her without her mother so that she can get to know us. Any suggestions?


It's always difficult when you're going into a new situation like that. I think it's great that you have 2 other kids to help make her feel more comfortable while she's with you guys. Just be friendly and try to be her friend first. You never want to step in and try to be the disciplinarian or new parent too soon. This will only make children resent you. With kids (that aren't yours) you really have to earn their trust and respect. That's the only way you'll ever get it. So just be kind and accomodating and she'll be able to see your true colors. But don't get discouraged, even when you feel like giving up you can't. You can do it!


If the five year old does not know any of you, why not spend time with her mother, so the child will feel comfortable? When you bond with the mother, the child will relax and bond with you.