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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen in Despair Pleads for Help and Guidance

DEAR ABBY: My heart is broken. My 18-year-old son, "Joey," has just put his name on someone else's child's birth certificate. He met the girl in high school. She was already pregnant. Joey has been out of school since May. He has no job, no money and no car.

Joey promised her family he will "take care of her." They were only too happy to hear it because the real father wants nothing to do with her or the baby. Her parents have made my son feel like a hero, and he enjoys it.

I did everything in my power to talk him out of it. Nothing worked. I can't believe that the girl's family is encouraging him. Joey is not a man, even if he is 18. Where are their values? -- HEARTBROKEN MOM IN MESA, ARIZ.

DEAR MOM: Your son may feel like a hero, but apparently he was not thinking rationally when he put his name on that birth certificate, because what he did was fraud. The father of that baby should be listed as the father, and he is the one who should be financially responsible until the child reaches adulthood. If Joey wants to lend emotional support, more power to him. But I'm advising you to consult an attorney to see if this mess can be unraveled before he gets in any deeper.