DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old, struggling single mother. My 10-year-old daughter's father, "Lenny," was in prison for the first eight years of her life. He's a career criminal. You name it, he's done it.
Lenny's out now, but he hasn't changed. He wants to spend time with his daughter, but every time I let her go with him, she comes home with another story.
The world is a scary place, and I feel the need to protect her. I'm afraid he's exposing her to the wrong things. I also think he "works" while she's around. As far as I know, Lenny is still being pursued by the law and bounty hunters.
Sometimes it seems crystal clear. But then I think: Lenny is her father. He loves her. He's just not smart enough to be part of her life.
Legally he has no rights. His name isn't on her birth certificate. There are no court orders for visitation or child support. Abby, what should I do? -- TORN IN TWO
DEAR TORN: Your first priority must be your daughter's safety. Ask yourself what could happen if the bounty hunters or the police were to catch up with Lenny and your daughter were on the premises. You already know what you have to do. Now do it.