While this is surprising, if not shocking to some, there are parents who want nothing to do with their child. This can come about for various reasons.
A parent may have a health or mental health issue. That parent may in recognizing their issue seek to spare the child any upset or turmoil associated with on ongoing relationship. The parent is truly is trying to do what they think is best for the child.
In other circumstances, a parent may believe they don’t have the capacity or resources to care for the child. Their living conditions may not provide a suitable environment, so this parent withdraws.
In still other circumstances a parent may truly be thinking from a self-centered perspective and simply not value or want the relationship or responsibility. They may instead choose to be fully independent or align themselves with someone else and the other person’s children – or new children from the more recent relationship.
In terms of what to do, so much depends on the context in which decisions are being made. Under duress and even in the absence of duress, some people think of solutions in limited terms. They think there can be only two options, and they must choose one. We refer to this as black and white, binary or dichotomous thinking.
If the relationship is valued and, notwithstanding the circumstances, the person would like a relationship, then the strategy is to generate other options to facilitate the relationship. This may mean supervised or facilitated access. It may also mean helping a person to work through some of their issues and beliefs about what may or may not be good for the child.
If someone from a more selfish perspective, truly does not want to maintain the relationship, pushing it on them may only create more resistance and intensify what may be felt as an experience of rejection for the child. In this case, the challenge is to support the child in their loss of the parent.
Any of these situations are complex. It can be helpful to consult a counsellor to come to an understanding of your situation. If you need to take any action, you can better inform your lawyer if you are using a lawyer to help manage your situation.