[quote="Ellyakamommy, post:17, topic:274787"]
Elizabeth Anne, you clearly love and honor your father, as the Fourth Commandment calls for. Are you aware that the Fourth Commandment also holds parents equally responsible for protecting their own children?
I think your instinct to talk to a professional that deals with sex offenders regularly is a good one.
If you aren't familiar also look into Gavin de Becker's work--two books especially--'The Gift of Fear' and 'Protecting the Gift'.
You mentioned that you have not decided about public, supervised visits. Are you aware of what 'grooming' is? It is building a false sense of trust between an abuser and a child to lower the child's inhibitions and prepare them for future sexual activity or molestation. Grooming can happen right in front of a parent, as can abuse. Did you know that it is often common for abusers to show a child images of child pornography prior to engaging in abuse? (please check the wikipedia article on 'child grooming' for references).
While a previous poster pointed out that your father is imprisoned for looking at child pornography, he was not imprisoned for actual abuse. That is true. It is also true that your father has an issue with appropriate boundaries and behavior or he never would have had the child porn in the first place. He also lacks transparency about his actions that have landed him in jail as he has not been forthcoming about why he is in jail, yet wants access to children. Someone committed to reforming himself would 1. be transparent and 2. self-impose limits on access to children. He may not be an abuser, but he is also not trustworthy enough to be granted the priviledge of knowing and interacting with your children.
So, I would discourage any and all conact between your father and your children. As you know, their safety supercedes honoring your father's desire for contact. And since you asked, I would also share the legally obtained, factual information you have with other family members so they can make an informed choice as yoru father is not being transparent. I would inform your father as lovingly, but firmly as possible that you know the true reason for his imprisonment, that you are establishing limits to his contact, and if you feel obligated, that you are sharing this information so parents can make an informed choice about the level of contact Grandpa/Uncle is having with their children.
No matter what his response is, know that you are not causing him pain and anguish, but that these are the consequences of deeply wrong pursuits he engaged in.
I do apologize if my tone comes across as harsh, in point of fact, my heart feels your anguish in trying to balance charity with responsibility. FWIW, a family member is cut off from all family gatherings and from meeting any of his neices and nephews as he refused to acknowledge his own actions when confronted with proof.
I pray that God grant you wisdom and discernment.
This is a very good post.
You really should NOT allow your dad to have any contact with your children.
Your extended family should be informed of the porn and jail so that they can protect their own children.
Most importantly, you cannot fix this mess. It is up to your dad to do that and he doesn't seem to be very willing at this time.