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Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

Old Feb 24th 2014, 6:36 pm
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Default Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

OK first off I have looked around a lot online and I know the general points about sin sod. I'll give some background on things in the hope someone can help advise me on my situation. This is quite a long post, but I want to get all the important facts laid out.

I have been in Thailand for 17 months now and seeing my girlfriend for only around 8 months. I met her where she works selling clothes in the market. She does quite well out of it and I'd say her parents are averagely well off (although this is pretty low compared to western standards. She is from Phrae, north-east Thailand so from what I understand, sinsod is practiced regularly in these parts (and probably throughout Thailand).

Anyway long and short of it, she is a decent girl, not your typical bargirl that you tend to read about on these forums. She is university educated, but she has been married before (only the Thai ceremonial wedding, not officially). I understand all these come in to play. Her ex gave her parents 100,000 baht for sinsod and half was given back to the couple. That marriage didn't last long because he drank quite a bit and turned out to be different to what she knew before marriage.

We had an unplanned surprise. I got her pregnant; needless to say marriage was brought up as her parents are very traditional. Having read the subject a bit I heard that if a girl has been married her value drops, so I offered 50,000 and to pay for the wedding itself. Before and up to this point I was always told the amount would be up to me. I've since been told it would be 200,000 plus for the whole wedding (100,000 for sin sod plus more for ceremonial gold etc.) If this wasn't possible it would be an engagement ceremony whereby the sin sod (probably not called this) would be 60,000.

All this hadn't knocked me too much, I don't quite have this amount of money for the wedding, but my parents said they would help out with 50,000 baht. What came after this with no provocation was that if I didn't pay this then the mother would step in and adopt the child and bar me access. This alone has caused some big arguments and I am now staying in a hotel. The deal is UK Visa requirements cannot allow me to take my future wife back to England without earning over 18,600 pounds a year, so I am heading back to uni to get trained in a degree which will straight away land me a NHS job when I finish. This was all arranged before any of the baby news.

The fact I am heading back to England I can understand they want assurances I will be there for the kid. I can even understand that my word isn't good enough. I would happily pay that money to my girlfriend, but that isn't apparently how things are done here, I should pay the money to these people I barely know and leave it to their discretion how much they give to their daughter. I'm at a total loss and have no-one for guidance. If I ask a Thai, I don't know how straight there answers will be (perhaps they don't want to lose face over the image of Thai culture). I have no farang friends here. How normal is my situation.

I should add my girlfriend refuses to approach the subject and she is really caught in the middle. Well, I say the middle; she would obviously side with her parents, but I am 100% sure this is not her doing. In fact she won't allow me to put any money in her account. Am I being totally ignorant to Thai culture? I already feel like there is a bad image of me for her parents, if I pay this sum to them and the mother decides to lean in her ear it could still go south especially with the distance between us.
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Old Feb 25th 2014, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

Phew, that sounds like a whole can of worms, and you've got some tricky times ahead.
Don't know where to start really. I'm wondering when you're going back to the UK and how far pregnant you're GF is? The family probably want some kind of conclusion before you go back. They may even feel that they have to get as much out of you as they can now because they don't know if you're coming back. It's not that uncommon for ferrang to get a women UTD and then disappear.
When my wife was pregnant with our first child I was absolutely skint, my MIL pawned some gold for us so that we could eat. I then went back to the UK for work. My SIL made an offer to my wife that she would adopt if I never came back. Part of this was, I think, because they didn't believe in abortion on Buddhist grounds.
Anyway, back to your situation, sounds like the parents are trying to force the issue with the threat they made about adoption and blocking access. As an unmarried father you don't have many right so it would be in your best interests to get married regarding access to the child.
How serious are you about this girl? Do you want to get married etc? If you do, I would get married legally. Explain to the family that you really don't have the money for what they want. At the end of the day they just want their daughter to be happy hopefully.
Explain to them that you are going back to work so that you can support her and the child in the meantime. The sooner you are married the sooner she can apply for a visit visa for the UK ( waiting time used to be 6 months after marriage, not sure what it is now), and come to visit you for 6 months in the UK.
Also, your GF needs to stand up for herself more. How old is she? Why should you send money to the parents when it is your GF and baby who will need it. This sounds strange and I wouldn't do that.
I think you all need to sit down together and go over all the options. If you don't have the money for a wedding then they must see that and something else will have to be worked out.
The main consideration is the child, wasting money on a big do when you don't have much cash is a waste, so I would work on that angle with them.
Keep us posted how you get on.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 25th 2014, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

Thanks for your reply, it really helps to have someone who has been in a similar position. My flight is booked to go back on 19th March and the baby is due 4th October. I sure can understand they want some sort of assurance I won't do a runner. As I'm replying to this I spoke to my girlfriend suggesting just getting the legal marriage done and she says that is good. Actually it's what her Mum wanted when we went up there, but I wanted to have a real wedding with lots of people invited, not an undercover marriage just for legality. The situation has gained momentum quite a lot since then!

As for the abortion, she had a similar situation with a Thai guy when she was 25 and her Mum convinced her to have an abortion. I think that is also why her Mum is so mad at her, but she is 33 now and doesn't want the abortion. I really respect you for sticking all of that out, I hope you are on the good side of your wife's folks now.

The whole engagement thing is solely about money. My girlfriend said she wasn't feeling up to the journey (we live in the south) and her parents said we could just send the money. I really offended my girlfriend to say that this is blackmail, but by definition if they're saying pay this now or don't get access to your child, then it is. So I thought OK, I'll send the money, hopefully they'll have a conscience and send the money to her and it would be to prove a point. Now the Dad is saying, even if we were engaged and subsequently married he wouldn't allow her to live with me in the UK, which is what she wants. So far your option is definitely sounding best right now!

My girlfriend doesn't seem to be able to stand up for herself, she was shaking in tears after talking with her Mum when I suggested the first figure. She wouldn't tell me what was said and even when I lay it out logically how if I am paying the same money directly to her and bypassing her parents that this is directly supporting her and showing to her parents that I am there for her, she still refuses to discuss the matter. But she doesn't say I am wrong, she knows I am making sense. I feel sorry for her more than anything, she is made to feel like her parents meal ticket and I am the one who is haggling over it.

Her parents are literally the other side of the country and they don't speak a word of English. I speak a little Thai, but it's very difficult to discuss something like this. Having a straight-forward discussion didn't seem the option before and at the time her Dad still didn't know. My GF speaks really good English, but the whole thing wasn't discussed in so much depth with all of us together. Now my attempts at tact might be getting lost in translation when my GF speaks with her Mum, I don't know.

I recently graduated with an Ecology degree and then came to teach English out here. Entry level Ecology jobs don't meet the mark for wages to gain my future wife(?) entrance to the UK, but long before this pregnancy thing I applied and got accepted on to a NHS government funded degree course that would secure the right earnings guaranteed (or as close as can be). I'm committed to seeing it through for a better future with all three of us here. She wants and understands this too. Even before the kid she wanted to move out of Thailand. I was teaching here in Thailand, but I don't see it as a lifetime profession and I think we will struggle money wise because she has fairly western standards of living at the moment, we will be really stretched with those wages and I'll be stuck doing something I am not to fond of.

Thanks for all your help, good to get this stuff of my chest and gain a different perspective. I got so caught up in all this I forgot about the path of skipping the whole ceremonial thing. Might seem like the best option to do this, give the money straight to my GF as a gesture of goodwill and hope the parents have the worldliness to realise this is the best option for everyone (not just themselves).
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

Seems like the Dad is just making empty threats. If everyone can be happy with getting legally married with a suggestion of a wedding later that might work. Many people do it months or even years apart. It also puts off arguments over sinsod for the time being.

At 33 your GF really needs to tell them she can do what she wants. Don't see how they can stop her going to the UK if that is what she wants, unless they blackmail her emotionally which it sounds like they are probably doing already.
It might cause a few tears but is she going to lead her life or the life they want her to live. The parents are probably worried that they're 'losing' a daughter though.

Personally, I wouldn't have sent any money to the parents because if you're not there then you're not getting engaged. You've just sent a load of cash to the parents, which they may or may not pass on to your GF. A bit of a strange set-up. That sounds a warning bell to me. Be aware that as from now you're setting the tone for how things go with the in-laws.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world and plenty of kids come into this world in far worse situations.

Hopefully in time you will be on better terms with the in-laws. I'm sure once you are more settled and stable and they can see that their daughter is happy and secure they will be fine. IME most Thais just want to have a happy family and a bit of money along the way if they can.

However, at times like this I always think of my friend in Ranong whose wise words to me many years ago were," Marry an orphan!"
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

thaifiancee, are you saying that your idea is to go back to UK for 3 years to study for another degree if this can be agreed all round?
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

ex reg: that's the plan. It won't be easy to be apart for that long, but I will struggle to find a job that meets the income criteria to allow her to come to the UK otherwise and I'd rather have a plan laid out as opposed to taking on the current job market with my current un-specific degree held by many in a competitive sector. My GF also backs this idea to go back to uni because it will lead us to a better, more stable future in the long run.

nonthaburi: orphans are probably the way to go
everything you've said is fairly spot-on. She has also said it will be up to her if she comes to the UK or not, but you're right she'll have her parents tugging on her heartstrings to stay. It's a long way off, so maybe things will have changed in my favour by then.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

I've no real experience of your position so can't really suggest anything.
And Thai culture isn't something I have any feel for.
But as usual when people say that type of thing they then go on to make comments.
I hope mine will be helpful.

Three years away from fiancee and newborn albeit with phone and skype etc and presumably annual get togethers does appear to me to not be the ideal solution. Not that anything is ideal for you both at the moment.

If your fiancee is willing to leave her parents to eventually move to UK I'm surprised she isn't willing to adopt a stronger position with them now.

Considering that there isn't an immediate answer that will satisfy everyone at the moment then perhaps your idea which will or should satisfy all allbeit after 3 years is the way to go.

Good luck to you all.
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Old Mar 11th 2014, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

I would refuse to pay any money to the parents. Your responsibility is to be there for the baby and the girl. And that's about it. If the family thinks that this is not enough, show them that they have no choice. If they want to block you from them, the two will not be taken care off and have no support, which in no way is in their interest.
If you do not make a stand now, this will continue forever.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

I refused to pay sin sod and her father agreed i had already paid for mine and my wifes house cars and i paid for wedding european style 75 guests
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Girflriend pregnant. Looking for advice regarding sin sod customs.

ps and no bloody gold either
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