No court orders but other parent not in contact for years - where do I stand?:
4mydaughter: Thank you for clearing up the misconception of needing orders to recover a child. It's that kind of info I came here for, because everyone seems to have a different opinion, leaving you with a hundred possibilities and no idea which one to believe. Could I dare to ask what the process is in that circumstance, and what time period you're looking at getting your baby back in?
His father is about as uninterested in a child as a parent could be, and yes, rationally, I know that the chances of him abducting him are slim to none, but as a parent, I have back up plans for back up plans for worst case scenarios That's my incredibly unlikely worst case scenario, made marginally less unlikely because I know he still harbours a lot of anger toward me.
As for your other questions;
Why would it be hard for me to change his surname? I have no idea. Logic would tell me I have the best case for a surname change ever, but I've no idea to what extent logic prevails in the family court system. Thus why I asked.
Could I be asking because I've done a runner? After choking on my morning coffee, I suppose yes, I did a runner in so far as I left an abusive relationship and drove the 15km back to my parents house with his son. He clearly knows where I live, and I have not prevented his access to his son if he had wanted it.